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Is being “addicted” to self-harm possible when a person isn’t depressed?

Depression is a complex mental health issue

Think of it like a spectrum: on one end we see the extremely dark side depression (can’t get out of bed, suicidal, no motivation to do anything). On the other end, there’s the side of depression most people have and deal with on a day to day basis (general unhappiness, days or weeks of feeling down). What I’m trying to say is, depression can be compared to a scale in that there can be different intensities of emotions felt if someone is depressed. We found some info on the Canadian Mental Health’s Association’s website- they have detailed information on depression to help you better understand what it could look like.

When we’re feeling down, whether we’ve been clinically diagnosed as depressed or not, we usually try to cope with those feelings.

We all experience low emotions like sadness, anger, worry and stress differently so how we cope with these feelings will vary for everyone. Some people may choose to rely on self-harm as a mode of escaping the pain or a way to “replace” some of the pain they are going through. Some may be going through such distress and sorrow that self-harming may help them feel better. For others, it may be a call for help.

Either way, being “addicted” to self-harm could happen to anyone because that’s the way they are choosing to cope.

We will never say it’s a ‘bad’ way to cope because we won’t judge someone on what they’ve learned to do to feel better, but there may be other options out there that they haven’t tried before. Like we said earlier, there are so many different ways of coping and we are only exposed to the ones around us or what we think would work.

Sometimes, talking through different suggestions with someone else can help us brainstorm ideas. It can also feel better to talk about the pain you’re in and that’s why our service exists.

We’re gonna be here for you if you did want someone to listen without any judgement. If you’re feeling like you’re addicted to self-harming or know someone who might be, talking to a professional can be a good place to start. Sometimes, self-harming is used as a coping tool or sometimes it can be related to a bigger issue. It’s also important to differentiate between self harming as a method of dealing with someone’s intense emotional pain or if they are wanting to take their own life.

By chatting with us, we can figure it out together and even give you some resources that could help you take your next step.

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