ForumTouchy Subjects ► Preventing A Partner's Self Harm
I've been unable to find any reliable evidence so far, so I've taken to here hoping I can find the solution. I started dating my partner a month ago, and we really clicked. Since then I have learned that he occasionally hurts himself. It worries me, bad. I've talked to him about it several times before after he's done it, and tried to explain to him why I want him to stop. I've tried telling him how it hurts me when he does it. Nothing is helping. What else can I do?
  
It’s kind of different for people. What does he use to hurt himself? Tell him to call you whenever he feels like doing it. If he does it impulsively, getting him to agree to that might be harder. If he calls you, at least you’ll be able to know if he does it or has (sharp inhales out of pain, groans; those sounds). If it’s a specific thing he uses, ask him if he’ll give it to you.

What does he say when you tell him the way it makes you feel?
  
He tells me he also hates doing it but that it's become an addiction of his.
  
You need to talk to him because it really is an addiction. You should bring up antidepressants. You should bring up therapy. It really is an addiction. Early help is best help. Addiction is pretty similar throughout it all. I’d be way better off I had help for smoking cigs as a teen. Telling him what people older than him dealt with can help too. Older people who cut/made a habit of it at some time in their life. I’m sure people here can provide that. Mine wasn’t so much an addiction to cutting but an addiction to all things that could relieve stress and anxiety; sometimes slicing myself up was all I had at my disposal.
  
Here's an update. His friend Laura is dead. She knew that it would destroy him, and me. And yet she killed herself. I don't know if my boyfriend will be alive the next day, but he's miserable right now. I'm afraid of what will happen, and what I'll do if it comes to the worst. This day marks my first whole month with him, and it's horrible.
  
Keep him on the phone, if it gets bad, call his parents, you’re just one of his friends from school.
  
He and I are talking on Discord and he isn't responding very much. He'll become even worse if his parents know.
  
Call him and keep him on the phone.
  
Honestly, the best advice I can give you is to accept that whatever he does to himself is not your responsibility. Neither of you is responsible for what your friend did to herself. This community has been rocked by its fair share of tragedy, but we can't hold ourselves responsible for the actions of others. You can be there and be supportive, but that's about all you can do.
  
Don't get mad at him. That makes it loads worse... I was on the receiving end of that anger :)
Do your best to get him to talk to a doctor. It's scary, it really is...
And don't trick him into an appointment!
What sort of self harm does he engage in? Does he scratch, bite, hit, cut, etc.?
Give him a red marker if he scratches/cuts. That way he can draw the injuries on himself... It's worked for me a few times.
This is going to sound weird, but cutting memory foam helps me personally.
I'm not sure if any of this will work, but I hope it will.
I hope you both pull through this...
Self harm is not good, even if it is a satisfactory outlet (for those of us who hurt ourselves, it helps to have the pain on the inside be on the outside, and sometimes it helps that there is pain because there is nothing inside).
  
Thank you for your help, these are good ideas.
While I still dated that person, he had tried those things, but no matter what I - and others - tried, he refused to stop cutting. I don't talk to him anymore because soon after our breakup I realized a lot about the kind of person he was even with self-harm out of the question.

And hey, stay strong. It gets better.
  
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