CBD And Self Harm: Why You Should Quit And How To Do It

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Self-harming is an unhealthy coping mechanism that too many people use. When someone is unsure of how to deal with their emotions, they may end up taking it out on themselves. Intense feelings are common with people who suffer from depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and personality disorders which may make them more likely to self-harm than others. Using CBD may be able to help people in their time of need by making the emotions quieter so they can learn different coping mechanisms other than self-harming.

Cannabidiol may be able to help people who self-harm by reducing overactivity in the brain, repairing damaged areas that are linked to mental illness, and giving a calming effect that may be able to help in the moment. This type of habit doesn’t have to last forever, and for many people, it doesn’t. While using CBD as a tool, you can find new coping mechanisms that tailor to the reason you result to self-harm.

Why Do People Self Harm

Distraction

Do you self-harm because your emotions are yelling in your head and you have no idea how to turn them down? Sometimes, people who feel a certain way and don’t know how to handle it. They can result to self-harm to distract themselves from the situation that made them feel the way that they do or the feelings in general.

Release Tension

When you get angry or sad, do you feel like you’re going to explode which makes you feel the need to self-harm? Sometimes people may use this unhealthy coping mechanism to release their tension, getting out their anger or distress. If you get into a fight and don’t know how to get your anger out, instead of throwing things, hitting things, or yelling you might decide to wound yourself instead.

To Feel

Maybe you don’t recognize the previous two problems in yourself because it’s very rare you feel emotions at all. Do you feel like you are just looking for a sensation, any sensation, to remind yourself you are alive? Some people find themselves rushing to self-harm to feel again and eliminate that numbness.

Expression

Do you find it to be an expression of how you feel on the inside? No one understands what you are going through and everyone assumes your life is so perfect and you are so happy while you are dying inside. Maybe they don’t notice how many times you have to straighten your locker at school making you late to class or don’t see you staring off into space thinking of how miserable you feel. Some people use self-harm as a way to show that they are broken on the inside by being broken on the outside, too.

Punishment

Do you take the blame for everything that happens in your life? Do you hold the weight of the world on your shoulders? Maybe you have friends or family who make you feel this way, and you feel like the best punishment is self-harm. Sometimes when someone has low self-esteem, they may feel like everything is their fault and result to self-harm for punishment.

Euphoria

When you are injured, chemicals rush to your aid to make the pain go away. This feeling of endorphins rushing is one of the reasons this unhealthy coping mechanism can get so addictive. Do you feel like you are chasing this high of euphoria because you feel so disgusting all of the time? Is self-harm the only thing that you think can make you feel happy, even if it’s just for a moment? Many people use this as an escape, which can be extremely dangerous.

Why You Shouldn’t Self Harm

If you self-harm, you might be thinking whats wrong it's your body and your choice. You aren’t hurting anyone, and the cuts or burns heal. But there are plenty of reasons you shouldn’t self-harm.

Some Scars Are Forever

If you are younger, you might not think about how when you are in your late twenties wanted to go to the beach how the scars from your childhood or teen life are keeping you from feeling confident. People do notice the injuries, and that might make you uncomfortable.

The Moments After

After you self-harm, you might feel ashamed. You might become disappointed in yourself for succumbing to your emotions. This feeling of shame and betraying yourself is just another whirlwind to add to the turmoil you’re already dealing with in the first place.

Infection

If you burn or cut yourself, you are more prone to infection. If you are cutting with an object that isn’t perfectly sterile, you are opening a window for bacteria. Both cutting and burning can make you more likely to develop sepsis, which just isn’t worth it.

Accidents Happen

Often, it starts with a little injury to get you through. But then, that little injury isn’t enough, and you start doing more and more. If you cut too deep, there is no going back if you can’t get to the emergency room quick enough. Most people don’t self-harm to kill themselves, but it can happen by accident.

Warning Signs

You may not self-harm, but you might know and love someone who does. Here are some warning signs to look out for to see if you need to step in and help them learn new coping mechanisms. A friend who cares could be what they need to rewire their way of thinking. You can also encourage them to see a medical professional who is filled to the brim with healthy coping mechanisms and knows exactly how to talk to someone who results to self-harm.

Scars

Scars, cuts, burns, patches of hair are missing, and bruises that they can’t explain are an indication of them abusing themselves. Having blood stains or burns on their clothes where they explain that they are just clumsy or prone to injuries could also be a red flag.

Inappropriate Clothes

If it is eighty degrees outside and they are in long sleeves and jeans, they may be hiding scars or fresh wounds. Though fishnet clothing is a cute and edgy fad that people wear just to feel good and confident, it is also a type of clothing that can help cover up scars without getting too hot. This doesn’t mean everyone in a fishnet jacket cuts themselves, and not everyone who wears baggy clothes abuses themselves, but these are signs to look for.

Low Self-Esteem

Not everyone with low self-esteem results to abusing themselves, but it is more common in people who self-harm to have lower confidence. The low self-esteem itself isn’t what makes the cutter or burner; it is whether or not they know how to deal with these emotions.

Unable to handle feelings

Do they freeze in moments where they are filled with emotion? Tantrums, sobbing, and even having uncontrollable joy often can be signs that the person doesn’t know what to do with all of the feelings inside of them. When they get in their darkest hours, they may result to self-harm.

Avoidance

People who isolate themselves from loved ones or avoid relationships may be dealing with emotions that they can’t control, low self-esteem, or could be going out of their way to hide their injuries. Not every introvert harms themselves, but it is always a good idea to check up on these people to remind them how much they are loved.

Poor School, Work, Or Home Life

If they are struggling with their responsibilities and relationships, they may be using self-harm as a coping mechanism. This doesn’t mean everyone who is having troubles at home or school is self-harming, but it is something to take into consideration.

How CBD May Be Able To Help

People self-harm as an unhealthy coping mechanism. They have all of these emotions going on, and they don’t know what to do about them. CBD may be able to help by helping to ease the emotions making them less severe.

Depression

Depression is a severe illness that may be caused by brain damage due to stress. It is a sense of hopelessness, guilt, shame, and sorrow that follow you around like a shadow monster, ready to bring you down any moment you start to see a bit of sunshine in your life. Recent studies have shown that CBD may be able to help and do it quickly.

Cannabidiol may be a fast acting anti-depressant that does more than just put you in a better mood. Recent research has shown that it may be able to elevate chemicals in our brain that are at lower levels in people with depression. It also may be able to raise a chemical called BDNF, which is a chemical that helps brain cells grow and survive.

Anxiety and Anger

Anger and anxiety are one in the same. When you are angry, it is usually because you are feeling attacked, confused, or trapped which all trigger your fear response from your limbic system. The parts of your brain that scientists have discovered are behind the feelings of anxiety are the amygdala and the hippocampus, which CBD has shown to help with.

Cannabidiol has revealed in studies that it may be able to help with these anxious reactions that happen in your brain by reducing activity in the amygdala and helping to repair function in the hippocampus.

Coping Mechanisms To Replace Self-Harm

Now that we know that CBD may be able to help with some of the intense emotions, finding better coping mechanisms can be easier to practice. When you about to explode with emotion, you may be more likely to give up on finding something that works for you. But once the volume is turned down, these other options don’t seem so hard to do.

Not every coping mechanism is going to work for every person. After all, everyone self-harms for different reasons. Someone who can’t control their emotions will not be as successful at coping mechanisms that someone who feels numb uses. So if you’ve figured out why you self-harm, then you are on the right track.

Distracting Coping Mechanisms

If you self-harm because you need a distraction from your emotions or your chaotic life, doing something as simple as playing a video game can help. Especially one that involves intense button mashing and concentration and is filled with rewards to give you a sense of accomplishment. You can also do things like reading, listen to music, cook, or practice self-care like taking a shower. Make sure to have the music loud in the shower so you can sing your heart out; this is an added little bonus of a two in one.

Coping Mechanisms To Release Tension

Ripping an old magazine to pieces can help you get your tension out. As well as screaming as loud as you possibly can into a pillow. Or beating the life out of that pillow with a baseball bat out in your backyard. You might feel a little silly, but it will feel good getting all of that anger out. You can also try exercising, breaking old dishes, smash a watermelon, or anything that gets your blood pumping in a good way that doesn’t hurt you or others around you.

Coping Mechanisms To Feel

Do you want to be reminded that you have a beating heart? Go take a quick cold shower. It not only will make you feel something, but it’s also good for your depression, too. You can go the opposite way and take a big bite out of a hot pepper, but make sure to have a glass of water or milk nearby.

Coping Mechanisms For Expression

If you are beaten up and broken inside, you can probably create some fantastic art. You don’t think people will understand? Make them. Sculpt someone melting in their emotions, draw someone drowning in a sea of fears, write a beautiful poem that gives people goosebumps. When you do things like this and show it to others, you might find that people can relate to how you feel more than you thought.

Coping Mechanisms For Feeling The Need To Be Punished

Talking about your feelings seems like some empty advice, but it does help. Find someone who can help you focus on your feelings, let you express it healthily even if it’s yelling about it. Their voice of reason may be able to pull you out of this reality where everything is your fault. You can also go on a compliment spree online, making peoples’ days to make yourself feel better and show yourself how awesome you are. There are probably a thousand reasons you are a great person, try to name them all. It might start off small like you have good manners, but it will snowball into you realizing all of the beautiful qualities that make you who you are.

Coping Mechanisms To Feel Euphoria

Did you know that exercising also gives the same endorphins that self-harm does? It is even better for your health, helps with low self-esteem, and makes you feel better for longer. A big plus, no pesky scars to hide. If lifting weights isn’t your thing, try dancing, yoga, or just talking a walk barefoot to start feeling amazing.

Getting Help

It may be hard to talk to people about how you self-harm because people make you uncomfortable about it. They might try to guilt you into quitting or telling you that you’re problems aren’t that bad which just make you want to keep to yourself. But going at this alone isn’t going to make your issues any better, more than likely it will make them worse. Try to get in touch with a therapist so they can help you as you learn how to deal with your emotions healthily instead of abusing yourself.  

 

Sarah Potts

Sarah Potts has been writing about the wonderful benefits of cannabis for CBD Instead since 2017. Medical cannabis has changed her life and her goal is to show others how it might help them as well.

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