Self-Harm Recovery Is Taking It One Day At A Time


LEAD Recovery Center offers transitional care and treatment for self-harming behaviors. This article could be triggering for you. If you are in need of immediate support for self-harm, please reach out to the Crisis text Line by texting “START” to 741-741.

What makes one day without self-harm different? A similar question could be asked to an addict or alcoholic in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. What makes one day without drinking or drug use different? For recovery from drug and alcohol addiction there are sayings like don’t pick up, no matter what. Self-harm recovery includes somewhat of the same motto. Don’t hurt yourself, no matter what. Self-harm is not attention-seeking, as it is commonly portrayed to be. Self-harm is a coping mechanism, a way for people to escape, to feel, to not feel, to compulsively get rid of obsessive thoughts which are more painful than physical harm. Over time, self-harm becomes habitual, a deeply ingrained practice which is difficult to replace with healthier coping mechanisms. Recovery for self-harm can only be accomplished as any other recovery, one day at a time.

Managing Triggers For Stress

Stress management is the foundation beneath any recovery program for living. Triggers in the brain react to stress in an extreme way because the brain is hyper aware of negative stimuli. In compensation, the brain seeks out pleasure of some kind, a reward, an antidote to the negative stress. Managing triggers for any kind of stress is essential for self-harm recovery. Research has proven that long term treatment is the most beneficial for creating the tools and healing necessary for long term recovery.

Meeting Needs Through Self-Care

Self-care is the opposite of self-harm, though many who self-harm feel as though their self-harming behaviors are a form of self-care. There are other, healthier, less harmful ways to soothe fears, ease stressful tension, and cope. Basic needs must be met first. Taking care of physical needs like hunger, emotional needs like safety, and getting enough sleep will lay the groundwork for other self-cares. Each person has their unique needs and unique ways of getting them met.


LEAD Recovery Center offers residential transitional living care for men and women seeking an autonomous lifestyle in the recovery from self-harm and co-occurring substance use or mental health disorders. For information, call us today at 800-380-0012.