Triggers

If you visit websites about self-injury you will often find warnings that you might be triggered by certain information. Some but not all self-injurers find that certain things make them want to harm themselves and so avoid those things. Common triggers include:

Try to be aware of what causes you to self-injure. Do you find that looking at certain things, listening to certain music etc makes you want to harm yourself? If you can identify triggers then you may be able to cut down the frequency of your self-injury if not stop it altogether. Pay attention to the warnings on websites and be aware that any website about self-injury may trigger you to injure.

Personally, I find that the more I think about self-injury, the more likely I am to self-harm. So, constantly reading self-injury websites means I am more likely to SI. Conversely if I avoid websites or limit how many and how often I read information about SI I am less likely to SI.

Often websites will implore you to be sure you will be safe as you are reading them. This really means that you might be triggered by the information/graphics on that site, and to be sure that you do not face immediate temptation. To put it crudely, to be sure that you are not sitting with a razor blade beside you as you read.

Saying that, if a website does trigger you and you self-injure, it is not the end of the world. Do not panic - berating yourself for having given in is not likely to help you very much, and as I said above, thinking about it all the time is more likely to make you SI - even if those thoughts are "I shouldn't do this any more".

My advice is to figure out triggers, and avoid them if they are online, and remove them from your everyday life. So, for instance, if naked flames are likely to trigger you, then figure out a substitute for candles in ritual work. Finding out what triggers you may help you reduce how often you SI, and so it is certainly worthwhile seeing whether you do have any triggers.

 
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