How To Self-Harm

If you are going to self-harm you should at least know how to do it properly, make sure you read the whole post before attempting so you know exactly how to self-harm, as if you attempt it incorrectly you might suffer fatal consequences. What will you need? The interesting thing about self-harming is that you don’t even need anything but this post will focus on cutting so anything sharp will do. We will refer to your tool of choice as a knife throughout the post for simplicity.

So your first cut… it is often the hardest. You are not how deep to cut, how many cuts to do or how hard to press. You will not be used to the pain of cutting and as you draw the knife across your skin it will feel like agony. Afterwards you will probably do a few softer cuts to make yourself feel better.

If gets easier though, and you still think you can control yourself. Each session the cuts get deeper and you find it easier to draw blood. The cuts heal but turn into scars. When you have enough scars on your forearm you start to go up the rest of your arm, and then onto the legs and stomach. Every part of your body that you are able to cover up will be covered with scars.

And you will cover them up. You will hide your cuts and scars from everyone you love. You can still wear t-shirts, but you must wear a jumper or jacket over it so that your arms are not on show. When summer comes you worry about what to wear so you either wear long-sleeve shirts in the blazing heat or you stay inside, which leads to more cutting.

At this point you are addicted to cutting. You have already avoided your friends in the summer due to your cuts, but now you begin to skip lessons at school or college just so you can cut some more. You’ll hide in the toilets and watch the blood trickle down your arms as your education slips between your fingers. Your addiction causes you to get bad grades in your next test, but you don’t worry because you will always have your knife with you to comfort you during these times.

What was once one cut turns into ten cuts, then twenty cuts, then thirty, then a hundred. You are out of control. If you are not thinking about cutting it is probably because you are cutting. You no longer feel normal, you feel like a machine programmed to inflict harm onto itself. You battle against your mind daily, you try to stop cutting but it is no use. Cutting has taken over, you see no way of escaping. You will read books about self-harming and look for miracles online to help you stop but it is no use.

You now carry your knife with you wherever you go. Do you have 5 minutes before next lesson? Cut. Are your friends not looking for a few minutes? Cut. Have your parents left you in the car? Cut. Every opportunity you have will turn into a cutting session. On the rare occasions you cannot use your knife you will look for other objects to cut yourself with. Needles, compasses, paperclips. You can use everything. Cutting does not hurt as much as it used to.

You forget what days were like before you started cutting, you wonder how you managed. You are alone in your own little world of cutting, you cannot seem to find anyone else who cuts without revealing your own secret. Your body is slowly being destroyed, you enjoy it while at the same time hate it. You don’t even own your body, cutting does. Cutting is in your work, your dreams and in signs on the street. Imagine your worst nightmare has come to life, but is in the form of cutting. You wish you had never started, you wish you could turn back the clock and tell yourself not to cut. I wish that too, but then I started cutting and now it is too late.

So you want to self-harm? I’ll tell you exactly how to self-harm. Put the knife down and walk away. That’s the only way you can succeed. That’s the only way you can beat the devil.

How To Use Rest Breaks Effectively

Students with both mental and physical disabilities or illnesses are allowed extra time in exams for rest breaks, while many employers will give their staff rest breaks too. Some people without disabilities or illnesses are even given rest breaks. But how do you use these breaks wisely to make yourself more productive? This article will explain exactly that, including prior planning and on-the-stop decisions.

Exams incoming, are you prepared?

Exams incoming, are you prepared?

To Do, Before
You should know whether you are going to have a rest break during your exam or work day, so make sure you are prepared for it. These breaks should help you relax so that your mind is fresh to continue with your work. Are you going to get up and move around (which might not be allowed in some exams)? Are you going to get a drink or something to eat? Are you going to close your eyes and take a short nap? You should know what you are going to do so that you don’t worry about it, as worrying will cut into your precious time! Note how much time you have for your rest breaks too, as that will make it easier to know what you will do during the break or whether to split it into two smaller rest breaks instead of one.

Get Up, Get Active
But don’t run a marathon, which is impossible if you have a 5 minute break into your exam. I doubt you will do that in your coffee break either. One of my summer exams is a 2 hour computing test where you sit at the computer (I believe I get an extra 30 minutes as well), which is probably going to kill you if you are sitting down the whole time. Getting up and walking for a few minutes will get you away from the working environment and allow your brain to gather thoughts. Although this will be allowed in a majority of workplaces, you should check before an exam whether this is allowed.

Know someone who has panic attacks over exams? Click here to find out how to help.

Have A Mint, Or Some Water
The greatest piece of advice I ever heard about exams is to take a mint in with you and suck on it. Okay, so maybe revising was the best tip I ever heard but this one is still great. Although I can’t find the study I believe sucking a mint increases brain function. Take my word for it, it can’t do any harm. Similarly, you need to stay hydrated on those long days in the office so make sure you have a bottle of water with you at all times. A dehydrated brain will work slower.

Think positively... and quietly.

Think positively… and quietly.

Think Positive
And while you are thinking positive, do not think about your work or your exam. When you are stressed the body will release adrenaline causing you to not think clearly. Thinking of something positive will reverse this effect and allow you to continue with your work normally. Your thought could be something you will do later (like celebrate passing your exam) or it could be a good memory.

Think positive? Click here for my anti-depression mystic flowing through the air.

So there you have it. Now you should be prepared for those summer exams, providing you revise, or better equipped for those rest breaks at work. Just make sure the breaks are allowed by your supervisor or exam organiser. I guess I’ll be off to think positive now… or have a mint. Do you have rest breaks? What do you usually do during them?

How To Help Someone During A Panic Attack

Your friend is breathing heavily, shaking and their forehead is covered in sweat, what do you do? Firstly, you must recognise they may be having a panic attack. Panic attacks are commonly caused by anxiety which can occur in people suffering from a variety of mental illnesses, as well as people who don’t. To help your friend you must recognise the symptoms and take appropriate action.

What Are Panic Attacks? What Are The Symptoms?
A panic attack is a sudden bout of extreme anxiety, displayed by several psychological and physical symptoms. They are sudden and can often appear for no reason. They will generally last for 5 to 20 minutes and you will feel unwell, in danger, and possibly believe you may die (even though you cannot die from panic attacks). The physical symptoms include:
– Heavy breathing
– Sweating
– Trembling/Shaking
– Chest pains
– Headaches
– Feeling sick
– High pulse or palpitations
– Tense muscles

Panic attacks, can you spot them?

Panic attacks, can you spot them?

Not all of these symptoms may occur, often only 2 or 3 three symptoms will be present. The symptoms are caused by the body responding to what you think is a threat. Your body takes in more oxygen (shown by heavy breathing) and releases hormones such as adrenaline (causing the faster pulse and tense muscles).

What Should I Do?
If there is a cause of the panic attack, try to remove it. For example, if you know the panic attack was caused by a phobia, get them away from the fear. Getting them to a quieter area will help in most cases.

You must then try to slow down the breathing so that the carbon dioxide levels in the blood will return to normal. Breathing in deeply through the nose, and slowly back out the mouth can help. If hyperventilation occurs, breathe into a bag for 20 seconds, then without a bag for 20 seconds, and repeat until the breathing becomes more regular.

Controlling breathing will usually cause the other symptoms to go away.

Should I See A Doctor?
In a majority of cases, medical advice is not required. You should seek medical advice if:
– The panic attack continues after 20 minutes of attempting to control breathing
– The fast or irregular heartbeat remains after the panic attack ends
– You feel unwell after the panic attack ends
– You have regular panic attacks

Panic attacks will seem scary, but you should not worry about them. Most people will suffer at least one panic attack in their life, and they are not dangerous to your health. If you are concerned you should speak to a health professional, but remember the advice in this post and you should be fine.