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When your boyfriend/girlfriend self-harms

SystemSystem Posts: 8,627 Staff Team
edited March 2019 in Articles

imageWhen your boyfriend/girlfriend self-harms

It can be hard when a partner self-harms. The Mix helps you support your boyfriend or girlfriend.

Read the full story here


  • Ava_AlferaAva_Alfera Posts: 2 Literally just got here
    edited March 2019
    My boyfriend self-harms. And I don't know how to help him. I made him promise me he wouldn't do it anymore. But he broke that promise. And I got kinda mad. And I am just hoping he doesn't do it anymore because I love him so much. How do I help him?

    [edited by moderator]
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 295 Moderator

    Sorry to hear that your boyfriend struggles with self-harm but it’s lovely to hear how you want to help him!

    As the article states, it’s best not to make promises as this may cause upset to both you and your boyfriend if and when he relapses and self-harms again. However, the article also says that it can help to explore whether a partner who self-harms is also struggling to deal with depression and other mental health issues as well as trying to understand why they self-harm, their urges and triggers that cause them to self-harm. 

    It’s also good to encourage your boyfriend to get professional help (medication, counselling etc) to deal with his self-harm. You may want to suggest that he checks out our article on coping tips and distractions https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/self-harm/self-harm-coping-tips-and-distractions-5696.html for ideas on how to cope with the urges to self-harm. If you or your boyfriend are under 25 and in the UK, you can also get one-to-one support from The Mix here: https://www.themix.org.uk/get-support/speak-to-our-team Alternatively, there is RecoverYourLife http://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum/ a forum dedicated to recovering from self-harm.

    Lastly, while it’s good to be there emotionally for your boyfriend, remember to take the time to look after yourself too. This is very important when trying to help a loved on who is struggling with mental illness of any sort!

    Take care,

  • elliot_1156elliot_1156 Posts: 1 Literally just got here
    edited January 15
    i was recently in the hospital and when i got home i was still... well i was spending a lot of time with my head in the toilet, my girlfriend was having a rough time and i was trying to be supportive as possible, then something triggered her. she told me she was self-harming. and i still had a lot of pain meds in me and i panicked so i texted her bestfriend that i guess triggered it (which i wasnt aware of) and she told me to call her mom to make sure she was safe. little did i know that that was going to make things worse. i dont know what i can do in these situations to make sure shes safe but also let her cope. and we knew there was a chance of relapse in January and i told her ill try my best to keep her safe and i feel like i failed her
  • MaisyMaisy The Mix convert CymruPosts: 295 Moderator

    Hi @elliot_1156

    Sorry to hear about your girlfriend’s self-harm episode. It sounds like it was really difficult for you to be unwell yourself and still try to support your girlfriend when she was going through a rough time too. It’s understandable that you would’ve panicked on hearing your girlfriend was self-harming and texted her best friend, and then later told her parents. Even though this may have triggered your girlfriend further, it sounds like you were doing the best you can- you definitely haven’t failed her!


    It’s hard when your partner is self-harming, and natural that you would want to help. But as the article suggests, your girlfriend needs to figure out why she is self-harming, and what she can do instead. Perhaps, if she is interested, you can show her this article on coping tips and distractions: https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/self-harm/self-harm-coping-tips-and-distractions-5696.html You could also try encouraging her to seek professional help from a counsellor, or reach out for support online such as RecoverYourLife https://www.recoveryourlife.com/forum/


    Simply being there and listening to your girlfriend can be helpful, and it’s also important to set boundaries and let her know what you can and can’t deal with when it comes to self-harm. Remember to look after yourself too <3

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