There are numerous self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums on the internet. These self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums offer support and help for individuals who cut themselves and/or engage in other self-injurious behavior. Unlike pro self-harm websites, these self-harm forums do not glorify cutting or self-harm; rather, they encourage their members to discuss their life problems, woes, and feelings, help each other find alternative ways to cutting, and are pro-recovery. Self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums are equivalent to online “support groups” that are moderated by experts and consist of loving and non-judgmental individuals.
These websites provide help and support, as well as lend an open ear and an open mind for people who engage in self-harm or think about doing so. Policies of these self-injury forums include zero tolerance for pro self-harm activities or behaviour. Apart from forums, most of these websites also house live chats / support with counsellors or fellow adolescents via self-injury chat rooms and/or Skype.
We have compiled a list of the most popular and helpful self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums for you below.
Recover Your life (http://www.recoveryourlife.com/)
Self-injury.net Safe Haven (http://gabrielle.self-injury.net/)
Teen Line Online (http://teenlineonline.org/)
Healthy Place Self-Injury Forum (http://www.healthyplace.com/forum/self-injury/)
Self-Harm: Recovery, Advice, and Support (http://www.thesite.org/healthandwellbeing/mentalhealth/selfharm)
Kids Help Phone (http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/Teens/home.aspx)
Holding Of Wrist (http://holdingofwrist.com)
Fort Refuge (http://www.fortrefuge.com/forum/)
Bodies Under Siege Forum (http://buslist.org/phpBB/)
Bodies Under Siege (BUS) Chat (http://buschat.info/)
Virtual Teen Cutting and Self-Harm Forum (http://www.virtualteen.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=16)
Self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums are very helpful and many adolescents have found refuge and good advice from these websites. However, as with anything, there are pros and cons in joining or participating in these forums or chat rooms. Numerous pros have already been discussed: cutting chat rooms help individuals look for alternative ways to address their pain, find solace and support from recovering self-harmers, and get informed and accepted while being treated. An atmosphere of empathy is also present. However, there are several cons too. First of all, exposure to cutting forums, wherein people share their experiences of self-harm, unwittingly increases the desire to self-injure. Furthermore, shared experiences, images, and even “support” could contain triggering information and stimuli that have a big possibility to enable adolescents to start cutting. Although these self-harm forums have strict policies against the glorification of cutting, this cannot be completely avoided as some members still persist in doing so, and may unconsciously impart tips and tricks of cutting and self-injury by sharing their experiences. For some individuals, the more a behaviour is talked about, the more it fosters a craving to engage in that behaviour.
Because of all of this information, it is important to ask yourself if you think that getting involved in support groups will just ignite your desire to self-harm or whether this support will help cease this behaviour. Remember that everyone is different, and it is very important for you to examine yourself and find out if involvement in self-harm chat rooms and self-harm forums is the best option for you.