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Tumblr users are turning to this app to resist the urge to self-harm

The main focuses of DBT are mindfulness, emotion regulation, distress tolerance and interpersonal learning.

Mental Health Care

Tumblr users are turning to this app to resist the urge to self-harm
By Megan Farokhmanesh
Jan 19, 2018, 1:05pm EST

Tumblr user icantaffordadiary has been going through a difficult time. The Oregon-based teenager has a history of depression, self-harm, and suicidal thoughts spanning back to their elementary school days. “I’m going through a particularly rough patch right now, and I’ve been self-harming again,” the Tumblr user tells The Verge via DM. But they’ve found comfort in an unusual place: an app called Calm Harm that aims to help users work through their urges.

Calm Harm isn’t a new app; it launched in 2016 before being rebranded in July 2017. Its Google Play and App Store reviews are filled with people thanking its creators, or sharing their own success stories. But the app has found new popularity among Tumblr users, who are spreading the word to better help others. “Just wanted to let u guys know that there’s an app called calm harm that helps u resist the urge to self-harm,” wrote one user. “Please reblog this if you see it,” said another, who goes by ollzlollz. “This is a free app called calm harm and it literally just saved my life.” In a DM to The Verge, ollzlollz says that they discovered the app through a friend’s reblog.

Calm Harm offers a few simple solutions in the form of distraction techniques. The “Breathe” category, for example, will instruct you to exhale and inhale for a minute at at time, with the option to continue for as long as users need to. “Distract” gives you challenges to choose from, like counting backwards in sevens from 100, or thinking up a name for every letter of the alphabet. “The urge to self-harm is like a wave,” the app explains. “It feels the most powerful when you start wanting to do it.” It likens fighting off these urges like surfing on a wave: once you’ve ridden it out, the urge will fade.

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