Calm Harm, Riding the Wave to Better Thoughts

The app Calm Harm is meant to help reduce the urge to self harm, and it does the job and goes beyond. 

Calm Harm is an app that is available on both Apple and Android phones. Though it is not a new app, having been released in the App Store in 2016, it is helping people with the urge to self harm. It describes the urge to self harm as a wave, and lists multiple ways that it can help you ride out the waves.  

The app has multiple activities that are targeted towards whatever the consumer believes is their ideal way to ride out the wave of wanting to self harm. The categories are: comfort, distraction, express yourself, release, random and breathe. Within each category, there are five or fifteen minute exercises for the level of degree that the app user is needing, and when the time is up, the app will ask if more time is needed.  

A few examples that this author found particularly helpful are the distract category. One of the activities is “How many singers can you name?” You are then given 60 seconds to type as many singers as you can think of, and when you do this, you are distracted from your want to self harm. If I was needing something other than a distraction though, I could switch categories to comfort.  

When someone clicks five minutes there are lots of options and suggestions of things that you can do that will help comfort you in your wave of wanting to self harm. An example: “Record yourself saying as many positive things as you can about something that matters and listen to it as many times as you like.” Tips such as these are calming, they allow the brain to be anywhere but having the urge to self harm.  

Another reason would be that though it helps with the urge to self harm, it can also help with the anxiety that might be causing the urges. There is a category called “breathe” that doesn’t have subcategories or multiple activities, it has a moving circle and prompts that tell you when and how to breathe. They are relaxed breathing techniques that are in three to five minute intervals with breaks in between.  

Lastly the app allows for security. When you first sign in, it allows you to put a password protected lock on the app, giving the ability to have privacy. Every time that you click on the app it requires you to sign in, so if someone were just being nosey, they would not be able to see that you have a self harm help app without knowing what it is.  

All together, this app is great and it can continue to help many people through their time of wanting to self harm.  



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