Lijit Ad Wijit

Friday, August 9, 2013

Self Harm and Self Injury Series: 10 Ways People Self-Harm, Self Injure Themselves


Top Ten Ways to Self-Harm, Self-Injure (from

A study published in 2006, Self-injurious Behaviors in a College Population, by Whitlock et al., looked at the self-injurious behavior of over 2800 college students. Seventeen percent of the respondents reported self-injurious behavior. According to that study, the ten most common ways to self-harm were:1

  1. Scratching or pinching – this behavior included severely scratching or pinching with fingernails or objects to the point that bleeding occurred or marks remained on the skin. This method of self-injury was seen in more than half of all students who reported participating in self-harm. (Watch interview on Dermatillomania: The Secret of Compulsive Skin Picking)
  2. Impact with objects – this self-harm behavior included banging or punching objects to the point of bruising or bleeding. This way to self-harm was seen in just over 37% of the self-harming students.
  3. Cutting – while cutting is often considered synonymous with self-harm, this way of self-mutilation only occurred in just over 1-in-3 students who reported self-harming. Cutting is more common among females.
  4. Impact with oneself – this self-injury method includes banging or punching oneself to the point of bruising or bleeding. This way to self-injure was seen in almost 25% of the students who reported self-harming behaviors.
  5. Ripped skin – this way of self-mutilation includes ripping or tearing skin. This type of self-injury was seen in just under 16% of those who admitted to self-harming behaviors.
  6. Carving – this way of self-harm is when a person carves words or symbols into the skin. This is separate from cutting. This method of self-mutilation was identified by just under 15% of those who self-harm.
  7. Interfering with healing – this way of self-mutilation is often in combination with other types of self-harm. In this case, a person purposefully hampers the healing of wounds. This method of self-harm was used by 13.5% of respondents.
  8. Burning – burning skin is a way of self-mutilation. Burning as a way of self-injury was seen in 12.9% of students who self-harmed.
  9. Rubbing objects into the skin – this type of self-harm involves the rubbing of sharp objects, such as glass, into the skin. Twelve percent of responding students used this way to self-harm.
  10. Hair-pulling – this way to self-harm is medically known as trichotillomania. In trichotillomania, a person feels compelled to pull out their own hair and in some cases even ingest that hair. This type to self-injury was seen in 11% of students who self-harmed.
One thing to note, 70% of those who repeatedly self-harm use multiple ways to self-harm with the majority reporting between 2-4 self-injury methods used.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Self Harm and Self Injury Series: The Why's and What's

Reblogging from


Self Injury and Self Harm, why?? many parents and friends to tweens and teens are asking this same question. You are very worried about your loved one when you find out that they are cutting themselves or maybe burning themselves, you worry and start to think what on earth could be wrong.

As a parent of teens and a survivor myself of self harm behaviors when I was a teen, I wanted to dig a bit deeper into the what's and why's of self mutilation and self harming. Today there are resources available all over the web to educate yourself and learn how to help others. If you are a parent, get involved and communicate with your kids, the worst thing you can do is shun them and scream at them more. They need your love, not your lectures. They are not usually seeking attention like you are thinking, nor usually suicidal, but can become addicted to self harming because they feel the painful emotions released when self harming and want that feeling more and more. Some self harmers can cut deep enough to require treatment, stitches, hospitalization and even to the point of a suicidal attempt.

There's no one single or simple cause that leads someone to self-injure. In general, self-injury is usually the result of an inability to cope in healthy ways with psychological pain related to issues of personal identity and having difficulty "finding one's place" in family and society. The person has a hard time regulating, expressing or understanding emotions. The mix of emotions that triggers self-injury is complex. For instance, there may be feelings of worthlessness, loneliness, panic, anger, guilt, rejection, self-hatred or confused sexuality.

Through self-injury, the person may be trying to:
Manage or reduce severe distress or anxiety and provide a sense of relief
Provide a distraction from painful emotions through physical pain
Feel a sense of control over his or her body, feelings or life situations
Feel something, anything, even if it's physical pain, when feeling emotionally empty
Express internal feelings in an external way
Communicate depression or distressful feelings to the outside world
Be punished for perceived faults

The most common forms of self-harm include:
Carving the skin
Breaking bones
Head banging
Pulling out hair
Preventing wound healing
Piercing the skin with sharp objects
Risky behaviors

Many people who harm themselves cover it with clothing or make up, but in most cases, there are certain signs that indicate a possible self-injury disorder.

Some symptoms include:
Scars that do not go away or new ones all the time
Broken bones
Hair loss or bald spots
Carrying a sharp object at all times
Covering up with clothing regardless of the weather or temperature
Fresh cuts, scratches, or other wounds

Self-harm can be impulsive at times, although self-injury behaviors are also commonly planned, in a ritualistic practice, which happens repeatedly. It is the methodical aspect of self-harm that becomes a habit in some people — it provides comfort in the fact that it is a reliable, controllable sensation in what may feel an otherwise uncontrollable world.

Tomorrow I will look closer at how people are self harming and closer symptoms to watch for.
Until then be safe and spread love, not hate!







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