Lijit Ad Wijit

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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