Let’s Talk Self-harm

If self harm was for attention we’d do it in-front of your face. We wouldn’t lock ourselves in our rooms and bathrooms or cover it with long sleeves. Do it places no one would think to look, look so ashamed when you ask to see it. We wouldn’t be so socially aware of ourselves, be laughing one minute crying the next. We wouldn’t keep it all from you if it were for attention, you probably found out by an accident. Don’t get involved.

This really puts a lot of the stigma about self harm into perspective. Even for those who may not be going through it personally could understand some of what is going on. Self harm is an increasingly growing issue and is too frequently goes ignored or disregarded. There are a few key points I want to make on things that you shouldn’t say to someone who self-harms:

  • Don’t offer an ultimatum, don’t punish, threat or guilt trip.
  • Don’t tell other people
  • Don’t belittle there problem
  • Don’t take away their self harming instrument of choice against their will
  • Don’t check them for new cuts or marks
  • Don’t get angry at them
  • Don’t call them a failure
  • Don’t tell them they do it for attention

Many people assume instead of asking about mental health in general. I wish society would stop putting people who are suffering down, more people need to listen to others and be compassionate.

Typical misconceptions are:

  • Usually a failed suicide attempt
  • They must be crazy and should be institutionalized
  • It’s an attempt to manipulate others
  • If the wounds aren’t bad enough it isn’t serious.

Self harm tends to follow a cycle:

  1. Mental anguish
  2. Emotional anguish
  3. Panic station
  4. Action station
  5. Feeling better/different
  6. The grief reaction
  7. Back to the first step

Typically, people self harm due to an underlying mental illness causing them so much emotional distress that the release they find is hurting themselves physically. There are more then one kind of self harm it isn’t just cutting.

Some stuff to do instead of self harming:

  1. Draw/Doodle
  2. Go for a run
  3. Make random lists
  4. Meditate
  5. Listen to music
  6. Dance
  7. Write how you feel
  8. Go for a long drive
  9. Snap a rubber band on your wrist
  10. Draw lines instead of cutting lines

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