Self-injury - - 2003-06-20 22:27:56
Self-injury is any sort of self-harm that involves causing injuries or pain on one's own body.
Self-injury is one of the most hidden and misunderstood behaviors that some people use to cope with pain and stress. Each person who self-harms has his or her own reasons for doing it.
Some survivors use self-harm as a way of coping with difficult situations or as a way to release emotions too intense to keep inside... emotions like anger, fear or depression. Ultimately Self-harm is a sign of emotional distress, where one is trying to cope with the unmanageable pain that one is experiencing. Fear and shame may force survivors to keep self-injury secret for many years. Most self-injurers go to great lengths to hide what they do. Self-Injury is a mixture of lack of love and self esteem for yourself and a desperate attempt to cope with frustration and numbness.
Common Misconceptions about Self-InjuryMyth:Self-injury is a failed suicide attempt
Fact:self injury is NOT done with the intention to kill oneself. On the contrary, self-injury is often a a "survival strategy", it is a way to deal with extreme emotional distress, a way to survive.
Myth:Self-injury is "just attention seeking"
Fact:There are many easier, less painful and less degrading ways of getting attention. While it is true that people who self injure often feel alone and unloved, majority of them keep their behaviors secret and rarely talk about it with anyone.
Myth:Self-injurers are freaks/sick/crazy...
Fact:Self-injury is a sign of distress, not craziness. For most people self-injury is a way of surviving great emotional pain. They are not "bad" or "mad" for doing it.
What can I do?
Everybody is unique and what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. Seeking professional help is the best gift you can ever give to yourself. There is help out there and there are people willing to help you.
*Talk with your doctor or with a therapist, be available and willing to talk to them about it. Don't be afraid to ask for help, asking for help is a sign of maturity. Ask as many questions as you wish and reach out to other people.
*Seek social support, this could be a friend, a relative or another person who self-harms.
*Try to find alternative ways of expressing your emotions such as as, screaming, writing, drawing or painting.
*Try to delay self-harming for a short time (e.g. start with 15 minutes and gradually increase this time).
This site is offered for support of other survivors, it is not meant to be a substitute for any kind of professional help. I don't have any qualifications or training in therapy, I am by no means a professional. I claim no responsibility for the use of this web site, use of content, or content of any links leading from this site. If you are in a crisis situation I urge you to contact your local rape crisis center or health care professional.