Related topics: drugs & alcohol, suicide & mental health, depression
What is self harming?
Self harming, or self abuse, includes the deliberate acts that cause harm to one’s own body and mind.
This often includes cutting the skin with razor blades or pieces of glass; burning and hitting oneself; scratching or picking scabs or preventing wounds from healing; hair pulling; and inserting objects into one’s body.
Cutting is the most common form of self injury among today’s youth.
Why do people self-harm?
It is seen as a coping mechanism. It is about having control of a situation when one feels as though other things are chaotic.
Approximately 15% of teens admitted to have self-harmed at least once. Many of whom also said that at the time it felt 'good' because of other issues in their life.
What if someone is/I am hurt badly?
Calling 911 is important if you're in a situation where you are badly injured or bleeding a lot. Do not risk your life if you feel that you have lost control. If not, calling someone you trust immediately to help you may be a good course of action. This goes the same for if a friend or loved one is badly hurt.
Do not ignore it because they ask you to.
How can I get myself help?
It is best to address it as soon as possible as it can escalate quickly. You may want to start by telling a close friend, parent, adult, or teacher you trust. Even if the first person you tell cannot help your directly, it can help you gain more confidence to approach someone who can. A family doctor, counselor, adult, etc.
It may be a good idea to keep a journal of your feelings before and after you self-injury in order to help yourself recover. This is a great way to vent emotions.
How can I help a friend?
Don't be afraid to ask the question if your think a friend may need help. Tell them you care, and want them to feel better. Reassure them you aren't going anywhere.
If they are willing to talk:
1. Try to just listen without judging. It may be hard to understand, but enforce that you understand they are going through a lot.
2. Whether or not self-injury is a new topic to you, try to pass on any resources or tips that might be helpful for your friend.
3. Offer to help a friend take the first step in approaching a doctor, counselor, parent, etc. Be a team.
4. Don't forget about yourself. Learning of a friends struggle may be hard on your emotions as well. Remember to have your own outlet that will keep your friends situation confidential.
TAKEN FROM CMHA.CA & KIDSHELPPHONE.CA