Those who self harm are often seen as silly or attention seeking, when in fact many of them are just hurting inside and to them it seems like a logical reaction. In fact, I expect there are many people out there who self harm without realising it: people who drink too much after a hard day, or use promiscuity as a way to feel loved and valued. None of these things are wrong, but they are all dangerous, and mean that you’re closer to understanding self harm than you think.
There are lots of reasons people self harm (or have in the past) and you’d probably get a slightly different answer from each one of us. Some people think they deserve the pain because they don’t like themselves, others want the immediate relief it can give you because it releases endorphins which produce an adrenaline rush. This makes it addictive and hard to stop.
For me self harming was all about control. As part of my illness I don’t have much control over my emotions, so the pain was one thing I did have control over. It was when I learnt to truly value myself and practised regulating my emotions that I was able to stop.
Many people who deliberately injure themselves don’t tell anyone what’s going on, possibly to hide their true pain and seem okay, or as it was with me – I didn’t want to get in trouble! I’d like to start by offering a bit of advice if you’re struggling to ask for help or simply tell someone that you’re hurting yourself.
- Firstly, I’d advise you to pick someone you know well, and trust. This may be your parents, a sibling or even a friend. It doesn’t really matter who as long as you feel comfortable talking to them.
- Pick a good time when you know you won’t be interrupted, probably don’t tell someone in the middle of a coffee shop, cinema or when they have to get their kids from school in twenty minutes.
- You could try practising what you’re going to say, or sending a text or calling if you’re more comfortable telling someone that way.
- What do you want to happen now? Do you want them to help you stop? Or did you just want it to stop being a secret? If you figure this out and tell them it’ll help you feel more in control.
If you’d like more information, or help with self harm here are a couple of websites that I found quite helpful: