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3981 Selfharm

Self-harm

Self-harm

Self-harm, is an act of deliberately harming your own body by acts such as cutting yourself, swallowing toxic substances and burning yourself. This is a very unhealthy way of coping with emotional pain and intense anger. It often remains a secretive behaviour that can go on for a long time without being noticed. There are several reasons why people indulge in self-harm. Although they can change over time, they commonly stem from unhappy emotions.

An individual may resort to self-harm when he or she is unable to cope with psychological pain in healthy ways. The individual may have a very hard time regulating, understanding or expressing emotions. Through self-injury an individual may be trying to:

• Express internal feelings in an external way
• Provide a distraction from painful emotions through physical pain
• Feel a sense of control over his or her body, feelings or even life situations
• Take control or reduce distress and anxiety and provide a sense of relief

Signs and symptoms of individuals who have indulged in self harm include:

• Broken bones
• Spending time alone most of the time
• Burns, cuts and scars
• Persistent difficulties in relationships
• Always claiming to have recurrent accidents or mishaps
• Questions about personal identity
• Wearing long sleeve clothes even in hot weather
• Emotional instability, impulsivity and unpredictability

Tips to consider:

• Identify the situations or feelings that might trigger your desire to self-injure.
• Learn to express your emotions in healthy positive ways.
• Make it a point to connect with others who can support you so that you don't feel alone. Confide in someone you who you trust.
• Avoid consumption of alcohol and illegal drugs.
• Do not spend time on websites that glamorise self-injury, instead seek support!

If you or your loved one is going through a rough time coping with feelings and life situations, please reach out for HELP! Any form of self-harm is a sign of bigger issues that need to be addressed immediately. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed about the behaviour, you can find supportive and non judgemental help.