My daughter broke up for the first time when she was 12 years old. His act surprised me, shocked, and scared a lot.
Today, eleven years later, she still struggles against this trend. At first, I knew almost nothing about self-injury, but I inquired.
It's important to understand this behavior: what does it consist of; who practices it; and how to come to the aid of those people who suffer inside, even more than outside.
What is self-mutilation?
This is the act of taking a sharp tool such as a razor, scissors or a piece of glass, and using it against one's skin to cause bleeding or bruising. Most of the time, the person cuts his arms, wrists or legs. But some people will cut their chest, stomach, face, neck, breasts or genitals. The cuts on the arms and legs are the most common, since it is easy to create explanations for these injuries by saying things such as: "My cat scratched me" or "I had an accident in the cooking ".
Millions of people are injured in one way or another.
Cuts are a form of self harm. There are others: scratching, pulling one's hair, burning oneself, scratching one's wounds, hitting one another, or bumping one's head.
Who does it and why?
It is difficult to understand this compulsion to harm itself.
Millions of people are injured in one way or another. Most of the time, it is an adolescent behavior that can persist to the adult stage. People who self-harm come from different backgrounds and races.
People who are injured tend to hide this fact by wearing long clothing during both summer and winter.
People are self-injurious in dealing with stress and emotions they can not express, as we can see from this list of reasons given by those who hurt themselves.
- Painful emotions they can not express
- The desire to overcome feelings of helplessness in the face of a situation beyond them.
- The desire to punish oneself for a troubling act or thought.
- The desire to relieve their inner pain.
- The desire to attract the attention of some people.
Whatever the reason, we understand that this is dangerous behavior that may signal a deeper problem. Many people who cut themselves also suffer from eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia. Others suffer from depression. Others suffer from having been physically or sexually abused.
Is this a suicide attempt?
Usually, people who self-harm do not seek death. However, cuts can sometimes lead to life-threatening sequelae: sometimes people cut themselves too deeply and accidentally die from their wounds.
If you know someone who thinks to commit suicide, please read this. Suicide is not a solution.
How to help a friend who cuts himself?
If you think a friend is cutting himself, do not hesitate to ask him. Most of the time, people who cut themselves want to talk about it. If you're wrong, do not worry, you're not going to push a person who does not cut himself to start.
If one of your friends lets you see his cuts, it's because he wants to talk to you about it. You can then offer him some alternatives, but do not tell him what to do. If a person cuts himself in the hope of gaining some control over his situation, it will not help him to be told what to do. The best thing to do is to invite the person to talk to a parent, a teacher, a pastor, a counselor or a health professional to find the help they need.
You can also help by letting you know more about it by reading articles or books.
Feel free to seek help for yourself too. It can be stressful to accompany a friend who cuts himself. Even if you want to respect the confidentiality of your friend's words, you can still talk with a health professional about the effects of his problem on you.
Remember, you are not responsible for healing your friend. You can not change the other person, but you can offer him your faithful friendship and understanding. The very fact of telling her about it and encouraging her to find help proves that she is very important to you. Sometimes it's all it takes for someone to heal.
And if it's me who cuts himself? How can I help?
Talk to someone you trust: a parent, a good friend, a pastor, a counselor. Admit that you cut yourself and want to stop doing it. Ask them to help you find ways to get there. They may react badly first: they may express denial, sadness or even anger, but that will pass. If you want to avoid this, talk to a health professional, contact a mental health association, or call a helpline or online. Several sources of help are available.
You do not have to solve the problem alone. There are therapists and support groups who can help you understand why you are cutting yourself. Even if the idea of seeking help makes you uncomfortable, do it anyway, because it's easier to do it today than tomorrow. If you wait, the problem will only get worse. You can stop hurting yourself.
In her book, Purpose for the Pain, my daughter says, "I did not succeed on my own. I am not strong enough to do it. God supported me … I found it difficult to get to this point (free of cuts for 6 months) … But it happened, and it can happen for others too. "
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Author of this article: Dena Yohe.
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