Go Orange and show you care!
Self harm has become almost an epidemic all around the world. The everyday busy life has caged us to an extent that none of us can see the physical, emotional or mental scars our loved ones our carrying. The goal of the people who observe Self Injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self-harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.
The Psychology behind Self Harm:
Self harm is a confusing subject for many people and even psychologist but one thing is for sure the person who indulges in self harm, isn’t looking for suicide. In most cases self harm is used as a coping mechanism to deal with stress, depression, anxiety, anger or emotional numbness – even a sense of failure. Statistics also show a positive correlation between emotional abuse and self harm. Self harm can actually be addictive because it gives the person involved a sense of satisfaction. The person who cuts because they cannot feel anything (emotional numbness or emptiness), starts feeling pain after they cut and the person who feels like they’re about to burst with anxiety, relates the open wound to an outlet for the anxiety to escape.
*Studies of adolescents have shown that adolescents who self-injure have greater physiological re-activity (i.e., skin conductance) to stress than adolescents who do not self-injure. This stress response persists over time, staying constant or even increasing in self-injuring adolescents, but gradually decreases in adolescents who do not self-injure.*source : “Psychological, physiological, and serotonergic correlates of parasuicidal behavior among adolescent girls”, Development and Psychopathology 17, 2005: 1105–1127
Signs of Self Harm:
Statistics show, 80% of the self harm involves “self injury” i.e. cutting oneself with a sharp object where as the rest 20% involve other sorts of risk taking behaviors, self neglect, alcoholism, hair pulling, bruising/hitting ones self, knowingly abusing over the counter or prescription drugs, and forms of self-harm related to anorexia and bulimia. Each of which have different signs that could be picked up – for example a boy or a girl who doesn’t eat right can be easily spotted by the amount of food in their plate and how soon they leave to use a toilet after they finish eating or a cutter can usually be spotted wearing long sleeves or clothes that hide their cuts appropriately. All that matters is care. Show some care and notice your friends or children and do not publicly question them if you do find out. Remember they know that what they are doing isn’t something good and they want to stop more than you want to stop them. Coming out for them is already a huge step they may or may not be ready to take yet, so do not pressurize them – rather make them feel your love and support.
According to LifeSigns self harm is rather a broader term and self injury is a part of self harm:
You can download their fact sheets here which is are certainly very helpful and you can help others by spreading the word!
Who indulges in self harm?
Any body and Everybody who isn’t able to share or handle their stress. This is not a teenage girl problem. There are certainly a certain number of adults who are involved in self harm.
How is Self harm treated?
Each type of self harm is assessed individually and treated. Every kind has a different treatment and every person has a different healing time. Not only Psychiatrists/Psychologists, Support groups but also family and friends are equally important for a healthy recovery from self harm.
For more information please visit : lifesigns.org.uk