You may know what it is, but it is often the reasons why that people are not familiar with. There is still this belief and stereotype surrounding the type of person likely to harming them-self, but the truth is, it could be anyone no matter what gender, culture or age. The reasons behind self harm can be such a huge variety- different people cope in different ways with different distresses. Such issues that may trigger self harm might be bullying, trauma, abuse, school, work pressures, bereavement, difficult relationships, and so many more. There doesn’t always need to be a triggering event in someones life that makes them turn to self harm, sometimes individuals just experience a period of low self-esteem or distress that leads them to harm themselves.
Today, we encourage you to look at ways you can support self harm awareness. You may be struggling with your own issues looking to seek help and sanctuary. You may be a friend or family member who knows someone who is struggling. Even if you are not aware of anyone in your personal life struggling with difficult situations, you have an opportunity to learn and share what you learn with your peers.
Remembering that deviantART is an Art website- art is a great personal therapy for many people, and not just a professional too. The self-expression art can provide is a great way to channel how you are feeling inside, usually a place that inspires people creatively. We encourage you all to use art when you are feeling down and need to express those thoughts, even if it is only for your eyes. You can use it to create images or writings of hope, of survival, to share stories and share that those who are suffering are not alone.
One of the encouragements of self harm awareness is to share experiences, to show others they are not alone and that others do care. We encourage you to share your experiences, whether you write them in the comments of this article or as a journal or deviation.It may not be about you, friends and family can be affected too. Below, two experiences are shared to get the ball rolling.
"I was severely bullied from an early age and used self harm as a way to cope with this. Although it seemed to stop for a while, by the time I hit university and with no parents to watch me, it escalated to the point of stitches and getting in difficult situations with those who didn't want to know. Without the support of a loving boyfriend, good honest friends (who accepted me for who I was) and the encouragement to see a (very hairy legged hippy) counsellor, I managed to face those old feelings of bullying and learned to move on from them. I am 7 years self harm free. The scars are still there and very prominent, but I dealt with those issues inside and feel I have moved on and am happy." (^Beccalicious)
"I think everyone has their dark days and is exposed to feelings of self-destruction, if not from themselves but from people around them. I never cut but I struggled with an eating disorder in my early teens. The desire for control was something I feared, but needed, and in some ways was proud of. I saw similar behaviour in some of my closest friends- one who cut the top of her arms so deep she needed stitches and another who once broke 3 fingers punching her fist into a wall.
Between the three of us I think we dragged each other deeper, wanted to have the ‘worst’ vice. The most shocking fall.
We all separated and went to University and I have no doubt in my mind that the brake saved us and we dealt with our demons.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” - a seemingly trite phrase but one that I feel sums us up in the best way." ( ^DistortedSmile )
Self Harm Facts
A person who self harms is not defined as a “self harmer”. Many charities and organisations involved with self harm steer away from this term because it does not define the person and encourages a label.
Self harm is not “attention seeking” or a tool to manipulate people. Even at times when you may feel that is what people are doing, there could be more underlying issues you are not aware of. Try to stay open minded.
Self harm is a coping strategy, it is NOT a suicide attempt.
Self harm doesn’t necessarily mean the person has a mental illness. It can be a symptom of stress and low self esteem. Although sometimes a symptom of other mental illnesses, it is not considered its own.
The severity of a person’s wounds has very little to do with how much he or she may be suffering. Don’t assume that because the wounds or injuries are minor, there’s nothing to worry about.
Self harm affects a larger percentage of people than perhaps known- and it's not just the person who may be hurting themselves, but it affects family, friends, teachers, even professionals. The figures are always likely to be greater than any statistic can give you, because of how many who quietly suffer.
Self Harm UK www.selfharm.co.uk/home
Harmless UK harmless.org.uk/viewpage.php?p…
To Write Love on Her Arms www.twloha.com
Recover Your Life www.recoveryourlife.com