Thursday, 1 March 2018

Self Harm Awareness Day

Today is self harm awareness day! So lets talk self harm! Self harm is a difficulty that effects many many people. It is primarily heard about among teenagers, especially teenage girls. However anyone of any age, gender, race, sexuality etc. can have a battle with self harm. The misconception that only teenage girls self harm is a dangerous one, as it prevents people getting the help they really need, for fear of being judged or on the receiving end of stigma, it has happened to me, and to many others I know.

There are many different was in which people self harm, including cutting, burning, head banging, punching things, attempting to break bones, taking overdoses, inserting objects and much more. No form of self harm is more 'serious' than any others, please do get your self harm treated if it needs it, always be on the safe side. Some self harm is visible, some is hidden, and some people show it intentionally and others hide it intentionally, it really depends on the individual.

All self harm is valid, distressing, difficult and damaging, and the 'severity' of the wound (in medical terms) doesn't always equate to the amount of distress. A sufferer could be completely consumed by their mind and illness, mentally in an awful place, but not have self harm that would need treatment; equally someone could have a deep or long wound that requires treatment but is less distressed than when they did a shallower cut. It's also really unhelpful to compare, whether your comparing your own to someone elses, someone is comparing theirs to yours, or any other comparison, it doesn't help, in fact there is no time when that would be helpful! Self harm is individual, don't tell someone yours is worse, don't tell someone theirs is worse, just don't!
Supporting someone who self harms!
Learn about self harm, Mind has some good guides!
Ask them how they want to spend time, distraction can sometimes help more than constantly talking about it
Talk to them! In general! But also about self harm, but bring it up in private, not in front of others
If they show their scars, accept them. If they cover their scars, accept them too!
Don't make comparisons, they help no one!
Offer to help them get help!
Ask what helps them or what could help them and give it a go together!

Lastly, Self harm isn't a suicide attempt, most of the time its a coping mechanism. However self harm can become addictive, and can lead to limb loss, loss of sensation, sepsis and death. Seek help now, ask someone to support you. You can beat this!! Your not alone!
Thank you for reading!
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L xxx