An act of self-injury, self-poisoning, or risk of suicide is considered self-harm. Among adults particularly women, self-harm is more common. Feeling of guilt or shame among people prevents them from disclosing an act of self-harm that they have attempted because of which self-harm figures are often underestimated. Signs of self-harm may be unusual cuts, burns or bruises on arms, abdomen, thighs, and wrists.
People engage in activities to injure themselves, seeking recognition, while feeling self-criticized, for releasing emotional numbness, or to deal with the stressors in their lives. Having history of any form of violence or disorder of mental health increases the risk of self-harm. Difficulty in personal and professional relationships, or failure to meet cultural standards, sometimes leads to extreme emotional pain and causes a person to hurt for relief.
Most of the time self-harm is an attempt to relieve the pressure from distressing feelings which provides temporary relief as the underlying reasons remain the same and the individual finds himself trapped in a loop as soon as he feels the same guild and shame time and again. Hurting themselves is the natural way of coping with life problems without proper advice and proper help. Opening one's heart to share everyday problems with friends and family that help handle difficulty otherwise problems that seem unbearable in the absence of emotional expression that makes a person feel depressed or angry and increases the desire to kill himself even more.
Self-harm can affect anyone, including about 20 per cent of young people already dealing with it. Due to their past experiences and life conditions certain individuals are comparatively more vulnerable. Emotional problems cause self-injury which increases the risk of suicide. Recognizing self-harm triggers makes monitoring them easier by finding a way to deal with it before crisis occurs. It can be a good starting point to find trends by analyzing particular locations, circumstances, people or feelings.
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Self-harm means a person's weak coping skills and immaturity. Treating the underlying trauma should be a long term goal as it will eventually replace negative feelings, and blocked anger with healthier ways to cope with self-soothe. Seeking ways to calm emotional distress and gain relief such as breathing, taking hot shower, going out or calling a trustworthy friend will help you deal with the triggers better.
At times there may be no warning signs at all and it becomes essential to ask a person honestly or openly when you suspect that a person is self-harming. Find some free time to spend with the person, listen to and support them. It can be difficult for them to open up, pay attention to what they tell and encourage them to share specifics about incident or behavior triggering such feelings without reacting disgusted or shocked. Assure them that they may seek support from yourself and suggest them to seek professional support in a positive tone.
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