Self harm

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Self harm is a sign of stress mostly caused by underlying problems, such as bullying, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. Self harm is a form of releasing tension or anger. It is also a way of taking back some control, especially when there an overall feeling of powerlessness. Unless proper support is given, such tendencies can lead to suicide.


[edit] Why should I be aware of this?

Children tend to self harm when they have very difficult or painful experiences or relationships, such as Child Abuse, bullying, discrimination or losing someone close.

When feelings of fear, anger, guilt, shame, helplessness, self-hatred, unhappiness, depression or despair can build up over time, self-harm becomes a way of dealing with them. When such people inflict self injury, there is often absence of pain, akin to the absence of sensation during abuse or trauma. The body is numbed by the natural opiates produces and the emotions are numbed. It is not abnormal for badly traumatized persons to feel detached from by the body. Some may injure themselves to maintain a feeling of separateness, while others do to feel that they are real and alive.

[edit] All about self harm

[edit] Types of self-harm

Cutting the arms, hands and legs are more common forms of self harm. Less common include injuring the face, abdomen, breasts and even genitals. Some people burn or scald themselves, others inflict blows on their bodies, or bang themselves against something. Scratching, picking, biting, scraping and occasionally inserting sharp objects under the skin or into body orifices, swallowing sharp objects or harmful substances are other forms of self harm. Pulling out one’s own hair and eyelashes, and scrubbing themselves so hard they break the skin are some forms of self harm which are not brought to medical attention.

[edit] Even among five-year olds

One in three girls and one in five boys in the 11-19 age group in the UK are reported to have inflicted self harm, according to the first national survey on self harming, conducted by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence. There are also reports of self harm by children under 10, including those who are 5 year olds.

The report cited growing mental health problems resulting from greater levels of stress, unhappiness and insecurity as the main cause for self harm inflicted by children.

[edit] Overwhelming majority of women

Karen Conterio and Armando Favazza in their 1986 survey found that 97% of respondents were females in her mid-20s to early 30s, and has been hurting herself since her teens. She tends to be middle- or upper-middle-class, intelligent, well-educated, and from a background of physical and/or sexual abuse or from a home with at least one alcoholic parent. Eating disorders were often reported. [1].

The theory goes that women are socialized to internalize anger and men to externalize it. It is also possible that because men are socialized to repress emotion, they may have less trouble keeping things inside when overwhelmed by emotion or externalizing it in seemingly unrelated violence.

[edit] What can I do about it?

  • A person who has self harmed needs immediate medical and mental health attention. But let them first know that they aren't crazy or weird, but it isn't normal.
  • Don't give up on the person despite everything he or she may be going through. It may seem like it is too much for someone from the outside to handle, but don't give up on him or her please.

[edit] CopperBytes

  • An estimated 2 million Americans practice some form of self-injury, and there is a common misperception that -- like anorexia -- the problem afflicts mostly young women.

[edit] References

  • Young people and self harm
  • Child abuse and self harm
  • The History and Mentality of Self-Mutilation

[edit] Video references

  • See YouTube Facts about self-harm

[edit] Source

  1. [1]