The month of March, is recognized as Self-Harm Awareness Month or Self-Injury Awareness Month. Self harm by definition is any action that you deliberately do to yourself that results in a physical injury. The main reasoning behind self harm is a build up of emotions such as frustration, self-loathing, anger, depression and anxiety.
Common Ways People Self Harm:
According to the British Medical Journal, the most common methods of self harm are cutting at 64.6% and poisoning at 30.7%. Other common ways people commit self injury are:
- Hair pulling
- Skin picking
Self harm is usually one of the actions above and it is used to release emotional stress or feelings. The physical injury is usually not life threatening, so it is not suicidal in intention. A common misconception is that those who self harm are doing it for attention. Some people view the injuries as failed suicide attempts. This usually is not the case, those who self harm are not typically wanting to kill themselves but instead just release pain, this fulfills different goals for the individual. Even though self-injury is not suicidal by nature, the emotional distress that causes the self harm could eventually cause suicidal thoughts as well.
The most common age group that we see this type of behavior is in young adults. According to studies, 12-23% of adolescents have engaged in self-harming behaviors. There are many co-occurring harmful characteristics that may cause, or be caused by, self-mutilation habits.
Common Co-Occurring Disorders are:
- Substance Abuse or Addiction
- Eating Disorders
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Emotional Numbness
Self-harm can actually be a form of addiction as individuals crave the release that injuring themselves may bring about. When self harm is paired with substance abuse this can be an equation for disaster. These diseases feed off of each other and often times the side effects of both can be confused for the other. It is important that someone who suffers from self-injury and substance abuse seek the mental help they need.
A New Start, Inc. wants to get down to the emotional distress and find the root of the problem so the individual can live a life free of self-harm and substance abuse. Those who engage in self-mutilation are often times caught in a horrible cycle and may need help in order to stop. If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and substance abuse, we can help, call A New Start, Inc. now at 561-571-8849.