Self-harm (auto-aggression) is self-cutting, sticking needles, burning with a cigarette, tearing out hair, self-scratching and so on. Self-harming is most often an attempt to get rid of mental discomfort (fear, strong anxiety, self-hatred) and evidence of serious psychological problems. It is not the same as suicide, but a person can seriously get hurt, even if he is not going to do it. He may even add an infection to the wound, which will worsen not only the general emotional state but will also pose a health hazard.
Self-harm can have a different nature. It can be a way to drain internal stress, unconsciously deriving pleasure from pain or specific communication with the world. Some studies show that approximately 1% of the US population somehow hurts itself (this percentage also includes people with various eating disorders). Self-harm is more widespread among teens: British studies claim that 13-16% of young people are harming themselves in one way or another. However, self-harm is not a specifically teenage phenomenon: in fact, an adult has more ways than to hurt himself than a teenager, and also to hide the consequences of self-harm. In this article, Sirius Project will tell you about the first aid and how to reduce such auto-aggression.
What to do if your close person self-harms?
- Provide necessary medical care: treat wounds, give painkillers;
- Consult a specialist, psychologist or psychotherapist;
- Be patient. Most likely, this is not the question that can be solved in a couple of days with an effort of will;
- Try to talk. But do not demand answers, do not insist. As a rule, there is a person next to whom the victim trusts: a coach, an older brother or sister. Ask them to talk about what happened. The person needs to speak out. He needs your help and support. Remember this and show understanding;
- Read free articles posted on Sirius Project website to learn more about mental health disorders, irrational thoughts, DBT skills, alternatives to self-harm, and how to stop dissociating.
What you should NOT do:
- Do not be angry. The person feels bad and you should not give him a finishing blow with your emotions;
- Do not try to pretend that everything is normal. Self-harm is a sign of serious emotional distress, even if you do not see the reasons for it;
- Do not hope that “it will pass by itself.” According to statistics, people begin to self-harm in their youth and can continue to engage in it throughout their lives;
- Do not ask what you did wrong. You are not the only reason for auto-aggression of your loved ones;
- Do not try to solve the problem with a swoop. This habit cannot be eliminated without understanding the reasons;
- Do not attempt to hide sharp objects. If someone wants self-harm, there is a way. What is really easy is to completely lose your credibility.
What to do if you self-harm?
If the patient is unable to understand the cause of the problem on his own, he can find it out with a psychologist. After all, often people, especially teenagers, cannot explain why they hurt themselves. As a result, the prerequisites for such behavior can only be ascertained using in-depth psychoanalysis.
Further, the treatment algorithm is selected individually. Drugs such as antidepressants, tranquilizers, etc. can be used in treatment. Of course, drug treatment should be strictly controlled by a doctor. If you want to get cheaper drugs, you can get online at My Canadian Pharmacy. In general, cognitive-behavioral therapy is used to effectively combat self-harm. To correct the patients’ behavior, psychotherapists recommend slowly replacing the habit of cutting or cauterizing themselves with other, non-traumatic actions. For example, if you want to harm yourself, you can tear the paper apart. Or you can wear a rubber band on your wrist and tug at it every time you want to hurt yourself. Other alternatives to self-harm include jogging, hitting the punching bag, screaming at a pillow or in deserted places, etc.
The most effective and useful way to distract from irrational thoughts is to replace them with what you like to do. For example, exercise, dancing, playing musical instruments, modeling clay and so on. If you hurt yourself in the hope of experiencing pain or other emotions, a cold shower will help.
Sirius Project believes in you. You can overcome it! Be strong!