Very few people understand why an individual self harms and will often state that it is “attention seeking behaviour”. It is very distressing to view a disfigured body that has been deliberately defaced with a cutting instrument ie broken glass, razor blade, kitchen knife, scissors, etc. However, there are other ways of self harming not necessarily detected as such ie overdosing, burning, self inflicted blows, smoking,pulling off skin/nails, narcotics abuse, alcohol abuse, substance abuse, pulling out hair, and laxative abuse. The list is not exhaustive.
There is only one reason why individuals self harm : they try to regain control of their life as they find the emotional feelings are too unbearable – physical pain becomes the control and brings relief.
Many individuals do not know the cause but do remember the day they discovered a way out of their living torment. Sadly, for many, the causes have happened in childhood with physical/sexual/emotional/mental abuse consistently being inflicted until their self esteem is very badly damaged. The abused individual takes on the role of victim and abuser. This reinforces the emotional and mental distress thus continueing to spiral out of control to unacceptable high levels of risk.
Voluntary organisation that supports indivdiuals who are affected by self injury.
Web : www.selfharm.org.
SIARI – Self Harm and Related Issues
Website that provides an insight to the complex phenomenon of self injury and the issues that surround it, and has support message boards, as well as a resource directory.
Web : www.siari.co.uk