National Self-Injury Awareness Month

Hey, Kittens. Today is National Self-Injury Awareness Day. I was contacted by the incredible blogger/author, RaeBeth McGee-Buda over at The Writing World. She asked if I would be willing to spread this incredibly important information and I agreed. Please take the time to read and share! Thanks!

~Brandy~

Welcome to The Writing World and our way of bringing awareness to such an important day. For those who don’t know today is National Self Injury Awareness Day.


What is Self Injury (Self Harm)?

Self harm is any deliberate, non-suicidal behavior that inflicts physical injury to a persons body. It’s essentially a way to cope that enables one to deal with intense emotional distress and creates a calming sensation. It can also be used as a way to “awaken” a person who feels numb or dissociated with the world around them.

Self harm has an immediate effect which creates an instant relief but it’s only temporary. Any underlying emotions still remain. Over time, self injury can become a persons automatic response to ordinary strains of life and the severity of self harm can increase.

Self injury can affect everyone from all types of lifestyles. The age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or personal strength doesn’t matter.

There are certain forms of self injury that are talked about more than others but if one has found a unique way to hurt themselves, it’s still self injury. When one self harms, there’s not a severity level or scale. Any type of self harm is “bad” enough for a person to get help. Every person who suffers from self harm deserves help. Some people often feel they don’t deserve help and it can feel scary. It is essential to get immediate medical attention if a self inflicted wound seems serious.

Please be aware that self injury is normally a non-suicidal behavior and is NOT a way for a person to get attention. It’s an emotional condition that deserves attention. Emotional distress and stress can lead to self injury and can eventually lead into suicide if not treated professionally.  

Ways to Get Help

 

If you self harm and are thinking of seeking help it can be really hard at first. One moment it may seem like it’s easy to talk about at one moment and much harder the next. The first step you can take is to talk to someone you trust. This can be a close friend, family member, teacher, or counselor.  Remember when talking to this trusted person, it may upset them to hear that you self harm. They aren’t judging you. It may upset them because they care for you and it hurts to know that you’ve turned to self harm for your emotional support. Give your trusted person time to “digest” what you are telling them. Then the both of you can create a plan for recovery. As an example, where to go for medical attention before a more serious problem occurs.

My Child Self Injures….What Next?

The first discovery of your child using self harm as their coping mechanism can be hard. You may feel a mixture of shock, anger, guilt, worry, and this can upset you. Try to remember not to panic or over react. Your initial reaction will have a great impact on your child. It may affect how much they’re willing to tell you or even stop them from opening up to you. Each situation is different. The way you react can depend on several factors, which include your child’s age, reason behind their self harm, and the way you found out. (Example: They came to you or you discovered their self injury by accident.) 

You may want to consider educating your self as much as you can on the subject to get a better understanding. Remember not to show disgust or anger, which can increase your child’s emotional distress. From the start of you finding out, remember that you are NOT to blame for your child self harming.

Be sure you make it clear to your child that you are there to support him/her in any way. Acknowledge that self injury is a secretive behavior and the fact that you know about it can be overwhelming. Your child may need time to get used to the idea that you know before talking to anyone else.

Remember to focus on the underlying problem and not the self harm. Self harm takes time to give up. Be prepared for many months of recovery and don’t ask them to stop. Do not prevent them from self injury by forcing them to stop and removing the tools they have come to rely on to cope. Before this can be done, a healthier coping mechanism must be found first.  

Offer to take your child to a doctor and even suggest your support by showing you’re willing to go with them. Do not force your child. If they decline the offer of your presence at the doctor, respect their privacy and confidentiality. Never ask your child to see their self harm injuries unless you think it may need medical attention. This will embarrass them and cause them to become more secretive about their situation. Remember you want them to open up, not push you away!

Do not treat your child any different. They are still the same person you knew and loved before you found out about their disorder. Never treat your child any different around others. This too can embarrass them.  Encourage your child to seek healthier ways once a medical professional is involved and their openly talking about their self harm.

  

To learn more about Self Injury please visit the following website.  




Looking to help spread the word about Self Harm?  The following are great books to look up and recommend to someone who may self harm or to anyone dealing with self harm in their family.

Paperback Available on Amazon.com

Ebook Version available for Nook and Kindle

 Amber Brown spent her entire existence believing Dave was her father. When her mother reveals this is untrue, she goes through an emotional spiral with depression. It’s hard for her to believe her mother had lied to her all this time.A move to a new home and town causes Amber to be consumed by her “darkness” and reverts to cutting to free herself from her pain.

When Casey, her new friend enters her life, she introduces Amber to parties, drugs, and Amber’s new boyfriend Landon. The secret of cutting begins to take affect on Amber as she tries to hide it from her friends and family. In the midst of everything, Amber has the desire to find out who her biological father is.

Follow Amber through her trials of depression and cutting, along with the discovery of love.

 

Available in Paperback and Kindle

 A teenager’s attempt to maintain psychological integrity—the maladaptive coping mechanisms she uses as a way to stay alive and her path to recovery.

 

Available in Paperback and Kindle

Kendra, a sexual abuse survivor, cuts to cope with the pain, but she doesn’t remember the identity of who abused her. Kendra makes a friend in Meghan, and falls in love with her. When Kendra’s abuser starts threatening her, she must find a way to face her past and stop hurting herself–before it’s too late.

Original Post can be found here: The Writing World

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