Self-Injury Awareness Day
March 1st is Self-Injury Awareness Day.
Self-injury is when a person purposefully harms themselves as a means of coping. It is not the same as attempting suicide.
People self-harm because they have a hard time regulating, expressing or understanding emotions. The mix of emotions that triggers self-injury is complex.
Self-injury may be an attempt to:
- Manage/reduce severe distress or anxiety & provide a sense of relief
- Distract from painful emotions through physical pain
- Feel a sense of control over their body, feelings, or life situations
- Feel something even if it’s physical pain, when feeling emotionally empty
- Communicate depression or distressful to the outside world
- Be punished for perceived faults
Risk factors for self-harm:
- Having friends who self-injure.
- Life issues such as abuse/trauma, an unstable environment, social isolation, or they may be questioning their personal identity or sexuality.
- Mental health issues.
- Alcohol or drug use.
Those who self-harm do not need judgement or shaming, they need help and better coping skills. They need understanding. If you self-harm, help is available and you are not alone.