or self-harm is a problem that is probably more common in today's world than
any time in the past due to the high-stress environment that we are exposed to.
It is a condition where a person
repeatedly physically harms his or her own self, not with the intent to commit
suicide, nor to
attract attention, but to divert the mind away from something that is bothering the person mentally or
‘The Self-Injury Awareness Day is celebrated on the first of March every year by some organizations to increase awareness about the little-known psychological behavior.’
period of adolescence characterized by mood changes and emotional turbulence,
is often marred by incidences of self-injury
. The habit of self-harm,
however, may affect individuals of all ages. Men may refuse to admit that they
do it since they have to maintain their image of being 'manly', but they can
also get affected.
who commonly practice self-injury may be affected by depression
or may be hypersensitive to their
environments. Others may be dissociated from the people around them and be
lonely. Though the awareness about depression has increased in the past few
years, it still remains a taboo topic in several parts of the world and most people
still do not have access to adequate treatment.
harm themselves purely out of habit. They repeatedly cut or bruise themselves,
often with small sharp instruments. The injury causes a pain that diverts the
individual's attention from the mental trauma. It could also make a person who
is dissociated and feeling alone and numb feel alive. Self-injury is usually
not about committing suicide. However, it is possible that it may accidentally
result in suicide
. For example, an accidental over dosage or a
cut on the wrist could be fatal.
will not stop, if it is discovered and the individual is asked to stop it - such
an approach could only make it worse. It can only be controlled when the
individual's mental problems are assessed and addressed.
If you discover self-harm behavior in your near
ones, do not appear shocked or change your attitude to them
. Treat your
relationship in exactly the same way as before, since it is not that the
affected individuals are abnormal or weird, they are just trying to cope with
their problems. Instead of asking to see the wounds that they have inflicted,
which could be embarrassing, it is better to make them aware of the situation
and offer, but not force, to take them to a psychologist or a psychiatrist at
the earliest to address the mental aspect of the issue. Your support itself
would make a difference.
It is also
important for medical professional to be sensitized to the condition, since
they are in a position to accurately identify signs of self-injury.
increase awareness of the condition by raising the issue on social media or
among family and friends, or by wearing a simple orange band on the day.
- LifeSIGNS - Self-Injury Guidance & Network Support - (http://www.lifesigns.org.uk/)