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Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 1st 2018, 01:04 PM

Hi All,

March 1st is International Self-injury Awareness Day so the Articles Team has decided to revive an article on self-harm.

Debunking the myths of self-harm is an article that discusses the myths and the truths to those myths in great detail. Click here to learn more about those myths!

Have any of you had experience with the myths of self-harm (e.g. someone thought xyz about your self-harm). What is something you'd want someone to know about the misconceptions/truths of self-harm?

As always, if you'd like to see certain content in articles please feel free to use the Equal Topic Coverage form.


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Re: Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 1st 2018, 09:13 PM

A couple of these myths are myths I have thought about myself, the main one being that if the wound isn't bad the problem isn't bad. I tend to leave wounds that need medical attention. When I harm in a "lesser" fashion I tell myself that things aren't that bad, that I'm good, that at least I'm not self-harming like THAT and that's really not the case. Any self-harm indicates there's a problem and needs to be addressed, even if the wounds can be taken care of at home. It's important not to overlook it.

One I feel self-conscious about is "only young girls self-harm." I know that isn't true; however, I feel shame for my age and the fact I still self-harm. I'm almost thirty and I'm still doing it. I thought I'd outgrow it but it's really my drug of choice and it's hard to let it go. I'm afraid I'm going to be one of those women who is forty-five and still self-harming and that scares me.

Anyway, those are just a couple of things I identified with. I hope other people are able to identify with this article, too.


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Re: Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 2nd 2018, 03:36 AM

The one I got a lot was that I was doing it for attention, just like the article mentioned. My parents didn't believe I had anything wrong with me and honestly still don't. They don't understand that brain chemistry can have a lot to do with why someone may self harm or feel bad, and that it's not just having a bad life. So when they found out I self harmed they thought it was something I was doing for attention and that I had no reason for it.

To an extent they also thought that just because my wounds weren't that bad, that I didn't have a problem.

I would want them to know that self harm is something that can affect anyone, whether you are young or old. I would want them to know that it is a coping mechanism rather than a way of getting attention. I would tell them that it isn't helpful at all to yell at someone who self harms or to punish them as a way to make them stop. Instead, I would stress the importance of listening to the person who self harms and asking them what they can do to help.


   
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Re: Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 2nd 2018, 08:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanceCommander View Post
A couple of these myths are myths I have thought about myself, the main one being that if the wound isn't bad the problem isn't bad. I tend to leave wounds that need medical attention. When I harm in a "lesser" fashion I tell myself that things aren't that bad, that I'm good, that at least I'm not self-harming like THAT and that's really not the case. Any self-harm indicates there's a problem and needs to be addressed, even if the wounds can be taken care of at home. It's important not to overlook it.

One I feel self-conscious about is "only young girls self-harm." I know that isn't true; however, I feel shame for my age and the fact I still self-harm. I'm almost thirty and I'm still doing it. I thought I'd outgrow it but it's really my drug of choice and it's hard to let it go. I'm afraid I'm going to be one of those women who is forty-five and still self-harming and that scares me.

Anyway, those are just a couple of things I identified with. I hope other people are able to identify with this article, too.
Yes! Any self-harm indicates a problem and I too struggle with that a lot. Especially lately I have the tendency to tell myself that my injuries aren't bad enough so therefore they don't truly matter.

I have also heard of the misconception that only young girls or boys self-harm and that too is a difficult one.

Quote:
The one I got a lot was that I was doing it for attention, just like the article mentioned. My parents didn't believe I had anything wrong with me and honestly still don't. They don't understand that brain chemistry can have a lot to do with why someone may self harm or feel bad, and that it's not just having a bad life. So when they found out I self harmed they thought it was something I was doing for attention and that I had no reason for it.

To an extent they also thought that just because my wounds weren't that bad, that I didn't have a problem.

I would want them to know that self harm is something that can affect anyone, whether you are young or old. I would want them to know that it is a coping mechanism rather than a way of getting attention. I would tell them that it isn't helpful at all to yell at someone who self harms or to punish them as a way to make them stop. Instead, I would stress the importance of listening to the person who self harms and asking them what they can do to help.
It must have been difficult when your parents thought you were doing it for attention, and that you didn't have a problem because of the severity of your wounds.

I think having people know that it is a coping mechanism would be helpful. Everyone has their coping mechanisms, some unhealthy and some healthy; self-harm just happens to be a way some people cope with what they're going through.

A lack of punishment would be great too! I think I'd want people to know that not trusting someone who self-harms around sharp objects or taking away those objects does more harm than good; that people will harm themselves if they want to. When there's a will, there's a way.


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Re: Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 3rd 2018, 02:42 AM

Quote:
A lack of punishment would be great too! I think I'd want people to know that not trusting someone who self-harms around sharp objects or taking away those objects does more harm than good; that people will harm themselves if they want to. When there's a will, there's a way.
Yeah, my parents basically grounded me from my phone and computer for a few days, which just doesn't help.


   
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Re: Article Revival: Myths of self-harm. - March 3rd 2018, 03:03 AM

I have heard a lot of these!

When I first started self harming (12-14 years old) I didn't go out of my way to hide it. In that instance, it was a cry for help but instead of seeing it as an issue that I was harming myself it got ignored because people assumed the issue would go away. Even if it seems like someone is doing it for attention it is important to acknowledge because there are a lot of people that don't harm themselves in order to get attention or get people to notice them.

Since people ignored it and acted as though they didn't care I started hiding it more and realized that it was a great way to cope with things. No one in my family knew how badly things with myself harm were for quite some time.

I also agree that hiding tools does no good. The second time I got out of the mental hospital my mom went through my room and was clearing out all my tools. I was a bit annoyed but she didn't find everything and I knew that I would be able to find more ways to harm myself if necessary.

I think when people fear being punished for confiding in people about their self harm they are less likely to ask for help which causes them to struggle alone. Even if that person might know their self harm is spiraling out of control they fear the consequences and reactions of opening up.

I too struggle with not thinking my self harm is bad enough. I know that some people have told me that it is pretty bad BUT I also have seen/known people who self harm worse. Over the years I have come to realize that there will always be someone who harms themselves *worse* but that does not mean that my self harm or anyone else's self harm is not valid and it does not mean that they are struggling any less.

Thank you for sharing this article.


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