Thursday, 26 March 2015

Self Harm.

A tough subject.

I wanted to lay down some facts and opinions on self harm and ways you can get help or help others.

What inspired this post?

As you know, I have posted many things on this blog to do with mental health and issues that are very personal so I felt the need to mention this. Twitter is both a beautiful and menacing place. With the latest 1D drama, the trend of cutting yourself for a boy band member has crawled out of the wood work. I for one am horrified that people think that self harm is a way of getting attention. It disgusts me to see images like that sprawled across the internet and it disgusts me even more that they aren't being removed rather than being shared and spread across the web. So instead of 'cutting for' someone, lets lay down some facts.
Lets share this information and hopefully give help to someone who needs it!

What is self harm?

Self harm is the act of abusing your body and hurting yourself as a way of dealing with repressed feelings/hard to deal with stuff or as a way of control. The obvious example of this would be cutting yourself but there are other aspects of harming yourself such as ignoring your emotional and physical needs or putting yourself in danger regularly. It can also be abusing substances and over doing certain things like eating or exercising.

Why do people feel the need to do it? 

Self harm gives the false sense of control and relief that is so sought after by the person. but the trouble with this is it often brings more trouble like guilt and regret. This causes more emotional stress and therefore starts an ongoing process of abusing yourself.
The process of self harm is used as a coping mechanism when you feel like nothing else is working but it is never the right answer!

How do you stop?

The first step is accepting that this isnt the right thing to do and accepting that you need to change.
It's a brave decision to ask for help and you should be so proud of yourself for making that progress.
The truthful answer is there is no quick fix. For most, self harm becomes a habit and as we all know, habits are incredibly hard to break.

Learning to recognize the triggers can be really helpful.
Ask yourself some questions like:
What make you want to cause yourself harm?
What was around you?
Who was around you?
Maybe jot some notes down in a diary. This can help you identify the triggers and help you recognize them in the future. When you feel the urges, find something else to replace it with.
A good thing to do is take a pen and draw something on your wrists, thighs, hips...wherever you need to. Draw something that's beautiful. Remind yourself that you are beautiful and you are worth way more than those scars and wounds. You deserve to live and smile. 

Also, you could try writing a list of things to do when you feel the urges.
Some examples could be writing silly stories, colouring in, having a hot or cold shower, singing really loud, dancing or just laugh for no reason.

A really good and useful app I use is the Calm app. At first you might feel a bit silly sitting there breathing but after a session or two you can really feel the stress leaving your body. I always feel super refreshed after a quick session. The sessions vary in length but you can always choose a quick one which is just 7 minutes. I'd really recommend it.

The best thing you can do is to seek help. Self harm isn't something you'll grow out of or just stop doing. It's hard and it's an overwhelming urge than never leaves unless you take control.
There is always a light at the end of the tunnel so keep going.

The first step is visiting your GP either alone or with someone you're comfortable with.
They can direct you to the right places which can vary depending on your situation.

Alternatively, contact charities like Mind, Harmless or Samaritans for help and guidance.

If you just want someone to talk to that wont judge then you can always email me or fill out the contact form on this page.

Thanks for reading
Loubee Lou

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