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Our Mental Health Blogs

Self-Harm and Moving Forward into Spring

Self-Harm and Moving Forward into Spring

After months without a job, I have finally begun a new one that I am extremely excited about. I am working as a Family Worker helping families and children overcome their struggles with poverty and difficult home lives. This really is a dream job in my eyes.

Over the last few months, I had fallen into a deep depression. This depression was something I hadn’t felt since the days I struggled with cutting. Luckily, I didn’t turn to self-harm as a coping skill, but like all recovering self-harmers, the urge was there on a daily basis.

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Self-Harm and Stress: Dealing with Bumps in the Road

Self-Harm and Stress: Dealing with Bumps in the Road

Lately, things haven’t been working out the way I’ve been hoping. For some reason, my emotions have been on a crazy, never-ending rollercoaster and I’m just waiting to get off the ride. It could be because of the crazy weather or because of issues I’m having with a new job search. It could be that some of my friends are moving away and some are planning weddings and that too could be getting to me.

One thing is for sure – I’m having a hard time coping.

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Self-Harm and Friendships: Pushing People Away

Self-Harm and Friendships: Pushing People Away

When it comes to self-harming, the importance of the marks tends to overpower the importance of relationships with reality. Well, at least this rang true to me during my difficult years. I had friends in high school, however, most of them I do not talk to anymore. Those I do still talk to I hope to never push away.

I will admit it now, though. I pushed most of my friends away during the years I struggled with self-harm.

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The Secret Life of Self-Injury

The Secret Life of Self-Injury

Those struggling with drug addiction may have people around who understand or relate to their situation. Even some with severe depression and anxiety have some kind of support system, since action can be taken quickly if willing to get help. Alcohol addicts also have meetings and groups where they can discuss their frustrations in a social, private setting.

What about self-harmers?

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Flashbacks of Self-Harm: “The Ex Factor”

Flashbacks of Self-Harm: “The Ex Factor”

Whether you haven’t self-harmed in years or are currently in the battle, flashbacks of weak moments always pop up. It’s inevitable that you’re going to see a scar and remember the reason it was put there.  These moments can come from a song, a place or even a person.

Such as an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend.

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Celebrities and Self-Harm: Does it Affect Us?

Celebrities and Self-Harm: Does it Affect Us?

It’s the sad truth, but celebrities have taken over the world. For some reason, we find it interesting that Kim Kardashian named her daughter North West and we continue to watch re-runs of Jersey Shore even though we know it’s killing our brain cells. Celebrities take us away from the realities we live in and, sometimes, it is a positive way to escape.

However, what happens when the paparazzi puts up photos of a celebrity with cuts on his or her arms (self-harm scars)? How do the fans react to the self-harm of celebrities?

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Self-Harm Signs: Possible Ways to Recognize Them

Self-Harm Signs: Possible Ways to Recognize Them

There are not always obvious signs of self-harm. Many people are quiet about it – which is understandable since it is a personal addiction. Because there is not a “Self-Harmers Table” in the cafeteria or a “Self-Harmers Staff Room” at work, it tends to be tough to recognize who is doing what.

However, sometimes it is too obvious to ignore.

When I used to cut, I hid my marks behind leather bracelets and watches. I’d put foundation on my scars and fresh wounds and made sure I had some with me at all times. I did everything in my power to make it so I looked like the typical, happy teenager.

Inside, I was screaming.

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The Stigma of Self-Harm: How Can it Disappear?

The Stigma of Self-Harm: How Can it Disappear?

“All Self-Harmers are Suicidal and Seek Attention”

That statement is, sadly, the ultimate stigma of self-harm. The media has played a small part with this stigma, portraying self-injurers as being the ones who sit quietly in the corner, cutting their arms and crying. (read: Self-Injurers and Their Common Personality Traits)

Wrong.

Sadly, this is how many people see self-harmers when, in reality, many self-harmers do not fit into a particular clique. In high school, I was a typical music geek. I was a serious ballet dancer, performed in musicals, and did Colorguard in the marching band. I laughed along with friends and pushed out a smile when teachers walked by.

However, leather bracelets covered the self-harm scars I was trying to hide and bathrooms were where I hid when I couldn’t stop the thoughts in my head from yelling at me – telling me to hurt myself. I did not feel as talented as those around me and put on a charade day after day. I was not cutting myself to kill myself every time I made a mark.

I was cutting for reasons that those around me couldn’t understand.

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Healthy Alternatives for Self-Harmers: Books, Blogs and the Big Screen

Healthy Alternatives for Self-Harmers: Books, Blogs and the Big Screen

Finding healthy alternatives to self-injury can be stressful. Sometimes, it’s tough finding someone who understands the emotions and thoughts connected with self-harm. Many people hate thinking about counseling or talking about their self-harm because, well, it is too personal.

So, if you’re too nervous to jump into therapy or tell someone you self-injure, where can you go? What can you do?

Why not dive into a good book? A TV show? A movie?

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About Jennifer Aline Graham, Author of the “Speaking Out About Self-Injury” Blog

About Jennifer Aline Graham, Author of the “Speaking Out About Self-Injury” Blog

I am a childhood cancer survivor and have an obsession with vintage typewriters. I have a Mini Schnauzer named Sir Theodore Rufus and still walk like a chicken from dancing ballet for seventeen years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Studies and collect crazy-looking journals everywhere I go. I have a liking for tattoos and sometimes wish I was a Broadway star.

Did I mention I was a cutter?

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