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Speaking Out About Self Injury

Self-injury, poor body image, and eating disorders often travel together. After all, a poor body image is something many self-harmers often share in common, and that poor body image can turn into an eating disorder. Developing a healthy relationship with our bodies is a crucial step towards recovery.
How can you tell if your self-harm is getting worse? Self-injury, like most mental health disorders, exists on a spectrum. Some people only ever engage in relatively minor acts of self-harm, while for others, the situation may become more serious. If you suspect your self-harm is getting worse, it is important to not only recognize that truth but also take steps now to keep yourself from sliding down a dangerous, slippery slope.
Many self-harm stereotypes are linked to immaturity. The common misconception is that if you self-injure, you must be a teenager or going through a phase. Nothing could be further from the truth, and we mustn't forget that self-harm is also prevalent in older adults.
Self-neglect and self-harm may not be the same thing, but there is certainly some overlap. What drives people to hurt themselves may also drive them to deprive themselves of the basic care and comfort we all deserve and need in order to thrive.
Like mental health in general, self-harm is surrounded by harmful stereotypes that perpetuate the feelings of fear, guilt, and shame. We can only bust these self-harm myths by educating one another and by spreading awareness about self-injury.
Dreams mean many things to many people. Some remind us of memories, whether recent or long-buried; others reflect our hopes and fears about the present or the future. But what do dreams about self-harm mean?
Journaling can be a wonderful tool to use whenever you feel like your life is falling apart. The act of writing something down on paper works like magic. Your mind calms down, your emotions become more transparent, and you gain control over your self-harm thoughts.
Self-harm reasons, both for starting and for stopping, are as numerous and varied as colors in cathedral windows. I can only speak from my own experience, but in so doing, I hope to help others better understand their own reasons—or those of someone they love—for doing what they do.
Mindfulness activities like the R.A.I.N. method is not an instant cure for self-injury, but with practice, it can help you control your self-harm urges. Think of it as a yoga exercise for your mind -- if you show up regularly, you will get stronger, more resilient, and more in control of your feelings.
When talking about self-injury, often we are describing the act of causing oneself physical harm or pain. But can self-harm be emotional, too?