When we hear the word "self-harm," we often think of self-inflicted physical wounds. However, negative thought patterns can lead to emotional self-harm and cause just as much damage to our mental health and lead to serious problems in the long-run. Physical and emotional self-harm can be similar in many ways, and they often go hand-in-hand with each other.
Speaking Out About Self Injury
We often think of fear and pain as distinct experiences, one physical and one emotional. Emotional pain, however, is just as real as physical injury, and when self-harming and anxiety are intertwined, they may form a vicious cycle from which it can be difficult to break free.
Are tattoos the same as self-mutilation? Let's face it, tattoos do hurt, and so does self-harm. But does it mean they are the same? Having done both, I can assure you they are unlike each other, even if both are associated with some level of pain.
It may be difficult to imagine how self-harm affects others when no one even knows (at least to your knowledge) that you're hurting yourself. Pain, however, always causes a ripple effect.
My name is Martyna Halas, and I’m very excited to join HealthyPlace as the new author of "Speaking Out About Self-Injury."
Self-harm is an intimate act. Recovery, too, is a highly personal journey in many ways. But is healing from self-harm possible on your own?
It's understandable to assume that people who self-harm do so because they want to end their own lives. This is understandable but wrong. While suicide attempts do often involve an act of potentially-lethal self-injury, those of us who struggle with nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) are not looking to die. If anything, what we are really trying to do is survive.
Coping with self-harm triggers can be difficult enough during normal, everyday life. It should come as no surprise that major stressors like the COVID-19 pandemic can make coping with self-harm triggers exponentially harder.
Do self-harm scars ever go away? Let's discuss the answers to that question.
That someone who self-harms must be unhappy is an easy assumption to make, but the truth is more complicated than that. While self-harm and mood disorders do often go hand-in-hand, self-harm is not intrinsically linked to mood. Not everyone who is unhappy self-harms, after all, and not everyone who self-harms does so exclusively when they are suffering. So why do people self-harm even when they're happy—or at least appear to be so?