Self harm is a serious problem among teens, and some people are very misguided when it comes to knowledge on the subject.
Self harm is the act of deliberately harming oneself, by burning, cutting, or eating disorders, usually without the intent of suicide. It seems more and more teenagers these days are turning to self-harm to cope with pain.
One big misconception about self harm is that it’s only done for attention; That is not true. Of course, there will always be those few people that are an exception, but most people feel they have a logical reason for the self harm, and no reason is wrong. Everyone feels differently and everyone will react differently to different scenarios.
Some people’s reasons may seem petty. Perhaps they broke up with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Some people may see that as a ridiculous reason for self harm, while the person going through it is devastated. People feel how they feel, and no one can tell them not to feel that way.
Some triggers for self harm include:
Only about 50% of marriages work out, and that’s bound to break a lot of kid’s hearts. Some would say that it’s not the parent’s fault that they fell out of love, and they just simply have to deal with it. Divorce is one of the biggest reasons for teen’s self harm.
That’s right, it’s a big one. It’s sad but true; broken hearts are painful, and self harm is considered a way to cope by many.
Whenever self harmers are stressed is when they tend to self harm. For some people, the adrenaline rush is a high and makes them feel good.
Some people are so upset over today’s society and ideas about beauty that they resort to self harm to deal with the pain.
Some people, mostly girls, self harm because they can’t deal with the pain of knowing they will never be good enough, even though they are much more valued than they think. This is where the eating disorders usually come in. People will starve themselves to try and be more attractive.
Another common misconception is that most self harmers are “emo”, or fit into that stereotype. “Emo” is a genre of music and a style, and many people who don’t self harm listen to that music and dress in that style. Many self harmers dress like your average teen or listen to jazz, for example. Just because someone is ‘emo’, it does not mean that they self harm.
Once, as an experiment, I showed up to school after march break dressed in all black with dark makeup on and hair in my face. My friends immediately asked what was wrong when I acted perfectly normal and they asked to see my wrists. I showed them and they didn’t believe that I was fine until I showed up to school the next day in my usual style.
What can I do?
If you know a self harmer, no matter what they say, you have to tell someone that can help. If they don’t listen to you, you have to hand it over to someone who can effectively deal with it. Otherwise, there are things you can suggest to the self harmer, or do if you are one:
Find out what’s making you do what you’re doing. Maybe it’s your ex boyfriend who broke your heart. Try to eliminate him from your life as much as possible. Replace whatever’s bothering you with things that make you happy.
Wear elastics on your wrist and snap it whenever you feel like self harming.
Throw out anything you can use to hurt yourself.
Tell someone. Maybe all you need to feel better is love and support, and even if that doesn’t mak you better, it helps to be able to talk to someone.
If nothing makes you happy and you just feel completely empty and worthless, it might be a chemical imbalance in the brain that causes you to do this. It is a disorder that may be the result of a traumatic event in your life. There is medication that can relieve these feelings, and if you are having suicidal thoughts you should see a doctor right away.
If you know anyone who is suicidal or self-harms, just be there for them. You’re never alone and it will get better. Just keep breathing.