Self Injury Awareness Day 2011

1 March is Self Injury Awareness Day.

In honour of this incredibly important annual day of awareness, I have put together a little faq on self injury. Included at the bottom are a few resources and a message from me to you.

What Is Self Injury?

Self injury (also known as s.i. or self harm) is the act of hurting one's self physically (cutting, burning, etc) in an intentional, direct way. It is often as a result of, or co-morbid to mental illnesses such as Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression. Like most illnesses, s.i. is exacerbated by stress.

Is Self Injury Related To Suicide?

Contrary to popular belief, self harm is almost never linked to suicide attempts. In fact, many people who s.i. say hurting themselves helps them cope with negative feelings, intense pressure or suicidal thoughts. Favazza, who studied s.i. intensively, states ". . . self-mutilation is distinct from suicide... A basic understanding is that a person who truly attempts suicide seeks to end all feelings whereas a person who self-mutilates seeks to feel better".

How is Self Injury treated?

Like anxiety and mood disorder sufferers, those who s.i. often benefit from talk therapy and/or medication.

The most effective treatment for self injury is replacing cutting or burning with other, much healthier coping mechanisms. Mental Health professionals can teach patients Cognitive Behavioural Therapy skills. Use of Fidget Toys can be implemented.  Grounding Techniques are incredibly helpful too.

If you have any questions, please contact me or check out the resources below.

To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA)
First Aid for Self Injury
Support Self Injury Awareness

A message from me to you...

To those suffering from self injury: This will not last forever. Stay safe. You are worth it.

To those recovering from self injury: Every attempt you make to recover is worth so much. You can do this.

To those who support self injury awareness and/or know and love someone who hurts him or herself: Thank you for standing by us and keep it up!

Wear your orange ribbons with pride.

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