Tuesday 3 September 2019

Managing Self-Harm

Jasmina shares her experiences of dealing with self-harm, and how she came to terms with these struggles, in the 1st of a 2 part blog post.

- Jasmina Kemp

Self-harm is when someone intentionally hurts or injures themselves. It is a way people deal with difficult feelings and allows them to relieve emotions they cannot express. Self-harm is unfortunately relatively prevalent in the student population. According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, about 1 in 10 young people will self-harm at some point. As a student myself, I will share with you ten main points that helped me deal with my self harming behaviours.

1. Understand the reason behind your self-harm.

It can sometimes take a long time to figure out why you are experiencing certain emotions. You may have been trying to push them aside for some time, and may not want to admit why you are feeling the way you do, however, this is the only way you are going to be able to help yourself. Self-harm generally involves underlying emotional pain, and every reason for this struggle is valid. The reasons I struggled personally were probably a mixture of school stress and fear of being rejected by those I love.

2. Do not be embarrassed or scared to ask for professional help.

Friends and family can often be a good form of support, however, you have to be aware that they have never been trained in how to make you feel better, and it may also be difficult for them to cope at times too. Having a professional to share your problems with can be beneficial, however, it is vital to find a professional who you trust and have a good relationship with. Seeking therapy from somebody who does not encourage your desire to improve may have a lower chance of successfully helping you to overcome your difficult emotions.

3. Identify the feelings that cause you to self-harm.

Writing down your thoughts and feelings when you get urges to self-harm may be beneficial. Having personally dealt with feelings of loneliness and overwhelming situations, I learned which emotions would trigger self-harm urges for me. Once you have identified difficult thoughts and feelings you are experiencing, you may find it easier to tailor specific activities to prevent you from self-harming. For example, if you are angry you might deal with the emotions by punching a pillow, but this may be less effective if you are experiencing sadness.

4. Accept that there is no quick fix.

Refraining from self-harm will be a long and arduous process. You will need to work on self-control and learning to physically stop engaging in self-harm behaviours. Sometimes I find that sitting on my hands or closing my eyes helps if the urges are really strong because then I physically cannot harm myself. Whilst doing this I try to enforce positive thoughts, such as reminding myself that things will get better.

5. Understand that self-harming becomes addictive.

Once you start self-harming it is often difficult to stop, however, like any other addiction, it is possible. Getting into the habit of reminding yourself of your strong will, can be helpful in retraining your brain, from telling you to harm yourself. The less you self harm, the easier it becomes to ignore the urges and work towards stopping completely (the ultimate goal!).

Read more of Jasmina's tips on dealing with self-harm in here further blog post here

If you are struggling with self-harm or any issues described in this post, you can find support here.

I’m Jasmina and am currently studying for my A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry, and Geography. I am a keen harpist and also enjoy spending time with my horse in my spare time. Recently I have started blogging to try and help break the stigma surrounding mental health, support others who are struggling with their own emotional issues and raise awareness.

1 comment:

  1. A very brave honest Blog Jasmina, you should see this as a positive, you are owning your struggles and are doing your best to understand and deal with them.
    Keep your head high and keep moving forward....
    Love and hugs