cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury


SarahS wrote:
What are some other myths associated with self injury? Why are myths unhelpful and what problems can they cause for people who self injure?

 

- people who self harm are just doing it for attention

- everyone that self harms wants to die

- people who self harm are crazy

- if the injuries aren't severe, it's not that serious

- people who self harm are just trying to manipulate others

- everyone that self harms must have borderline personality disorder

 

Myths about self harm are unhelpful in the same way that myths about anything are unhelpful. I don't feel it's ever really appropriate or accurate to group people based on a behaviour or characteristic, especially one that is particularly personal and can be prompted by so many different experiences. I think the perpetuation of these myths can make people feel like that because they don't fit the 'mould' of a self harmer, that whatever is going on for them mustn't be that serious - which is a dangerous trap to fall into. Knowing that these myths are so prevalent also puts people off telling anyone that they've been hurting themselves (at least I know it did for me) - because I was worried that people would jump to untrue conclusions about me. 

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Thanks for posting Cassie. Its interesting isn't it, that although we intuitively know that self-injury is widespread, we don't really come across it in every day life. Most people try to hide it.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury


SarahS wrote:
I wonder if there are people reading this infobus who have self-injured themselves, or know someone else who has self-injured, but feel too shy to post something? One of the reasons why people might be reluctant to talk about self-injury is because there are lots of unhelpful myths surrounding self-injury, like all self-injurers have mental illness or self-injury is always a suicide attempt.

Yes, I think so definitely. I self harmed for a year or two I guess, but was reluctant to say so. But now I have. So there you go.

 

Definitely it's not a piece of information I would offer up to people. Despite it being in the past, and being totally at peace with it now, I'm fairly sure other people would just totally freak out at having a conversation like that.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

I guess I'm someone who finds talking about self-injury really hard - I'm 20 and it's been 'a part of my life' in some way for 8 years now. I found it harder to stop when I was talking to psychs and doctors about it - but in the last 3 years I haven't seen any professionals and I've been "self-injury free" for most of that time. Very recently I started again but I'm worried that if I go back to talking about it a lot, it will just get worse.
Do you think that sometimes talking about things like self-injury can inflate the issue - and do you think talking about it can be a trigger of sorts?

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Myths:
-People do it for attention
-It's only teenagers/young people who self harm
-People who have chronic self harm problems have BPD
-People who self harm are also suicidal
-There is only one type of self harm

It's unhelpful because it can prevent people from seeking help and being afraid of being judged.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury


@Georgie wrote:

Yes, I think so definitely. I self harmed for a year or two I guess, but was reluctant to say so. But now I have. So there you go.

Definitely it's not a piece of information I would offer up to people. Despite it being in the past, and being totally at peace with it now, I'm fairly sure other people would just totally freak out at having a conversation like that.


Definitely agree with you on this Georgie. Most of my friends I've known for a while, so they're aware of my history, but it's absolutely not something that I would share with people I've met since I stopped self harming. Partly because I don't feel like it's hugely relevant to my life or who I am now, but there's definitely the underlying fear that people would freak out if they knew that I used to self harm.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Hey gail - that's a pretty comprehensive list of myths... I think the consequence can be different for each myth. like for example the myth about it being a suicide attempt can result in inappropriate overly protective response and over the top treatment. While the myth about attention seeking can result in too little response and no treatment...

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

@gail - couldn't agree more!

The bit about not 'fitting the mould' totally resonates with me. I remember feeling exactly like that, where what I was feeling wasn't bad enough, and therefore people would assume I was hurting myself for attention, which kind of made it all worse and turned into a vicious cycle.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

'Hello! Sorry I'm late guys.

 

In the intro we mentioned that 8.1% of Australians report having self-injured at least one time in their life. Does that statistic surprise you or make sense? Do you know someone who has self-injured– yourself, a friend a loved one?


My best friend self-injured in high school and I knew a few other girls who did too. I haven't myself, but I have thought about doing it.

Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Sarah, are there any other myths that you have come across in your research?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com