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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Thanks for sharing those myths Gail, and I really like your comment on how the myths drive people to secrecy because they feel they don't fit 'the mold' Just like eating disorders, self-injury can affect anyone, and can be caused by many different experiences.
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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

hey DD, welcome!

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

@delicatedreamer - welcome to the session. Thanks for sharing your story. I think high school often can be a very difficult time and this can sometimes manifest in self-harm.
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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury


clarey wrote:

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?


That's a really interesting point Clarey. I was the same - I saw a psychologist who would often focus on the behaviour of self harm and discussing that rather than the feelings that surrounded it. When I started seeing a new psychologist who was more concentrated on discussing the feelings, the actual act of self harm became a bit irrelevant, and in talking less about it in treatment I found I was thinking about it less, and in turn acting on those thoughts less... if that makes sense? 

 

That said, I think it depends on how it's spoken about. Some people find talking about it really helpful, while others have experiences more like we've had, where talking about/focusing on it makes it more difficult to break away from. Also, while it can be a trigger, that doesn't necessarily mean that it needs to be acted on - in a way, it can be a bit of a warning sign that if talking about self harm brings up the desire to self harm, maybe there's something more going on that needs to be worked out. Again, I'm not sure if that makes sense, sorry!

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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

Hi Clarey - I'm not sure there are many people who don't find talking about their self-injury hard! You are very brave to be doing so now Smiley Happy I think that talking about self-injury inevitably leads to talking about emotional pain, and it is the emotional pain that leads to more self-injury. And if you are always talking about a coping behaviour that works well, you may be more tempted to use it if you are feeling emotional pain. So I think throughout therapy, self-injury can increase, but without therapy, you may never be able to work through your struggles. My opinion is that self-injury in the short term is worth being psychologically healthy in the long term.
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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

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

 

The main ones I've come across is that 'people only self-harm for attention, they don't actually have real problems' or 'it's only teenagers who self harm (or even teen girls more specifically)'. I think these myths can cause people to feel even worse about self-harming because they're not part of the 'typical group' that are meant to sef harm, or they might feel like what they are experiencing isn't 'bad enough' to self harm (if that makes sense?)

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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

@gail
No that makes a lot of sense, thank you. I think maybe that's the issue with some experiences I had, we were often talking about the act itself rather than, I suppose, the underlying feelings and reasons. And not enough about alternative coping mechanisms!
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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

hey clarey, welcome - and so happy to have you here. I think it definitely can be triggering if we talk about method and ways of self injuring - but talking about the emotions behind it and the recovery from - well, I don;t think that could make the situation worse. Though I think if you are someone who has a history you might want to check how your emotions are going when you are deciding to participate in a discussion like this... Does anyone else have better insight into this?

Online Community Manager

ReachOut.com

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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

I agree Gail - it is about targeting the underlying feelings and struggles, not so much the self-injury. In saying that, there are a number of techniques that really work to resist temptation to self-injure even when the emotional pain is high.
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Re: INFOBUS: Addressing the stigma of self-injury

@SarahS
that's a really interesting way of looking at it that I hadn't thought about - thank you!