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Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

You asked

Is it unusual for someone to self harm to 'prove to

themselves' that they have a legitimate reason to feel bad, or

'give themselves permission' to feel bad?

 

@SarahSanswered

 

No, this is very common. When we have a physical sign of

pain, it somehow makes it seem so much more real and valid. It

sounds like you have learned throughout your life to invalidate

your own pain. My suggestion is that if you ever feel the urge to

self-harm, try to validate your pain then and there, before

actually hurting yourself. You may need some professional help

with this, because self-invalidation can be difficult to change.

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

I actually started self-harming as a punishment for reaching out for help. O.o But then only when everything hurt so much, that I just stop feeling and I wanted to see if I could still feel physical pain.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

@stonepixie Oh I'm sorry to hear that Smiley Sad  Reaching out is so important and so helpful. Obviously you've turned that around, well done!

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

Its interesting how self-harm can originally start for one reason, but be maintained by other, new reasons...

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

Another great response from @SarahS - makes heaps of sense to me.

 

Awwwwwwwwwww guys that was the last question for the night though Woman Surprised /tears

 

... For those of you who would like to reflect on our chat tonight or may have joined in on the conversation late here is a summary of what we’ve talked about tonight!

 

How to tell the difference between bad habits and self-injury:
It can sometimes be confusing to tell the difference or find the line between a bad habit and self-injury. Some of us have previously never thought about it. Both can be impulsive. Self-injury can turn into a habit and a bad habit can turn into self-injury. However, self-injury is direct and deliberate to the body, without suicidal intent. It’s understood that it can stem from trying to get rid of painful emotions or memories. Little things that we previously didn’t think were harmful still can be (i.e. suggestions of less extreme self-injury techniques in place of potentially lethal ones).

 

Why might we sometimes behave in a self-destructive manner?
Some of us as well as people we know have behaved in a self-destructive way to cope. It can make us feel like we are in control of our emotions. Self-destructive behaviours can play a large part in our lives in numerous ways. It can be pressuring, lead to self-loathing and is seen as a last resort. With our experiences, finding healthy ways of coping can be difficult.

 

What are some warning signs for self-destructive behaviours I may see in myself or others?
Feeling alone, difficulty in trusting others, not telling the truth about their well-being, feeling agitated, overwhelmed, upset and apathetic are examples of some warning signs that can lead to self-destructive behaviours. It looks like we have methods of coping to prevent this from happening, whether it’s a personal ritual or waiting for a certain amount of time to think about it.

 

What are some more positive and healthy behaviours I could use to cope emotionally?
Taking some time out is a useful strategy and a great starting point in finding healthy coping methods. Self-soothing can also help by building more self-compassion. Sometimes, we forget that we definitely deserved to be soothed or find some peace. Exercise is a really awesome outlet when handling some difficult or painful emotions. You can also pass the time by removing yourself from the situation (i.e. moving to a different room) to cope instead of using self-destructive behaviours. Creative pursuits are common strategies with everyone. This could be journaling, drawing, modelling clay or play-dough as well as creating a clip of pictures with a song that comforts you. Doing a practical activity like fixing cars, bikes or something faulty in the kitchen can also act as distractions from self-injury.

 

What if I don’t know how to ask for help?
Finding help can be difficult but it can be very beneficial in the end. Learning to ask for help and working on it is fantastic. A lot of us have learnt that it’s ok to ask for help and that it gets easier with some time. Further education, understanding and awareness about self-destructive behaviours could make it easier for people to ask for help.

 

How else can I help myself or others?
Keeping in touch with someone when you (or someone else) are experiencing something emotionally painful can be really helpful. Having a broad support network and knowing that there are people and services available too is beneficial. Different people can help someone with different things and they can teach you different things. It’s also important to have a balance between looking after yourself and others as well as having boundaries. 

 

For more info, you can take a look at: 

 

& If you want to keep chatting with us tonight head on over to this thread: http://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Getting-Help/Have-more-questions-about-self-Injury-Start-the-conver...

 

 

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Thanks again everyone Woman Very Happy Heart

lanejane

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

Thanks everyone for your insightful answers!! Been great!
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

Thank you for coming to talk to us all here on ReachOut @SarahS

 

I'll post the rest of the answer's Sarah wrote to your questions in about 10 minutes. 

 

Thanks again

 

Goodnight everyone Smiley Happy

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

Has anyone thought about the usefulness of a fresh piercing to combat self harm? Feel like harming yourself? Knock your piercing for a short burst of pain. Of course it would depend upon the reason as to why you are harming.

My entire life can be described in one sentence: It didn't go as planned and that's okay. ツ

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

@stonepixie come and post that on our new thread.

 

cos im gunna answer it Smiley Tongue

lanejane

Re: [SPECIAL GUEST] Self injury: riding the wave of distressed emotions

@stonepixie maybe post that over on the new thread Smiley Happy
//You can stay afraid, or slit the throat of fear and be brave//