Joshua Cole.

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You are here: Home What is Self Harm?

What is Self Harm?

Self-injurious behaviour can be very difficult for friends and family to understand. However, it is important that those close to sufferers try not to make negative remarks, and accept that the behaviour is a way for the person to cope with difficult feelings. It can be very distressing to discover that a loved one is self-harming, but it is vital that you mask your shock or fearful reactions; if the sufferer is worried they will cause you distress, then they are unlikely to ask for your support.

If you are accepting of the sufferer, then you could be a valuable source of support, giving them the opportunity to talk about their feelings without the fear of being judged. It is also important to accept that the person suffering may not want direct help regarding their self-harming behaviour; if this is the case, you must respect their privacy. If the sufferer seems willing to accept your help, then it is important to be clear on exactly what support they would like from you. Sometimes, just ‘being there’ can help reduce self-harming behaviour; if a sufferer knows that someone is available to talk to, then they are less likely to feel alone, and self-harming behaviour is most likely to result when sufferers are by themselves.

Do not try to prevent self-harm by trying to lay down rules. You must remember that no one wants to hurt themselves; rather, this is the only way in which the sufferer can deal with the painful emotions that they are experiencing. If a sufferer is forced to stop self-harming behaviour, without having another coping mechanism to fall back on, then it is possible that they may instead attempt to take their own life.

 

 

 

 

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You are here: Home What is Self Harm?