There are a lot of assumptions and myths about non-suicidal self-injury and the people who are involved in it. Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) refers to different intentional self-injuring behaviors and the most common ones are cutting, biting, burning, poisoning, hitting or injuring oneself in other painful ways.
NSSI is said to be used as a coping strategy to overcome overwhelming negative emotions and the destruction of the body is done without the intention to suicide.
Every individual’s struggles are different people self-harm for different reasons but essentially, it is done to get rid of the numbness, it is to punish themselves or it is to let out negative feelings.
Management of NSSI can be divided into short-term and long-term. Short-term management usually involves self-help that can be administered by the individual. Long-term management encompasses a lot more components that are focused on teaching the person skills to help eradicate self-harm from their life. Long-term management often involves a care plan which should be formulated by a mental health professional.
As we previously mentioned, one of the main reasons that people tend to self-injure is their inability to make sense of their complex emotions. Do you feel that you are unable to monitor and manage your feelings? The only way to have control over those emotions is to be compassionate towards the feelings. It can be done by trying to understand where they are coming from. If an individual wants to stop from injuring himself/herself then he/she needs to understand why he/she feels the need to do it in the first place. When they find the answer to this question, they would be able to make sense of the emotions that trigger self-injuring episodes which would eventually help them gain control over the impulses and urges.
The way you talk to yourself is important. Self-talk refers to the narrative that you have going on in your mind with yourself. Negative thought process is often one of the reasons that an individual self-harms. In order to reduce self-injury, the thought pattern needs to be changed. The change would take time because it would involve changing their thought process and avoiding negative thinking patterns. People who self-harm are harsh on themselves which is what often becomes a trigger so it is imperative that they remove negative self-labeling and self-talking.
Therapy is a key component in long-term management of self-harm and it is provided by a mental health professional. There are some major therapies that are adopted by the therapist to treat the patient. Some of the therapies are psychodynamic psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). If you self-injure and wish to eradicate it from your life, you may like to book a session with a psychologist or a psychiatrist to discuss your circumstances. The chances of you finding your path to recovery will certainly increase with each session.
Humphreys, K. D., Risner, W., Hicks, J. F., & Moyer, M. Non-Suicidal Self-Injury: Cutting Through the Pain [PDF file]. Retrieved from https://www.counseling.org/docs/default-source/vistas/article_4486fd25f16116603abcacff0000bee5e7.pdf?sfvrsn=4
Peterson, J., Freedenthal, S., Sheldon, C., & Andersen, R. (2008). Nonsuicidal Self injury in Adolescents. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 5(11), 20–26.
Royal College of Psychiatrists. (n.d.). Self Harm. Royal College of Psychiatrists. Retrieved from Self-harm. (n.d.). Retrieved June 21, 2018, from https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/problemsdisorders/self-harm.aspx
Self-Harm. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Related-Conditions/Self-harm
Self-Harm: The ‘Secret Self’. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.sane.org.uk/uploads/self-harm.pdf
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