Self harming behavior and punishment is a strange way of making yourself feel better. For the people who don’t understand how and why it happens, you’re in the right place for answers.
For starters, you should know more often do children display self harming behavior and have an eating disorder, more so than older adults.
These kids may have experienced a trauma in their lives – some kind of abuse. I believe it matters not about what kind of abuse – physical or mental or even verbal abuse. Studies show these children are extremely active, more so overachievers and perfectionists.
Another point to be remembered is they are sensitive people and if adults, this self harming behavior could have been going on for some time. Truth be told, they don’t have a clue as to how to stop these games of desire driven behaviors.
Wendy Lader, SAFE Alternatives’ clinical director, confirms this problem is more typical of girls, however, young men are not immune. For a parent, this is one situation that baffles the mind. The only good thing about this disorder, it’s not an attempt to kill.
Dr. Lader’s assertion is this is normal self harming behavior in children belonging to the Gothic culture [see the webmd]. At the same time, Dr. Lader says it could be a sign of a condition more serious like schizophrenia, anxiety disorder or bipolar disorder.
The Emotional Pain of a Cutter
It’s ironic anyone would hurt themselves in order to feel better. I didn’t understand it until one day the light bulb came on. People, but especially children, have difficulties coping with the underlying issues so they use self harming behavior to deal with the pain.
Self-harm is similar to drugs that induce endorphins, creating an effect that feels good. You might say cutting yourself is not the same as doing drugs, but at the end of the day, it is. It’s self-destructive, it’s addicting and it has a trigger.
Dr. [David] Rosen, professor of pediatrics [University of Michigan], director of the Section for Teenage and Young Adult Health says parents should look for –
- Tiny, straight lines, linear cuts on the upper arm, forearm and even the legs
- Mood swings, anxiety, acting out, poor job or school performance, communication problems
- Regular, unexplained scratches and cuts
How to Stop Self harming Behavior
As with most addictions, stopping is easier said than done. It’s one of the most difficult self-harming behavior in adults to quit. It’s not for everybody. You’ll know the first time you try it if you’ll do it again. I think it takes a lot of courage and strength to harm yourself.
There are people who never stop, sadly. But to help, a person may need to seek self-harming behavior treatment as well as alter their –
- Way of thinking and talking
- Their surroundings and possibly the people in them
- Involve the right people as support systems
In addition, I believe they should
- Keep busy and when things start to get bad
- Surround themselves with other people
- Don’t go where they normally harm themselves
- Toss out the weapons they use
- Get professional help
- Kick a punching bag or punch it
- Eat something spicy
- Submerge the face in a bowl of ice cubes or freezing water
- Workout – go ham
- Talk it out with someone you trust fully
- Look in the mirror and say I desire more as often as you like
Self-harming behavior, when cutting is the main release, is scary. Winning this battle alone is going to be extra tough. In fact, I would not try it alone. Talk to someone who is freed from desire to cut.
Self harming Behavior: Conclusion
If you suspect someone is using self harming behavior as a pain reliever, you should help them. The one thing I desire is we learn and we grow away from self-loathing behaviors into positive, cheerful and healthy individuals. It won’t happen overnight, but it can be done!
Don’t give up on yourself and remember, if you’re strong enough to hurt yourself, you’re strong enough to combat it!