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Truths about SELF INJURY

December 1, 2019

During my stay in hostel, I came across a lot of persons who were in the habit of hurting themselves physically whenever they were feeling down and out. This is not something new. Youngsters especially teenagers must have seen such instances around their peer groups, colleges, schools etc. In most of the scenarios, it is prevalent in adolescents all over the world but usually its occurrence is more intense in males of 12 to 34 years of age.

Well this habit of injuring oneself is a borderline personality disorder and is known as ‘Self Injury’. People use a lot of things to hurt themselves. One of my classmates used to cut herself with razors on thighs or inner arms, a very common technique is snapping of rubber band on the wrist. Then, in some other cases, children use very dangerous methods too like jumping from upper floors, getting indulged in fights, driving rashly, beating oneself, snapping on the cheeks, striking head on the wall etc.

When we look into the causes of such behavior, there can be a lot of shocking factors. It has been seen that in some cases, it is just an attention seeking behavior. Like a child who is not getting proper attention of his parents due to birth of a new sibling, can indulge himself in this habit of deliberately hurting himself. So, that his parents pay more attention to him than his younger bro/sis.

In one case, a boy of 15 cut his veins in an attempt to teach his parents a lesson because they punished him for being so sad and moody all the times. Now, what was that? – A case of wrong thought process and a very bad coping strategy. Usually it occurs in those persons who are having low self esteem or who have poor problem solving skills.

Now these days families are nuclear, both parents work and there is nobody at home to take care. Children don’t have a lot of siblings and they are usually stuck with one bro or sis, and even sometimes with nobody to talk to. In those cases, they are not able to share their emotional pain and discomfort with anyone. In case of any stress or depression, they impulsively use such steps because they treat it as a coping mechanism. Sometimes, disturbed parental or partner relationships also result in this.

Apart from that, there is a science working behind too. Because whenever a person hurts oneself physically, brain naturally produces some chemicals, due to which our mood lifts up and we feel cheerful. Endorphins are produced in brain in response to physical injury which acts as a natural pain killer. So, to get distraction from emotional pain, people use self injury.

Now, there are a lot of methods to treat this behavioral problem. You can take help from professional counselor to overcome this. A counselor can help you by using any of the following techniques:
• By giving you Antidepressants (to cheer you up).
• By using Cognitive behavior therapy (where thought process is modified).
• By Diagnosis and Treatment (of specific cause, in your particular case).
• By teaching you new Coping mechanisms (which are more useful in the long run).
• By trying to Improve your life (in general).

The good news is that, if you don’t want to tell your ‘secret shame’ to anyone and don’t wanna get embarrassed, there are few techniques which you can use yourself too. Like keeping a Journal, so that your emotions get a vent out. Taking a walk can help, as any kinda exercise can cheer your mood and will also exhaust your excessive energy. Participate in sports, make friends and share your feelings with them, remove objects which can be used for self injury like rubber bands, knives, razors from the room.

So friends, just don’t forget that your life is very precious. Don’t think too much about past and don’t worry about future. Just remember this law of Nature that everything comes back to you. “Whatever you will give, will come back to you one day:” So, make sure to live happily and spread happiness all around you. You will soon discover that what a precious stone you are for others and they will cling on to you for your laughter.

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