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March Is Self-Injury Awareness Month

Posted by Dr. Brenda Richardson Rowe, LPC-S Minister of Counseling on

Self-injury Awareness Month is a chance to set aside stigma, understand the problem and be open about mental health and recovery. Self-injury is much more common than most people realize. Among teenagers, an estimated 15 percent will experience some form of self-injury. The number drops to 4 percent among adults. The most common forms of self-harm include:

  • Skin cutting 70% to 90%
  • Headbanging or hitting 21% to 44%
  • Flesh burning 15% to 35%

Signs of self- injury/self-harm can easily be hidden or explained away.  Some of the common signs of self-injury/self-harm are:

  • Arms, legs or other parts of the body that show signs of consistent injuries, such as scabs, bruises, burns and cuts
  • Overdressing in particularly warm weather, wearing, for example, coats, long sleeve shirts or pants
  • Repeatedly making excuses for why or how they got injured
  • Avoidance, isolation, and withdrawal from activities and relationships they previously enjoyed

The majority self-injury of cases – some 90 percent – begin in adolescence. While the condition brings temporary relief for a person suffering, it carries a lot of shame and stigma.

When helping a person through the trauma of self-injury, listen, don’t judge or act disgusted. Stay supportive and proactive, drive them to a counselor’s appointment or visit them in treatment when appropriate. Take the opportunity to educate yourself about the condition and the underlying causes that often lead to it.

 

The scars of self-injury/self-harm signal emotional distress and are a way for a person to mirror psychological and physical pain.

 

For more information regarding self-injury/self-harm, contact Harmony Counseling Center at: (214) 751-3932

Self-injury/self-harm HOTLINES:

  • DON’T CUT (366.8288)
  • 273.TALK
  • 334.HELP

Tags: counseling, mental health, self-injury

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