If you have noticed any suspicious injuries on a friend or a loved one, you might be feeling unsure as to how you can go about confronting the issue. It's confusing to know what to say or how you can help if self-harm is present. This is a decision that points to a much deeper issue and it must be addressed on a medical level. When this coping mechanism is replaced with a healthy form of expression, you and the person affected can overcome the emotional pain and self damage to promote internal and external healing.

Self harm or self injury is an intentional infliction to the body. This is often a way to deal with stress and intense emotions such as emptiness or anger. Those who engage in the activity may feel a sense of calm as they experience tension relief. Although the relief that they feel is short-lived it is usually followed by guilt and painful emotions. This is often impulsive and it might accompany some other psychological issues such as depression, disassociation or eating disorders. The emotions that trigger this activity can be complex and if you find that you are performing self harm in an attempt to cope with pain, it's important that you reach out so that you can find relief instead of inflicting damage to your body. If you feel deep confusion and pain you will benefit from working with a counselor who can help you resolve these feelings in a way that crucial to your health and happiness. Although it feels like a form of relief it is a deep emotional wound that needs to be dealt with on a medical level.

Challenges Faced By Self Harm

Self harm is impulsive but it is an outlet for people who feel that they have emotions blocked or buried beneath their awareness. If they have been betrayed or abused to an extent that they are putting the blame onto themselves they might turn to self harm. When their anger is faced inwards at a later stage in life and they use this outlet it can be a way for them to express pain and suppress memories. The activity can be difficult to stop if it's being dealt with alone. The person can feel completely detached from their body and feelings, which is why injuring themselves is a way for them to sustain the emotional and physical separation. There are others who might injure themselves so that they can feel something and know that they are still associated with their body. If you or a loved one is fighting this battle its priority to get help as soon as possible. Everyone's reason behind this outlet is different but there is a way out of it and there is a way to deal with the pain in a healthy manner.

How Self Harm Affects a Family

When there is one person who is suffering from self harm an entire family can feel the pain. This is something that can change everyone on an emotional level. Each family member may react to this differently although the feelings are commonly associated with guilt and sadness. There are some people who get angry toward the expression because they can't understand why the person is doing it. Although this is a difficult relief to understand, it is one of the few ways that people believe they can deal with their feelings. It's important for loved ones to know that this is a choice and it is the individual making the decision for themselves. It's normal to feel ashamed or guilty but family members can help minimize the problem instead of ignoring it or seeing it as a sign of weakness. There are many who will do this in an attempt to reach out for help. Individual therapy can build a supportive environment for this person and their family to bring relief into the patient's life. This can be a replacement outlet instead that helps heal the patient internally.

How Therapy Can Help

A trained professional can work with you in overcoming this impulse. They can help to develop new coping techniques to stop the harm and reach the root of the issue. Know that this is an external expression of internal pain and it may be associated with trauma. If this is a way for you to cope with hurtful feelings, abuse or flashbacks you may not be consciously aware of how suppressed it is. Therapy can help treat you for both the self injury and trauma associated with the activity. It's important to trust a therapist who will help you work at a pace you are comfortable with. Feeling at ease in this environment is crucial as it serves as a new and healthier mechanism for you. During therapy it's important for peers to help by learning about the problem. It's necessary to remain optimistic, offer support and encourage open communication. There are many family members who feel shocked toward the behavior but expressing concern and letting the person know that you are there for support will help to heal their pain and reduce the activity.

Help Us Improve This Article

Did you find an inaccuracy? We work hard to provide accurate and scientifically reliable information. If you have found an error of any kind, please let us know by sending an email to, please reference the article title and the issue you found.

Share Therapedia With Others