Cutting or “non-suicidal self-injury” is the intentional, self-inflicted destruction of body tissue, and it might be shocking to learn that one in five people suffer from it.
Yet, it is often not well understood or talked about, so it is one of the most under-discussed symptoms of depression. In most cases, self- harm and injury are simply disguised as suffering from ‘bad mood’ or being sad.
These people do not intend to kill themselves, but the wounds help them feel alive as pain triggers the release of endorphins. Yet, the practice is highly risky and can bring about numerous issues, such as infections, and a damaged artery or vein, and it can leave permanent scars on the body.
After suggesting to stop cutting herself and start drawing something pretty on her skin instead, one therapist helped a girl cope with her issues and enjoy 92 days without cutting.
This made the girl share her success on the Internet and help others who are struggling with self-destructive habits.
She posted photos of her skin doodles and recommended the technique. She advised using a marker instead of a pen, to avoid being hurt.
Being completely honest, Tumblr user a-better-m-e admitted that she initially had some slip-ups, but she has gone clean, also with the help of all the love she received.
People also added their ways of fighting inner conflicts and demons, some claimed music helps them, others journaled their thoughts every time they panicked or suffered from anxiety, and many advised Zentangle, as particularly helpful for people who struggle with cutting.
This is a form of non-representational and unplanned art that allows the drawer to “focus on each stroke and not worry about the result. “
Self-harm affects more people than anyone assumed, and it usually begins in the teenage years. It can be of various forms, including burning, hair pulling, and banging the head against the wall.
There are four main reasons why people start to self-harm:
- To dull emotional pain and escape the pressure by causing physical aches
- To start feeling something other than numbness, usually after a trauma
- To experience negative emotions, which might seem like something you’d want to avoid, but that’s not always the case
- To punish themselves, and cut the skin as a form of self-criticism
When it comes to our mental sanity, self-care is the most important thing. To release the tension and lower stress, you need to enjoy activities you find comfort in, like bathing, reading, listening to music, cooking, napping.
In times when you feel the urge to cut yourself, experts advise finding sensations that exhibit similar feelings to the trigger.
Some useful hacks include clapping hands, running a cold shower, stomping feet, rubbing ice cubes on the palms or even snapping an elastic band on the skin.
Exercise is one of the most powerful stress-busters. Also, deep breathing, meditation, and yoga are among the most successful ways to alleviate pain, fight anxiety, and relax.
You should also spend time with like-minded people, as you will lift each other up and help one another from drastic steps. The regular visits to the therapist are a must, and remember to always seek help whenever you feel you cannot cope with the reality on your own.
Moreover, if someone you know tries to self-injure, provide a safe and non-judgmental zone to talk. Let them know you are there to help and do not insist on discussing the problems. Start with open-ended questions to identify the triggers instead. A kind and calm approach can do wonders.