What would you do if you were convinced you couldn’t feel any pain? You were so numb and anesthetized to any kind of sensation that you felt completely shut down from your ability to feel and experience. You might think you would try to cause some kind of pain to make sure you can still feel it. Perhaps you would poke your skin with a paperclip to experiment. Such is the philosophy in people who self-harm. Feeling so much that they become numb, self-harm is a way to feel their pain. Conversely, if they feel so much that they can’t bear to process their emotions, self-harm can be a way to release the pain in a tangible way. Additionally, self-harming, when it becomes an obsessive and compulsive practice, can be a distraction from the source of the pain, as well as the pain itself.
Isolating Worsens, Inside And Out
Self-harm usually isn’t done in a group. One isolates themselves when they participate in self-harm. Feeling alone in their pain, their struggles, and even in their self-harm, their emotional pain is worsened by the deep isolation they are feeling inside themselves. To exacerbate circumstances further, one will tend to create social isolation for themselves, extending the loneliness to outside as well.
Self-Harm Is Not A Form Of Attention Seeking
Self-harm is a cry for help. Someone who participates in self-harm is trying to help themselves the best they have figured out a way to do. Self-harm and suicide are often criticized as being a form of attention seeking more than a sign that someone is in need of serious treatment for their mental health.
Self-Harm Faces Stigma And Shame
Many people who self-harm are afraid to reach out and ask for help because they fear the same shame and stigma which faces many other mental health disorders. “Why would you” “How could you” and other questions legitimize someone’s emotional experience, shame them for copying the way that they can, and ignore the cry for help. Instead, loved ones need to understand that self-harm is a sign of deep emotional pain which is demanding to be healed.
Learning to cope with challenging emotions without relying upon harmful behaviors takes time and careful treatment. At Avalon Malibu we treat each client with the utmost respect and individualized care program. For a confidential assessment and more information on our healing programs, call 1 888-958-7511.