Sunday, March 10, 2013

Understanding Self-Harm/Injury Awareness Month




By Nurse Diane
What do Singer, Fiona Apple; Comedian, Russell Brand; Actress, Drew Barrymore; Actor, Johnny Depp; Actor, Colin Farrell; Actress, Megan Fox; Actress, Angelina Jolie; Singer, Demi Lovato and Princess Diana have in common? 

Before finding emotional health, they struggled with self-injury.

Self injury can take many forms from cutting, picking, burning, bruising, puncturing, embedding, scratching or hitting one's self, just to name a few and does not involve a conscious intent to commit suicide.   Generally, it is a deliberate, private act that is habitual in occurrence, not attention-seeking behavior, nor meant to be manipulative. Self-injurers are often secretive about their behaviors, rarely letting others know, and often cover up their wounds with clothing, bandages, or jewelry.

A psychologist and practicing psychoanalyst, Dr. Deborah Serani specializes in treating trauma and depression. In her website: she offers this information: http://drdeborahserani.blogspot.com/2013/03/march-1st-is-international-self-injury.html

Those Who Self-Injure Are Often Trying To:

* Distract themselves from emotional pain

* End feelings of numbness

* Offset feelings of low self-esteem

* Control helplessness or powerlessness

* Calm overwhelming or unmanageable feelings

* Maintaining control in chaotic situations

* Self-punish, self-shame or self-hate

* Express negative thoughts or feelings that cannot be put into words

* Self-nurture or self-care

According to recoverymonth.gov, Most children and teens who deliberately injure themselves are discharged from emergency rooms without an evaluation of their mental health, a new study shows. The findings are worrisome since risk for suicide is greatest right after an episode of deliberate self-harm, according to researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The researchers also found the majority of these kids do not receive any follow-up care with a mental health professional up to one month after their ER visit.

If you notice any changes in someone's behavior or dress, or see any signs of scarring, click on this site for ways to offer help and support.  http://sioutreach.org/

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