Self harming is more common than you think.
When she tucked her hair behind her ear, her sleeve fell away and I saw the scars, scabs and fresh wounds.
She caught my eye and quickly looked away, her face flushing. Without paying for her shopping, she turned agitatedly and walked away from the queue, leaving her trolley behind.
While #SelfHarming does not indicate suicidal tendencies, it can lead to dark thoughts if this coping mechanism no longer works.
Causes for this behaviour may include childhood neglect, trauma, abuse, abandonment, loss of a parent and negative perception of body.
Sometimes people self-harm because
– it allows them to feel something, when they have learned to be numb in order to cope with trauma or abuse
– it gives them some control over a small part of their life
– it communicates their pain as a way to reach out for help
– to punish themselves
If you encounter someone who is self harming, the best thing you can do for them is to be there for them.
They are hurting, and that’s the last thing they need.
Someone who is resorting to purposefully inflict pain on themselves and draw blood, is hurting very deeply inside.
And those wounds are invisible.
You don’t know the demons that they face.