Thursday, 22 September 2016

Seeking help with self harm.

The major step is to talk to someone about it. It can be scary to bring up a topic that you've tried so hard to hide, but it can also be a significant release to finally let go of your secret and share what you’re struggling with.

It can be difficult to decide who you should open up to. It's best to select someone who isn’t going to gossip or try to take control of your recovery. Choose from whoever in your life makes you feel accepted and supported. That person could be a friend, teacher, therapist or relative. Remember, you don’t always have to choose someone you are close to.

It's important to focus on your emotions when you approach the topic of self harm with someone you trust.  To best approach the situation, focus on the feelings or situations that lead to the self injury. This can allow the person you’re telling, to understand where you’re coming from. It also helps to let the person know why you’re telling them.

If talking in person is too daunting, perhaps a phone call or an email, or perhaps even a letter will be easier. However, don't pressure yourself into sharing things that you are certainly not comfortable disclosing. Remember, you're not obliged to show someone your self injury unless you feel the need to, ie. if there is an infection or the injury needs immediate medical treatment. 

 As confronting as it is to mention, it may also be difficult for the person you tell—especially if it’s a close friend or family member. They may react in a way that you do not like, such as reactions out of shock or fear or even anger. This is usually due to the fear and lack of understanding many have about self injury. 

The better they understand self-harm, the better able they’ll be to support you.

Talking about self-harm can be very distressing and bring up a lot of emotions. It’s uncomfortable to confront and change behaviours that have stuck with a person for a while. But once you get past these first obstacles, you’ll start to feel better.