Sometimes, self-harm becomes like a companion. But not the good kind.

It’s one that you both love, hate, and can’t seem to get rid of.

Whether it’s burning, cutting, pulling hair, or scratching, they seem to offer some small semblance of coping. But it doesn’t last. Momentary relief is often coupled with shame, sadness, anger, and apathy.

It probably doesn’t help that you feel misunderstood. As self-harm continues to become more prevalent, so do the myths associated with this behavior.

So what is fact and what is fiction?

1. Everyone who self-harms is suicidal.

False. Although self-harm needs to be taken extremely seriously and can be a precursor to suicidal behavior, many people who self-harm use it as a coping mechanism.

2. Self-harm is simply an attention-seeking mechanism.

False. Again, although attention may be a motivation, self-harm is much more than “attention-seeking”. Many people have habits of hiding their self-harm.

3. Only women and teenagers self-harm.

False. This is perhaps one of the most common myths surrounding self-harm. In a meta-analysis study of NSSI (Non-Suicidal Self-Injury), it was found that “Women were more likely to use some methods of NSSI (e.g., cutting) compared to men, but for other methods there was no significant difference (e.g., punching).” (Bresin K, Schoenleber M. 2015)

Self-harm is not something you can conquer on your own. It requires work, motivation, and a lot of grace for yourself.

 

 

If you find that you’re stuck in patterns of self-harming behavior, seek professional help as soon as possible. If you’re in the St. Charles area, we would love to help you find healing and recovery from self-harm.

Hannah Gambriel

Hannah Gambriel

Adolescent | MA, LPC

I help adolescent girls and their families, who are hurting, angry, and struggling to find their way through life’s challenges, to create real and lasting change.

Call for Free Consultation | (630) 397-1900 

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