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March - Self Injury Awareness Month

tw // self injury



WARNING

*People who are sensitive to self injury or are currently suffering from self injury are advised to read the content titles before reading the content to ensure that one is comfortable with reading it.*


Alternatives


- holding or squeezing ice

- splashing your face with cold water

- getting a rubber band and snapping it against your skin (this could hurt, though it’s better than other ways that people usually choose to self-harm)

- take a hot shower or bath

- eat something sour. It will take your mind off the urge

- massage where you want to self-harm

- get a red pen or red paint and draw/paint over where you usually self-harm

- remind yourself as to why you shouldn’t do it

- describe and write down what you are feeling

- bite into a hot pepper or something spicy


What to remember when you feel like hurting yourself

  • Asking for help from someone is not a sign of weakness. People cannot help you if they don’t know you need help

  • Your life and body matters. There are people in this world who love you even though they don’t show it

  • No matter how big a problem is, there is always a solution. Time heals pain, and nothing is worth taking your life, or hurting yourself

  • Your thoughts don’t define you as a person. You are worthy of love and you deserve a place in this world. In moments when it feels like all hope is lost, keep going. There’s always light at the end of a tunnel.

  • Life comes in waves. It doesn’t stop in the dark.

  • One day, you’ll look back on this, and say “I’ve made it”.


Potential signs


- wearing long sleeves / jackets despite the warm weather

- having bandages around the wrist

- (reports of) an unusual number of accidental injuries or bruises

- talking about suicide — for example, making statements such as "i'm going to kill myself," "i wish i were dead" or "i wish i hadn't been born", or telling people around them that they’d be better off without them

- getting the means to take their own lives, such as buying a gun or stockpiling pills

- withdrawing from social contact and wanting to be left alone

- having blood stains on bed sheets

- having mood swings, such as being emotionally high one day and deeply discouraged the next

- finding sharp objects in their bags or carry ons


Possible self injury conversation starters


- how are you coping with what's been happening in your life?

- do you ever feel like just giving up?

- are you thinking about hurting yourself?

- are you thinking about suicide?

- have you ever thought or tried to harm yourself before?

- have you thought about how or when you'd do it?

- do you have access to weapons or things that can be used as weapons to harm yourself? When ending the conversation, give them a few helpful links / hotlines and acknowledge what they’ve gone through and encourage them to stay strong. They opened up to you and trusted you, so remember to show your gratitude. Let them know that you’re there for them and ask if there’s anything you can do to help.

Kindness


“You know their names, not their stories. You see their smiles, not their pain. You notice their cuts, not their scars. You can read their lips, not their mind.” - Unknown.


Being kind is not hard. It’s purely just smiling at a stranger, hugging your friend, or picking a flower up on the way to school and giving it to a little kid on the street. Acts of kindness is everything a person ever needs when going through self harm. Please treat people with respect and love, and call them out if you see other people acting otherwise. You make a difference just by popping into their dms, and asking them to take down something they said on the internet that can potentially hurt someone. Alarming teachers in schools to skip a certain topic because it could be sensitive to other people. Moments like these are the rarest, but you’re doing acts of kindness anonymously and humbly. That’s what we aim to advocate for, not only in March, but always.


There is mental health, then there’s mental illness. There is a difference. People talk about yoga and self care days, but get uncomfortable talking about suicide, depression, mania, etc. and that is the problem.

Sources


Researcher: Hailey

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