Why do People Self-Harm?
People self-harm for a great number of different reasons and none are more valid than the next; typically it is a coping method used by many to deal with feelings that they don’t feel capable of dealing with in any other way or perhaps don’t know how to deal with at all.
It is a temporary release from many negative emotions which for some reason does seem to help many in the short term. It is obviously not an ideal way of coping neither is it particularly effective in the long term as it does not deal with whatever feelings or acts that have triggered the initial harming behavior however it is understandable if you take the time to try and understand objectively.
It turns inner pain outside therefore giving it a focus which can be seen by the eye and making it easier to deal with. Physical pain is often easier to overcome than emotional pain and for this reason self-harm suddenly becomes less of a ghastly act and becomes something a little more understandable. Many find the physical pain comforting as it is temporarily distracting from any other forms of pain while others feel no pain whatsoever when they harm themselves but feel in control of what they are doing when they cannot control the actual feelings they are experiencing.
When things seem unbearable others turn to alcohol, nicotine, drugs or maybe food to cope with things, self-harm is simply an alternative but socially unacceptable method of coping. I cannot use the word coping enough because I feel it is important to make it clear that self-harm is about coping and not about giving in.
Noone who harms themselves will try to convince you that is the answer or that everyone should rush out to hurt themselves next time they feel bad, that is not what anyone is trying to say at all but it is possible that in trying to explain exactly why people do this others will think ‘that sounds good, I’ll try it’ and that is not something any of us want to be responsible for, self-harm is not the answer, it is not without it’s own set of problems seperate from whatever leads to it and it is not a thing people should seen as a realisic option. I do not want to see it grow anymore as a problem, we just want more people to understand and break down the isolation those who self-harm feel because they are not alone in what they do.