What exactly is self-harm and how to avoid it?

A person who mutilates him or herself is not necessarily mentally ill as this is a voluntary act, which consists of hurting oneself by various means. According to statistics, one in 50 young people has already resorted to an act of self-harm at least once in their lives. There are many reasons for self-harm, some of which are reckless, but the majority of people who practice self-harm see it as an escape from personal and love problems. The major outcome is suicide, and professional help is usually needed.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is a voluntary act that results in skin or organ damage and is manifested in numerous ways, such as cuts on the skin, excessive use of psychotropic or sedative drugs, or simply the desire to bang on walls. For some people, self-harm is a real addiction. These individuals often resort to suicide if the disease is not treated in time.

The most common causes of self-harm

The reasons for resorting to self-harm are usually emotional and psychological. For young people, it is the need for affection and attention that causes them to inflict such pain on themselves. They hope to feel compassion and a little human warmth from their loved ones by doing this act. Failure and disappointment in love are also frequent causes. The feeling of emptiness is so intense that only physical pain can calm it. There is also guilt over the loss of a loved one. The person punishes himself or herself because he or she feels that the tragic events that happen in the lives of others are his or her fault. But some people see self-harm as an art, and they deliberately hurt themselves, even if they don't have major problems in their lives.

Recognising self-harm is a way to get out of it quickly

There are warning signs to recognise self-harm so that you can act quickly. If your loved ones are becoming increasingly isolated, losing their zest for life or suffering unexplained injuries, they may be hurting themselves in secret. To help them, we must encourage them to express themselves and to reveal their discomfort. Indeed, there are listening and discussion centres for young people who mutilate themselves. These are usually group therapies, based on exchange, attention and compassion. A weekly session is enough to calm suicidal impulses. But for chronic self-mutilation, a psychiatric consultation, followed by medical treatment, is essential. Ultimately, for serious cases, hospitalisation is necessary.

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