Self Injury Awareness Day takes place on March 1. The day represents a grassroots effort to bring attention to the myths and facts about self-harm. According to a Reuters study, one in 12 teenagers engages in acts of self-injury. Raising awareness can help people who struggle with self-harm to feel understood and get the treatment that they need.
What Is Self-Injury?
Self-injury usually involves harming one’s body by burning, cutting, or taking dangerous risks. It’s one of the greatest predictors of suicide.
Many people who perform acts of self-injury don’t want to die, however. They often can’t find the words to express their emotions and turn to self-mutilation instead. They just want to get through the day.
It’s hard for people to understand why someone would engage in this type of behavior. Because people who self-injure are often misunderstood, they may continue to hurt themselves to deal with the pain of being ostracized. This behavior also often occurs alongside addiction, requiring dual diagnosis treatment.
Why Do People Self-Harm?
Self-harm is typically a private act that stems from intense emotions, pressure, and fear. People who struggle with this condition may feel isolated. They don’t always know how to reach out. Their feelings of loneliness and banishment can exacerbate the problem.
People may engage in self-harm for many reasons, including:
- To direct their attention away from uncomfortable or intrusive thoughts
- Attempting to release stress
- To experience sensation when they feel physically or emotionally numb
- To express strong feelings that they can’t articulate
- As a form of punishment
- To experience euphoria
How to Participate in Self Injury Awareness Day
Bringing attention to this issue on Self Injury Awareness Day may not be enough. The goal is to reduce the stigma associated with the activity and increase understanding. When people can find support from their peers, family and other guiding figures in their lives, they may see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Self Injury Awareness Day can make people feel less alone. When someone knows that they can turn to a trusted friend, they may be more likely to get on the road to healing.
Life Signs offers a variety of options for you to get involved in Self Injury Awareness Day. You can share a video, print out and display posters or use a hashtag on social media. If you work with teenagers or teachers, you can print out a fact sheet to educate people about the issue.
How Are Self-Harm and Addiction-Related?
Self-harm is an addictive behavior. It can also lead to other addictive behaviors. People who use self-injury as a coping method may turn to drugs to further reduce the trauma of overwhelming emotions.
Women are more likely than men to harm themselves. At Soledad House, we understand the unique needs that women have when it comes to recovering from addiction. We offer dual diagnosis treatment as part of a holistic approach that also includes:
- Family therapy
- 12-step program
- Exercise therapy
- Spiritual addiction recovery
- Yoga therapy
- Art therapy
- Nutritional counseling
If you or a loved one is struggling with self-harm or addiction, show that you care about their mental health. Call us at 866.314.3222 to learn how we can provide support on the path to recovery.