Self Harm: What It Is and Where to Find Help
Friday, March 1, 2013 • 2:55pm
According to BBC News, one in every 12 people self harm in their teenage years. This number is more than teens and adults think.
In an article by the Mayo Clinic Staff, self harm is defined as "the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself." It's also not meant as a suicide attempt and it may be linked to depression, eating disorders, or personality disorders.
Both Ulyana P. and Jess R. said, "I think about one in 25 people do it." Phoebe H. said that, "It happens more than teachers and parents think."
Over the past couple of years, the question of what motivates someone to self harm has been coming up a lot with middle school and high school students. Five out of seven LCJSMS students said that self-harm is a result of real reasons. BBC Health states that the causes of these actions are usually because kids feel trapped and helpless, have feelings of anger and tension, and feel guilt or shame. They then resort to cutting because it makes them feel more in control, relieves tension and acts as a way of punishing themselves.
Social media can also be a variable that may cause self-harm. Grace M. said that the internet also causes this when people see, "negative comments that make people feel bad about themselves."
Weight has been an issue that teenage girls have been dealing with. "The internet gives us an image of a perfect person and makes us feel like there's something wrong with us," Phoebe stated.
WebMd stated that "This practice has long existed in secrecy. Cuts can be easily hidden under long sleeves. But in recent years, movies and TV shows have drawn attention to it -- prompting greater numbers of teens and tweens (ages 9 to 14) to try it."
Karen Conterio, author of the book, Bodily Harm, stated that "As more and more kids become aware of it, more kids are trying it." This is where the attention part fits in. Some students see their friends doing it, think it's "cool" and begin to do it as a way of fitting in and being like others.
Ulyanna said, "People see other people posting pictures of their arm after being cut and feel like they need to be like other people who are doing it."
7 out of 7 kids, including Griffin F., said "no," this is not an effective way of dealing with your emotions. Alex P said, "You should talk to someone about it," if you need help sorting out your feelings.
"When kids decide they don't want to cut anymore - and they get stressed again -- they have to be able to manage stress as it arises," Rosen says in an article from WedMd . "They can't succumb to cutting. People who can figure out some alternative way to manage stress will eventually quit it."
Mrs. Stefanie Jurista, a guidance counselor at the Summit Middle School said, "If anyone ever needs help, come to me or one of the other guidance counselors, and we will definitely help you."
Websites for more information:
Helpful phone numbers:
- More info on self-injury
- A 24-hour crisis hotline if you’re about to self-harm or are in an emergency situation.
- Hotline for people contemplating suicide
- Self Injury Foundation- 24-hour national crisis line
- Real Help For Teens’ help line.
LCJSMS Panther Pulse is a column written by students in the Digital Media program at Summit Middle School.
The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TheAlternativePress.com or anyone who works for TheAlternativePress.com. TheAlternativePress.com is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.