Overcoming Self Harm
By Mercedes S.
Self-harm is something many teenagers and young adults go through. People harm themselves because it gives them an escape from what they may be feeling or may be going through. The thing that many people don’t realize is once they start it can be very difficult to stop. Self-harm isn’t just about hurting yourself. It, for a time being, helps the person forget what is going on in life and all the things they may be struggling with. They can focus on what they are doing at that moment and nothing else. It becomes addicting because it helps them feel better. But the dangerous part is eventually it will stop working, so they do it more often and worse every time. Then they can’t stop. That is a very scary place to be. But there are many things someone can do to overcome their battle and stop harming themselves.
If someone is in a down mood and they feel like cutting, burning, pinching, or whatever it may be that they do hurt themselves they can try finding other solution, a healthy outlet that can be fun. If you are into music, listen to some of your favorite songs, sing really loud and dance to them. Even play an instrument! Call a close friend and talk to them. You can talk to them about random things to keep your mind off of it, or you could tell them how you have been feeling. Sometimes just talking can make you feel better. Write in a journal and express yourself through words. It is private, meaning that no one can see it, and it will help you release your feelings. Try exercising, whether that may be going for a walk or going for a bike ride. Studies show that exercise can help with anxiety and depression. When you exercise is releases endorphins which are chemicals in your brain that makes you feel happier.
Another thing you can do is the “Butterfly Project”. When a person feels like harming themselves, they draw a butterfly on themselves where they harm and name it after someone they care about. They can’t scrub it off though; it should come off of your skin naturally. If they harm themselves before the butterfly is gone, it dies. If they don’t, it lives. If they have multiple butterflies, harming will kill them all. Other people can also draw butterflies on another person. If they do, it means they care and want that person to get better.
You can even draw butterflies on yourself if you don’t harm yourself. Show your support! If you know someone who is struggling with self-harm, name your butterfly after them.