Self injury presentation for schools

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A presentation to spread aware for and understanding about Self Injury

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Self injury presentation for schools

  1. 1. Self-injury
  2. 2. What it is <ul><li>A deliberate injury by a person upon their own body without suicidal intent. </li></ul><ul><li>The locations of self-harm are often areas of the body that are easily hidden and concealed from the detection of others . </li></ul><ul><li>An addiction that is caused by a high at the release of endorphins. </li></ul><ul><li>There are far more people who self injure than you would expect. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What it isn’t <ul><li>It isn’t about being suicidal at all. Indeed often it’s to help keep AWAY from suicide. </li></ul><ul><li>“ The assumption is that the alternative to self-injury is &quot;acting normally,&quot; but on the contrary . . . the alternative to self-injury is total loss of control and possibly suicide. It becomes a forced choice from among limited options.” Solomon and Farrand (1996) </li></ul><ul><li>It isn’t always “just to get attention” although certainly that does sometimes happen. The majority of the time is for reasons I’ll describe later. </li></ul>
  4. 4. What is Considered Self Injury <ul><li>Includes, but is not limited to: </li></ul><ul><li>Cutting - involves making cuts or scratches on the body with any sharp object, including knives, needles, razor blades or even fingernails. The arms, legs and front of the torso are most commonly cut because they are easily reached and easily hidden under clothing </li></ul><ul><li>Branding – burning self with a hot object, Friction burn – rubbing a pencil eraser on your skin </li></ul><ul><li>Picking at skin (dermatillomania)or re-opening wounds, - is characterized by the repeated urge to pick at one's own skin, often to the extent that damage is caused which relieves stress or is gratifying </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Considered Self Injury continued <ul><li>Hair-pulling (trichotillomania) –The person has an irresistible urge to pull out hair from any part of their body. Hair pulling from the scalp often leaves patchy bald spots on their head which they hide by wearing hats, scarves and wigs. </li></ul><ul><li>Bone breaking , Punching hard objects, Head-banging (more often seen with autism or severe mental retardation) </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple piercing or tattooing - may also be a type of self-injury, especially if pain or stress relief is a factor </li></ul><ul><li>Drinking harmful chemicals </li></ul><ul><li>Stabbing </li></ul><ul><li>Self-embedding of objects </li></ul><ul><li>Alcohol abuse </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of self harm related to anorexia and bulimia </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reasons why <ul><li>There are two main reasons for self injury. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to escape or lower pain and stress by turning to a “lesser” pain. </li></ul><ul><li>In order to be able to feel something, anything at all, and know they are real. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Reasons Why Continued <ul><li>Escape from emptiness, depression, and feelings of unreality. </li></ul><ul><li>Easing tension. </li></ul><ul><li>Providing relief: when intense feelings build, self-injurers are overwhelmed and unable to cope. By causing pain, they reduce the level of emotional and physiological arousal to a bearable one. </li></ul><ul><li>Relieving anger: many self-injurers have enormous amounts of rage within. Afraid to express it outwardly, they injure themselves as a way of venting these feelings without hurting others. </li></ul><ul><li>Escaping numbness: many of those who self-injure say they do it in order to feel something, to know that they're still alive. </li></ul><ul><li>Grounding in reality, as a way of dealing with feelings of depersonalization and dissociation </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining a sense of security or feeling of uniqueness </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining a feeling of euphoria </li></ul><ul><li>Preventing suicide </li></ul>
  8. 8. Reasons Why Continued <ul><li>Expressing emotional pain they feel they cannot bear </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining or maintaining influence over the behavior of others </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating to others the extent of their inner turmoil </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating a need for support </li></ul><ul><li>Expressing or repressing sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Expressing or coping with feelings of alienation </li></ul><ul><li>Validating their emotional pain -- the wounds can serve as evidence that those feelings are real </li></ul>
  9. 9. Reasons Why Continued <ul><li>Continuing abusive patterns: self-injurers tend to have been abused as children, or in a relationship. </li></ul><ul><li>Punishing oneself for being &quot;bad&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Obtaining biochemical relief: there is some thought that adults who were repeatedly traumatized as children have a hard time returning to a &quot;normal&quot; baseline level of arousal and are, in some sense, addicted to crisis behavior. Self-harm can perpetuate this kind of crisis state </li></ul><ul><li>Diverting attention (inner or outer) from issues that are too painful to examine </li></ul><ul><li>Exerting a sense of control over one's body </li></ul><ul><li>Preventing something worse from happening </li></ul>
  10. 10. BECOMING A HABITUAL SELF INJURER IS A PROGRESSIVE PROCESS The first incident of self-injury may occur by accident, or after finding out about others who engage in this behavior The next time a similar strong feeling arises, the person has been “conditioned” to seek relief in the same way <ul><li>The person has strong feelings such as anger, fear or anxiety before an injuring event </li></ul><ul><li>These feelings build, and the person has no way to express or address them directly </li></ul><ul><li>The person feels compelled to repeat self-harm, which is likely to increase in frequency and degree </li></ul><ul><li>The person hides the tools used to injure, and covers up the evidence, often by wearing long sleeves </li></ul>Cutting or other self-injury provides a sense of relief; a release of the mounting tension Endorphins, specifically enkephalins, contribute to the 'addictive’ nature of self-injury <ul><li>A feeling of guilt and shame usually follows the event </li></ul><ul><li>The feelings of shame paradoxically lead to continued self-injurious behavior </li></ul><ul><li>When a person injures themselves endorphins are released in the body and function as natural pain killers </li></ul><ul><li>The behavior may become addictive because the person learns to associate the act of self-injury with the positive feelings they get when endorphins are released in their system </li></ul>
  11. 11. Effects of it <ul><li>Scarring </li></ul><ul><li>It upsets friends and family, and can be painful for them. </li></ul><ul><li>It quickly becomes an addiction (And yes, it can have withdrawal symptoms which are rather unpleasant) </li></ul><ul><li>You start needing to self injure more often, and in worse ways. </li></ul>
  12. 12. What to do when you find out a friend is SIing <ul><li>Be there for them, they will need all the support they can get, if they wish to stop, especially if they’ve been SIing for a long time. </li></ul><ul><li>Try to understand why they specifically have turned to self injury, and what may trigger them. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand that self-harming behavior is an attempt to maintain a certain amount of control, and keep stress under an manageable threshold </li></ul>
  13. 13. What you DON’T do <ul><li>Don’t grab their wrists, or hit where the cut, burn (ect.) is. This will only make it worse. You ESPECIALLY shouldn't say something along the lines of “Maybe then you won’t do it again.” This only makes things worse as it’ll make them feel that you don’t understand. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t give ultimatums. For example, “Either the razor goes, or I do” The last thing they need is a lack of support as they work to fight this addiction. Don’t leave them feeling alone. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t make judgmental comments or tell the person to stop the self-harming behavior, especially if you haven’t ever self injured yourself – people who feel powerless and/or worthless are even more likely to self-injure </li></ul>
  14. 14. Other ways you can help. <ul><li>Listen to them when they tell you they need to talk </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to what they are trying to say, not just the words coming out of their mouths </li></ul><ul><li>If they ask you to “just keep talking” do it, often that’s asked when they really want to self injure and are holding on to the sound of your voice instead </li></ul><ul><li>Do some of your own research to try and understand better. </li></ul>
  15. 15. If you SI and want to stop, but don’t know how to go about that. <ul><li>Fading Scars is a good online support group. (It’s a google group) You can be completely anonymous if you’d like. </li></ul><ul><li>Daily Strength has support groups as well. </li></ul><ul><li>There’s a list of things you can try instead of SI, I’m willing to give out copies if you need it, to start out with. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Who you can go to <ul><li>You can go to the guidance counselors, or a teacher. </li></ul><ul><li>Talk with a trusted friend </li></ul>
  17. 17. Different strategies for stopping. <ul><li>Drawing on yourself with red ink </li></ul><ul><li>Icecubes </li></ul><ul><li>Rubber bands-WARNING- you have to be careful with this one or it can become a new form of SI instead of helping stop </li></ul><ul><li>THERE’S THE PACKET I WILL PASS OUT TO THOSE WHO ASK. </li></ul>

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