Self-injury is not a sign of deep disturbance or madness. It is a sign of distress and of someone trying to cope with life despite great emotional pain. Many people who self injure lead successful lives and have careers and families.
Self-injury is not a failed suicide attempt. It is a way of coping with life, not dying. Injuries are seldom life threatening. An individual may want to kill the feelings – not self. It can be a way of surviving through life.
Someone who self injures is not a danger to others. Self-injuring is directed at self not at others. Most people who self injure would never consider hurting someone else, only themselves.
It is not attention seeking and should not be ignored. Everyone needs and deserves attention. For some, self-injury is a desperate attempt to draw attention to what is wrong and they should have attention paid to their distress and its causes.
Many people who self injure hide their injuries from others. Self-injury has far more to do with coping than with seeking attention.
The attention that self-injury draws is usually very negative and further hurtful for the person. Seldom does it lead to helping an individual feel better about self or relieving the distress that caused it.
Self-injury is not usually done to manipulate others. By far the most important motivation is that it helps an individual cope. It is about self – not about the effects of it on others.
Self-injury is not an addiction or habit, which should be stopped. A person hurts self because of distress and it may be a coping mechanism, which has been habitually used, but it is not the behaviour, which is the problem but the pain and distress that gives rise to it. If the person is stopped she or he may develop a different coping strategy or hide what is going on.
People who self-injury do not enjoy the pain and do feel it. Some feel nothing at the time of injuring but later suffer from the wounds or burns. They may feel that they deserve pain or it may help them cope with a deeper emotional pain but they do not enjoy it.