Self Harm Awareness Day: March 1st 2014

Ok so here we are at Self Harm Awareness Day again. A very important day to me. I know self harm is a symptom of many different mental illnesses but still we live in a world where it is seen as something that is ’emo’ or ‘attention seeking’. This needs to change and Self Harm Awareness Day is a big part of it.

Self Harm is a difficult thing to deal with. Having been someone who self harms for near on 11 years, I have received all sorts of reactions. These reactions have included a fair few negative ones. What is most surprising is that some of these negative reactions have come from medical professionals. These negative reactions need to change.

Someone who self harms is someone who is dealing with immense emotional pain. This pain is something that that person needs help to deal with and for them at that time self harm is their coping mechanism. The last thing they need is to have negative comments that add to that emotional pain. I understand that self harm can be difficult to understand for those who don’t do it, but that’s why awareness is all the more important.

I have had medical professionals who need to be made aware that this is a symptom of a much greater issue and needs to be treated as such. Just stopping isn’t that easy. It takes time and can be a long battle with slip ups along the way. Having a medical professional who understands this makes the journey that bit easier. Please understand we don’t really want to hurt ourselves it is just that our emotional pain is currently more than our resources to deal with it. What we need from our medical professionals is to be taught some more resources to cope with what is going on.

Now to anyone who is reading this, who is trying to understand more about self harm or be there for someone who self harms I have a message to you. I’m grateful that you are taking the time to understand and I’m sure that the person you may be trying to support would/will be grateful for this as well. You may find that it is hard supporting someone with this and I urge you to find support for yourself as well.

My final message is to anyone who is dealing with self harm. You are not alone. Stand proud as you have no reason to be ashamed, no matter what anyone has told you. You and your scars are beautiful. Things will change.

Finally to you all: Together we can change things and raise awareness.

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