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Self Injury What Is It? And How Can You Help. Mrs. Foan & Mrs. VanWormer.

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Presentation on theme: "Self Injury What Is It? And How Can You Help. Mrs. Foan & Mrs. VanWormer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Self Injury What Is It? And How Can You Help. Mrs. Foan & Mrs. VanWormer


3 Self Injurious Behavior  Definition : Self-injury (self-harm, self-inflicted violence, self- mutilation) can be defined as the attempt to deliberately cause harm to one's own body and the injury is usually severe enough to cause tissue damage. This is not a conscious attempt at suicide, though some people may see it that way.  Most commonly known as “cutting”.  Other forms of self injurious behavior: burning, branding, punching, pinching, head banging, hair pulling, scab picking, bruising oneself and drinking harmful/painful chemicals.

4 Why Do Teens Self-Injure:  Self-injury is their way to cope with or relieve painful, hard-to-express, or overwhelming negative emotions/feelings.  Teenagers often report they have no adult to talk with or people who accept them for who they are.  Set off by certain events.

5 Why Do Teens Self-Injur :  Teens don’t know how to express regarding anger and sadness.  They turn emotional pain on themselves.  Anger from emotional to physical.

6 Types of Self Injury:  The rarest and most extreme form is Major self- mutilation. This form usually results in permanent disfigurement, i.e. limb amputation  Second type is Stereo-typic self-mutilation which usually consists of head banging, eyeball pressing and biting.  The third and most common form is Superficial self-mutilation which usually involves cutting, burning, hair-pulling, bone breaking, hitting, interference with wound healing and basically any method used to harm oneself.

7 Superficial self-injury…..”cutting”

8 Facts & Research Facts & Research  estimated 1% of the US population and rising – population currently 300 million -  higher proportion of females than males  onset of self injury is at puberty  middle to upper class  average to high intelligence, and has low self-esteem

9 Injurers Background  Sexual abuse  Physical abuse  Unstable home life- “lack of love”  Family substance abuse issues  Learned from a friend “contagious”  Early childhood loss : mother, father, close relative  Bullied at school  Feelings of helplessness  Depression  Mental Health diagnosis

10 Cutting …….

11 More Cutting and Burning…..

12 Why Injure???  It's a way for them to have some control over their own bodies when they feel they can't cope with anything else.  Some see it as a way of being able to feel when they feel empty about everything else.  Self-injurers commonly report they feel empty inside, over or under stimulated, lonely, and/or not understood by others.


14 Feelings:  Fear of Abandonment  Failure (real or imagined)  Anger Issues  For Comfort  As a form of punishment  To avoid showing emotions to another person  To avoid appearing weak (real or imagined)  Hate toward another or hatred toward self  Embarrassment  Guilt, Fear, Sadness  To avoid feeling  Overwhelming emotions  When all other coping mechanisms no longer work When all other coping mechanisms no longer work When all other coping mechanisms no longer work

15 Warning Signs  Unexplained frequent injuries scars (cuts & burns).  Clothing – long pants and sleeves even during warm seasons.  Poor school performance.  Friendship/relationship problems.  Isolation at home.


17 Why Is It Negative???  Never addresses the true trauma, stress, or unbearable situation that led to initial cutting.  Problems remain and tend to get worse.  Often the cutting increases as the internal pain continues.  Deeper cuts lead to accidental suicide.  Scars that remain years after cutting has stopped, causing other “issues”.

18 Negative Cycle of Self Injury

19 Scarred for Life

20 More Scarring

21 Mental Health Concerns: People who self-injure tend to have more psychological problems such as : –Borderline personality disorder –Substance abuse disorders –Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) –Antisocial personality –Eating disorders –Depression –Suicide

22 You Might Feel:  Upset - because they are hurt.  Worried - you're not sure how to help.  Anger - that they could do something to hurt themselves, or at whatever has made them feel so bad.  Frustrated or helpless - because you don't know what to do.  Wanting to take care of them all the time.  Shocked - at the injury, or you didn't know they felt so bad.  Confused - because you don't understand why.  Resentful - that they hurt themselves even though you are trying to help.  Guilty - for feeling you don't help them.  Scared that your friend might damage him or herself seriously or even die.  Responsible for how your friend is.  Scared about involving someone else and scared if you don't.

23 What You Can Say:  I don’t know how to help you.  Is there a way I can help you when it gets bad.  I’m sorry you are hurting so much.  Can you help me learn more about cutting (self-injury)?

24 What Not To Say:  Why don’t you just stop.  You shouldn’t do this. Your life can’t be that bad.  I could never do that.  That’s disgusting.  You’re doing it for attention.

25 What to do:  Educate yourself about cutting (self-injury).  Show the person you care.  Encourage counseling.  Understand that change takes time.  Get support for yourself (seek out a counselor to help you!)  Your friends safety is important!!!!

26 What Not To Do:  Don’t call it self-mutilation.  Don’t threaten.  Don’t avoid them.  Don’t make person show their scars.  Don’t avoid the topic as if not happening.  Don’t blame yourself.  Don’t force them to talk, just be there when they need you.

27 Cutters Artwork

28 Self-Injury Awareness Day  March 1, 2010  Raise awareness of Self-Injury.  Wear ribbons of orange.

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