2The Basics What is self-injury? Self injury is the deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one’s self.What are some common terms used to describe it:Self-Injury (preferred term)Self-MutilationCutting
3Incidence & OnsetAn estimated 1% of the U.S. population are self-injurers.Incidence is higher in females than males.Typical onset is at puberty.Behaviors often last 5-10 years, but can last longer.
4Background of Self-Injurers Middle to upper class background .Average to high intelligence.Low self-esteem.Nearly 50% report physical/sexual abuse during childhood.Many report (as high as 90%), that they were discouraged from expressing emotion.
5Behavior Patterns Associated with Self-Injury Cutting arms and legs.Trying to hide scars or cuts with long clothing.Eating disorders and substance abuse.
6Reasons for Self-Injury Feelings of emptiness.Over/under stimulation.Inability to express feelings.Loneliness.Not being understood by others.Adult responsibilities.Provides a way to cope.Gives a sense of relief, although this relief is temporary.
7Dangers Could result in more harm than intended. Sense of desperation resulting from the lack of self-control.Could lead to suicide.Eating disorders and substance abuse can intensify the struggle.
8Do you struggle with self injury? What should you do? Talk with a mental health professional.Pursue treatment.Lots of options exist for treating the issues associated with self injury. If you are involved in self-injury, seek assistance from a trained health care provider.
10About the creator of this bulletin board: Christa Sandelier is currently serving as the Area Coordinator for the Jester Center at the University of Texas in Austin. She received her Bachelor's degree at Delaware Valley College in PA and her Master's at Shippensburg University in PA. After spending time as a Residence Director and working on her Master's at Shippensburg University she worked as an Area Coordinator at Colorado State University. Christa has written a number of works for Reslife.Net and also co-authored a chapter for ACUHO-I's Pursuing a Career in Housing. She has also served as a panelist for an audio conference for Paperclip Communications on supervision. Christa is an active member in ACPA, serving on the Placement Center Committee. She is looking to begin her doctorate in the near future.