There are many misconceptions around the reasons why young people self-harm with false statements like ‘teenagers who self-harm are only doing it to get attention from others’ and ‘because the injuries done by the young person are superficial it is a phase they will simply grow out of’ being just a few examples.
People who self-harm may do so due to issues related to depression, low self-esteem, bullying, divorce, grief, physical or mental abuse as well as many other life altering episodes which have triggered a stress response in the self-injuring person.
When a young person self-harms it may follow a particular pattern, but sometimes it is more random. The methods used to self-harm are many, with examples being cutting, pulling, biting, burning, overeating, not eating, throwing up and abusing drugs or alcohol.
If your child self-harms, it could be that they would recognise some of these thoughts ‘when I hurt myself, it feels like it is the only thing I am in control of’ or ‘I do it because I deserve to be punished’ or maybe the thought is ‘no one cares anyway, and it helps me feeling less numb’. Whatever your child’s thoughts are, as a parent, you can discover ways to help your child. Together you can work towards identifying your child’s reasons for injuring themselves, and how you can support your child to stop self-harming.
One of the first thing you would discuss is whether your child feels ready to make a change and that they are willing to consider stopping hurting themselves. In our Boost Young Minds course, you will find the best way for your child to express themselves and share their feelings in a more healthy way. You will receive support from me to help your child change negative perceptions and sensations to get rid of the stress, anxiety, fear, insomnia or pain your child may be experiencing.
Also, to ensure you provide the right support in your home environment, we will cover how you can improve the communication within your family by discussing how everyone can best support each other. As an example, it could be that your child wishes that you have a better understanding of the feelings and thoughts they are are experiencing, and possibly for you to stop judging them!
I always recommend that you initially seek advice and support from your GP as they need to be aware of your child’s current situation. Following this, I encourage you to sign up for my online course to discover the tools from a range of alternative and healthy solutions. These will help your child overcome their addictive behaviour of self-harming.
You have taken a great step today by researching solutions for self-harming, I hope you are ready to take the next step. Have a look at my Boost Young Minds course, or send me an email to discuss your concerns if you have any further questions. When you get in touch with me, there will be no pressure to proceed further. If you simply want to have some of your questions answered that is absolutely fine.