We’ve all been to secondary school and we are all aware of the stupid trends that go round. The latest craze. Well in my children’s school that trend is something not so great. You see the latest craze is to hurt yourself! To self-harm. ( we have reported it to the school) The kids have reported to me that several of their friends have been cutting themselves. I have even seen snap chat pictures where some of the children have used pen or make up to make it look like they have cut themselves. This is causing me quite a lot of upset.
I would like to think that my kids are sensible and wouldn’t do anything like that but with everyone else doing it, it’s very easy to give in to peer pressure. Due to this we are keeping a close eye on them and for a short while their bedroom doors need to remain open. Overprotective and a loss of privacy? Maybe but I would rather know they weren’t getting themselves into something they may later regret or that might develop. It’s hard enough having to loosen the apron strings.
What is Self-Harm
For many people self-harm is a way of them expressing their feelings. Maybe they aren’t coping too well with life and they hurt themselves as a way to deal with it.
- express something that is hard to put into words
- turn invisible thoughts or feelings into something visible
- change emotional pain into physical pain
- reduce overwhelming emotional feelings or thoughts
- have a sense of being in control
- escape traumatic memories
- have something in life that they can rely on
- punish yourself for your feelings and experiences
- stop feeling numb, disconnected or dissociated (see dissociative disorders)
- create a reason to physically care for themselves
- express suicidal feelings and thoughts without taking their own life.
What should I do if I suspect my child is self-harming?
- Talk to the person, explain that you think they may be hurting themselves and ask if there is a way you can help them.
- Try to discover the cause – There can be bigger reasons than just the latest school craze. Everything from abuse to bullying or personal problems.
- Direct them to some support and help ( I will add some useful links at the bottom of this post)
- Try not to be judgemental, in shock or anger your immediate reaction may be to shout/tell them off. This will not help so try to be understanding and just listen. Sometimes a listening ear can be the biggest help out there.
Thankfully we haven’t had to deal with it yet but the fact that so many of their friends are self-harming and behaving oddly does cause me a great concern. I would rather look out for it and know the signs in case I should have to deal with it. Not all children would be open and honest and usually there is something bigger underlying so just be mindful of any changes in behaviour.
Help and support
There is lots of help and support out there should you find yourself in a situation where yourself or someone you love appears to be self-harming
First and foremost TELL SOMEONE. I was able to highlight the issue with the school due to my children talking to me about it. If you have any worries or concerns or even if you feel like harming yourself then please tell somebody.
Young minds – Young minds is a fantastic service for young people Helping youngsters with wellbeing and Mental health issues.
National Self-Harm Network – This is an excellent support forum for people who self-harm and their friends and family. It is severely moderated due to the nature of the site.
Ele Friends – Ele friends is a safe and supportive online community where you can listen, share your experiences and be heard.
Harmless – Harmless is a network run by the users of the page. It’s a great place to discuss any self-harm problems.
If you suspect someone is self-harming please report it. You may well just save their lives
Thank you for reading