Understanding the Dangers of Self Inflicted Harm

It is true that thinking is the most important mental process which enables us to set goals and plans, to learn, reflect and create.  Some people for some reason develop negative thinking which consequently impacts their well-being.   Many people fail to realize that our thinking is the cornerstone of our destiny as our thinking determines how far we go in life.  Therefore, most of us have never realized the importance of having a positive attitude in life which starts from the way we think.   Self- inflicted harm which is the by- product of self-inflicting behavior comes from negative thinking.  The issue of self-inflicting behavior has become a common problem in teenagers, young adults and even adults.  The increase in cases of self-inflicted harm suggests that negative emotions such as frustration, depression, anger; anxiety and fear are tormenting people as never before. However dealing with this issue requires a positive attitude which begins with a positive thinking on the part of sufferer.  Albeit Einstein said that “we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

However before discussing how to deal with self- inflicting behavior let us consider what self – inflicting harm actually is and what causes people to fall prey to it.  Carving, scratching, branding, marking, burning, pulling hair, picking skin, biting, cutting, head banging, bruising, hitting and ingesting poisonous materials are the symptoms of self-inflicted harm.  However, the most common symptoms of self- harm behavior are either cutting or resorting to drugs.  The reason that some individuals subsequently develop self- harm behavior is that they feel cheated, betrayed or abandoned at some point in time.   According to a study teenage sufferers of self-inflicting behavior are either cheated or bullied by friends or had a neglected childhood.  Whereas adult sufferers use self –inflicting harm as a method to distract their attention from painful incidents such as marriage problems, work or parenting issues.   Since betraying, cheating, bullying and ridiculing others has become quite a common practice with some people therefore more and more victims of self-inflicting behavior are  being witnessed. According to a study some sufferer often cuts themselves as they feel emotional relief after cutting while others feel relieved of stress as they see their blood oozing out. Often time’s people lump deliberate self-harms with suicidal behavior however in reality both are different. Suicide is meant to end pain and misery with death whereas self-harm is an outlet for agony.  Self- harm is dangerous as individuals often get addicted to the short lived feelings of relief and calm. However, these feelings are short lived and usually are followed by feelings of guilt and shame causing the sufferer to further resort in self-harm.  Most of the sufferers of self – harm behavior end up in trouble when they resort to substance abuse in an attempt to reduce their agony. It has been observed that sufferers of self- harm when under the influence of drugs cause more harm to themselves.  An intoxicated sufferer can either cut himself more brutally indeliberately ending up dead or he may deliberately commit suicide.

According to experts sufferers of self- harm must try alternative methods in order to vent their frustration and negative feelings.  For instance, patients are advised to rip up or punch a pillow or to read an interesting book or engage in physical activities such as jogging, swimming etc.  There are plenty of alternatives suggested by experts that can help the sufferers to reduce their agony. However the success of this treatment requires a positive attitude and the determination of forgetting past experiences and moving ahead in life. As Zig Ziglar rightly said Positive thinking will let do everything better than negative thinking will.



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