How to stop self harm

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do some people harm themselves?

Contrary to common beliefs self harm is not a suicide attempt but it’s an act taken by those who wish to live yet find it hard to deal with their pain. People who are involved in self harm usually do this because of wanting to ease the intense emotional pain they are experiencing.

By cutting themselves they experience temporary relief since the physical pain distracts their ability to experience the emotional pain they have.

Some people consider self harm a way of punishing themselves when they don’t meet their own expectations or when they fail to be up to their own standards.

Some people harm themselves because of the sense of control they feel while cutting themselves since they are the ones who choose the degree of pain and the place of injury.

How to stop self harm

Didn’t you notice that self harm is in all cases a way of escaping from your unbearable emotional problems? Can’t you see that cutting yourself might provide you with a false sense of control while in reality it’s a way to hide from your fears instead of facing them??

Self harm is no different than drinking or drug abuse. All of these bad habits can be serving the same exact purpose which is numbing your emotions or running away.

Self harm is even considered in many times a cry for help. When someone feels helpless or finds himself unable to deal with the things that are bothering him his subconscious mind might let him harm himself in order to grab the attention of those who can help him. This also proves that courage is the trait that you need in order to stop harming yourself.

Self harm can be eliminated but only when you take the decision to become brave enough to face your problems instead of escaping from them. By choosing to harm yourself instead of facing your problems you will not only be losing your respect towards yourself but you will also be degrading your self confidence.

How self understanding can prevent self harm

Lots of people cut themselves because of not being able to tolerate complex emotions that they don’t understand. If those people managed to understand these emotions their pain would have been much less and they would have taken steps to reduce these emotions instead of escaping to self harm.

In short, if you want to get rid of self harm then you should get rid of the underlying emotional problems by understanding yourself more because self harm is a symptom for lack of self understanding.

Most psychological disorders can be treated when the person decides to be brave enough to face his fears. Building courage is one of the best things you can do to yourself in order to be mentally healthy.

Unless you build courage your subconscious mind will come up with another defense right after you break the self harm habit. In short, Cut the root and be brave.

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