Sunday, March 1st, 2020, was the globally-observed Self Injury Awareness Day (also known as Self-Harm Awareness Day). Participants who want to bring awareness to this day do so in a number of ways, from writing “LOVE” on their arms, to wearing orange ribbons and many things in between.
I’ve selected a few statistics about self injury to mention today:
- Each year, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 5 males engage in self injury
- Self injury co-occurs with other behavioral health conditions, including eating disorders, depression, substance abuse and more
- Skin cutting, head banging or hitting, and burning are the more common ways self-injury manifests itself
- As of 2018, nearly 1 in 4 teen girls engaged in self-harm
- Studies conducted with university students demonstrated that 13% reporting they had engaged in self-harm more than once
Self injury can certainly be more common than many people may realize. It can also look different from person to person, so signs and symptoms can vary. If you suspect a loved one may be engaging in self harm, here are a few things to keep an eye out for:
- Scarring from cuts and burns on locations of the body that can be hidden with clothing
- Recurring new wounds such as scrapes, cuts or abrasions, lacerations, or bruises
- Impulse control difficulties
- Keeping sharp objects nearby at all times
It can be difficult to witness a loved one engaging in self-harm, or to battle with these tendencies oneself. If you discover that a loved one is self harming, it is important not to react with anger or become in denial about the matter.
At times, one can be engaging in self harm and not even be aware of it. It is important to note that if you exhibit any of these tendencies, you are not alone. It is possible to recover from self harm and get a hold of these negative impulses.
Tishanna Dillard, Marketing Operations Specialist