Self Harm: Reasons

*The following post may be triggering to those experiencing self harm urges.  Please make sure you are in a safe head space before reading.  If you or someone you know is feeling unsafe, please call a professional.  Lifeline has a great counseling service that can be reached on 13 11 14.  Alternatively head to your nearest Emergency Department.*

Tonight on Insight SBS the topic is ‘Why do people self harm?‘.  I’ll be tuning in to hear the different stories.  When I saw the topic on Twitter it got me thinking about the reasons I have self harmed, how people would be surprised at them.

I self harmed when I was happy

I self harmed when I was sad

I self harmed when I was angry

I self harmed when I was numb, feeling nothing

I self harmed when I thought about the stupid things I had done, I self harmed when I couldn’t think at all.  I self harmed when things were out of control, I self harmed when things were going well.

I think about self harm when I shave my legs, when I chop things for dinner.  I think about self harm when I see my scars, when I see another persons scars.  I think about self harm when things are stressful, when things are going well.  I think about self harm when I wake up, when I go to sleep.

Self harm is addictive.  Self harm invades your thoughts.  Self harm is with you for the rest of your life.  It is the first thing you think about when things start to go awry.

Self harm is not a one size fits all.  There is no ONE reason why someone, or anyone self harms.  The reasons can change from day to day.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT

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24 thoughts on “Self Harm: Reasons

  1. Kathy

    A very brave post and honest understanding that self-harm is an issue that never goes away – I hope the SBS program expands understanding in the community.

    1. Tegan Post author

      It felt very clinical and didn’t really delve into the whys behind it as much as I thought it would. I guess though with the time constraints they did a decent job and maybe it will push people to seek out more information.

  2. Becc

    We all do this in different ways. Your version of self harm is by inflicting physical pain, mine is to self sabotage. It is not really that hard to understand when you put it in another context. You may never repeat the same ridiculous patterns I do, just as I can’t possibly think of causing myself physical harm and yet the result is exactly the same.
    This has opened my eyes as I never did understand the concept before and I am grateful for that.

    1. Tegan Post author

      I’m glad that you were able place it into a context that was relevant to you. We all self harm in different ways, but it’s when those behaviours begin to have a negative impact on our day to day life that it begins to pose a problem.

    1. Tegan Post author

      I often find myself dwelling on what if scenarios. Like what if this knife slipped and sliced open my hand etc. I wonder if it’s the same sort of thought process for yourself?

  3. Twitchy

    Wow Tegan, another eye-opening and brutally honest post. I’m sorry you go through this, even when you’re happy? Not easy to understand but thanks for sharing it. Hopefully more will now. #teamIBOT

    1. Tegan Post author

      At the worst parts of my depression and self loathing I often felt that I didn’t deserve to feel happy and so would self harm to punish myself.

    1. Tegan Post author

      Honestly I was a little disappointed. It seemed to skim over things a fair bit, which I think was probably because of the time constraints and it being in a forum set up.

    1. Tegan Post author

      Did you watch it? I found it a bit disappointing in content but I am glad that it was handled in a thoughtful way.

  4. Emma Fahy Davis

    I love your honesty Tegan, it’s so real. I don’t self-harm, but my OCD manifests in some pretty crazy rituals and repetitions that are equally as compulsive. It’s terrifying to think that despite my desperate need for control, the OCD controls me a lot of the time…

  5. Toni @ Finding Myself Young

    Yep, exactly the same thing. What if I chopped my finger off while I’m cutting the carrot, what if I accidentally grate my hand, what if the knife falls off the bench and lands on my foot. Of course it never happens and I wouldn’t purposefully do it. I think mine is more to do with my anxiety disorder than actual self harm maybe.

  6. Kat McNally

    Hello Tegan!
    How are you travelling? Can you believe we’re on the cusp of December?
    I thought you might like to know that I am hosting Reverb again this year. It’d be a privilege to have you join us.
    Everything you need to know can be found at:
    We kick off on Sunday and it is going to be AMAZING. Hope to see you there!
    Kat xxx
    PS Thank you for your bravery in sharing this. Love.

  7. Pingback: The numbers don't matter | Musings of the Misguided

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