What is self-mutilation?
Self-mutilation means injuring oneself. It can take different forms: cuts, scratches, burns, blows to the head, drug overdoses, etc.
Self-mutilation = Suicidal thoughts?
Someone who self-mutilates is trying to manage overly intense emotions by using a negative strategy. Often, the injuries they inflict on themselves aren’t an attempt to end their life but instead a clumsy way of fighting against emotional distress.
• To express intense, painful emotions when the person feels overwhelmed
• To relieve psychological pain and distress
• To ask for help and support
• To get the impression of controlling a situation where they’re afraid of losing control
• To calm a feeling of emptiness or numbness
Risks or dangers
The relief that self-mutilation may give doesn’t last. But the scars will be permanent. Self-mutilation can also drag you into a vicious circle: your emotions are too intense, you harm yourself, the emotions don’t disappear, they grow… you feel guilty and powerless, and your self-mutilation grows more and more frequent and dangerous.
Express your painful emotions
There are different ways of expressing your painful emotions: scream into a pillow, let off steam in sports, cry, use art (drawing, singing, etc.), take deep breaths. Repeat to yourself that you can control your desire to hurt yourself, that this desire doesn’t control you. Write a positive word on the part of your body that you hurt most often. You can also call a friend to help you or contact Tel-jeunes.