I've had this topic come up a lot again recently for various different reasons and I'm feeling drawn to talk about it but not in this sense.
I feel as though I'm supposed to talk about this in a church setting, and so on starting to get that prepared I came across something interesting, to me at least.
These statistics may be a little outdated (the last time the site was updated was around 2002), however to me they're still interesting. I always figured that cutting and burning would be the main forms of self harm but never really thought that self-hitting would be so close behind. Cutting and burning are the main ones we hear about.
- Cutting: 72
Burning: 35 percent
Self-hitting: 30 percent
Interference w/wound healing: 22 percent
Hair pulling: 10 percent
Bone breaking: 8 percent
Multiple methods: 78 percent (included in above)
The rate of self injury, or the awareness of it at least is becoming more prevalent in today's society, which is a good thing for me.. the awareness that is, not the fact of people doing it.
I'll be honest, I'm scared talking about this infront of my entire church, though it's even yet to be organised for me to do so, but God will give me the opportunity I'm sure. It's a hard topic for me to talk about still as it's something you hold so close and keep guarded to the best of your abilities, and then to feel as though your to talk to... who knows how many people... about it openly, is quite a confronting thought. I think a whole 3 or 4 people in the church apart from myself know that I did this.
I was at a workshop recently with Suz, my youth pastor, and there I was in a room full of professionals, or people studying to be professionals in the youth work or mental health areas. I managed to just not burst out into a blubbering mess, which I had the week or 2 before that, at another church where a 22 year old had got up and talked about her struggle with self injury. Through the workshop and trying not to turn intto a blubbering mess however it was highly interesting to have someone talk openly about their journey and what they think would have helped them and what wouldn't have at certain points throughout their journey.
I think a lot of people don't realise that self harm is just a symptom of other issuees that need to be dealt with and once those issues are dealt with, the self harming behaviours may subside or be eassier to discuss and help give alternatives when they need to cope with a strenuous and stressful situation.
I'm now just rambling and good on you if you have got this far with this post as I'm sure most of it doesn't make sense.