This research seeks to investigate self-harming in the society. It also investigates the trends of self-harming and the reasons that explain why individual do this act. This study is particularly essential because this issue affects lives of people in the society and seeks to clarify some of contentious issues surrounding this behavior. The research explicates a self-harm behavior, most effective treatment and concludes by giving a theory that seeks to explain that behavior. The scholars have more or less agreed about my topic, and my paper argues for a better interpretation.
A comparative case study is the methodology that this study utilizes. The utilization of the comparative case study is because of abundance of information dealing with the topic of discussion. In addition, by looking at past researches on the topic of discussion, this research ascertains various opinions made concerning self-harming. It also establishes ways to prevent self-harming among individuals.
Self-harm is committed when someone purposely damages his body. However, self-harming is nonconforming to the intention of committing suicide, but as a way of expressing deep emotional dissatisfaction in individual life such as negative self-esteem, hypersensitivity to rejection and suppressed anger and sadness among others. Some of the examples of self-harm includes; cutting the skin, burning the skin, use of friction to burn skins, bruising of one’s skin, refusal to take needed medication, hitting one’s self, destructive or dangerous behavior such drugs and substance abuse among others (Block, Smith, & Segal, 2010).
Cutting of one’s body
People dealing with past trauma or facing a variety of frustrating issues in their lives have resulted into self-harm as a solution to their problems. The most common example of self-harm behavior is cutting of one’s body. Cutting and self-injury may make one committing self-harm a bit relaxed but then results to a permanent pain, which renders the act useless. Therefore, this makes the act unattractive way of dealing with the stresses. Cutting is not easily seen because those who commit the act may feel shameful and thus device ways to conceal their act. Therefore, it is not easy to identify people believed to have cut their skin because of clothing, which covers physical injuries, and the victim can as well hide the inner feeling by assuming calm composition. Some of the characteristics of cutting that one should be on a look out to identify one who has self-harmed himself comprise the following.
The self-harmer may have unexplained wounds over their bodies. This may result from the tendency of inflicting pain in their body by cutting themselves. These unexplained wounds can be inform of fresh or scars resulting from cuts usually in the wrist, arms, thighs, neck or chest (Block, Smith, & Segal, 2010).
Another sign of self-harm is an indication of sense of depression expressed by the party believed to have mutilated his / her body. How individual behaves and feels may show the presence of cuts in the body (Hyman, 2000). For example, the presence of bad moods expressed by an individual may result from the presence of cuts in the body or intention to commit such act in the near future to run away from the reality. Other things that can show depression in individual includes low self-esteem, tearfulness, lack of motivation and loss of energy, which can result to self-mutilation (Hyman, 2000).
The individual explanation for the causes of scars or fresh cuts in the body can be a sign for the self-injury mostly where the explanation given does not make sense. Therefore, someone who claims to be involved in frequent accidents as results of his clumsy behavior may shoe high likelihood of involvement in self-harm.
Cutting of one’s body may also result in covering up of the parts that sustain those types of injury. The act of covering up can be evident in cases where one keeps on always wearing long sleeves, to cover up the scars present on the arms. This will be associated, with individual uneasiness, to relate well in the society for fear of stigma (Motz, 2009).
Self-harm also reaches addictive point in some individual at a certain stage in life. In addictive stage individual tends to believe that the self-harm to be the only solution to the problem or depression is undergoing. When individual becomes an addict will be terribly adamant to change in the behavior, which may make him unable to relate well with other people in the society (Plante, 2007).
Cutting of one’s body as a way of expression of deep feelings may result to shame or fear of social stigma. This will make individual perceive themselves less wanted in the society which instead of solving the problem, tends to worsen the situation by putting that individual in a worse situation of inability to cope with societal life (Block, Smith, & Segal, 2010).
Some individuals mutilate their bodies in an attempt to catch attention or gain sympathy. Therefore, this makes them do anything to gain the attention, which can result into fatal body harming. As a result, the individual's health gets affected making him be less efficient in the general conduct of activities to support him in life (Block, Smith, & Segal, 2010).
Self mutilation inform of cutting oneself body part as a way to express deep emotional dissatisfaction is not a good thing, as supported by the impact of the act on the general well being of individual in society. It is pertinent for individual to feel appreciated in the society for him to function well. Therefore, anything that results the individual to the negative perception of the societal way of life may create more problems rather than solving the problems. Self-harming has a negative effect on the individual body. For example, cutting of once body as earlier on pointed may crate permanent pain in one’s life associated with nursing of the wounds already created.
Most effective treatment
Accorrding to Motz (2009) it may prove extremely challenging for one to get out of this behavior of self-mutilation, but there are mechanisms that can prove fruitful in achieving this objective. The effort to recovery may be very challenging and may wish one to maintain the original status quo of continuity of self-mutilation. However, with the help of family, friends and professional along side with self-reflection one can realize this dream of liberation from these cycles of self-mutilation. The following steps comprise treatment of self-harm.
The first step is for individual to decide to stop committing such behavior. This is paramount step as change starts within. Therefore, it is essential for an individual to question their need for change (Block, Smith, & Segal, 2010). This will enable assess his motivation of changing, which will build up the desire to change and assessing the strength and weaknesses in the process of change he wants. Another fundamental consideration in the decision-making process is deciding when the individual would like to change. This is crucial as it gives the set period for accomplishment of plans and realization of goals. In addition, this helps individual to be prepared mentally in the effort of stopping self-mutilation. However, the set time should be realistic to avoid future frustration. This should lead to the next crucial step of acknowledging that self-mutilation aims at self-soothing the individual in question (Smith, 2006).
The next step is confiding in someone about the thing that you have kept secret for the duration of time. This may appear impossible thing to do keeping in mind that you did intended for long duration, to remain silent about the matter. The individual should confide to the right person; someone whom cannot gossip and the one who can understand the sensitivity of the matter, and can help that individual in remaining in the right truck towards recovery. In this stage, it is important for individual to disclose all material fact to relieve him from pain and anxiety that could lead to disastrous ending. Individual should set boundary by answering only questions that he feels comfortable to answer; this will help build cordial relationship between the individual and the confiding party (Smith, 2006).
Individual addresses self-harm by first acknowledging that the issue is a problem and need to stop doing it. Secondly, self-harm treatment involves talking to a mentor. Thirdly, identifying all factors that individual believes to be the fueling agents of the self-harming act. This will give the individual upper hand in deciding and coming up with measures of addressing the problem. Finally, the individual should figure out what role self-injury serve in his life and the impact to the way of life in terms of how he fits in the society. This will enable the individual to substitute self-harm with other method, which well as well put the problem in question to rest (Plante, 2007).
Theory explaining why people cut themselves
According to the Linehan’s biosocial theory, having negative feelings can fuel one to commit self-harm in following ways: Firstly, she believes that the individual problem solving, and emotional solving is interfered when one is angry or feels ashamed. Secondly, shame-related emotions can directly lead an individual to punish himself by inflicting pain. Anger and shame reduces the chances of one solving the problem at hand, by making them keep to themselves what could have been otherwise been solved. Anger, specifically inhibits the possibility of achieving cordial relationship been the individual and the party that could have been involved to find a lasting solution. Those individuals that perceived more likely to self-mutilate themselves are the one perceived to suffer from borderline personality disorder (BPD). BPD is critical condition characterized by abnormal functioning of emotions, behavior and cognition (Linehan, 2000).
Therefore, following the Linehan’s biosocial theory inability of individual to function well experienced inform of emotional dysfunction, behavior abnormality and lack of cognition may cause self-harm due to one or more of the following ways; negative self-esteem, extreme anxiety, extremely sensitive to rejection, substance abuse disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder among other factors (Linehan, 2000).
Although self-harm is justified by some individual as proved by the reported cases, there are many cases not featured because of the tendency of those who commit the act trying to conceal their acts because of the shame attached to the act. As pointed self-harm ranges from various acts, which to some extent individual may even be unaware that they are already involved in that cycle. However, in most cases self-harm proves to be disastrous as it does not solve the problem instead it procrastinate the required action leading to further complication. Therefore, other means of solving depression, emotional anxiety and stressful encounters in life need adoption instead of relying on the cutting-self-harming act. Those who do the act need care because in most cases, they are oblivious of their act. In addition, they need assistance during rehabilitation to good well being.