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  • Dr Mahathi Chavali

Cuts and Bruises

What are the reason people self harm and how can we prevent them?

Pain. The crushing feeling of despair. The inadequacy with comparison. What do all these emotions have in common? Well for starters, they push those who bear them down the road of depression, which in turn leads to many unfortunate coping mechanisms. One being, self harm. Did you know that approximately 18% of the adolescent population self harms? Of that population, more than 50% are female. Self harm has now become one of the go to methods to cope with problems. We may assume that self harm requires suicidal intent, however that is not always the case. The definition boils down to purely behavioral actions that include many risk taking activities. There are various categories that fall under this definition. The two main ones being : Self - injury and Self - poisoning , as stated by a journal from Cambridge University.

Why do many people fall victim to these risky behaviors even though they know that they are potentially harmful, even life threatening? Many people find it as an easy escape from their turmoil, rather than coming on terms with situations. Be it anxiety, depression, guilt, or even for a sense of control self harm is not the cure. Then what can we do? If you or those around you are victims of self harm, here are some ways to help out: Acceptance - we all know coming on terms with reality can be quite daunting, but its very important to acknowledge what has happened. Then only can we work to cross that bridge. Asking for help - If you recognize yourself in this article, it's never too late to reach out. There are many people including family ,friends, and medical professionals to help you overcome this journey. Being a part of the support system - when you know someone who has similar behaviors or traits, it's good to check up on them once in a while. We never know, our conversation may be the one that helps them pause. Alternatives - finding a healthy coping mechanism may take time and effort. We all have a predilection to go back to old habits and no one has ever said it would be easy. Keep trying and one day it will all be worth it. Speak out - as someone who may have been in a particular situation as this and gotten out, you are an inspiration. Let your journey provide hope for others and never be scared to speak about it. Whatever may be the reason, we all have a responsibility to make sure those in our lives, and ourselves, do not fall prey to self harm. If a single conversation can change the course of a life, don't you think that we should all lend our ears to those fighting their battles? It would help make this world a better place

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