Self-harm is when a person willfully damages or injures their body. March 1st is Self-injury Awareness Day, this annual occasion is a chance to raise awareness about self-injury and self-harm and break down the typical stereotypes wrapping around them. Here we discuss some of the most typical myths surrounding self-injury and self-harm.
Stereotypes are widely held opinions about the traits and behaviors of a group of individuals that infrequently reflect reality or might even cause a borderline disorder. There are many harmful stereotypes associated with cognitive health, most of which can be attributed to a scarcity of understanding; these stereotypes have led to a robust social shame attached to mental ill-health, which often harms the lives of people with mental health problems. In particular, many negative stereotypes and myths connect to self-harm.
Myth: Self-injury isn’t common
The exact number of how many people self-harm in the general population is hard to decide. The available study likely misrepresents how common self-harm is; printed studies are usually based on people seeking help at a hospital or their primary healthcare provider after harming themselves (so-called clinical samples). However, numerous people who self-harm do not seek help, meaning that these clinical samples do not represent self-injury speeds in the general population.
Posted rates of non-suicidal self-injury differ hugely between studies. A recent meta-analysis found that many dissimilarities in the majority rates informed in non-clinical samplings are likely due to different descriptions of self-harm manners and other assessment methods between studies. After adjustment for methodological aspects, the experimenters estimated the pooled lifetime majority of NSSI to be 13.4% among young adults, 17.2% among adolescents, and 5.5% among grown-ups. As these formations show, people of all ages self-injury – it is not just a teenager – but there are far fewer data available about the rates of self-injury in adults.
It is frequently assumed that women and girls are more likely to engage in self-harm. However, the proof in the printed literature is incompatible, depending on the country, age range, and sample type (e.g., clinical, college, community).
A current meta-analysis, which comprised 120 studies that contain demographically diverse samples, suggests that “women are slightly more than men to engage in NSSI.” However, the overall momentum of NSSI determined among males (26.36%) was still extremely high. They also encountered that “the gender difference was larger in clinical samplings resembled both community and college samples,” proposing that males who engage in NSSI may be less likely to seek help.
Myth: People who self-harm are suicidal
Sometimes, self-harm is viewed as a suicide attempt by people who don’t understand it. By its very definition, NSSI describes the intentional destruction of one’s body tissue without suicidal intent and for purposes not socially sanctioned. It is an emotion regulation strategy for most people who self-harm – trying to cope with complicated feelings and affairs.
Despite the reality that there is a junction between self-harm, women's addiction and suicide – those who self-harm are at greater risk than the broad population – many more self-harm than commit suicide. However, some people who self-harm also have suicidal emotions and might try to take their own life, which is why we should always take self-harm seriously!