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Equilibrium - Self Harmony

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Equilibrium is an unique award winning user-led self injury awareness organisation designed to help educate and support people who self harm and their family and friends. Self Injury is becoming a widely used coping mechanism amongst teenagers and young adults; in recent years the number of people who use self harm has escalated massively and healthcare professionals are referring to it as an epidemic.

We aim to educate, inform and research into the depths of the self injury phenomenon. This site will also offer a comprehensive guide to coping with self harm and its vast array of dependant mindsets.

Self injury / self harm (SI) is the act of physically hurting yourself on purpose without the intent of committing suicide. It is a method of coping during an emotionally difficult time that helps some people temporarily feel better because they have a way to physically express and release the tension and the pain they hold inside. In other people hurting themselves produces chemical changes in their bodies that make them feel happier and more relaxed.

Five key components identify and define SI:

  • SI is a harmful act done to yourself. Do not mistake lashing out in anger at others as SI.

  • SI is only done by yourself. If anyone else does something to you that causes pain this is not SI.

  • An act of SI must include some sort of physical violence. Emotionally punishing yourself (calling yourself a bitch or thinking you're stupid, ugly, etc.) is not SI.

  • An act of SI is not done with the intention of killing yourself. People who slit their wrists to kill themselves, even though they have harmed their body, are not self injuring.

  • SI is done intentionally. Not accidentally, but with the intent purpose of hurting yourself.

The origin of SI is usually difficult to determine or understand. Many people are unable to remember where they first got the idea of hurting themselves, and when they actually began to SI.

But a small number of people develop SI through observational learning (a process where a person learns a behaviour by watching someone else do it). The chances of most people actually seeing another person SI are very slim, but in places such as psychiatric hospitals and prisons the odds are much higher. Remember, the chances of this happening are very small.

People who SI usually begin by cutting themselves with a knife, razor blade, or other sharp object. From there the person tries other forms of SI, such as burning, hitting, etc., until they find their preferred method.

Incidents of SI peak in the early to mid-twenties. Often because of the great changes that occur, and the new responsibilities and roles that produce great stress in an individual. But, often, SI incidents decrease with age, and most people stop self injuring altogether by the time they reach their thirties.

Remember, this is the typical course of SI. There are people who begin self injuring at a very young age, or at an old age. Some continue to hurt themselves after they reach their thirties. Everybody's experience is different.

  • We are a user-led online community

  • We do not promote self injury

  • The views expressed by members do not necessarily reflect those of Equilibrium

Some of the information on this page originated from http://www.self-injury.net

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"Joining the forum helped me realise that I'm not the only one who suffers like this and reading all the information inspired me to get some help. I'm not better yet but now I'm heading in the right direction. Thank you to everyone who helps to run this site."
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Self Harmony


Site last updated 19/01/13 at 16:23


If you are looking for Self Harmony Counselling Services, please click here (This service is not a part of Equilibrium)