My ‘Logical List’ of reasons to avoid/reduce my self-harm

If you struggle with self-harm you are not alone. It is a behavour that is often misunderstood and requires more sensitive treatment from health care professionals. When I feel the urge come on, I quickly think or look at this list to remind me that self-harming also has its consequences. If you are someone who struggles with mental health issues I encourage you to develop your own individualized list.

1. Healing.
It takes months for the wounds to heal which means many additional medical appointments, scans, and dressings

2. It’s Expensive.
To be seen immediately in private care it costs approximately $300-500 to have my injuries treated.

3. Waiting.
Waiting in a public hospital can be very stressful. Longer waiting times also increases the likelihood of your self-injury becoming infected.

4. Daily Activities Disrupted.
The pain interferes with my normal routines including exercise, doing art, showering and just general mobility. Sleeping patterns also become disrupted due to pain.

5. Addiction.
Once you start it’s harder to stop. It is a short term solution for a long-term issue

6. Dressing gets Harder.
Your clothes stick to your wounds. You may also decide to cover your injuries from the public. This can be more difficult during hotter climates and seasons.

7. Being Misunderstood.
This includes the behaviour resulting being called false names and labels.

8. Feeling Guilty.
I often feel guilty after I have self-harmed, like a sense that I have failed to utilize other coping mechanisms. In this case, I tell myself “You are doing the best you can to cope with the distress you are experiencing”.

9. Physical Touch.
Lily (my dog) and other people accidentally touch my wounds without knowing. This can be quite painful.

10. Hypersensitivity.
Due to the disruption of the nerve endings you may have injured, you are likely to experience an increased sensation in that area. This creates uncomfortable sensations when wearing certain clothes or applying sunscreen. For example, some of my old scars still throb which can lead to chronic pain.

11. Insensitive Comments.
Unfortunately, people do not understand why people self-harm and when they try to help their advice can be quite stigmatising. For example, I had a doctor tell me that because I was married, attractive and no longer a teenager I should not be self-harming.

12. More Medical Appointments.
Driving to additional appointments for wound management can be very tiring and stressful!

13. Satisfaction.
I feel more empowered and satisfied when I have used another coping strategy to overcome the powerful an distressing emotions.

14. Being Reminded.
The scars remind you of the trauma you have been through when you want to forget and move forward.

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