Self-harm is any deliberate, non-suicidal behavior, that inflicts physical harm on one’s body, and is aimed at relieving emotional distress. Because emotional pain is harder to deal with than physical pain, some people use self-harm as a way for pain to be “seen.” Others find self-harm as a way to make the pain they feel on the inside match what they look like on the outside. Still others, find the reasoning behind self-harm hard to explain but use it as a means to feel alive or feel something at all.
SELF-HARM CAN INCLUDE:
- Banging limbs
- Bone breaking
- Hair pulling
- Eating disorders (binging and purging, intentional starvation)
- Infecting oneself
- Inserting objects into skin
Approximately 4% of the US population self-harms. It is estimated that approximately 8 million Americans have an eating disorder (7 million women and 1 million men).
- 42% of 1-3rd graders want to be thinner.
- 81% of 10 year olds are afraid of being fat.
- The average American woman is 5’4″, 140 lbs. The average American model is 5’11”, 117 lbs.
- A 1996 study found that the amount of time an adolescent watches soap operas, movies and music videos is associated with their degree of body dissatisfaction and desire to be thin.
- By the time the average American girl is 17 she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through media.
BIBLE VERSES ON ACCEPTANCE, SEXUALITY, COMFORT, BEAUTY, CONTROL, FOOD, GUILT, & COMMUNITY:
- Ephesians 1:6
- Psalm 103.13-14
- Genesis 1:27-28
- Hebrews 13:4
- 1 Timothy 4:8
- Psalm 27:4
- Proverbs 11:22
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- Romans 11:33-12:16
- 1 Corinthians 6:19
- Psalm 139:13-16
- Matthew 5:48 (But here the word translated to us as “perfect” actually better translates to “complete” or “mature.”
- Philippians 3:14
- 1 Corinthians 10:16-17; 11:23-26
- Psalm 51:7
- Romans 5:1-11
- 1 John 1:9
PRINCIPLES FOR HELP:
- Be patient with yourself. God is.
- Identify triggers (abandonment, fear, isolation, powerlessness, rejection, hopelessness, numb, bored, unloved, discouragement, comparisons, past experiences or people revisiting you).
- Be persistent about disputing how culture defines things and equally persistent about seeing yourself the way God sees you.
- Seek help in repairing past family relationships if needed.
- Don’t accept trite simple answers from people.
- Don’t isolate. Seek authentic friendships even when everything inside you tells you otherwise.