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Loved Ones Who Self--Harm...

Updated on January 20, 2013
sadness , low self-esteem, loss, plus unexplained causes result in self-harm.
sadness , low self-esteem, loss, plus unexplained causes result in self-harm.

Helping The Helpless

There is one verse in the Bible that says "Nobody ever hated his own body. He feeds it and looks after it." (Living Bible. Ephesians chpt 5 verse 29)

It is written in the context of why a man should take care of his wife as much as he takes care of himself. To me, this has always seemed logical. Surely none of us really would hate and then hurt our own bodies.........How annoying is it when you stub your toe? Or slip with a knife when peeling vegetables? Unpleasant..

Despite these facts of life, it seems according to stastistics that self--harm is on the increase.?

One of my dearest friends called by at my house one day, feeling seriously depressed. After I had tried to encourage her for a while she raised her trouser legs up to her knees and I had the shock of my life. !!!

"This is how bad I felt yesterday, " she sobbed.

I had only once before seen some cuts on the arms of a young girl who self-harmed, but I had never in my life seen so many slashes and cuts from knee to ankle all around both legs. One of the gashes in particular, surely needed stitches .., but Helen, my friend would not seek medical help at that time. She just wanted to talk to me about it. This is SO important if you ever find someone hurting themselves. Often they do not want to talk about it, so when they do feel like talking, please try to be a good listenerand never be judgemental even if you thinkyou have a right to be.

The self-harmer is someone quite different from the person who attempts suicide and almost always it is not merely attention seeking.

I was a novice in this area of depression when I first listened to how Helen was feeling. All I could think to do was gently ask her "Why?". It shocked me to hear her reply that she had enjoyed it!!She tried to explain to me that an anger inside her was like a pot of hot water , reaching boiling point, then bubbling, burning, higher and hotter until she felt she would explode. Getting hold of a razor blade and attacking her legs felt like a release, a relief and she calmed down.

It's hard to describe how devastated and helpless I felt as I began to realise just how low her self-esteem had sunk and how bad her depression had become..

Thankfully, since that day she has allowed me to take her to a doctor who is sympatheticand gave her medication that helps, but not before she had spent 4 weeks in a phsychiatric ward of our local hospital..It tears me up inside to think that I had no idea she was so damaged,. I thought I knew her well and understood her depression, but I was a million miles away from how bad she was feeling. .

I still occasionally get a phone call that frightens me into driving straight to her house and inevitably walk into pools of blood and my dear Helen sobbing on her bed, ,,,,,,,,but the desperate calls have become far , far , fewer over the past 6 months. This is not an area of behaviour that many doctors completely understand and so we cannot say that she will never do it again.

We only know that now there is hope because she talked about it, she sought proffessional help, and recognises that she is ill.

There are also some helpful websites. Not only help for the person who takes a knife or a razor blade to themself but helpul to people like me, who feel uselesswhile wanting so badly to do something for her.

If you love someone who does this sort of thing , it can sometimes seem harder on you than on the cutter who gets relief in such a strange way. You have my deepest sympathy. I hope, like my friend that the person in your life will seek help.

Everyone is worth something. Everyone's life is precious. The self-harmer needs to believe this and believe that he or she is worthy, precious and loved....


Submit a Comment

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

    So kind of you to leave this comment, Kimberlyslyrics.

    l know you have survived many seriously troublesome events.

    It´s a tough world and you´ve dealt with more of it than most of us.

    You´re a survivor and l love you for it.

    Take care of yourself.


    Dim xx

  • profile image

    kimberlyslyrics 6 years ago

    Dim what a fantastic hub. People find it difficult to hear or see, even acknowledge self harm exists and no way on the rise.

    I self harm, or did most of my life. But being borderline, it comes with the territory. It helps rid the emotional pain for the moment, or as long as one needs to do so. It is simply a coping mechanism that is very private and very effective, I know that sounds sick, I will try and publish my Henna hub again which stops self harm.

    Just grateful you brought this to the forefront and I thank you


  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

    What a wonderful comment. Thank you very much.

  • d.william profile image

    d.william 7 years ago from Somewhere in the south

    Wow. Another wonderful hub. Your are very adept at expressing things the way they are. I was moved to tears, especially after reading Helen's comment. You are a good friend. I am not sure how i would have handle such a situation.

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 7 years ago from Great Britain

    Lovely comment , Tony. Sorry to hear you also have someone in the family who does this.

    l appreciate you reading and always leaving a comment. Thank you

    love and peace as always


  • tonymac04 profile image

    Tony McGregor 7 years ago from South Africa

    We have a self-harmer in the family and so I know about this and how difficult it is for all concerned. Thanks for sharing this experience and as you say, if it can help one person that would be worth it!

    Love and peace


  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 8 years ago from Great Britain

    Hi chefaija. !

    Nice to meet you on hubpages,. Not so nice to hear your daughter self-harms . It really is a complex and unusual problem isn't it? I wish you well. It's painful for you, I'm sure.

  • chefaija profile image

    chefaija 8 years ago

    My daughter is a self harmer and all I can say is wow I can relate

  • Dim Flaxenwick profile image

    Dim Flaxenwick 8 years ago from Great Britain

    Oh Helen , I was not expecting you to write anything here, but I'm glad you did. If your experience helps even one person it will have been time well spent. See you soon. Take care. xxxx

  • profile image

    helen 8 years ago

    i am the person above and wish to say that to stop cutting is one of the hardest things to do, its addictive and becomes a friend in stressful situations and the worst things anyone can do is lose their temper or be angry, the cause is NO self esteem and extreme depression, i don't know if i will ever stop completely as i cannot be on this medication for life and dread the day i have to face life without it but i live in hope as i've already narrowly missed 4 arteries and next time i may not be so lucky. to those who are cutting next time you do it call an ambulance and get this medication if nothing else it gives your body a break and hopefully we can break the habit and to all those cutters my love and prayers are with