What is self-harming?
Self-harming is when people cause themselves physical pain that alters their mood state (how they feel inside). Some people harm themselves because they feel disconnected and isolated from everybody, and hurting themselves is the only way they feel real or connected. Hypnosis is an effective solution since most of these feelings that are being expressed are embedded so deep in the subconcious that the self harmer can’t even verbally express what they are.
- cutting the skin with knives or any sharp object
- burning the skin
- hitting the body with an object or fists (like punching the wall)
- deliberately falling when doing something like extreme sports
- picking at the skin
- swallowing pills or sharp objects
- pulling at the hair (hair pulling can also be a habit).
Eating disorders, alcohol and drug addiction are other ways that people harm themselves physically and mentally.
Over-all self harm is an addiction. It works like any habitual pattern of behavior that starts to feel compulsive.
How self harm works
- First there is a build up of tension and stress (or even boredom) then there is the thought of cutting
- Then comes the opportunity to self harm – maybe because no one else is around.
- The tension and urge to self-harm become stronger and stronger.
- Perhaps next you try to stop yourself but the urge seems stronger then ever.
- You start to ‘trance out’ and maybe things start to seem a bit unreal as your focus narrow onto the self harm.
- You harm yourself.
- And when you have cut yourself you get a chemical release as your body’s natural opiate painkillers are released.
- Afterwards you may feel relief followed by self disgust that you’ve ‘gone and done it again.’
Self harm follows the pattern of any addictive and repetitive behavior.
Why Do People (Teens or Adults) Self Harm?
Self-harming can be a way that people deal with feelings of:
- helplessness, despair and low self-esteem
- anger, loneliness, shame and guilt
- not having control over their life
- being ‘out of it’ – so the only way to feel ‘real’ is to cause physical pain to themselves.
Some self-harm is related to severe emotional pain. When people have experienced abuse or violence, it often re-appears as emotional pain in later life. Some people have said that:
- When they hurt themselves physically, it helps take away the emotional pain.
- Self-harm makes internal pain visible on the surface. It is showing that there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
- Self-harm is a way that people punish themselves for something.
People who harm themselves…
- may have difficulty expressing their feelings verbally
- may dislike themselves and their bodies
- may do it because of difficulties with relationships
- may do it because of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety or stress.
It is important to understand that whatever the reason for self-harming behavior, there are more positive ways of dealing with the troubling feelings.
A skilled hypnotherapist will help you to relax and give your unconscious mind the chance to unlearn the old self harm pattern.
The subconscious is always acting to protect you in some way. Using hypnotherapy the therapist can work with the subconscious to develop new and safer ways of helping you to cope.
In addition, and perhaps more importantly, hypnotherapy allows the therapist to address the underlying issue/s that are driving a sufferer to self harm.
Once these are identified and addressed, the self harming ends, almost always permanently.