Today’s Dance: Self Harm

self harm

Caution: Possible triggers for self harm. No disturbing images.

on self harm:

It won’t surprise anyone who knows me that self-harm is often on my mind. No, by conventional definitions I do not self harm. I do occasionally indulge in emotional overeating, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. I do, however, have both clinical training and life experience with the effects of self harm and a deep sympathy for those who feel the need.

This discussion is for those who self-harm, those who love them, those who don’t understand but honestly want to, and those who want to help those who self harm. I’ll ask [amazon_link id="1572245131" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation & ... Tolerance (New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook)[/amazon_link]the initial set of questions and spark the conversation. Feel free to answer questions and ask new ones, add useful clarification and challenge misinformation. This is NOT a space for attack or ridicule and I will deal with it.

On to the questions:

  • Do you or someone you know self harm (cut, burn, pull hair, etc.)
  • Do you consider body art and/or tattooing self harm? Why or why not?
  • As I alluded to before, I consider emotional unhealthy eating (and therefore other unhealthy eating habits such as bulimia and anorexia) to be at least closely related to self harm. Do you agreed or disagree? Why?
  • What do you find most effective in preventing self harm for yourself or someone close to you?
  • What do you find triggers self harm in yourself or someone close to you most often?
  • Have you been involved with DBT (dialectical behavioral therapy) either as a participant or a provider? What is your opinion of its effectiveness? How could it be better?
  • What is the question you get most tired of from people who don’t understand self harm?
  • What question do you wish more people would ask?
  • What happened to you? How have you overcome it?

[amazon_link id="1572246162" target="_blank" container="" container_class="" ]Freedom from Selfharm: Overcoming Self-Injury with Skills from DBT and Other Treatments[/amazon_link]It is not necessary to answer any or all of these on this page. I understand that these are intimate questions and some of them may be more appropriate to take to a friend, support person, or therapist and work with. But if you feel comfortable and confident enough to share, please do.

Also, this is a good place to share this link to a site created by and for people with histories of self harm who want to help themselves: DBT Self Help

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About Maureen O'Danu

Maureen O'Danu is the webmistress of Am I the Only One Dancing? where there is a new discussion every day on any one of dozens of topics and ideas, as well as reviews, geekery, family, fun, and enough politics to season the pot.
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