“Don’t come near me if you are into any of these weird things.” That’s what one of my friend said when we stuck upon a conversation on this topic. I have to admit, I was kinda taken aback by this. This friend of mine who had such an open mind had somehow disappointed me in a way. So what if a person cuts himself? Is it any reason because of which we should be beware of him/her? Or does that show that maybe that person needs help? Why are we so judgmental of a person who causes physical pain to himself?
The question that we need to answer, nay introspect upon is the question of about that person’s character. If a person causes physical pain to himself, does that make the person mentally sick? Is he a danger to the society? The answer is no. That guy is a sure shot danger to himself but not to the society. How can a guy who had deeply rooted emotional pain, who could not even talk about that with his family and friends be a danger to others? That’s not my opinion. It’s what the research says.
Even though it’s tough to come out of this problem, let alone talk about it, a very good friend of mine, whose name shall remain anonymous decided to help me in my cause to remove the taboo surrounding self harm.
“Rather than abandoning us, if somebody had just asked me, Is everything okay?, that would’ve been it. Even though I knew there were people around me who would be there for me, I never even thought of telling them about this. Instead of seeing us as a danger, a threat, a mentally sick human being, people should try and see us as someone who is broken, who is desperately in need of help. Maybe I’m mentally unstable, but what I need is people who try and help me, not people who see me as a danger.”
“Let’s face it, people judge. But I stopped caring. Had I told them about this, they surely would’ve formed opinions about me. But I had just stopped caring. It was just me and my problem, which was eating me from the inside.”
“The first time I did this I was really sad. When people break your trust, that’s the worst. I thought that this was God’s way of punishing me. So at night when my parents were sleeping, I took a pencil sharpener, and I cut my stomach with its blade.” “Didn’t you feel any pain?” I asked, frowning. “No. I didn’t care. I was blind. It was a mix of negative emotions that was upon me. I simply cannot define it. I was depressed.”
“We don’t need professional help. We don’t need a psychiatrist. We don’t need a therapist. We just need someone who understands us and who doesn’t judge us. It was my friend’s mom who ultimately reached out to me. Her words reached me to a place where I bottled up all my emotions and finally when I told her I felt better. As of now I am improving and I have stopped harming myself. My life is on the right track now. I remember how I thought of suicide as an option, but whenever I gave it a good thought, I remember how my parents’ face came in front of me.” I have to say, this might’ve been tough to admit.
Another myth that surrounds this issue of self harm is that self harm is fun. There have been many cases where young teenagers practiced self harm just because some of their classmates did it.
Also, self harm does not necessarily mean physically harming oneself. Self harm also includes risk taking behavior, eating disorders, drug abuse and alcoholism.
How do we solve this? What we need to do is create an environment around us in which nobody thinks of self harm as a mental illness (because it is not) and a taboo. Instead of that we need to create an environment where we need the society to think of it as an emotional problem, and think of the person who is practicing it as someone who gravely needs our help. We needn’t forget that it’s the people around us that are going through this problem, and what need is friend. In the developed countries, that is how this issue is being addressed. And I believe that this is how we should address this issue too.
Kudos to you bro for getting over it and telling me about it. I’m sure it is going be of help and bring about a little change in today’s scenario.
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