Topics: Borderline personality disorder, Self-harm, Suicide Pages: 7 (2346 words) Published: May 31, 2013
Name: Le Ngoc Phuong Uyen
DOB: 30/10/1994
Class: E-BBA 4B
Email: sing_my_soul_94@yahoo.fr

Social Psychology Essay
Thesis: Young People and Self-harm

Information and opinions about self-harm can come from anywhere; discussions with friends, what’s seen or heard in the media, links from Google, any number of social media sites and forums, schools or other professionals organisations. Self-harm is a serious national public health cconcern. It don’t just affect particular groups; they span all races, cultures and classes. Self-harm is surrounded by myths and misconceptions – while it’s often just thought of in terms of cutting, self-harm, or self-injury, describes a wide range of things people deliberately do to themselves that are harmful but usually do not kill them. It’s worth noting that while self-harm is usually not an attempt at suicide, it is still highly traumatic for young people and those who care for them. I. Introduction

A. What is self-harm?
Self-harm refers to any damaging activity that individuals deliberately inflict upon themselves, including cutting, “overdosing” (self-poisoning), hitting, burning or scalding, pulling hair, picking or scratching skin, self-asphyxiation, ingesting toxic substances and fracturing bones. It may also take less obvious forms, including taking stupid risks, staying in an abusive relationship, developing an eating problem, being addicted to alcohol or drugs, or simply not looking after their own emotional or physical needs. Self-harm is a way of expressing very deep distress. Often, people don't know why they self-harm. It's a means of communicating what can't be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, people feel better able to cope with life again, for a while. These responses may help you to cope with feelings that threaten to overwhelm you; painful emotions, such as rage, sadness, emptiness, grief, self-hatred, fear, loneliness and guilt. These can be released through the body, where they can be seen and dealt with. Self-harm may serve a number of purposes at the same time. It may be a way of getting the pain out, of being distracted from it, of communicating feelings to somebody else, and of finding comfort. It can also be a means of self-punishment or an attempt to gain some control over life. Because they feel ashamed, afraid, or worried about other people's reactions, people who self-harm often conceal what they are doing rather than draw attention to it. It's worth remembering that most people behave self-destructively at times, even if they don't realise it. Perfectly ordinary behaviour, such as smoking, eating and drinking too much, or working long hours, day after day, can all be helping people to numb or distract themselves and avoid being alone with their thoughts and feelings. B. Why people, especially young people do self-harm?

There are Internal attributions and External attributions to explain why young people are self-harming. Self-harm is surrounded in guilt, shame and mystery for all parties. Parents often confide in us that they feel it’s their fault their child is harming themselves; teachers tell us they see the signs but cannot bring themselves to say anything, and even if they want to, they can’t find the words to reach out to young people; and the children and young people we work with say over and over again, “I need help, I am in terrible pain inside”. And it’s getting worse. More and more children and young people are using self-harm as a mechanism to cope with the pressures of life. Self-harm is often dismissed as merely attention seeking behaviour but it’s a sign that young people are feeling terrible internal pain and are not coping. Young people today are growing up in a harsh environment with increasing stress to perform at school, low job prospects and the constant pressure to keep up with the latest...
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