Monday, October 13, 2008

Mission 4 Monday-Self-Injury

Self-Injury is a mission close to my heart. As someone who has personally dealt with this issue, I truly understand how important it is to help others that are dealing with this in their own life. After my momma passed away in 2006, my emotions were running all over the place. I had hidden so much pain deeply away inside of me, as I had been her caregiver, watching her slowly fade away from me. On the day she passed away, I was the one who walked in her room, and found her gone. All of those experiences deeply left their mark upon me, and I began to cut myself as a way to deal with my pain. So, I understand the pain of self-injury. Please know that if you are going through this right now, you are not alone. Jesus never left my side, He was in the bathroom with me one night, when I finally cried out His precious name. He picked me up, dried my tears, cleaned my injuries, and forgave me for hurting myself. He poured His precious love all over my wounded and weary body. He can, and will do the same for you my friend. Please call out to Him, He will come running to help you. I hope the following information will be of help to some of you. Be blessed.
Self-injury is probably the most widely misunderstood forms of self harm and there are many myths associated with it, which can make it difficult for people to reach out and ask for help.

Self-injury (self-harm, self-mutilation) can be defined as the attempt to deliberately cause harm to one's own body and the injury is usually severe enough to cause tissue damage. This is not a conscious attempt at suicide, though some people may see it that way.
It has been reported that many people who self-injure have a history of sexual or physical abuse, but that is not always the case. Some may come from broken homes, alcoholic homes, have emotionally absent parents, etc. There are many factors that could cause someone to self-injure as a way to cope.
There are three types of self-injury. The rarest and most extreme form is Major self-mutilation. This form usually results in permanent disfigurement, i.e. castration or limb amputation. Another form is Stereo typic self-mutilation which usually consists of head banging, eyeball pressing and biting. The third and most common form is Superficial self-mutilation which usually involves cutting, burning, hair-pulling, bone breaking, hitting, interference with wound healing and basically any method used to harm oneself.
Most people who self-injure tend to be perfectionists, are unable to handle intense feelings, are unable to express their emotions verbally, have dislike for themselves and their bodies, and can experience severe mood swings. They may turn to self-injury as a way to express their feelings and emotions, or as a way to punish themselves.
You may be wondering why someone would intentionally harm themselves. Self-injury can help someone relieve intense feelings such as anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt and emotional pain. Many people who cut themselves, do this in an attempt to try and release all the emotions they are feeling internally. Others may feel so numb, that seeing their own blood when they cut themselves, helps them to feel alive because they usually feel so dead inside. Some people find that dealing with physical pain is easier than dealing with emotional pain. Self-injury is also used as a way to punish oneself. If they were abused, they may feel ashamed, guilty and blame themselves for the abuse, which in turn causes them to feel the need to punish themselves by inflicting pain to their bodies. Some people have such hatred for themselves and their bodies that they will carve demeaning names on their bodies as a way to remind themselves of how terrible they are. Whatever form of self-injury is used, the person is usually left with a peaceful and calm feeling afterwards. Since those feelings are only temporary, the person will probably continue to self-injure until they deal with the underlying issues and finds healthier ways to cope.

It is very difficult for people to admit to someone that they harm themselves because there is usually so much shame and guilt that goes along with it. It's important to try and remind yourself that there is no shame in what you are doing and that it's okay to reach out and ask for help. In order to help yourself overcome this, you need to want to stop the behavior and you need to find a therapist that you like and trust to help you deal with the underlying issues causing you to do this to yourself. Sometimes treatment may also involve the use of medications such as Xanax and Klonopin. Hypnosis and relaxation techniques can also be helpful, and in extreme cases, hospitalization might be required for a short period of time. If there are support groups in your area, you may want to think about joining them for extra support.
Many people who self-injure keep it a secret because they feel like they are crazy, insane and evil. They fear if they tell anyone, they might be locked away forever. The truth is, people who intentionally harm themselves are in fact very normal and sane people, who are in a lot of emotional pain. They self-injure as a way to cope, because they were probably never taught how to deal with intense feelings and emotions in healthy ways. Unfortunately, when people hear about this form of self-harm, they do tend to place labels on these people as being psychotic and crazy, which is why so many people do not come forward and ask for help. Until society dispels all the myths surrounding self-injury and start to educate themselves on this subject, sufferers will continue to keep quiet and this form of abuse will continue to be a secret for a long time to come.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you posted this. I know of someone very close to me that this would bring some emotional healing to. I hope you don't mind if I copy it and send it to her in an email. Would you prefer I link her to your blog? What say you?

luvmy4sons said...

He comforts us so that we can comfort others with the comfort we ourselves received from are fulfilling that!

Hootin' Anni said...

Very informative and very candid. I love the fact that you share all this with us to enlighten us in such a way that when we do encounter a loved one or someone that needs help and understanding ...that WE CAN help and understand.

Debra said...


It never ceases to amaze me how much Jesus loves us. I am so glad he picked you up. I am so glad you know His love.

Blessings to you my sweet sister.

Debra said...


I think I said Peggy...I looked at the Mission 4 Monday and got a little confused. I'm sorry. I love you..I know who I'm talking to.

I love you both!

Known as Alicia said...

Thanks for the testimony and the information! May God use you in a mighty way to help others!

Mary said...


What an informative Mission4Monday. I now have a better understanding of this issue. I do know someone who does this and she has had a very tough life. Thank you so much for sharing this, my friend.

Have a wonderful day.

Peggy said...

Blessings my sweet sister Denise,
I ache inside knowing the pain you must have felt. I'm so glad that Jesus saved you! Thank you for sharing so much information so that more people will understand. Indeed this is a "mission" that needs to be in the Light so others can receive help! I can't imagine the pain you suffered and the deep scars inside when you encountered your mom. My mom was in a hospital and taken off the life support machines, and that lives in my mind
& my dad was found by my oldest sister...I did not fall apart at their passing but I did at my youngest brother's. Grief takes all forms and all of us deal differently. I pray that your mission ministers to many! If someone is hurting, I pray that they find this and the healing Jesus brings! Thank you for sharing with Mission4Monday! I'm so glad that you visited Nancie & How Great Thou Art brings you peace! I pray that sweet peace runs all over you!
I pray for a guard around your mind & your heart as you had to go back to this pain that Christ would rise up within you, strengthen you so you can minister to others in His power as victorious! I love your Shorty bear dance & praise! Hoping you & Lovebug are held in Our Lord's arms & realize the blessings you are to each other & your marriage is FIREPROOF...remember?
Enjoy a great day & wonderful week!

Gail W. said...

God bless you for shining light into a dark corner! Self-injury is a coping skill we don't address freely enough, especially in adolescent girls. Being around my daughters' friends has taught me that it is much more common than Satan would have us believe, including among church folks.
Thanks for coming by "He Lives" from Angie's place-I really appreciate the company!

May you feel His grace today,
Gail W.

Fran said...

Praise God for your willingness to share yourself so openly and honestly but with such love, care and honor to Jesus.

I pray for you always Denise. I pray that these words are true healing to someone.

Much love,

Marsha said...

What an informative and excellent post. I've printed this out and filed it for future use. Thank you my friend! Love you bunches.

Shabby Olde Potting Shed said...

Hi Denise,
That was very brave to share this. I have a friend whos' Grand daughter does this as well. She's 14 years old.
I do understand missing a Momma. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever really get over the pain.

Love Bears All Things said...

Bless you, sweetie. God wants us to use our experiences and what He has done for us as a testimony just as you have here.
I'm sure He has someone who this message is for.

Now, a question:: Would you like a turn at the circle journal now. Paula has it and she can send it to you before she sends it to me. I know you didn't feel like participating when it was your turn and there's no pressure to do so now. Also, would you like for it to come back around to you so that you can read what everyone has written. Just let me know.
Mama Bear

Tiffany said...

This is such a wonderful post. I hope it will help someone out there that may be struggling with this secret. You are such a blessing!

Speaking from the Heart said...


Wow. This is so well written. Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart, my sister.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I've ever known anyone who had this problem. If they had it I didn't know it. Your article is very informative. I think it is great that you chose to share. I'm sure it will help others. I pray that anyone suffering from this will somehow be led here or to somewhere else for help.

Bernadine said...

Thank you for always sharing from the heart.

MyJourneyBack said...

Oh Denise,
Thanks so much for sharing your heart in this post. I deal with this issue daily with our halfway house girls. Last Thursday when I went to the halfway house I found out that one of the girls that has this disorder had run and was sent back to the main facility. It was depressing to me that I didn't have the opportunity to work with her longe. At least not now. She possibly may return. I just pray that God gives me the words and wisdom to help her.
Thanks again so much for sharing this.
Many Blessings to you,

Michele Williams said...

The wonderful healing balm of our Comforter. Thank you so much for sharing this most heart felt and imformative post. I am so glad the Lord saved you and healed you.

I love you my friend.

Power Up Love said...

Just as Edge of Design wrote, “I'm glad you posted this” well so am I. It encourages others who may be going through similar struggles to know that they're not alone.

Would you share your story to be posted at


MoziEsmé said...

Thanks for the insights.

Tiffany Stuart said...

Thank you for sharing openly and in return helping others.

May God heal your every wound.
You are loved.

And thanks for the comment on my laugh post today with Laced with Grace.