“Self-injury is a coping mechanism. An individual harms their physical self to deal with emotional pain, or to break feelings of numbness by arousing sensation.”
If you wish to quote our definitions, you must give attribution to “FirstSigns at www.FirstSigns.org.uk”
“Self-injury is any deliberate, non suicidal behaviour that inflicts physical harm on your body and is aimed at relieving emotional distress. Physical pain is often easier to deal with than emotional pain, because it causes ‘real’ feelings. Injuries can prove to an individual that their emotional pain is real and valid. Self-injurious behaviour may calm or awaken a person. Yet self-injury only provides temporary relief, it does not deal with the underlying issues. Self-injury can become a natural response to the stresses of day to day life and can escalate in frequency and severity.”
Self-Harm? Is that like Self-Injury?
People use different terms for self-injury; SI, SH, DSH (Deliberate Self Harm), SIB (Self Injurious Behaviour), Self Mutilation, Cutting; some people even include self-injury when they say ‘parasuicide’. Hospitals and Doctors might use different words, but whatever words we use, are we talking about the same thing?
FirstSigns feels that language is important when professionals are talking about self-injury, and talking to people who self-injure, but of course, we’re happy for people who self-injure to use whatever words and phrases they feel comfortable with. If you consider yourself a ‘self-harmer’ rather than a ‘person who self-injures’ then that’s fine!
At FirstSigns, we talk about self-injury rather than self-harm because we see self-harm as a larger concept, and FirstSigns focuses on the narrower idea of self-injury.