From the desk of a psychologist!

Posts tagged ‘Health’

Teenophobia- The cure

India is rapidly changing as a country. People, thinking, attitudes, relationships almost everything is changing. The equation between parents and children are also going through a huge transition. As we all know by now, change is good but often painful.

I am a person, who witnesses both sides of the coin. I don’t know whether I should take it as an advantage or not because it makes me feel for both and I find myself in a fix. I understand the dilemma both go through on an everyday level.  There are a lot of confusions, frustrations, irritations which leads to utter chaos.

If you are a parent of a teenage child, these are some of the statements you often must have heard,

” You need to trust me”,                  

” If everyone is allowed to do it, why can’t I?”,

” My friends understand me better than you.”

” Why do you compare me, all the time?”

” Why should I do something just because you want me to?”

” What’s your problem with my phone or computer use…It is my life!”

” You are never satisfied or happy with me.”

And as a parent you must have seen yourself repeating these sentences over and over,

” Do you even listen to me.”

” Put the phone down.”

” You need to do this because I say so.”

” Where is your respect?”

” I am just asking for a little responsibility.”

” I have seen the world, trust me.”

The gap, between both of you, all of a sudden looks so huge. Something, somewhere has changed drastically in a couple of years. It is like as a parent you were doing great and now nothing you do is sufficient.

Every day I have at least a couple of sessions which give me the feeling of déjà vu. After dealing with quite a number of these cases, I have understood some things, which  I would like to share with you today:

  • There is a lot of Miscommunication or Lack of communication between an adolescent and parent: While talking to both the parties, I have realized one thing…both have a lot to say to each other, which they never do.

Parents are generally uncomfortable in talking about certain issues, like sex, substance abuse, which leads to them either opting to not talk about it at all or becoming overly aggressive as soon as the topic is brought up.. This also makes the kids uncomfortable. They sense the discomfort of their parents and find it easier to hide or lie about it.

  • As parents, we need to understand that the world is changing, as so is our culture. We need to be aware about what  the general trends are as far as the freedom and independence of our kids are concerned. We need to know the outing hours, frequency of peer outings, time on laptops and phones of the friends of our kids.We can neither live in the last century, nor just let go of all the rights of a parent.

It is always a good idea to be in regular contact with the parents’ of the peers of our teenager. We should know what is being allowed and accepted by others. This will help us with the typical, ” The rest of the parents are cool with it.”

  • We need to have our own home rules and regulations. It should be talked with the adolescent and make them understand the point and the reasons behind them. It is also a good idea to abide by these rules yourself before implementing it.  They will learn the best when they will see you rather than hear you.
  • It is a good idea to always give them the reason behind your decisions. Just because you have gone through a childhood, where rules were made without any questions and answers, that doesn’t mean you could do the same.

If you’ll make decisions without giving reasons, you’ll lose the trust of your child. They will start taking you as a dictator and stop sharing their thoughts and issues with you. They will think that their friends understand them in a better way than you.

Generally, I have seen that you stop giving reasons when you yourself are out of it. Reflect and see, whether the point you’re sticking to is even worth it?

  • There is also a major issue of ‘talking back’ of children: The generation we are talking about is very forthright. They will ask till they get an answer, which they like. We need to understand it and should be tactful in such situations.

If the ‘ talking back’ becomes disrespectful, you need to be clearly voice it to your teenager. There also is a need for the presence of proper consequences when there is crossing of limits, which needs to be decided beforehand.

You should always remember that whatever is the situation, you need to be emotionally available for your adolescent.

For a teenager, the times are really difficult. They are going through change within them as well as the outside world . They are highly confused and as a result very vulnerable. Be gentle with them.

Your child is seeking support, though it comes with an attitude. You can’t blame them, it is their age of confusions!

P.S. If you are a teenager reading this article, I have a message for you. Your parents love and care for you and that is why they always want to protect you from this big bad world. They are scared and don’t know how to reach you. Help them help you!

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Counseling Simplified!

I talk a lot about counseling. I’ll go on and on about it but what does it really mean and most importantly how it helps?

I am an Indian, so by default I am surrounded by people who speak in computer language. But sometimes I feel lost between them. They take it for granted that everyone must be aware of their basic terms like  Download, WiFi, Java etc. I try to keep pace but sometimes it sounds like gibberish and I lose my interest. On observation, I found out that most of the professionals do this; they mix their own basic terminology and unconsciously expect the whole world to understand it.

I am no exception. When I talk to people I expect them to know the meaning of PsychologyMental HealthCounseling etc.

If a person is not able to understand the basic terminologies,                                                      

how do you expect them to follow your discussion. It is more

like standing in a crowd where people are talking in a language,

which you have no clue about. Certainly you will loose your audience, let

alone convey your message to them.

So, today I decided to break this thought and start with the basics of counseling.

The first doubt which I want to clear is the difference between a Psychiatrist & a Psychologist. This is the most common place, where I have seen, a lot of people getting confused.

1. The major difference is in their degrees; A Psychiatrist is a Medical Doctor ( M.B.B.S.) while a Psychologist has Psychology Degree.

2. A Psychiatrist can prescribe you medication while a Psychologist uses psychotherapy/ counseling like behavioral, Psychoanalytic, Humanistic, Cognitive therapy etc.

3. Psychiatrist usually deals with mentally sick patients while a Psychologist caters to the wellness of emotional& mental health.

So here, I am going to be talking  about Psychologist, for the simple reason that I am one.

So, what we basically do is Psychotherapy/Counseling. A lot of therapists are going to have a problem with this statement of mine because if we go deep down in Psychology there are some minute differences between these two.

The goal of this post is to make things easier to understand and to stick to our aim, we are going to use counseling for both counseling & psychotherapy. Lets try to understand what exactly is Counseling first, I am sharing a definition which makes a lot of sense to me:

According to the professional body for counselling and psychotherapy in Scotland, COSCA: ” Counselling and psychotherapy are ways of responding to a wide range of human needs. Counselling and psychotherapy provide opportunities for those seeking help to work towards ways of living in more satisfying and resourceful ways. ”

Counseling is not only about the major problems of life but is a tool which could help you resolve something as simple as every day’s issue and concerns. It helps you make full use of your potentials and allows you to get rid of the hindrances in  leading a happy and contended life.

A lot of people think that if you’re seeking the help of someone else you are weak. This is a myth because counseling empowers you. Sometime you, yourself aren’t aware of your strengths, finding those hidden strengths is a byproduct of the counseling process. It makes you more independent than ever.

A Psychologist is a non judgmental person, who helps you in understanding your problem and working on it objectively in a methodological way. In counseling, you will never be told what to do instead the options are laid in front of you and you are equipped with skills to help you choose the best option for yourself.

I love to give this example to understand it in a better way;

I am sure all of us has been photographed whether we like it or not. We always ask ( or want to ask) the camera man about how are we looking?

Why do we do it?

Simple, because the cameraman can see the picture and we can’t.  Same is the case with our lives, sometimes we get so entangled in the details that we can’t see the full view objectively.

You have been given a life, go ahead nurture it, if anything is stopping you to do so, you now know what to do about it 🙂

The Sorry State of ‘ Mental Health’ in India

The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
We Indians, have major issues in understanding this definition let alone apply it. Somehow, we have come to terms with the physical well being part of it but the other two, still an alien thought. We can easily follow all sorts of Babas and Soothsayers but will never accept the need to look after our Mental Health.

Almost every day the newspaper is full of reports about people ending their lives or going on a destructive path for reasons which could be easily dealt with, if taken proper care of. In our country, we are happy to be doomed but no one should call us crazy. We live with our problems, stress, difficulties, issues, in our self-made façade. Even our relatives and friends help us in covering our so-called weaknesses. It’s a pathetic state which is seeking awareness and help.

When do we know we need to take care of our mental health and how do we do it?

I would like to ask you a question in response to the above one:

How do you know you are physically not well? Your answers could be anything like; lethargy, tiredness, feeling sick, headache etc. Your next step usually is to take care of it by yourself and if it is something beyond your expertise, you find a doctor to help you, so that you can lead a healthy life.

The same signals are sent by our brain , when we need to take care of our mental health.  We go through an inability to be happy or experience positive emotions. Our lives become difficult and we carry it like a baggage.

Now, there is a difference between what should we do about this problem and what we do? We should, in this case also, seek an expert for help to make us healthier but generally we don’t do it.  We keep on dealing with it ourselves making it worse with each passing day.

I wouldn’t blame the people of my country entirely for the negligence in this field but there are a lot of other reasons for the stigma attached to seeking mental health care:

1. Lack of Awareness: Till today, everyone thinks if you are not on the streets with torn clothes, staring at space, you have perfect mental state. No one ( that includes all the literate people) will ever recommend counseling for a friend. If you are a good friend, you’ll help him/her by helping them hide their problems not dealing with them.

I’ll recommend you to start seeking answers. If there is something bothering you look out for solutions. Until you ask, you aren’t going to get answers.

2. No one could help me: This is a feeling which stops most of us from seeking help. Sometimes we are not able to decide whether we even need help or not.

It is always better to get a second opinion because if you are in a situation it becomes impossible to take it objectively.

3. An Outside help for my problem is a taboo: It is difficult to admit that there are problems which need to be sorted and for that we need help.

What we don’t understand here is counseling works on the strengths rather than the weaknesses. It equips you with the skills to deal with your issues making you stronger and more independent than ever.

4. Lack of Mental Health Professionals: Even if you decide you need help, where do you suppose to go after that? Our country lacks good credible professionals in the mental health area. People are scared to go to a person and be exploited with their innermost feelings.

I’ll recommend checking and finding the right kind of specialist. Do your homework. There is a shortage of reliable professionals but that doesn’t mean there are none. It may take more work. Only go to a person, you can trust. It may mean you have to do some trial and error.

Thanks to technology now we have the amazing world of online counseling . You need not come out and announce it to the whole world but discreetly could seek help. We, Indians are born IT savvy. I have seen the participation of small, remote cities on social networking sites.

It is high time to build the courage to ask for help. It is in our hands to suffer till we want to. There is a huge misconception in our country, that you only visit a mental health practitioner, if you have major issues. It is not true!

I would like to take an example, which I often use, life is like a road and it is normal to get road bumps in it. It could be in the form of relationship issues, adjustment problems, stress etc. You need to slow down and sort it before speeding up again on the track, otherwise your vehicle of life will topple down.

Come out of the taboo and take care of yourself in the real sense. You need to nurture what is given to you. Take the step, if there is a need…Reach out. You need not make a scene or announce it to the whole world. Find a person, who could help.

Nothing is going to stop you in finding a way, if you make it your priority to take care of yourself!

The world of duality: Coexistence of Good & Bad

 

The topic for this post came to my mind after the feedback I got on my earlier posts. They were in extremes. Either people loved it or disliked it completely. I would be honest and say it did hurt but then the positives were too strong to help me deal with the criticism. This whole process made me think about, if facing a bad feedback is so painful then why this painful emotion exists.

The answer lies in the Duality of this world. Nothing in this world exists without its opposite.

If there is GOOD, there is BAD;                              

If there is a DAY, there is NIGHT;

If there is SWEET, there is SOUR;

If there is SOFT, there is HARD;

If there is a FRIEND, there is a FOE;

If there is HAPPINESS, there is PAIN.

Our experiences with this dual world actually make us strong. The appreciation for the good things also comes when we go through the hard facts of life. How could you even imagine, dwelling in the sweetness of your success if you have never tasted failure or understanding peace with total absence of wars?

I have seen so many people ( and I’ll include myself in it), without complaining going through all the positive experiences in this world and the moment life presents them with a challenge, they say ‘ LIFE IS NOT FAIR.’ Actually it very much is, it is just that when we are going through the positive time flies, while going through pain, every minute seems like eternity. This makes us think that our life is full of only tough moments.

Duality exists within us too. No one is white or black. We all are grey. We are not totally good or bad but a mixture of both. We have our phases of light and darkness. We have our own share of right and wrong choices but that is the building block of who we actually are.

“In order to eat, you have to be hungry. In order to learn, you have to be ignorant. Ignorance is a condition of learning. Pain is a condition of health. Passion is a condition of thought. Death is a condition of life.”
― Robert Anton WilsonLeviathan

IT begins with YOU!

” We can only share, what we have”.

Whenever I try to make a person understand this concept, I always take the help of material stuff. You can only help a poor if you could afford it, which means if you have ample money to share, then only you will. Apart from a handful of saints, human beings tend to satisfy their own thirst first and then look into the outer world. If we want to be the source of something, first of all we need to have a reservoir of it.

Lets try to understand it a little better through relationships ;

So many times I have heard this, ” Even if I am unhappy, I will make my loved ones happy.”

My question is how?Your bank is empty as far as a certain emotion goes, but still you claim to lend it to others. Till now, in real life, I haven’t seen anyone making others really happy while they themselves are suffering.

Tina has a friend, whose kids are subject to her anger spats. She decided to talk to her about it. After the conversation, she realized that it is her friend who needs to first of all get her share of love and care, then only she can pass it to her kids. She has a lot of anger and frustration inside her and so she shares it.

I am sure you must have heard about energies. We carry our energy with us, it can be negative or positive. We influence others with our energy. Say, you have started your day on a very positive note but you end up spending a couple of hours with a person who is carrying negative energy. Trust me, that person has helped in bringing down a lot of your positivity. It’s similar to a conduction process. We rub our energies with each other but the strong one overpowers the group.

So, it’s a simple thing, whatever you want to have around you, start it from WITHIN you. If you want to take care of the people around you, first of all it needs to start with self-care.

Lets try to understand it by taking the feeling of happiness. I have taken this feeling because we all crave to achieve this state of mind.

Happiness within you→Happiness you share with your loved ones→And your extended social circle→which in turn is spread all around you.

If you are right now cribbing or complaining about something and is not happy with how things are going. Take some time out and start the change from within you. Come out of your ‘Self Pity’ and do something about it.The POWER is in our hands to make the world a better place to live.

 

Life is fun…Live it!

If you are an adult of this planet, I think this post needs your attention. All of us, in our everyday’s hustles are slowly forgetting  about the beautiful journey we are in, called LIFE. We are so stuck up with the smaller issues in life that we are not giving ourselves permission to look into the bigger picture.

All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.” William Shakespeare

We are actors with our different roles which we need to act with a touch of detachment but is it really happening?

Honestly, how many of us can actually raise our arms and say that we are not attached to the roles we play whether its professional or personal. We carry the roles with us as a baggage. The baggage keeps on becoming heavier and heavier but we refuse to let go of it.

 

 

 

 I am not saying stop playing your part but what I am trying to convey here is you need to also remember that all these roles are temporary.Take some time out and enjoy the beautiful journey of life. The ride can get bumpy sometimes, but it is okay…let it be!

If the life you are leading now is what you wanted all along and you are happy; you’re right on track but if it is different then you need to sit back and reflect.

Where did it go wrong? When was the last time I actually had fun? A lot of you are going to think if we are going to have fun, who will do the work? Are you doing things you like doing or are you wasting the precious time of your life?

I am not advocating procrastination of work but I am trying to make you understand the importance of taking some time out to care for yourself. Self care is the most under hyped thing in this world. Once somebody shared this with me, which till date I am not able to forget:

” The way we treat ourselves, if somebody else will treat us even close to that way; we will kill the person”

Why the moment we think about ourselves, we start feeling guilty? Especially in Indian culture, which is based on the tradition of sacrifices, the mere thought of thinking about yourself is being selfish. We keep on doing our duties but at the same time crib and complain so much, that at the end our lives become nothing else but a complaint box. We love to find faults with everything else but refuse to see the change we could make. Fine, there is a problem but does that means we should stop our life there only?

Come out of your ifs and buts. Be positive!It is time. Think about a positive person in your life and how you crave to the company of his. Don’t think about things you can’t change or control and if you’ve a problem with it please refer to the Serenity Prayer. I always refer to it and guess what, it works!

Remember our slam books from childhood which talked about hobbies and we used to happily fill it with different activities. What about now? Any idea what a hobby is?

All of us are different and so the solution is also going to be different. Find something which really refreshes you; it can be as simple as following your favorite nonsense sitcom. Life is too heavy, don’t make it unbearable. Get out of your cocoon and start living it. Even if you’ve a major share of problems to deal with; trust me a little fun is not gonna do any harm.

If you are a person you want to live life by going back to the cocoon, do that. There are no written rules of how to live life. Until & unless you are not hurting yourself or someone else you are on the right track. You just need to be honest to yourself, the rest of the world will take care of itself 🙂

As the Unwritten song by Natasha Bedingfield  beautifully sums it:        

 

Drench yourself with words unspoken

Live your life with arms wide open

Today is where your book begins

The rest is still unwritten.

 

For a change, be selfish and think about yourself, be stupid, funny, laugh, cry, hug, jump…LIVE YOUR LIFE!!!

Non Suicidal Self Injury, Please don’t refer as Self Mutilators ( Cutters)

Tina had a friend who used to show up with different kinds of marks on her hands or feet. This friend used to really cover her body well, which Tina presumed to be because of religious reasons or parental pressure.Sometimes, they resembled burnt marks, while most of the time they were cut marks.Tina used to think that she has a friend, who is accident prone but after a few years she started connecting the dots. She understood that there was something not right with her friend. Tina started researching and from there she came to know about ‘ NSSI’.

Now, because of the lack of research in this field there are different terms floating and people use it as synonyms. Actually there is a very minor difference in them, let’s try to understand them in a better way:

Self Injury is the act of physically hurting yourself on purpose without the intent of committing suicide. It is a method of coping during an emotionally difficult time that helps some people temporarily feel better because they have a way to physically express and release the tension and the pain they hold inside. In other people hurting themselves produces chemical changes — endorphins, which are the same chemicals that cause a “runners high” — in their bodies that make them feel happier and more relaxed.

Emotionally or verbally punishing yourself isn’t self-injury, instead it’s what a lot of people call negative self-talk.

Unprotected sex, getting a piercing or tattoo for the pain of the act, starving yourself, etc. Those all are self-destructive but they’re not necessarily self-injury.

Emotional Cutters are people who injure themselves on purpose by making scratches or cuts on your body with a sharp object .

Self-harm includes self-injury ( as described above) and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue most often done without suicidal intentions.

The most common form of self-harm is skin-cutting but self-harm also covers a wide range of behaviors including, but not limited to, burning, scratching, banging or hitting body parts, interfering with wound healing, hair-pulling and the ingestion of toxic substances or objects.

I thought for this article I’ll use the term ‘ Self Mutilation’ but then I understood that the term used is actually ‘ Non-Suicidal Self Injury ( NSSI). Aaron D. McClelland rightly points out, ” The term “self-mutilation” is an antiquated and misapplied descriptor for NSSI  in that it speaks to intent, however, within the vast majority of those who self-injure, their intent is for affect regulation, NOT to cause disfigurement. Many in the self-injury support community consider the term “self-mutilation” to be derogatory, hurtful and only adds to the mythology of the disorder. Most prefer the term self-injury or self-harm.”

In this post we are going to use NSSI but the title will also carry self mutilation because there are very few who understands and knows the proper term.

If you are one of those who have not seen or heard about it the first question that will crop up in your mind is going to be

” Why anyone will do so, as in harm oneself?”

This is an excerpt from a NSSI – “Because of all the abuse I began to self injury myself. It was a way to forget all the pain that was on the inside of me eating me alive. I first began doing this about the age of 8. I would take a hammer and beat my hands with it or take a hot iron and iron my hands or stomach. That worked for a little while and the burns and bruises were easy to cover up. As time passed and the abuse kept on, that didn’t seem like it was enough anymore so then I began doing the cutting along with the burning and beating. To see the wounds…made the pain inside not seem so real. You may say didn’t it hurt? My answer would be NO I didn’t feel anything. because the pain inside was just too intense and I had numbed myself to ALL PAIN. I didn’t love anyone, not even myself!”

As aptly contributed by Manjeet, ” Studies conducted by Nock and Prinstein (2004, 2005) suggest that there are four primary reason for engaging in NSSI: 1) to reduce negative emotions, 2) to feel “something” besides numbness or emptiness, 3) to avoid certain social situations, and 4) to receive social support. Although instances of all of these reasons for NSSI occur, a common misconception is that NSSI is primarily a form of social manipulation. In reality a number of studies have found that the primary reason for NSSI is reason number one: to reduce negative emotion. This seems like such a bizarre reason! How is it that inflicting physical pain or injury could be used to deal with emotional pain? Despite how paradoxical this may seem, people most often report the following reasons for NSSI: to stop bad feelings, to relieve feelings of aloneness, emptiness, or isolation, to distract from other problems, to decrease feelings of rage, to release tension, and to control racing thoughts. .”

Candance shares, “I’ve worked with adolescents in the foster care system in Orange County, California, for the past 17 years and most often teens who engage in self-mutilation (cutting) are not trying to kill themselves. Instead they find superficial cutting relieves in internal emotional pain they are feeling. It’s like releasing a valve that is built up with pressure, as the emotional pain disolves and afterward they feel better. The children who tend to engage in this behavior are often the ones who won’t talk to others about their pain or problems, but rather let it build up internally, which leads to the cutting. This behavior is also contagious in that child who witness a peer engaging in the behavior may try it as well.”

Larraine emphasizes, “I too work with young people (11-19) who self harm and I with agree Candace, that yp say self harming helps alleviate the internal pressure that builds up around issues they struggle to deal with. My experience here in England is that YP do talk to peers but issues relating to family, peers or educational expectations can far exceed their ability to cope. unfortunately this can and has led to suicide. Generally though self harming is used as a coping mechanism and I find that once we establish a non-judgmental .caring safe environment YP can move forward.”

Some people develop NSSI through observational learning; they learn it from somebody else or through the media. The chances of most people actually seeing another person self-injury are very slim, but in places such as psychiatric hospitals and prisons the odds are much higher. Since self-injury has become a part of the vernacular, part of society’s everyday knowledge, the incidence of NSSI, especially amongst teens, has exploded. Where once a self-injurer may been alone in their social group it’s common for teenagers to have friends who actively self-injure or have self-injured in the past.

Diane Sue, PhD. shares, ” I have found that many of those who persistently self-injure have underlying conditions, especially depression, anxiety and sometimes PTSD. Often there are few adults in their lives they can turn to for support.”

My research and experience has made me realize one thing that NSSI is not limited to any age group or gender. The experience of NSSI varies in different individuals. Chris White, Ed.D. says, ” Interestingly, I have observed a major change in who is engaging in this behavior over the past few years. For most of the 27 years I have been practicing, cutters were almost always women who had experienced fairly severe physical or sexual abuse as children and had begun cutting in their 20’s or 30’s. Now, I am seeing much younger girls, as well as some boys/young men, begin cutting in their early teens or even pre-adolescence, who do not have histories of trauma! Some even talk of having “cutter clubs” in their high schools where kids trade “tips” around this behavior.”

Basically the purpose is not killing or hurting oneself but it is due to lack of healthy strategies to deal with your pain. I researched and asked a lot of professionals from this field for help. From the studies and contributions from people working in this field I have tried to collaborate some strategies :

  • You need to find a healthy vent for your pain & problems.
  • It is fine to find strength from within you, but its destructive to accumulate the pain you are going through internally.There is a critical difference here, which we need to understand ; Being a person who is not talkative is amazing if you are happy with it, but if you are going through a phase where you need help, you need to gather the courage to seek it.
  • We need to understand the difference between positive & negative peer pressure. Just because someone, we consider as our style icon, is doing a certain thing, it is not necessary that we should follow them blindly. Sometimes it starts as a cool thing but stays with you forever, mutilating yourself becomes a habit which goes out of your hands.The origin of self-injury is often difficult to determine or understand. Many people are unable to remember where they first got the idea of hurting themselves, and when they actually began to self-injury.
  • If you know someone or a caretaker of a person going through this syndrome, you need to establish a non judgmental & caring atmosphere.
  • You need to be very vigilant for the early signs of injury. Ask questions and seek answers. People who self-injury usually begin by cutting themselves with a knife, razor blade, or other sharp object. From there the person tries other forms of self-injury, such as burning, hitting, etc., until they find their preferred method.
  •  If dissatisfied, bring in a person who could help. The best way you can help a person going through NSSI is connecting him to a therapist. You need an expert here because often there is a lot of underlying reason behind the NSSI behavior.
  • Allow the expression of emotions in a healthy way. Don’t bottle up inside. Often it is the fear or disturbing of expressing it which leads to self damaging path. Sometimes you also learn unhealthy way of showing your emotion, seek proper care if you are one of them in the form of a support group.
  • Don’t be scared of changes in life. Change is growth, though it is feared by most as it is also the unknown. It is being seen that the most cases of NSSI is being reported or observed in teens or mid twenties. It could be due the fact that in this phase of your life you go through a lot of changes.The best way to deal with it to be aware and ready for the new.
  • Feel the pain: Running away from your pain is never the solution.  NSSI is way for short lived relief. You need to live your feeling. There is a whole series on pain: Feel the pain, live the pain and relieve the pain which could help you with this step.
  • Do accept that there is no Shame in what you are doing. It is quite understandable that till now this was the only coping skill you had but realize one thing that it is not a healthy one. Deal with your feeling of shame and seek help.
  • For a primary self check examine your thoughts by asking yourself direct questions like; “What did you intend to accomplish through ___________?” , “What was the point to __________?”, “How did you expect people to react?”, “What did you expect to happen if you didn’t do it?”.

I would like to compare NSSI to an addiction to a depressant. You start with a feeling of euphoria, which fades away leaving you more depressed. You chase the “first time high”, sadly that is unattainable.

In the end I want to say that there are more ways of coping, you just need to look for it!
P.S. A special thanks to all those who took some time out and helped with this article.

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