Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Two Sides of Self-Harm This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Wilmington, DE
I was asked to write my opinion for this TeenInk and the first thing that came to my mind was self-harm. There are so many sides and opinions when it comes to something as serious and as impactful as self-harm, for most it's a touchy subject, but it should be something that is okay to talk about. I understand that it's a great trigger for most, it's one for me as well, regardless it's something that should be addressed. From my perspective I believe that it's your body, your mind, and you should be able to do whatever you want with it. When someone does self-harm it's usually something that has to do with their mentality in the situation. I can't actually tell someone to stop doing whatever they think helps them. I personally don't think it's a good idea- period. Yet, I can't tell someone that and if I do they won't believe me.

Then there's the other side of people who tend to get into others business way too often and feel as though they need to help everyone around them. Those type of people hear that someone has a problem and go to them as soon as they possibly can and ask so many questions. "Are you okay?", "Do you need help?", et cetra But after they ask their questions they seem to think it's a good idea to give "advice." Advice like "It'll get better." or "There are people that love you!" But those are only two sides of the self-harm epidemic.

Before I start saying anything, I'm going to say that this is something that I've been through and I understand in fullness what I'm talking about. Now, usually when self-harm comes into play there's usually depression that's accompanied with it. Depression is a mental illness and it's something that should be taken seriously. This might sound strange, but if you've ever seen Peter Pan, the part where is shadow is detached from him can give you some sort of idea of what it's like. Depression is different for everyone, but when I think of it, it's like you've been detached from the outside world and no one is there anymore. Not even your shadow is there to help you. You just become numb. That is what takes someone to the point where they think that they only way to feel something is to create their own sense of pain. Again, it's different for everyone and everyone has their reasons. But that's the way that I thought about it.

Moving onto the two sides that I'm familiar with. My side and the supportive, friendly, need-to-help side. I think I've been through my side a lot but I'll just explain it in a little more detail. My side is the side that people call the "don't really care" side. Which is, for a lack of a better word, wrong. I do care, I just feel that you can't really control a persons thoughts, feelings, or actions. Think of it this way: if you're eating lunch and a person gets their favorite food in the world, you can't really tell them to not eat it. They're still going to eat it. As hard as you try, they'll do it and you can't stop them unless it's by force. That's how I feel about people who decide to self-harm. Sorry, but I'm not going to force them to stop. I could tell them and they might take it into consideration, but I don't think they're going to stop. I go in with the "I understand how hard this is, and I'm sorry that you have to go through it. But I can't stop you from doing it. But if you need help, I'll be here." I like to think that my side is the right one, but most people don't think so.

Now onto the side that cares a little too much about the person. I used to be confronted by one of these people constantly. They would run up to me and start making sure I was okay. I didn't understand it at all. "Are you okay?", "Do you need help?", "Want to talk about it?" Most people don't want help, they just want to be left alone so that they can go through this and not need help and that's okay. If you're one of these people, let them be alone for a little. I understand that you want to help and so do they, but there's somethings that can't be touched so forcefully. This is one of those things. These people also start to say things like "There's so much to live for!", "People love you!", and "It gets better." Don't be so fast to start thinking that they need that. It sometimes make things worse because the people who self-harm start to over think these things and make it into something opposite of what it really is.

There's a couple more things to say before I stop writing and drop this subject. Firstly, I'm sorry if this has triggered anyone. I truly am, this is a sore subject to talk about but I just think that it needs to be addressed more often. Second, this is something serious and not something to be taken lightly. As in, don't joke about it. It has to do with something going on in the brain. How their brain is wired differently than yours. That's something that you cannot change. Last, when people say "it gets better" is doesn't. Now before you judge me, what I mean by that is that it doesn't get better; you have to make it better. You yourself and responsible for what how your life goes. If you go through something like self-harm it's up to you to stop yourself. When you do make it better, it's so worth it.

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own!

Christine0224 said...
today at 2:19 am:
I agree with you, I went through a lot of this and it drives me insane when people are pushy. They just are either to blind to realize or don't want to realize what they are doing. It's an extremely sensitive topic and it's nice to see someone be polite about this topic :)
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
Site Feedback