TW:MENTION OF SELF-HARM
“I cannot do anything good,”, “Nobody loves me,”, “I am useless,”, “I deserve nothing.”
Familiar, aren’t they? We often throw these very sweet words to ourselves. For some, these words are harsher and louder. This very subtle form of criticism is termed as emotional-self harm.
Self-harm is often associated with intentional physical harm, like cutting and burning, by most people. But self-harm isn’t just limited to physical harm. Unhealthy and self-destructive behaviors that are intentional and non - intentional are with emotional self-harm. Emotional self-harm is as destructive as physical self-harm. Emotional self-harm is tied to the past events that occurred in childhood or adolescence. It also occurs when emotional needs aren’t met.
Individuals engage in emotional self-harm to distract or punish themselves. It is also a way to express pain. Emotional self-harm usually goes unnoticed. We often mistake emotional self-harm as our inner critic.
Here are few signs and symptoms:
Emotional self - harm comes in various forms. It ranges from becoming our worst enemy to engaging in toxic relationships and friendships.
“Edan was emotionally and verbally abused as a result they:
We fail to acknowledge emotional self-harm. It wasn’t until I scrolled upon a post on Instagram about emotional self-harm that I had the chance to acknowledge it. I realised my inner critic wasn’t really helping me. The post gave me an opportunity to reflect on myself.
Loneliness is addictive. I had withdrawn from social activities to stay alone. I was belittling myself and achievements. I wouldn’t be happy when I achieve something or push myself to meet very high, unrealistic expectations. I had thoughts of harming myself and engaging in behaviors that are harmful for me in the long run. I cannot say I am over it and do not indulge in emotional self-harm, but I am improving. Emotional self-harm has taught me a lot.
Acknowledging my success has made a great impact! Even if it is small, I congratulate myself for it! Got out of bed? Took a shower? Awesome! Completed our goals? Keep going!
I reflect and think about one thing that made me proud of myself. I take time out for myself. I go out on walks. I am fulfilling my body’s needs!
Music has always helped me! It is my way to self-soothe! I listen to Blue & grey by BTS when I am feeling down!
Coping strategies for everyone is different! Try out different coping strategies and find what best works for you. Here are few coping strategies you can try out:
Emotional self-harm isn’t a choice. It results from what you have been through, and it’s okay.
I hope these strategies help you!
I write articles to provide space for others to relate, connect and hope. It is a way for me to Express myself and reflect. Writing gives me the opportunity to dream.