Why do self-injurious cuts turn white

"Soul Scratches" - Self-harming behavior

Nadine (14 years) is a girl who cuts herself. For many years she had repressed a (traumatic) event. Then the internal pressure from a current stressful situation grows so strong it becomes unbearable, "it has the feeling of bursting." In this situation she accidentally cuts herself on a knife in the kitchen. "At first I was totally shocked because it was bleeding so badly, but I noticed that it gave me relief, that the tension was easing. That's why I keep cutting," she says, showing her forearms. "Am I crazy now?" I also take the knife with me to school, "in case of an emergency". She knows she'll be better afterwards.

At 10% of young people In our counseling center, the reason for registration is snipping, scratching and scratching. They are usually girls between the ages of 12 and 18.

Concerned parents, friends and educators in school and in the leisure sector, this phenomenon is mostly helpless and shocked. "Why are these girls hurting themselves?" They used to have their heads shaved and tattoos.

Is cracking the new fashion trend today? "

"You shouldn't take all of this so seriously, they just want to draw attention to themselves," the advisors hear these voices too. Above all, our help is needed by the young people whose self-harming behavior is not seen, but the physical injuries can hardly be overlooked. Often not even the next of kin are aware of the "hidden" problems.
What does it mean when young people make cuts in their arms or legs, when they scratch, cut, prick themselves with needles? Do you want to shock your surroundings or make yourself interesting or is it just a test of courage (acceptance ritual)?

Research suggests that teenagers may use these Injury tendencies try a deep one mental despair to compensate by harming their body. They seek relief from emotional pain by inflicting physical pain on themselves. Every wound is at the same time a Cry for help, an appeal for attention. Self-harm serves to calm down, the discharge of anger, the interruption of depressive feelings of emptiness. As a rule, one can say that the more violent the self-harm, the worse the emotional pain and the experience. In counseling, those affected tell us that when they are confronted with strong emotions or overwhelming situations, they choose self-harm as a means of coping because it brings them quick relief from fear and tension.

The girls and young women who harm themselves tend to be downcast. They are often very restless and sensitive to rejection. Self-harm helps them, even if only for a short time, to free themselves from intense emotional impressions and sensations such as anger and anger, sadness, loneliness, shame, guilt.

Advice offers to seek other solutions together.

What do we learn about the causes in the consultation?

Physical and sexual Experience of violence, emotional neglect, difficult family relationships, deprivation of parental love, separation and divorce dramas are the main reasons for self-harming behavior. It is not uncommon for these children to have to become independent too early or even slip into a parenting role, for example with a mentally ill mother. A bad event can lead to emotional chaos. If you do not get the right support, care and mental stability from the parents, the child has to deal with it alone. Often there are feelings of neglect and worthlessness. Often the events are suppressed, seemingly forgotten. The trigger factors for self-harm can then be failure at school, too high a performance requirement or the loss of an important person.

Self-injurious behavior triggers the Relatives, friends of those affected diverse reactions and feelings such as fear, guilt, helplessness, anger and sometimes disgust.

What do we advise?

Most of the young people affected want to more attention, time, concern and recognition from the parents that they are interested in their worries and meet them with understanding, trust and support. On the other hand, the parents, educators or other important caregivers feel cornered, disappointed, overwhelmed or helpless by the self-harming behavior of the young people.

In such cases, educational counseling centers can give advice and help to those affected.

For parents, educators or other caregivers, information about the self-harming behavior is indicated as part of the counseling. Your child is neither sick nor crazy. Reactions from parents such as panic, reproaches or threats do not help in these cases, but can make the self-harming behavior even worse. In a second step, building relationships with young people is a central guiding principle of our advice. The aim is to create relief for everyone involved by improving the family relationship. It requires patience and steadfastness in the affection in order to build up or restore the balance in the relationship between the young person concerned and his / her caregiver. A secure and stable relationship in the present is an important prerequisite for successfully dealing with events from the past. Therapeutic help is urgently required in the event of persistent self-harm.

In our experience, counseling is an effective and valuable aid for all those affected in cases of self-harming behavior.

"It's like an addiction that can be resolved with advice, lots of love, and time." (Quote from a victim)

Reports from those affected can be found here: www.rotetraenen.de

This article was made available by the advice center in Hermeskeil (Diocese of Trier).

More information on the Internet at: www.lebensberatung.info