15 Behaviors We Don’t Always Recognize Are Self-Harm | The Mighty

When people talk about “self-harm,” they’re usually referring to self-mutilation behaviors like cutting. But cutting is not the only way people self-harm — in fact, sometimes self-harm doesn’t “look” like self-harm at all.

Mighty contributor Catherine Renton wrote eloquently about this in her piece, “The Behavior I Didn’t Realize Was Actually Self-Harm.” Renton realized the casual sex she engaged in was actually a way she had been harming herself. She wrote,

Self-harm isn’t always about causing physical pain. It’s continually tugging at that thread that will cause you to unravel. Sadly, what can start as fairly innocuous behavior can lead to more serious harm and even attempts at suicide.

Self-harm doesn’t always manifest physically, and self-destructive behavior can crop up in areas of our lives we may not be aware of.

Maybe you put everyone else’s needs above your own to the point of burnout so frequently, it’s a way you are hurting yourself with or without realizing it. Maybe you tend to push people away, and in sabotaging your relationships, you are actually subconsciously self-sabotaging. Or maybe you use outwardly “healthy” behaviors like exercise to extreme excess and end up hurting yourself.

We wanted to know what behaviors people engaged in that they realized were actually self-harm, so we turned to our Mighty community to share their experiences. You can read what they shared with us below.

It’s important to remember not all of the behaviors listed are automatically self-harm. For example, avoiding going to the doctor may be the result of a struggle with anxiety, not self-harm. Often what makes a behavior self-destructive is the harmful thought process behind the behavior.

Here’s what our community shared with us:

1. Overspending


Source: 15 Behaviors We Don’t Always Recognize Are Self-Harm | The Mighty

Study identifies roadblocks to mental health services for adolescents affected by bullying

Original post from Medical News Today


Better communication needed between medical providers, school officials and parents to remove barriers to help for middle and high school students

Nearly one in three U.S. adolescents are affected by bullying, placing them at risk for health problems including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression and self-harm. Unfortunately, fewer than a quarter of these teens receive help, and new research identifies some of the reasons why.

A study presented Oct. 24 at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC, surveyed 440 students in high school and middle school in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Mirroring national trends, an average of 29 percent of the respondents reported being bullied in the past. Among 11- to 14-year-olds, 54 percent reported being bullied, compared with 46 percent of those 15 to 18 years old.

Researchers identified 28 barriers to mental health services in the study, 11 of which were specific to respondents who experienced prior bullying. Chief among these was a lack of adequate screening and counseling by medical providers, said Amira El Sherif, MD, FAAP, a private practitioner with Kidzcare Pediatrics in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Other obstacles included school system barriers such as inaction by educators and poor enforcement of investigation procedures, and inadequate school follow-up and communication with parents.

Findings from the study, funded by an AAP Community Access and Child Health planning grant, have major implications for improving access to mental health services for victims of bullying, Dr. El Sherif said.

“As a pediatrician, this study reminded me that we can always do more for our patients,” Dr. El Sherif said. “Bullying should become a part of the normal conversation in the office. Doctors, parents and school officials should also work together to address bullying when it occurs and to make sure mental health services are accessible when needed.”

Schools also need training programs that include frequent evaluations to ensure quality standards are consistently met, Dr. El Sherif said. Overall, improving communication between medical providers, school officials and parents would allow for a team approach to bullying, which would improve mental health screening and access to services, she said.

Adapted by MNT from original media release

Read more breaking health news on our homepage

American Academy of Pediatrics

Loyal Dog Calms Owner With Asperger’s Syndrome, After She Tries To Hurt Herself During ‘Depressive Episode’

Original post from Huffington Post


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Dogs really are man’s best friend, and this heartwarming footage is proof.

A woman with Asperger’s Syndrome filmed herself during an emotional episode in which she repeatedly hit herself in the head.

Seeing that his owner, Danielle Jacobs, was visibly upset, Samson the service dog came to the rescue and tried to stop her from inflicting any harm.



Jacobs revealed on YouTube: “This is what having Asperger’s is like… This really happened and it’s not easy to open myself and share what it’s like on a daily basis.”

She said that she had trained her dog to “alert to depressive episodes and self harm”, but not both.

However he had still alerted to his owner’s “meltdown”, and helped to calm and comfort Jacobs by nudging her with his head and putting his paws on her arms so she couldn’t harm herself.

“I trained him to alert to depressive episodes and self harm, not both, but he alerted,” she wrote.

“It appears the response is late but it’s actually supposed to be as I’m coming out of the meltdown as I tend to have a panic attack after.”

Unsurprisingly, the video has since been viewed more than 800,000 times.


Asperger Syndrome: What Is It And Why Is It So Hard To Diagnose?

Internet Throws Teen With Asperger’s Syndrome An Unforgettable Birthday Party, After His Classmates Refuse To RSVP

Asperger’s Syndrome Teenager Nick Gilling Has New Lease Of Life Thanks To Corgi Dog Sally  …………’

“Let’s Pretend You Are the Autistic One”

This is so true.

Emma's Hope Book

(A note on Emma’s post.  Because this is a fictitious dialogue that Emma wrote, for clarity’s sake, I asked her if it was okay to put the Autistic person’s words and thoughts in italics and the non autistic’s words in quotation marks.  She agreed.  My part of the conversation is in parentheses.)

For today’s blog post, let’s pretend you are the Autistic one and I should be the non autistic.

“Oh dear!  Why are you hurting yourself?”

(I asked Emma whether the Autistic person could use spoken language to speak.)

You can’t speak and I will talk for both of us, it will be more authentic that way.  Maybe you talk, but not with the words that best describe what’s in your mind.

“I don’t understand, do you want to go outside?  Why are you biting yourself?  Does that mean you do?”

You are thinking about expectations and how hitting…

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Talking about self-harm: Prepare to be aware

Original post from the blog of Special Needs Jungle

An extract

‘…..Self-harm. It’s something that many find hard to understand. Why would you intentionally hurt yourself?

When we hear about it, it’s usually in relation to young people, most often girls. But self-harm or self-injury is not just confined to teenage girls, nor even to young people. It’s usually seen as a coping mechanism, often related to issues around control and anxiety. Not just self-control, but feeling in control of your own life. Self-loathing is in there too.


It can happen to people in what seem to be the most secure, loving homes because it can be nothing to do with the other people in the house and everything about how the person involved feels about themself. Imagine needing to scream and scream and scream until you are hoarse and that still not being enough to relieve the inner turmoil you feel.

While self-harm is not a mental illness in itself, it is often the visual sign of other issues such as abuse, eating disorders or emotional, depressive or personality disorders. In young people it can stem from not understanding their own emotional process; you hate yourself but don’t know why or how to process the feelings.

Self-Harm Awareness Day: March 1st

Self-Harm Awareness Day is on March 1st. We’re doing this post a few days ahead to give you time to find out about it and read up so that you can use the day to raise awareness or perhaps as a way to start a conversation if you suspect that you might need to, but aren’t sure how.  …….’

Child mental health: A mother’s struggle

Original post from BBC News Health

An extract

‘…………..In the first ever children’s mental health week, a small survey reveals parents’ frustration with the support they get.

Parents like Sally Burke.

She has toughened up. She has had to.

She says: “I’ve become a very hard woman. I’m holding my emotions at arm’s length so that I can function.”

The change has been brought about by having to cope for more than two years with her daughter Maisie’s mental health problems.   ……………’