Day 3: BPD Challenge (Self-Harm)

I am doing this 31 days of BPD challenge because of the stigma associated with Borderline Personality Disorder.  It is probably one of the last talked about (honestly) and explained from personal experience than any other mental illness.  All these prompts have to do with characteristics of BPD, whether to do with specific symptoms and criteria of the illness or vague questions about items that are related to the illness, ex questions about specific relationships.

  • Day 3: Do you self-harm? If yes, how?

Self-harm is mainly used as a way of trying to cope with strong feelings and emotions. The reasons people self-harm can really vary, however, many people engaging in self-harm have gone through tough experiences or damaging relationships which they are trying to cope with.

I do not physically harm my body. I never have. I have two beautiful children and the last thing I want is my child to ask me what I did to my body, why I would do such a thing to my body and think it is okay to harm theirs.

For anyone that self-harms;

Seek professional help- There are a number of professional treatments available if you talk to a doctor, counsellor or psychologist. Some of these include talk therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (an approach based on the idea of mindfulness), as well as certain medications. By talking to an expert you’re able to get a tailored treatment plan that will be adapted to your individual circumstances.

Use online and phone services- If you’d rather not talk to someone face-to-face, check out info on support services like Kids Helpline, Lifeline and eheadspace which provide both phone and online support services.

Enlist a support team- There is always someone out there who cares about your welfare; whether it’s a family member, friend, counsellor or doctor. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and tell someone how you’re feeling.

Practice self-help- There are heaps of techniques you can use to help yourself avoid using self-harm. The more alternatives to self-harm you provide yourself with, the more likely you are to develop more successful coping strategies.

Try different things- Don’t be put off if your attempt to give up self-harm doesn’t work the first time around. Different approaches, as well as different treatments, work for different people so be ready to experiment with what works for you.

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