HOPE was first written in 1997 and was the foundation for me in starting Project SPEAR a national Charity which closed  in 2008, 2 years after I left, Sue OzO.

Understanding Self-harming Behaviour & Encouraging Self-help Honesty Opportunity Potential Encouragement

Inner Torment

Letís start by accepting we need help, because itís depression, it comes from within, unseen, seemingly  invisible to the outside world.

Maybe thatís why people self-injure, to acknowledge the inner torment to make it real, visible.  but we will talk about that later.

If youíre depressed or feeling stressed, itís more than reasonable to say that one may not be thinking to clearly, therefore itís much harder to find the answers that lead to the solution.

Evidence for this

Have you ever lost your keys and found them somewhere you had already looked?  Sometimes we canít see the wood for the trees, especially if youíre experiencing depression.   Sometimes we just need someone to point us in the right direction, or just encourage us in achieving our goals.   I have found unbiased advice/support the best in general to seek out, and there are plenty of professional advice/support agencies around to help you.   You know what you want to escape/ but do you know what your want? How many unfortunate things have happen to you this week and how easy is it to bring that to your mind?    Then ask yourself, how much encouragement and good things youíve received in your week?    How easy is it to bring to mind?  

You are what you think.

ďYour thoughts can become your words,

 Your words become your actions,

Your actions become your character,

Your character becomes your destiny.Ē 



How much time have you dedicated to thinking negative this week?  How do think you feel after that? Please try to summon up a memory of something you tasted, which you thought was disgusting, maybe licking a battery, when asked as a child, could be a common memory.  Did you get a physical response in the back of your throat? Or an emotional response? Most people will when they remember an unpleasant thought. . Evidence words create physical and emotional responses.   When we view the present the past blurs future hopes with past memories  and we feel trapped as even the future feels stained by the past.   So one may feel there is no escape from the vicious circle one could find themselves in.  These are feelings and assumptions, not a reality as yet, but if you keep thinking negative you may stay depressed for longer than you have to. I have experienced the realms of deliberate self-harm, the harmful effects of depression.  The reasons, the connections, the responses and the effects of deliberate self-harm will be openly discussed in this booklet. 



Self-help image


I decided to call the action I took, ĎMADí, because it could have led to my assured destruction, luckily for me I managed to find a way out in time, by escaping the negative people surrounding me at that time.

 Many donít find escape, and thatís why I do what I do.

MAD was not really my idea, the powers that be place MAD on nuclear missiles, it stands for Mutually Assured Destruction, I thought this was quite amusing and to the point.  

There isnít time to waste; more people are on a MAD mission due to their environment and the hostile responses they receive from others, and with long waiting lists to access support or counselling,

you need to help yourself in the meantime.

If you are deliberately self-Injuring, you might not make use of the support that is out there, we can all deliberately self-harm in so many ways, isolation being one of the lesser spoken of.

Support doesnít come in time for some people, due to an individual not making use of the support opportunities that are available to them.  

Joining support groups helps a great deal, firstly it takes the edge off of the isolation an individual can feel who is taking this action; youíre not the only one in this boat. 

  Also it encourages individuals to be more positive within, so accomplishing more outwardly confidence in their dealings with others. 


Many of the people can slip into crisis again; the trigger for this seems to be the present-day negative responses they receive.  

 If youíre in an environment where you receive little or no respect, you may find it beneficial to seek out new environments and people that will give you the support needed to inspire positive growt

The path to true friendship or positive ones will be long and at times painful, but you really have to keep trying.

I provide Life Coaching but only to a small amount of people.

Itís all about taking on Positive challenges





Deliberate Self-Harm.  Anyone, after contemplating these three little words, could come to the conclusion that they mean so much more than razor-blade slashes. 

 There  are  many  other  ways  in  which  to  cause  oneself  to  feel  pain,  after  all  there  are  so  many  different  kinds  of  pain.  I will  leave  the  rest  to  your  imagination. 

I donít  have to  go  down  that  path,  and after all, the best horror stories never reveal the monster.   

 Not  everyone  notices, not  everyone  thinks  about  the  reasons  why  some  people  feel  compelled  to  turn  painful memories  into  flesh,  blood  and  bone  reality.




A present day Pandoraís box


ďwhen  he  opened  the  box  a  swarm  of  plagues,  miseries  and  disasters  flew  out,

relenting the  world and  blighting  all  human  lives.Ē

It  seems  that when talking about  this  with ďNormalĒ  lucky,  trouble-free  people,  we  would  create  our  own  monsters,  spreading  mental  imbalance  like  a  plague  and  sending the  innocent  swarming  to  cliff  edges.

  The  point  is  people  do  sometimes  imitate  othersí  actions  and  deliberate  self Ėharm  is  on the  increase. 

It is  not  going  to  go  away,  but the increase is due to more individuals than ever before feeling trapped by their present-day circumstances.



Letís talk  about  Deliberate Self-harm


Deliberate self-harm can be seen as many things, for each individual there is a different reason as to why they will deliberately self-harm.    

This account of self-harm is a personal view from inside out and outside in.   I will be looking at the common ground shared by most  individuals  that  take  the  action  of  self-abuse.

Consider the meaning behind these words: DELIBERATE SELF-HARM

Deliberate.                            Intentional / planned / wilful

           Intended / premeditated /calculated /

           Conscious / purposeful / cautious /       

           Composed / well-thought-out / paced/

           Methodical / orderly /unhurried


Self.                                      Expressing  reflexive  action

                                             of/or  directed  towards  oneself /

                                             The  consciousness  of  self.



Harm.                                   hurt /injury /damage / mischief  / abuse /                                                       

      maltreatment/ wound /impair.


I do not take prisoners in what I term as deliberate self-harm. Alcohol  and  drugs   are  just  different  methods   that  are   more  socially  acceptable.

Even  excessive  shoe-buying   if  it  leads  you to losing your home, may be  classed  as deliberate  self-harm  the way I see it.


I  aim  to  encourage  an  individual to believe  that  the  responsibility  of  self  is  down  to  self. 

 I  cannot  rescue people but I  can encourage and  support  them  until  they  can  move  forward  on  their own.  

I  never  inform  anyone  to  stop  deliberately  self-harming,  I  respect  their  choice  as  an individual  and  reinforce that this is their responsibility to care  for  themselves. 

 Also it can be dangerous to force someone to stop self-injuring, pressure can build up and a greater injury can be inflicted, itís all about them, so itís got to be their choice, and when they are ready and capable to resist this coping method and work towards the solution. I can only offer strategies to assist an individual with problem-solving in situations that they feel uncomfortable with. 


How an individual  mentally  builds  up  to   take  this  action ?


  individual  will suffer a build-up of self-persecution and misery that makes them feel raw inside. 

The intensity of this feeling leads to a need to express it visually, an open wound that bleeds, that others will recognise; maybe a wound that can heal.

There is something inside that is being kept hidden, intimate, the undisclosed secrets that have been so devastating and traumatic that the person pushes them to the back of their mind,

disowning them and seeing them as Ďaliení to their lives.  When I use the word  Ďaliení, I mean an experience they had, which was so unfamiliar and repugnant that the memories become distasteful and contradictory.   

 If you cannot accept it, you deny it and in doing so you cannot find a solution, because you do not know the cause. 

  Present forms of abuse experienced trigger the past memories of traumatic abuse, and life feels like a vicious circle.

When an individual finds themselves in a situation where they are suddenly attacked or injured, they do not know what to do.    


They may go into a state of shock, one cannot do anything, one may not feel in control, and one cannot move or speak sometimes. 

 If sexual abuse is involved, one may feel guilty and ashamed that one did not do anything at the time and one may consider othersí reactions to this for leaving it too long,

 just because one had to come to terms with it themselves first Ė who will people point the finger at? 


Who will pay for this injustice? This leads to: Confusion  of  self. 

If you can accept that we now live in the concrete jungle, the laws of the jungle could still apply.  

  But Predators do not look like Predators, they act the same, waiting around for a moment when the young or vulnerable are exposed and without protection,

working alone or in packs.   


Their motive is not to survive, just self-gratification.    

I cannot understand why anyone would term this a power trip, itís a sad and very easy accomplishment to achieve, preying off the weak and unprotected.   

Anyone experiencing this abuse, ďplease remember it isnít your responsibility, just because someone thought they had the right, doesnít mean itís right, youíre a casualty of society.  

itís just life as we know it, not as we want it, and we can work towards a more secure future if we start working  together, and more importantly start helping ourselves by taking on the responsibility of deliberate self-help.Ē  

 Also when we look back on the past, we are more experienced, an adult looking back through a Childís eyes, and it may be easy to condemn the child for not acting as an adult would have,

but they were innocent and had no experience then. 


Inner Torment

 Conditioning  and  Labels.


There are many reasons for deliberate self-harm. We are conditioned by our culture to fit into a role within it, and these roles have many labels. There are labels that are desired and sought after and labels that are known as distasteful and repugnant. Deliberate self-harm is somewhat common in the gay community.


Because of these labels, when you are gay, young and growing up, the emotions that you feel cannot be expressed for the fear of alienation from those around you and especially from the ones you love. 

 (I was very confused as a child as I was aware of sexuality, but I had a sense I should not talk about it, and I was self-injuring very superficially at a very young age, due to being very confused over these feelings)

So one may repress it, fight it, deny it.    Anything but unveil the truth, for fear of exile.


That is unless one can find others like yourself, where self-expression and freedom of self is safe and acceptable.  

Basically Mr or Miss Right or even just friends, donít come knocking on your door, you have to search high and low for them, but they are out there. 

Another culture-conditioning that leads to self-harm in a multitude of ways is the image our culture has decreed as perfect.  

The form of a ĎrealĎ man and woman, which are far beyond the reach of the masses, but still we try, craving for acceptance and worth from those we care about and surround us.  

 Thatís not surprising considering every day we have at least 500 images of the perfect bodies as the media would have us believe as normal and common,

we see these on billboards, newspapers, magazines, TV, most images have been computer-enhanced, plus letís face facts the people from Hollywood, etc, have teams of people making them look that good.


Trapped by circumstances


An individual that Self-harms is very sensitive, and is very aware of non-verbal leakages. Not because they are trained, but because they have re-run past memories over and over in search of the truth, 

looking closely at every aspect of the situation in the hope of finding a cause for their circumstance, and avoiding it in the future.  

 Nowadays nearly everyone has had some training on non-verbal leakages, 

so maybe we shouldnít judge people on this alone as even this can be faked now. Drifting  into  the  socially  acceptable  forms  of  self-harm. 

As I worked as a hostel worker I lived with the residents and could see how they coped,

when they were not cutting.    There could be danger here, as when an individual who deliberately self-injures stops, they will find other ways to self-harm because there is no release of pressure,

and depression can take hold in more conflicting ways.

They have panic attacks, they feel they are being watched, the four walls are pushing in on them on all sides.   This is when suicidal thoughts may creep in. 

 So we need to find safe coping methods to use if we are trying to give up a harmful coping method.



Relearning  the  route.


Long-term depression will leave a person suffering with many afflictions: unhappy, secluded and remote, you may feel abandoned and friendless.

Everything becomes an effort.   Discontented and in turmoil, they become suspicious, cautious and faithless, because of the uncertainty they feel in every thing.

People in general do not want to sit and listen to othersí problems when they have their own, they want some light relief.

An  individual  who  has been in depression for a long period of time can forget how to make pleasant conversation.  

 They may need to be re-educated in some cases, because they have become too serious, too withdrawn, to address their own non-verbal leakages, which send out mixed messages to others.

The body language that occurs due to depression, may discourage others from interacting with an individual, so adjusting your body language may be essential to encourage a more positive social network. 

  One has to accept you may be sending out signals that are displaying vulnerability and in our concrete jungle we have to send out strong messages to survive.   

 Another common factor is that an individual is often trapped in the past; aware of the present and walking to the future, but their mind will be looking in the opposite direction: the past. 

  We all need to know where we are going and how we can achieve this.

If you were driving a car like that, you would crash, as looking in the rear mirror constantly is dangerous.


Seeing only the past

An individual who Self-harms needs to be given new methods to         problem-solve.


They need to see that they have a choice. The choice cannot be made when the solutions are out of reach, unknown and unaccepted.

They need to be guided until they find their own ways.   It is not just about disclosing secrets from the past and getting counselling for that one problem.  

  That is just the start.

A new self-programming is needed and because of the mistrust an individual may feel towards others, they need to be given the tools to find it themselves,

and encouraged to make use of the support services that exist.  Itís self-help and self-responsibility that makes a greater impact.



Instinctually Desired  Release


An animal that is caught in a trap will chew off its foot to escape.   One reason for this is  because it cannot go to Boots and buy a packet of razors, and the other is that it cannot see an alternative to this action.  Its instinct desires release.  People in high places have self-harmed and even animals deliberately self-harm.  It could be seen as an instinctual desire to find release when escape from a situation seems unobtainable.




ďMaybe it would be more beneficial to start looking where you want to go.Ē


ďMaybe it would be beneficial to think about how you would rather feel.Ē


ďMaybe it would be beneficial to consider how you can move towards what one wantsĒ

 The  thin  line  between  a  release  of  pressure  and   foreplay  with suicide.  

  I believe when deliberate self-harm takes place, the person is actually problem-solving a way out of a situation.

They are in fact choosing life.  This could be seen as a cry for help, an attempt for life. 

That is why I have used the term ďforeplay with suicideĒ, because this satisfies their instinctual desire for release. 

People who deliberately self-harm cut because they want to stay alive. Itís a coping method, not a solution, but the solutions are out there.  

Somewhere in their past something started a chain of events that lead them to this moment in time, which may be far removed from the place they wish for.

The situation that propelled them to the here and now, the situation that didnít end: 

 The situation that was broken off,

Cut off.


Unfinished business surrounds them.

Resolution was not found.

Absolution denied.   

Itís still an open book.



I would like you to imagine that the past problems of an individual who self-harms are:

Repellent,            Obnoxious,          Offensive,                     Nauseating,

Items that you might find in a dustbin.

You are enclosed in a small room.

The smell is disagreeable to say the least.

There is no lid on it, and you can see the contents clearly.

The whole thing is offensive.  The odour and vision leaves a lasting trace on everything that you try to do.


The  point  of the  Action


This is how a person who gets to the point of the action of deliberate self-injury can feel when alone with four walls pushing in on them. 

  It is enough to make one feel raw on the outside and tender on the inside, a living nightmare that seems endless.   

  If the past is over and done with, why is this fragrance so putrid and pungent?  

  It is because it has not been finished, something stopped, it did not end, and it never had a conclusion and the final curtain never closed.

  The lid was never replaced.     

 When we ask questions, we expect  answers; there is no sufficient answer to the question ďwhy someone would abuse another?Ē 

Plus we need to accept only a very small minority will admit what they did was wrong, victims should carry the blame or guilt because the person responsible refuses to acknowledge what they did.

Why stop using labels. The first thing that needs to be done is: Lose the LABELS  ďDeliberate self-harmerĒ, ďSelf-harmerĒ and all the rest.  

 I find these labels negative and active. What do we mean by active? It suggests: The label on the box, identifies you, and we are far too complex to wear any one label.

You will have to agree that if you are in a small box then growth is restricted.   What can  happen when anti-social  deliberate self-harm stops?  If  someone stops deliberately self-injuring, 

 it is more than likely they may find another way to self-harm, but this time it will be different.  It will be the socially acceptable kind.

The kind that can go unnoticed, after all we all self-harm in one form or another.  Think about this one before you dismiss it. 

Label the action, not the person.


What are the possible motives for use?


The well-trodden myth ďto drown your sorrowsĒ ceases to be true when one considers that the effectiveness of alcohol in dealing with your problems falls far short from reality (sorrows float). 

 Any addiction can be enjoyable escapism, which can be justified for whatever reason.  

  Effort is necessary to release oneself from an addiction and if an addiction has been sought after in the first place a person is likely to find it very difficult to find the motivation needed to give ďitĒ

and the excuses and true reasons up.    Take drug addiction, you start with the motive to get high, you end with the motive just to get by.   

  You canít get high if itís become a way of life.   


 Consider all the motives listed, I donít see deliberate self-harm as manipulation but many do. 

   I see it as desperation and self-preservation.  Your feedback on this is needed, if we are to succeed in changing othersí opinions on this issue.

You need to accept and understand your motives behind your addictions. You then need to look for the motives that will overcome that addiction. 

Find something you want more, and focus on that. We misunderstand depression in general.  It makes us aware there are problems in our current situation and action is needed. 

Depression doesnít exist to keep you down. I see depression as having a positive element: it lets you know something isnít right at present and itís time you corrected it.  

Donít forget depression can be self-generated and that means it comes from within, just like humour and we may beat it if we keep trying.

Take your time and be honest and donít allow yourself to become depressed if you donít like some of the answers.   

 Learn from them.    

I enjoy challenging all the prejudice around deliberate self-harm, but first I need to challenge your self-prejudice as if you are deliberately self-injuring, 

 you are cold and uncaring  towards the self. It is harsh judging the self as unworthy, prejudicial, self against self.   

 You need to be calm and positive, allow yourself to see yourself as only human, flesh and blood, and at times prone to make mistakes.   

Justify self to self, release any guilt, shame and prejudice towards self and achieve self-tolerance. Start again with a blank page.

You can make a difference, never give up on yourself.  Donít put yourself under too much pressure, one step at a time,

 and aim for an easy life first and when you are there, aim for a great life.  




Please email us with your reasons if you wish to share your reasons/thoughts on these possible motives


Expressing your inner torment.  Explain what message you are sending.


Communication Monk image     















Relinquishing something valued or regarded as having value.    Explain how you think others will react.

Sacrifice image
















The pain that is within, untouchable, unseen, unheard, unnoticed.

Explain how you feel after.


Release image





















Skilful exploitation of a situation for ones own ends.

Explain what if any benefits you get from others.






















to find satisfaction

Explain why you find it helpful.



Pleasure Image






















Pain image

Explain when it hurts and what type of pain is it from the method you use.





















Self-induced persecution

Explain if hurting yourself makes you feel better about yourself and for what reasons. 



Punishment image

















Each individual will have individual motives behind their actions of deliberate self-injury/harm.   What may be common is the lack of self-worth they feel. 

They have judged themselves to be unworthy and they confirm this by dwelling on negative experiences and live in fear of future negative responses.

You canít defend yourself, so you take on the guilt and fear that block you from believing anything good about yourself.

There is still an instinctual desire to survive and one finds self-injury supports an individual to cope with their feelings of hopelessness. 


Judgement image

So a Judgement may have been made


They  found  themselves  guilty  for something they were  not  responsible for and due  to ía factí  that  the  defence  had  insufficient  evidence  to  clear  themselves.


A judgement has been passed.


 Guilt.                        Blameworthiness / blame / responsibility/ Remorse/ self-reproach / regret / sorrow/                Shame/ self-condemnation.

It may be that Self-help can free a person from the chains of depression.


Self-injury image

The punishment


Self-condemnation            the  blaming  of  ones-self.

 Self-accusation                  the  accusing  of  oneself.

Self-contempt                     contempt  for  oneself. 

Self-denial                          self-sacrifice.

 Self-disgust                        self-hatred

 Self-reproach                     to  reproach  or  blame  oneself.


isolation image

We have to look at this judgement and accept one thing, you only viewed one side of the evidence, and you never defended yourself.   This is why you need to seek out support and find someone who will help you accept the truth and encourage you to defend yourself by finding the balance by seeing as much good in yourself as you imagine is bad.  So the  solution  to  this  problem  is  to  produce  evidence  indicating  whether  a  thing  is  true  or  valid.



Deliberate self-harm is an intentional, considered course of action


(Great, this means you can un-plan it) that occurs when a person feels entrapped by a situation, which triggers off the manifestation of that Personís past traumatic experiences and emotions. (Start to make a list of situations that triggers negative thinking and problem-solving methods of combating them or raising your tolerance to them)

Hidden memories that are incomprehensible and inaccessible stir emotions that come to the surface in disguised reactions to present situations. (Well, most of the time you have no control to what thoughts pop into your mind, but you do have a choice if they stay there. Try to distract yourself from too much negative thinking. It is easier said than done, it may be difficult at first, but itís very achievable.) It could be seen as a sacrifice, a voluntary relinquishing of something of value, an offering for absolution, a release to exonerate the excruciating pain that is within, untouchable, unseen and unheard.   (Write a letter to yourself on what you want to achieve, and how you would rather feel)  Whatever you may see it as, it is most certainly one thing: COMMUNICATION. A statement of the depth of emotional anguish that person is feeling within.   ( Make use of the support networks that surround you )


Deliberate self-harm is a coping method not a solution. Deliberate self-help is the solution


 It is Self-preservation, an individual who takes this action wants to live, just not the way they are living it at the moment.  An individual has a self-responsibility to self that they must make an effort and accept the rewards of their efforts will be minor in the short term, but with courage and persistence they will make a significant difference in the long term.    It is one step at a time; keep the pressure off until you have increased your self-tolerance.  It will take time and commitment.  There  is  another  common  thread  that  runs  through  all  those  that  take the action of deliberate  self-harm  and  that  is the one of  fear, due to self-doubts.

Fear  is  an unpleasant  emotion  caused  by  exposure  to  danger.

One may  walk  around  with  an  expectation  of  pain.

One can be in a state  of  alarm.

One may experience  anxiety  for  oneís  safety.

Feel  fear  towards  a  person  or  thing.

One may  hesitate.

One may  dread  certain  situations.

One can  feel  terror  entering  a  crowded  room.

To  oneís  horror  someone  talks  to  you.

One can then start  to  panic.

One may  act  timid,  out  of  fright.

One  talks but  every  word  is filled with  apprehension.

One may  feel  intimidated.



Worry,  worry,  and worry.

Oneís  worst  nightmare  could  happen  at  any  second.

So  one may  start  to live life  fearfully.






Lacking  self-confidence.

Excessively  modest.






Unforthcoming. There  could  be  an   avoidance  of  saying  all  the  individual knows  or  feels, or  a  disposition  to  silence, holding   back  some  facts.


So what is the Answer?


Acceptance and Understanding


 When we have this, we have empathy and are in a position to understand why this person is acting in such a way. 

If needed, with understanding and acceptance, you will know what evidence is needed to present to an individual,

evidence that may correct a negative response that was due to past negative communications.  Itís never too late; tomorrow can always be a fresh start.  

 When we act judgementally, we do a person an injustice.   Because truly we will never know all the facts, there will always be something missing,

so how can you judge a person fairly? When you judge a person unfairly, itís wrong, oppressive/ discriminative/ biased/ one-sided/ abuse and a disservice as you may underestimate and undervalue that person.

An individual could accept they are being prejudice against self, they are being judgemental  and discriminative, they are oppressing self, but they can find the solutions, if they look hard enough.    

  If you are really against prejudice, you must combat self-prejudice first. 

You may find it beneficial to understand fear is based on what could happen, not what will, or what has happened;

 itís down to yourself to overcome your fears with the support of others; raise your tolerance to your fears a little at a time.

Why do so many people have a problem dealing with Individuals that self-injure?

Itís the common and inordinate reaction to deliberate self-harm. 

Letís face it; individuals that self-injure are aware they run the gauntlet.

They have received it from non-professionals and professionals alike.

So what is the common ground here?

Could it be, that the society in which we live in is ruled by packaging?

The deep penetrating cuts that can be made by an individual who self-injures, will expose brutal truths that neither side want to acknowledge.

It is common knowledge now that we have difficulties dealing with the after-effects of witnessing other peopleís injuries.   

Itís the realisation of the frailness of the Human Being. 

 After all we are akin to meat. 

The openness of a wound displays the familiarities between human beings and the meat in the fridge. 

 I know many carers that have found it so distressing to deal with an individual that has self-injured,

that I feel people that self-injure need to take this into account, and wrap their wounds before asking for help, as I know that can be achieved and we should take others feelings into account,

as we have to act as we want to be treated.  With more care, what do you think? 

This is why most will have an inordinate reaction to self-injuries, how could a person do this to themselves.   

  Nowadays, everyone seems to be concerned with packaging.  That is why we find it more convenient to buy meat from the supermarket.

    We are then shielded from the point of the action that a living being is slaughtered for the individual needs,

but how many would buy it if they had to stand next to the living being and be present at its death and disembowelment.  

Maybe now you may see why so many can turn their backs on this.    

How dare someone strip their skin and expose the brutal crude truth that we are formed from something as simple as flesh and bone. 

 We all live in denial of something, denial can be as good or dangerous, depending on the context.

This could explain the reasons for the reactions most individuals endure that take the action of deliberate self-injury.

   Society is self-obsessed with looks.  When I think back I was only trying to express how I felt in the inside on the outside;

maybe then the people would have noticed how much pain they really caused and maybe stopped. 

  My way out come when I cut some people out of my life rather than cutting myself up. Professionalsí tolerance to self-injury is better than ever before and we only hear of a few cases now of discrimination. 

They also have the frustrations of not being in a position to help people who self-injure at times. 

  So they try a bit of a sharp shock treatment. Not enough time, money/ resources/ knowledge/ understanding/ acceptance is freely available for this problem.   

In hospitals professionals have been exposed to the impact of injury that has been enforced on someone, the emotional torment caused by disfigurement.

They have been repeatedly exposed to the torment and emotional distress death causes, they know in their hearts you choose life.

They know one wants life. They canít change things as they havenít got the time. Sometimes because of heavy workloads they react, as we all do.

Frustrations and emotions come to the surface as anger and contempt.   What I aim to do is create empathy on both sides of the fence.

Those who condemn individuals who self-injure need to understand and accept this attitude, if they want to deal with the problem and combat it.


Positive evidence

My own answer thatís so the truth for me when asked about my scars was

ďWent to Hell, Hell was shit, these are the skid marks

Of course my scars have faded now, and I am never asked anymore, pain fades, scars heal.


The artistic principle

Those who self-injure are communicating in a way that might seem crude, but has artistic qualities. 





This could explain the reasons for the reactions most individuals endure that take the action of deliberate self-injury.  

  Society is self-obsessed with looks.  When I think back I was only trying to express how I felt on the inside on the outside, maybe then the people would have noticed how much pain they really caused and maybe stopped.  

 My way out come when I cut some people out of my life, rather than cutting myself up.

ďHumans Being JudgmentalĒ, the problem.

rather than  aiming to be

ďHumans being ResponsibleĒ

If You Canít Get Over It, Learn To Deal With It.

I thought  there  were  things  that happened in my  life  that  I  would  never  get  over  but  I  have  learnt I was very wrong and you can leave the past in the past, if you want.

When  I  was  depressed  and  deliberately  self-injuring & harming  I  had  built  up  to  this  action by  focusing  on  all  the  negative  aspects  in  my  life. 

 I  then  made  an  unbalanced  judgement  due  to  an  overview  of  one-sided  evidence.   As unique individuals, it is our own responsibility to keep sight of what is important to us  as a person,

 and there is a need to find a  balance and not put ourselves under too much pressure.    Working one day at a time, taking one step at a time. We sometimes expect changes to occur overnight,

we all know it takes time, but do we accept this? 

Do we really give ourselves enough time to adapt to changes? What are the common responses to this Action? Princess  Diana  was  an individual who took the action of deliberate self-injury. 

She divulged that on several occasions she had cut herself,  and  even  she  was  faced  with  the  common  reaction  by  those  closest  to  her,  that  she  was  merely  attention-seeking.

What does ATTENTION-SEEKING really mean?

Letís do some role-playing.

You find yourself in very deep water, you canít see anything to reach out for that could support you. 

 You are finding it impossible to keep your head above water. What do you do?

Seek attention, that is if you have the basic Human instinct of SELF-PRESERVATION.

I see deliberate self-injury as an act that is instinctually desired by human beings when they feel that they are trapped with no other means of escape.

It is not the solution, just another coping method  that someone has found to deal with their  individual situation.

Face facts how else will anyone see the pain an individual is suffering, how else would they get support.  Yes we have all suffered something,

but what if you never found something to care about enough or when you did you lost it.  People  have  very  mixed  feelings  towards  individuals  who bear  the  marks  of  the  ďdepth  of  suffering  they  feel within,

exposed  naked to  the  worldĒ.  People  will  then  act  accordingly  i.e. evade  what  they  fear,  or  look  on  disapprovingly  at  something  they  find  to  be  offensive.

Itís just the NORM after all, humans being...judgemental. We all do it. There is a minority within every culture that will voice their judgements of others and a minority within it that wonít. 

 Then thereís that minority that makes their feelings known by their visual displays and there are ones that donít.  Also thereís that sad minority that makes their feelings known by acts of violence etc.

You will always find further minorities within any minority group. 

I accept we all have a cross to bear, and everything I have experienced discrimination for I have also accessed benefits from. 

Now I can see the balance, I found myself not sensitive to the discrimination. 

We all need to be human beingÖ. responsible, and stop being so judgemental. 

We may need to accept difference more, and learn from those differences, why they exist and where  they  originate from. 

This interchange of differences is what has made the Human Race achieve all its greatest advances. 

The sharing and blending of our cultures and knowledge has made us strong. This is something I feel has been overlooked or ignored.

We all have something to add to the pot.  We all share the same rocky boat.  Maybe it is time to stop making all those waves for each other.

There have been many radical changes in the Twentieth Century, most of which have left more people than ever before experiencing a comfortable Lifestyle.

 So what are the drawbacks? Our expectations are greater than ever before.

More people are stressed and confused and start to question their whole way of life. If you seek out negative experiences, you will find them. 

The pace of life and the pace of change have never been so fast. Some working environments are becoming places of fear due to the ridicule some individuals have to suffer.

More feelings of suspicion and distrust are originating in the workplace fuelled by bad communication. 

 Most of us in todayís society can properly recall an instance when for no known reason a stranger has directed verbal abuse in passing.

  If you are suffering from low self-esteem this will act as confirmation to passing thoughts of negativity and can have damaging results. 

Many individuals have been damaged somewhat due to there past experiences in the workplace.

  Leaving them with no motivation or commitment to that role.  

This leads to high absenteeism and the workplace leaves you feeling discontent and asking yourself  ďwhy I am doing this?Ē

The extent of damage, which abuse will have on an individual, can only be defined by that  individual.


Abuse is abuse in any sense or form.  Most would consider verbal abuse as minor, and this may be true as abuse goes, but it costs a major fortune and we are all exposed to it.

The most common place where verbal abuse is on the increase is within the workplace. We can spend over 40 hours a week with the people we work with (sometimes more than we spend awake with our partners.) 

Those little irritations can grow into major conflict as time ticks by and the individual becomes more sensitive to each knock. Frustrations and emotions come to surface as anger and contempt.

 Cliques often form and individuals can dread leaving the room as they know they will be the next subject for discussion. The new face that gains a stir of attention can bring rebuke from the hands of time.

Overworked and understaffed.  Many can be jealous for no other reason than think someone is getting closer to their own dream and decide to

 put a spoke in their wheels, just so they can feel better about their own lives again, safe.  Keeping frustrations unspoken for fear of repercussions. 

Companies spend fortunes on team training, encouraging Individuals to new heights only to disillusion them later.

   Itís difficult to find the right balance with people, but if we are true to ourselves and believe in equality and practise it, then we can please ourselves by being ourselves and accepting you cant please everyone, but we all have rights. 



Negative self-image

Encouraging Qualities Within  Individuals  Towards  Positive  Thinking 


Encourage                 give courage,  confidence,  or  hope  to.

Qualities                value / worth /  distinction/  dignity . 

Within                  inside / enclosed /  internally /  within  oneís  grasp. 

Towards              in  the  direction  of. 

Positive               sure / certain / confident / satisfied /  marked  by the  presence  rather  than  absence  of qualities.              .

Thinking              using  thought  or  rational  judgement.


The messages I convey will be based upon general reasoning with the aim and the understanding that a message can be carried in many different ways, an individual may not understand a message that has been translated in only one way.

This communication strategy is one of the most important methods that I employ. Ensuring that an individual is aware that he/she needs to take action now in order to create provisions for the future,

and, to accept and cater for the unknown obstacles that can obstruct positive growth.


The Help Self list goes on.


Self-actualise: to realize fully oneís personal (e.g. intellectual) potential. Life can be what you make it.

Self-assertion: the act of asserting oneself or oneís own rights, claims, or opinions.

Self-assurance: of oneís own powers and abilities; self-confidence.

Self-aware: of oneís own personality or individuality.

Self-command: which is self-control, restraint of oneís own impulses or emotions.

Self-satisfied: developing an idea & helping others create this.

Self-composed: having or showing mental or spiritual composure, calm.

Self- confidence: in oneself and in oneís powers and abilities.

Self-content: achieving what makes one happy.

Self-correcting: compensating for or correcting oneís own errors or weaknesses.

Self-determination:  free choice of oneís own actions or states without outside influence.

Self-development: oneís own mind or capacities.

Self-directing oneself: specific not guided or impelled by an outside influence.

Self-discipline: the control or training of oneself.

Self-enrichment: the act or process of increasing oneís intellectual or spiritual resources.

Self-esteem: a confidence and satisfaction in oneself; self-respect.

Self-fulfilling:  marked by, or achieving, fulfilment of oneself.

Self-image: oneís conception of oneself or of oneís role.

Self-imposed: imposed on one by oneself; voluntarily undertaken.

Self-induced: induced by oneself or itself.

Self-made: by oneís own actions.

Self-mastery: Self-motivated.

Self-motivated: driven by oneís own internal impetus, self-starting.

Self-moved: by inherent power without external agency or cause.

Self-organization: of oneself.

Self-poised: balanced without support.

Self-possessed: composed in mind or manner, calm.

Practise safe self-questioning: when examining oneís own actions and motives.

Self-realisation: fulfilment by oneself or the inherent possibilities of oneís nature.

Self-regard: concern or consideration for oneself or oneís own interests.

Self-reliance: upon oneís own efforts and abilities; independence.

Self-restraint: imposed on oneself, esp. on the expression of oneís feelings.

Self-stimulation: of oneself as a result of oneís own activity or behaviour.

Self-sufficient: able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid.

Self-supporting: meeting oneís needs by oneís own labour or income.

Self-will: the stubborn or wilful adherence to oneís own desires or ideas, like you do, but in a positive fashion.


What can you do to support?


There is always a solution.   

You may not be able to see the wood for the trees when you are depressed, and thatís where you can support someone to find their individual solution for their individual situation.     

Support them to help themselves.

Needed skills to support an individual.

Honesty, donít make promises you canít keep.

Opportunity, display more options.

Potential, provide evidence, everyone has it.

Encouragement, let them know they can do it and acknowledge it will be difficult at times, but they can do it. We misunderstand depression in general. 

It makes us aware there are problems in your current situation and action is needed.  Depression doesnít exist to keep you down.

I see depression as having a positive element: it lets you know something isnít right at present and itís time you correct it.  I cannot rescue people, but  I can  support  them  until  they  can  move  forward  on  their own.

 An individual who has resorted to taking this action feels trapped. Support them to find a solution.

Too many people try to become the solution for a person they care about, some people become overwhelmed by their feelings of responsibility, and then they feel trapped and seek escapism. 

I had to accept why so many people had such an inordinate reaction to this coping method.  The truth became apparent in time; people just didnít know how to handle it.

Many attempt to rescue an individual who is struggling emotionally, some succeed and others donít. Failure can result in frustration and contempt.  

  We feel it is better to support an individual until they can move forward on their own to be more effective and safe in practise, than attempting a rescue.

If you were to view this in a different way, letís say attempting to rescue a drowning victim. Few non-swimmers can rescue a drowning person; frequently both the original victim and the would-be rescuer drown together. If you cannot swim or if you doubt your ability to get the drowning victim out of the water, it is far better to summon help or try some other tactic other than unthinkingly jumping into the water

   Plunging into the water to save someone who is drowning or has apparently drowned should be approached with extreme caution.

Pulling the Victim out  

When an individual is beyond your reach or capability, Support them with respect and positive regard. Ensure quality time on a regular basis.  (do not over-commit yourself and let them down later, be honest)

Support them by sharing the search for new opportunities they could access. (support groups, training, hobbies & interests)

Offer moral support when attending a new group or just encourage them to get there.   

Ask them how they would rather feel and what they may need to do to achieve that.

 Remember if someone has resulted to deliberately self-injuring, they have become cold and uncaring towards the self.  They have harshly judged the self as unworthy, prejudicial, self against self.

They may need to be calm and positive, allowing themselves to view self as only human, flesh and blood, and at times prone to make mistakes.  You can help by supporting them to achieve their goals and by staying positive yourself.  There is always a solution sometimes we need help to find it.                      


Comments on what people feel they need and donít need.


Donít treat me like a freak, ask me if Iím alright.  I know what I do seems weird to you but itís the only thing I can do to help me cope.

To understand me, give me support and definitely not judge or shout.

Not to say ďoh why didnít you come and talk about it?Ē Ė if we could we would.  Not to take over. 

Not to start questioning and analysing straight away, it isnít the most useful thing.

I would like my mum to not make me feel guilty.  She says I have to think of the effect it has on my kids and family as well. (I would like to see something on how to explain it to your children)

 Hug me, or hold my hand and say something like Ė ďI hope you get through thisĒ.

To try to communicate and understand, and make your life feel valid.  This is the only way to restore HOPE.  (If you lose that, youíve lost all).

Be very supportive, ask whatís going on in the self-harmerís mind and listen.

I would like them to understand that inside is bad and the pressure is all too much and that I am not trying to kill myself.

Donít panic!

If it were my family I would want them to get coffee and a cigarette.  But never ask why Ė why ever!? 

Itís a stupid question at that point.

Not keep asking if Iím okay.  Not telling me I need/have to stop.

Treat me gently and with RESPECT.  Give me some indication of how much  (or sometimes how little) you do  understand.  Behave normally, life goes on, put the kettle on. Be understanding, give support and appropriate space.

I would like friends to accept me, be supportive, caring, give me a hug and tell me, everything will get better.  It just takes time.  Encourage the person to talk as cutting is a way of learning to live with all the bad feelings.  It is like having a silent voice and happens when you canít manage to talk about it.

Show understanding and reassure me that despite what Iíve done they still love me.

Rather than saying they could never self-harm maybe they could encourage me to say what is on my mind. 

So often, people ask how you are and then go off on a tangent, I certainly donít want pity but real interaction would be nice.

Stop asking questions and listen.

To not lose their temper or shout but to think before they speak and to look after and care.  Think more of a self-harmer than they do themselves. 

Do not force people to talk if they donít want to.


 Just  a final note nothing is as Black or White as it looks,

 why not ask the individual.

 Silent & listen are spelled with the same letters! Unknown

Return to the top

of the page