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Expert Q&A - Self Harm, Self Acceptance and Skin Camouflage

ConnorConnor Posts: 389 Community Manager
edited February 26 in Health and Wellbeing
*Trigger Warning - Self Harm*

Hey all!

We have two experts coming in to answer questions between the 27th and 28th February. The main topic for the Expert Q&A will be surrounding Self-Harm, such as living with self-harm scars and the journey of self-acceptance.

Who are the Experts?

Hi my name is Louise McMichael. I am a trained independent camouflage practitioner and chair of the British Association of skin camouflage.


Skin Camouflage is suitable for all, is simple to use and designed to reproduce the natural colour of skin. It differs from other cosmetics products because it is uniquely formulated to:


Give the necessary covering power (but only needs a thin application).


Waterproof, lasts between 8-16 hours


Can be removed and immediately applied


Covering scars can help to improve your wellbeing and I am really looking forward to answering your questions on covering scars,  products, discounts that are available, where you can buy and how use them.

Although this is not a replacement for support that tackles the root cause of self-harm, it is definitely a technique that can aid the healing process :)

We will also be joined by Sian who can answer questions about the journey to self-acceptance with scars:


Hey, I’m Sian. I’m a freelance journalist and mental health advocate. I’ve dealt with self harm since the age of 14 (I’m almost 25 now). This has consisted of long periods of recovery followed by relapses. So I know how tough it can be to break the cycle and deal with urges. I’ve spoken about my experience and how it fits into the wider conversation with charities like the The Mix, MQ and Young Minds, as well as publications like The Breakdown and Medium. 

Keep in mind that we will all be at different stages in recovery, which is 100% okay! 

When?
The experts will be answering questions on the 27th and 28th February! So this coming Saturday or Sunday :)

Where?
The questions can either be asked in this thread, or through this anonymous microsoft form! If you'd rather keep your questions anonymous, feel free to use the form! The questions will be answered in this thread :)

Just as a reminder, here are the guidelines when it comes to talking about Self-harm:
Self-harm: Please avoid any graphic detail or description of methods (such as where or how you've harmed yourself). Instead, we encourage you to focus on feelings (e.g. "I feel like harming myself because I feel..."). Please stick to 'self-harm' and know that we understand if you're harming, you're hurting. 

Keep an eye on this thread for more information


Post edited by The Mix on
«1

Comments

  • independent_independent_ Resident Coffee Addict ScotlandPosts: 6,130 Master Poster
    What do the experts think are the main misconceptions about self harm?

    I ask this because I think a lot of people don’t understand self harm unless they’ve been through it and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it and I wondered what the experts thought about the main things people don’t understand about it?
    “Sometimes the people around you won’t understand your journey. They don’t need to, it’s not for them.”
    ConnorLaine
  • DancerDancer Bog Off Justine! Posts: 5,334 Part of The Furniture
    If the mods need to edit this comment to keep it within the guidelines then please feel free (I have tried to word it in a more appropriate way though.)

    What do you think is the most common myth about self-harm and how can this myth be prevented.
    There's a part of me I can't get back.  A little girl grew up too fast. All it took was once. I'll never be the same.
    independent_Connor
  • ConnorConnor Posts: 389 Community Manager
    edited February 23
    Thankyou for your questions so far :)

    Updated with more information on the Experts and a form that you can use to ask questions anonymously!
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,342 Community Manager
    An anonymous submission:
    How would you recommend telling your parents about self-harming?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,342 Community Manager
    Couple more anonymous questions :)
    Is there away to hide scars that’s water proof to avoid questions when going swimming or to the beach ?
    What to say or how to react without being invasive when you find out someone you care about is self harming?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • Ed_Ed_ Posts: 632 Community Manager
    Introducing our second expert, Sian (see details in main thread) she will be on the community around 5pm both days to answer your questions :3
    "Don't let them paint you gray. They're gonna see you're somebody, somewhere, someday. Don't ever let them take your playful heart away. Oh you're somebody nobody could replicate" ~ Roo Panes
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,452 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    edited February 26
    Hey. Sorry if I’m being stupid I’m not sure I understand when you ate talking about a product when you say “skin camouflage”? Or are they just saying there are ways to camouflage it with products? If so which ?or is there a product called skin camouflage?


    Anyway my questions are;

    What if sometimes I don’t want to feel like I have to hide my scars, am I am attention seeker?

    How are you supposed to react when someone you don’t know well ask how you got the scars on *insert body part*. Like an staff member asked me this once. Do you think they’re being rude on purpose or genuinely don’t know?

    How do you deal with the fact this is now on you forever and it’s just a reminder of the time you did it and now you look not “clean” and as nice as others look. In my opinion. I read on tiktok someone saying to someone else in the comments “I wouldn’t want to be stood near you”

    Also have you had scars re opening as one scar keeps doing this. Actually rang 111 today to ask. My gp rang me back and just said to use moisture. (Not sure why they 111 couldn’t of just said that) but I have been using moustiser that is a skin cream. I don’t want to get it infected again 🙄
    Hi
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,342 Community Manager
    Good questions @Shaunie! I'll let the pros explain skin camo later today. :3

    Just dropping some more anonymous questions in:
    Advice on how to feel confident in clothes that show scars
    How do you tell someone you have been self harming
    I have raised white scars and struggle to camouflage those the most. How can I go about it?
    what happens when self harm stops helping you feel calmer.
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    What do the experts think are the main misconceptions about self harm?

    I ask this because I think a lot of people don’t understand self harm unless they’ve been through it and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it and I wondered what the experts thought about the main things people don’t understand about it?

    Great question @independent_. You will of course be surprised by how many people have or are experiencing self harm including experts. Experts are professionals and never judge the individuals they are working with. You should feel confident that you will never be judged if you ask for help.
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Dancer wrote: »
    If the mods need to edit this comment to keep it within the guidelines then please feel free (I have tried to word it in a more appropriate way though.)

    What do you think is the most common myth about self-harm and how can this myth be prevented.

    Thank you for your question @Dancer. Phrases that come into my head are. Attention seeking and you can stop this if you want to. All of which are of course nonsense - it can be a difficult journey and each day is different. Help and support are available and no one should go through this journey on their own. Professionals are not there to judge but to help and support.
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    Mike wrote: »
    An anonymous submission:
    How would you recommend telling your parents about self-harming?

    Thanks for this question. Sian may be better placed to answer this question.
  • DancerDancer Bog Off Justine! Posts: 5,334 Part of The Furniture
    Lou_ wrote: »
    Dancer wrote: »
    If the mods need to edit this comment to keep it within the guidelines then please feel free (I have tried to word it in a more appropriate way though.)

    What do you think is the most common myth about self-harm and how can this myth be prevented.

    Thank you for your question @Dancer. Phrases that come into my head are. Attention seeking and you can stop this if you want to. All of which are of course nonsense - it can be a difficult journey and each day is different. Help and support are available and no one should go through this journey on their own. Professionals are not there to judge but to help and support.

    Thank you.
    There's a part of me I can't get back.  A little girl grew up too fast. All it took was once. I'll never be the same.
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Is there away to hide scars that’s water proof to avoid questions when going swimming or to the beach ?
    Great questions; The products used for camouflaging scars are waterproof when applied correctly. They can never change the texture of the skin but they will mimic the surrounding skin tone.
    i have included details on products for you.

    Under current government restrictions you are unlikely to find a camouflage practitioner who can match your skin colour with products suitable for camouflaging skin conditions.

    In the meantime we would suggest you contact the following companies to request samples to enable you to match the colour of product to your skin there will be a charge for this. Please review the websites as most have excellent videos on how to apply which may be of help at this time.

    The following companies have camouflage products suitable for covering skin conditions.
    Contact details:
    Dermacolor
    Website: https://uk.kryolan.com/product-lines/dermacolor
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel No: 01277 812 908.

    Keromask
    www.keromask.com
    Tel no: +44 (0) 1634 893891
    Email: [email protected]
    Discount code: BASC0320

    Dermablend
    Email: [email protected]
    Please contact the above email address for samples

    Veil
    https://www.veilcovercream.com/
    Discount on full size product only

    Covermark
    https://dermauk.co.uk/public-product/covermark/
    Discount code: BASC 21 –this discount code is only available for March 2021.


    Further help can be found from patient groups associated with your skin condition. The British association of dermatology has a section on patient support information.
    https://www.bad.org.uk/patient-support-groups

    http://www.acnesupport.org.uk. This British Association of dermatology website has full information on acne, treatments, Covering acne (camouflage) and support. This website is also good for advice on general camouflage which you should find helpful regardless of your skin condition.

    Please find contact details from the Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/
    Or Tel 116 123

    What to say or how to react without being invasive when you find out someone you care about is self harming?
    I guess never judge or ask who, what , why and when. signposting them to support and and being there for them is key.
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Shaunie wrote: »
    Hey. Sorry if I’m being stupid I’m not sure I understand when you ate talking about a product when you say “skin camouflage”? Or are they just saying there are ways to camouflage it with products? If so which ?or is there a product called skin camouflage?
    Fab question @Shaunie and thank you

    When we talk about skin camaouflage we mean products that are suitable for covering skin conditions and scaring. These products are highly pigmented, waterproof and long lasting up to 8-16 hours when applied correctly

    Shaunie wrote: »
    Anyway my questions are;

    What if sometimes I don’t want to feel like I have to hide my scars, am I am attention seeker?
    Camouflage and covering scars is not for everyone and no you are not an attention seeker.

    Shaunie wrote: »
    How are you supposed to react when someone you don’t know well ask how you got the scars on *insert body part*. Like an staff member asked me this once. Do you think they’re being rude on purpose or genuinely don’t know?
    You can say whatever you want however i do not think you need to say anything to justify the Curiosity of anyone. i don's think they are being rude but are misguided. They don't know what they could be triggering when asking this question and looking for an answer to serve their nosiness.

    Shaunie wrote: »
    How do you deal with the fact this is now on you forever and it’s just a reminder of the time you did it and now you look not “clean” and as nice as others look. In my opinion. I read on tiktok someone saying to someone else in the comments “I wouldn’t want to be stood near you”
    One for Sian

    Shaunie wrote: »
    Also have you had scars re opening as one scar keeps doing this. Actually rang 111 today to ask. My gp rang me back and just said to use moisture. (Not sure why they 111 couldn’t of just said that) but I have been using moisturiser that is a skin cream. I don’t want to get it infected again 🙄
    The best thing you can do is cover with a dry bandage or sock with the toes cut off.

    This will help the scar to heal if you feel it is infected contact your gp again.
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • Lou_Lou_ Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Advice on how to feel confident in clothes that show scars
    Sian may be better place to answer this one

    How do you tell someone you have been self harming
    Again one for Sian

    I have raised white scars and struggle to camouflage those the most. How can I go about it?
    Great question I have included the information on products that are available for camouflaging.

    Under current government restrictions you are unlikely to find a camouflage practitioner who can match your skin colour with products suitable for camouflaging skin conditions.

    In the meantime we would suggest you contact the following companies to request samples to enable you to match the colour of product to your skin there will be a charge for this. Please review the websites as most have excellent videos on how to apply which may be of help at this time.

    The following companies have camouflage products suitable for covering skin conditions.

    Contact details:
    Dermacolor
    Website: https://uk.kryolan.com/product-lines/dermacolor
    Email: [email protected]
    Tel No: 01277 812 908.

    Keromask
    www.keromask.com
    Tel no: +44 (0) 1634 893891
    Email: [email protected]
    Discount code: BASC0320

    Dermablend
    Email: [email protected]
    Please contact the above email address for samples

    Veil
    https://www.veilcovercream.com/
    Discount on full size product only

    Covermark
    https://dermauk.co.uk/public-product/covermark/
    Discount code: BASC 21 –this discount code is only available for March 2021.


    Further help can be found from patient groups associated with your skin condition. The British association of dermatology has a section on patient support information.
    https://www.bad.org.uk/patient-support-groups

    http://www.acnesupport.org.uk. This British Association of dermatology website has full information on acne, treatments, Covering acne (camouflage) and support. This website is also good for advice on general camouflage which you should find helpful regardless of your skin condition.

    Please find contact details from the Samaritans https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/contact-samaritan/
    Or Tel 116 123

    what happens when self harm stops helping you feel calmer.
    Sian would be best placed to answer this one.
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,342 Community Manager
    Thanks so much @Lou_! Awesome to have you and your expertise with us. :)

    Just chipping in with one more anonymous question:
    In the past I used to self harm and I don't know how to be able to forgive myself despite not having scars. How can I try and accept myself for struggling?
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    Hi all! I am here to answer your questions between 5pm and 6pm. I will do my best to get through all of them, but would just like to say you are all fab for reaching out and asking for advice. x
  • DancerDancer Bog Off Justine! Posts: 5,334 Part of The Furniture
    Hello Sian.
    There's a part of me I can't get back.  A little girl grew up too fast. All it took was once. I'll never be the same.
  • DancerDancer Bog Off Justine! Posts: 5,334 Part of The Furniture
    What do you think is the hardest thing about relapsing on something that could be harmful?
    There's a part of me I can't get back.  A little girl grew up too fast. All it took was once. I'll never be the same.
  • GreenTeaGreenTea ☕🌻☕ MidlandsPosts: 10,836 An Original Mixlorian
    Hello, I'm struggling to come to terms with my scars from self harm. I'm very self conscious about being judged or seen in a bad way because of them, therefore I'm very particular about what I wear. Do you have any advice on how to accept your scars and how to face the fear of being judged?

    The scars you can't see are the hardest to heal.     

    Astrid Alauda

  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    What do the experts think are the main misconceptions about self harm?

    I ask this because I think a lot of people don’t understand self harm unless they’ve been through it and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it and I wondered what the experts thought about the main things people don’t understand about it?


    Thanks for your question, I agree that people don't understand unless they have been through it.

    I would say that while I was at school, there was definitely a harmful misconception that people self harmed for attention. This was really hurtful for me to hear, as it made me question why I was harming myself and worry that I was doing it for attention. But it isn't true. I actively didn't want people to know I was self harming, and I think people don't understand that. They think that if you have visible scars from self harm that it means you wanted people to know, but they don't realise that sometimes you aren't thinking straight as you get carried away with strong emotions and only think about the 'covering up' afterwards. Equally, some people may self harm as a way to signal that they are suffering, so we shouldn't demonise people even if they are hoping people ask them about it.

    Another misconception is that self harm all looks a certain way / there is only one way to self harm, which isn't true. It can take the form of a whole range of harming behaviours, and people don't realise that.

    Also, I think people believe that people who self harm does so because they want to die. This may be true, but not always. I think it is hard for people to understand that self harm can become an addictive way to cope with mental pain.

    Finally, I think most people just can't understand why someone would want to hurt themselves. If you have never dealt with self harm, it can be difficult to try and wrap your head around what would be going on in somebodies mind for them to engage in certain behaviours.
    independent_
  • hollyjanehollyjane Posts: 1 Literally just got here
    Hey, I'm not sure of this has been asked but do you have any tips on how to cope with missing the routine of self-harm? I haven't done it in a week and I miss the feeling it gives me but I know I need to stop.
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Advice on how to feel confident in clothes that show scars
    Firstly, This may take some time, so be patient with yourself. It is OK if you don't feel ready yet. I am still getting there myself. What helps me is to remember that these scars are a part of me that I cannot change, and I shouldn't have to hide that. They are also reminders to me of how far I have come, that I am still here and growing every day. Sitting down and thinking about why you are worried/scared about wearing clothes that show scars could help. Are you worried about what people will think? or if they will ask questions? or stare? The reality is that they may do, but also they may not! I rarely have people asking about my scars. I have seen many other people wearing clothes which show their scars and I don't treat them any differently, or thnk they are any less amazing than I did before I saw the scars. Try imagining how you would feel if you saw scars on your friends, and extend that same compassion to yourself. Remember you deserve to love your skin and your body and wear what you want to wear. Many people self harm, you are not alone in having scars. So you should not feel ashamed. Know you will get there in time! And for now, you could try by doing it slowly. For example, Could you wear long sleeves and roll them up when you are feeling uncomfortable? or a thin mesh fabric? Test how you feel doing this around loved ones, with a goal of working your way up to the clothes you most want to wear ! I believe in you.

    How do you tell someone you have been self harming
    Well done for deciding you would like to tell someone you have been self harming. It is very brave ! I have written an article about this for the Mix that will give more detail, https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/self-harm/self-harming-heres-how-to-talk-to-someone-about-it-35999.html

    but my main tips are:

    Acknowledge that you need help, and write down on a piece of paper the reasons why you want to tell somebody, Put it somewhere that you can come back to in case you start to doubt your decision. Remember. You are worthy of support and don’t deserve punishment.

    Decide on what you want to say. It is up to you how much or how little detail you give. Write this down, on paper or your phone, and maybe sit with it for a day or two, or read it a couple times to try and get comfortable with what you are going to say. Maybe you could try to write down your thoughts, after an episode, or when you have urges, so you can start to understand what causes you to self harm.

    Research self-harm so you have a better understanding of why people do it, and how not all self-harm looks like self-harm.
    Think about who you might talk to, whether that’s a friend, parent or teacher.

    Decide whether you are going to talk to someone in person or virtually. Text messages could be good because they aren't as scary as talking on the phone or in person, but also it could be difficult ot carry on the conversation this way. So maybe you could start with a text to say hey, I'd like to talk to you about something, do you have some time to chat?' and go from there.

    Always set strong boundaries by telling them exactly what you would like from them. Would you like help to stop? Or do you just want somebody to talk to? tell them!

    Always try to have the conversation when you are in a neutral, calm mood. and remember, if the conversation doesn't go well, this doesn't mean you should stop trying. Somebody else will react in a more helpful way.

    If you are going to talk to a GP, remember they may be quite clinical in their responses. They might not 'get it'. that's OK, because they can direct you to the help you need.

    This is a tricky one because it differs for everyone, but GOOD LUCK, i believe in you. Even just telling a friend is massively brave and can be soooo important to your recovery.

    what happens when self harm stops helping you feel calmer.
    Hi, thank you for asking this. It is a difficult question as it is different for everyone. But I understand what you mean. I find I am progressively getting more upset following an episode, and feeling less of that release/calm.

    This could be because you have realised that this is not a helpful coping mechanism as maybe you tend to feel worse afterwards. Maybe your brain is telling you that it would like to try another, healthier way, to cope with these strong feelings?

    The reason that self harm can be addictive is that it can make you feel calmer. But this isn't going ot be the case in the long term as you have discovered. This is because the cycle of harm can lead to feelings of worthlessness, sadness and shame. You are on your way to breaking this cycle, by finding other ways to deal with these urges. I would suggest downloading an app called Calm Harm, which provides a bunch of distraction, comfort and creative suggestions for things to do that aren't harmful. Good luck x
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Shaunie wrote: »
    How do you deal with the fact this is now on you forever and it’s just a reminder of the time you did it and now you look not “clean” and as nice as others look. In my opinion. I read on tiktok someone saying to someone else in the comments “I wouldn’t want to be stood near you”
    Hi @Shaunie,

    I understand how you feel. I sometimes feel sad or ashamed when I see my scars. That is OK, it is normal and you shouldn't be hard on yourself if you are feeling like you are not accepting yourself at the moment. this takes time. What i would say is that

    1) this may not be on your forever. Skin heals. I have had scars fade over time that I thought would be on me forever. You could maybe try using bio oil to help them heal.

    2) You are not unclean because you have scars. I promise. You were hurting and did something to try and deal with that hurt. Everyone has scars, even if they aren't from self harm, whether its abirth mark, stretch mark, eczema or more! Perfect skin is a myth. Our scars are who we are. We don't have to love them, but we can learn to accept that.

    3) Please be mindful that these people on TikTok who post hurtful things may either be going through stuff of their own and so want to say something mean, or may just not understand how hurtful their words are. This one person does not reflect the opinion of everyone - they sound like they need to work on their biases, and so I wouldn't wan to stand next to them either!

    You are not ugly, gross or broken, you do not need to hide your skin. I know it can be painful to see and remember that you hurt yourself/be reminded of how terrible you felt at the time, but try to flip this on its head. See these marks as a sign of your recovery - a reminder that you are strong because every day you are fighting to still live your life despite the pain you go through. That is pretty rad! Be patient with yourself, and remember that just because society tells you that self harm is bad, doesn't mean that it, or you, are. x
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Lou_ wrote: »
    Mike wrote: »
    An anonymous submission:
    How would you recommend telling your parents about self-harming?

    Thanks for this question. Sian may be better placed to answer this question.
    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for asking this question. I have been there myself. I know it is scary, but telling someone is the first step to recovery so you are doing the right thing. I have answered a question similar to this further in the thread, so please also read that for more general advice. And please read this article i wrote for the mix, as it explains the process in more detail. https://www.themix.org.uk/mental-health/self-harm/self-harming-heres-how-to-talk-to-someone-about-it-35999.html

    For specifically talking to your parents, I would recommend beginning by doing as much research into self harm as you can. I'm sure you have an idea of why you do it, but it can help to read information online from the NHS, the mix or other charities as it puts into words what can be difficult to explain. So looking for info on causes, types of self harm and ways to get help. I say this because your parents, I assume, will have lots of questions and may be quite distressed/not understand so its good to be prepared with knowledge. It also helps to come armed with solid information on self harm so you can push back on any misconceptions your parents may have. You could even look up statistics around self harm to show your parents that it is actually quite common among young people and not something unique to you.

    Now, don't try to squeeze the discussion into a small time frame. Allow plenty of time to chat. Choose a time when you feel well rested and calm (as you can be before doing something tricky).

    You can never predict how your parents will react, and I hope they will react with kindness and support. But sometimes when parents are scared because they don't understand why their child is doing something, they can react with anger or other unpleasant emotions. This is not your fault. People will process this in different ways, and you can't control that. All you can do is remember WHY you wnt to talk to your parents. Do you want them to know so they can support you in getting help from a GP or similar? Or so you can feel more comfortable around them? or just to have someone to talk to about how you are feeling? These are just some of the many valid reasons. Hold onto them when things feel difficult.

    If talking to them face to face is too scary, you could write them a letter, explaining how you feel and why you wanted to tell them.You could tell them you have a letter to give them that may be difficult to read, and you would like ot talk about it but maybe only once some time has passed after they have read it? This is all up to you. You are in control here. I believe in you!
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Lou_ wrote: »
    Shaunie wrote: »
    How are you supposed to react when someone you don’t know well ask how you got the scars on *insert body part*. Like an staff member asked me this once. Do you think they’re being rude on purpose or genuinely don’t know?
    You can say whatever you want however i do not think you need to say anything to justify the Curiosity of anyone. i don's think they are being rude but are misguided. They don't know what they could be triggering when asking this question and looking for an answer to serve their nosiness.
    I agree with what Lou said. I would also say there is no right or wrong reaction. I know how embarrassing and awful it can feel when people point out your scars. It can feel like you are being exposed. So it's OK if you don't react in the way you wish you could. Try to just remember that some people just don't 'get it', and may genuinely be curious, but that doesn't mean you need to explain anything.
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Lou_ wrote: »
    Dancer wrote: »
    If the mods need to edit this comment to keep it within the guidelines then please feel free (I have tried to word it in a more appropriate way though.)

    What do you think is the most common myth about self-harm and how can this myth be prevented.

    Thank you for your question @Dancer. Phrases that come into my head are. Attention seeking and you can stop this if you want to. All of which are of course nonsense - it can be a difficult journey and each day is different. Help and support are available and no one should go through this journey on their own. Professionals are not there to judge but to help and support.
    I agree with Lou here. I would say that some people don't understand why you don't 'just stop'. I think explaining to poeple that, simply, you - or anyone who has been harming - would stop if they could. Because it isn't easy living with self harm and having to either hide it or learn to be confident with it. I think the best way to prevent myths is to share knowledge and educate people, so they can start to understand that people who self harm are just in pain and use that as an outlet, but that it is different for everyone and just because this person may have heard that this other person self harms for this reason that they dont believe is justifiable, doesn't mean they can jsut treat everyone else as if they are the same. You could direct people to online resources that explain why people may self harm, or start sharing these resources online (on an anon account if you wish). Have you considered starting a social media account where you address these myths and explain why they are false? This could be a useful outlet for you. If this isn't something you want to do, you could find these recovery communities online (be careful though, as social media is full of triggering content) and share what they do. All the best x
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • SianSian Posts: 14 Expert
    edited February 27
    Lou_ wrote: »
    What to say or how to react without being invasive when you find out someone you care about is self harming?
    I guess never judge or ask who, what , why and when. signposting them to support and and being there for them is key.
    Hey, thanks for asking. I would say just be there for this person, ask what they want you to know about it and listen to what they have to say. Don't try to offer lots of advice on how to stop, for example, as this isn't particularly helpful. It is best to just show you are there for them without judgement. Focus on asking how they feel when they self harm/afterwards rather than probing for details on the act of self harm itself. I find it quite uncomfortable when people have asked me how and where i self harm, That is their deciison to share if i want to, but they may not want to discuss that.

    So again, tell them you are there for them, ask how you can help, and ask them what they would find unhelpful so you don't do this! you are a great person for asking this, as it shows you want to be supportive. Read about self harm (on this thread, on the rest of the Mix website adn other mental health charities) to show this person you are educating yourself. This will mean a lot to their person, as trying to explain why you self harm can be difficult and exhausting. All the best. x
    Post edited by The Mix on
  • MikeMike 🖥️🎧 LandaanPosts: 3,342 Community Manager
    Thanks so much for your time today @Sian. :) Awesome to have you and Lou here to share your experience with us. I'm sure we could keep you both here all day!

    For everyone else, Sian and Lou will be online again tomorrow at a similar time. If you have any follow-up questions or new questions, feel free to ask them. There might not be time to get round to everyone, but hopefully a lot of these questions are useful for more than one person. :)
    All behaviour is a need trying to be met.
  • ShaunieShaunie Posts: 12,452 Born on Earth, Raised by The Mix
    edited February 27
    Thank you for answering my question just one more long question

    Maybe TW

    Say it’s summer & you have to go to work & you work at Primark (sweaty bodies makes it ten times worse they have more air con in the managers offices which is prett unfair) anyway & you can’t wear long sleeves in summer because you sweat too much at your arm pits. (Sorry this is so specific 😂) and short sleeves is the best way possible to reduce sweatness like let air get to your pits loll. Anyway to me excessive sweating is more embarrassing than scars cause I’m female feels very weird cause get over anxious so yeah that happens but anyway say you’re in this situation but you recently self harmed. And it is either really fresh or has a scab over it or half way through healing. What do you do? And wearing long sleeves is not an option. I do actually have a deodorant that really helps it but when it’s like the hottest day of the year then it does nothing.
    Hi
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