Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)

Understanding Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
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What is Self Injury

Self-injury is any deliberate, non-suicidal behavior that inflicts physical injury to your body. Self-injury is essentially a coping mechanism that may enable you to deal with intense emotional distress, creating a calming sensation. Or you may use self-injury to ‘awaken’ you when feeling numb or dissociated. The injuries may validate your feelings, creating a ‘real’ pain that is easier to cope.
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Who Self-Injuries?

People from all walks of life, irrespective of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or personal strength.
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What are some warning signs to look for?

  • Unexplained, frequent injuries including cuts and bruises
  • Wearing of long pants/sleeves in warm weather
  • Low self-esteem
  • Overwhelmed by feelings
  • Inability to function at home or school
  • Inability to maintain stable relationships
  • Reluctance to dress out for P.E.
  • Excuses such as "my cat scratched me"
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What are some types of self-Injury

  • Cutting
  • Bruising
  • Burning/Abrasions
  • Headbanging
  • Biting
  • Hitting (Self/Object)
  • Ingestion of Sharps/toxins
  • Picking, and pulling skin and hair
  • Excessive body piercing
  • Bone-Breaking
  • Marking
  • Branding
  • Scratching/Wound Interference
  • Carving
Cutting and Self-harm: Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI)

Who do I turn to?

  • School Counselors/Social Worker
  • Parents/Family Members
  • School Nurse
  • Teachers
  • Coaches
  • Friends
  • Crisis Hotlines
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SELF-HARM HOTLINE: 1-800-273-TALK or Text CONNECT to 741741

What are some Interventions?

  • Stop, think, and evaluate the pros and cons of self-injury
  • Engage in a physical task
  • Soothe in a positive, non-injurious way
  • Practice positive stress management
  • Develop better social skills
  • Squeeze ice-cube for 1 minute
  • Snap wrist with a rubber band
  • Take a cold bath
  • Hospitalization
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Treatment for Non-Suicidal Self-Injury
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