i wasn t trying to kill myself n.
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself… PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself…

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 36

I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself… - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself…. Prepared and Presented By: Julia Valley, MSW Youth Community Developer Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre. What is Self-Injury?. Self-injury is the act of inflicting physical harm on oneself without the intent to cause death . Favazza, A. (1998).

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself…' - lang

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
i wasn t trying to kill myself

I Wasn’t Trying to Kill Myself…

Prepared and Presented By:

Julia Valley, MSW

Youth Community Developer

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre

what is self injury
What is Self-Injury?

Self-injury is the act of inflicting physical harm on oneself without the intent to cause death

Favazza, A. (1998)

affect regulation
Affect Regulation
  • To escape from emptiness and depression
  • To ease tension
  • To provide relief
    • By causing pain, an individual may engage in self-injury in order to reduce emotional and physiological arousal to a more bearable level
  • To relieve anger
    • Individuals who engage in self-injury may find that the act helps them to vent their feelings

Favazza, A. (1998)

affect regulation1
Affect Regulation
  • To escape numbness
    • Many of those who self-injure say they do it in order to feel something… to know that they're still alive
  • To ‘ground’ themselves
    • When feeling overwhelmed by emotions, individuals may use self-injury as a way to centre their thoughts
  • To maintain a sense of security
  • To achieve a feeling of euphoria
  • To prevent themselves from engaging in a suicidal action

Favazza, A. (1998)

  • To express emotional pain
  • To obtain/ maintain influence over the behavior of others
  • To communicate to others the extent of their inner turmoil
  • To communicate a need for support
  • To express or cope with feelings of alienation/ isolation
  • To validate emotional pain
    • The wounds can serve as evidence that the feelings are real

Favazza, A. (1998)

control punishment
Control/ Punishment
  • To punish oneself for being "bad"
  • To obtain biochemical relief
    • There is some thought that an individual can become addicted to crisis behavior… and self-harm can perpetuate this kind of crisis state
  • To divert attention (inner or outer) from issues that are too painful to examine
  • To exert a sense of control over one's body

Favazza, A. (1998)

adolescents are particularly vulnerable
Adolescents are Particularly Vulnerable
  • Prevalence rate – 16.9% of youth between the ages of 14 and 21
    • Mean age of onset – 15.1
  • Most adults who self-injure began in adolescence

Nixon, M., Clouthier, P., & Jansson, M., (2008)

why adolescence
Why Adolescence?
  • Stress levels drastically increase during adolescence
  • Less likely to have developed alternative coping skills
  • Less likely to consider possible long-term consequences (i.e. scarring)
risk factors
Being female (77%)

Symptoms of:




Disruptive disorders

Borderline Personality Disorder

Low self-esteem

Problems with anger control and anger discomfort

Risk Factors

Nixon, M., Clouthier, P., & Jansson, M., (2008)

risk factors1
Risk Factors
  • Substance misuse
  • Familial problems
    • Having self-harming family members
    • Emotional neglect
    • Impaired communication
    • Family-related stressors
    • Poverty
  • History of physical and/or sexual abuse
  • Awareness of self-harm in peers
  • History of suicidal ideation and attempts

Nixon, M., Clouthier, P., & Jansson, M., (2008)

protective factors
Protective Factors
  • Family cohesiveness
  • Social connectedness
  • Confidence re: problem-solving ability
  • Positive self-image
  • Academic success

Nixon, M., Clouthier, P., & Jansson, M., (2008)

types of self injury
Types of Self-Injury
  • In adolescence, the most common types of self-injurious behaviours are:
    • Cutting (83.2%)
    • Scratching (80.4%)
    • Self-hitting (79.3%)
    • Ingesting a medication in excess of the prescribed or generally recognized dosage (31.5%)
    • Ingesting a recreational or illicit drug or alcohol as a means to harm self (16.9%)
    • Other non-specified forms of self-injury (9.4%)

Nixon, M., Clouthier, P., & Jansson, M., (2008)

what to look for1
What to Look For
  • Cut or burn marks/ scars
    • Arms, legs, and abdomen are most common
  • Finding sharp objects within the individual’s possession
    • i.e. Knifes, razor blades, box cutters, pieces of glass
  • Wearing inappropriate seasonal clothing (in order to hide injuries/scars)
    • i.e. Wearing long-sleeved shirts and/or pants during the summer
what to look for2
What to Look For
  • Low self esteem
  • Problems handling emotions
  • Problems with relationships
  • The teen's peers cut or burn themselves
  • Reports from others about suspicions that the individual is engaging in self-injurious behaviours
  • Noticing that the individual tends to respond to stressful issues by locking him/herself away in a room or by stepping out to go to the washroom
how to help during a self injurious episode
How to Help (During a Self-Injurious Episode)
  • Respond to all medical concerns, as appropriate (i.e. call EMS, provide access to first aid supplies)
  • Ask what is going on/ what triggered the behaviour
  • Listen non-judgmentally
how to help during a self injurious episode1
How to Help (During a Self-Injurious Episode)
  • Complete a suicide risk assessment
    • Ask if they are thinking of dying by suicide
      • Current plan, history of previous attempts, access resources
    • Take an ASIST Suicide Intervention Training
  • Report, as required
how to help after a self injurious episode
How to Help (After a Self-Injurious Episode)
  • Help the individual to put words to their feelings
  • Set a time to re-connect and/ or connect the individual with appropriate support personnel
  • Help to develop a safety plan
the don ts
The Don’ts
  • DO NOT demand that the person has to stop or tell them not to do it
  • DO NOT shame the person or dismiss the behaviour as manipulation or attention-seeking
  • DO NOT label the person
  • DO NOT minimize the feelings/ situation which has led to self-injury
the do s
The Do’s
  • Respond to injuries on a medical level… and not an emotional one
  • Tell the person you know something is going on and will assist in getting some help
  • Be there to talk
  • Be patient
the do s1
The Do’s
  • Try to empathize
    • Look at the situation from the person's perspective instead of your own
      • This behavior is not horrible to this individual - It is helpful
  • Recognize that the person may need more help than you are able to provide
  • Offer to help the person to find alternative coping strategies to resist the urge
  • Take time out yourself
managing the urge
Managing the Urge
  • Call a friend, therapist or a crisis line
  • Do some deep breathing exercises/ yoga
  • Work with paint, clay, play-dough, etc.
  • Try not be alone (visit a friend, go shopping, etc.)
  • Draw a picture
  • Go to a church/ place of worship
  • Take a hot bath
  • Do some household chores (i.e. cleaning)
managing the urge1
Managing the Urge
  • Listen to music
  • Cook/ bake
  • Go for a walk
  • Write in a journal
  • Wear an elastic around wrist and snap it when the urge arises
  • Break the object that is being used to self-injure as a symbolism of the ability to re-assert control
  • Take up a sport
managing the urge2
Managing the Urge
  • Write a letter to someone to express emotion
    • One needs not to give the letter to the person that it was written to but it is a great way to release the feelings that are being carrying within
    • Some people find destroying the letters help (i.e. tearing them up, throwing them in a lake, etc.)
  • Hold ice cubes
    • The cold causes pain in the hands, but it is not dangerous or harmful
  • Draw red lines on themselves with washable markers (instead of cutting)
  • Punch a bed or a pillow
managing the urge3
Managing the Urge
  • Go outside and scream and yell
  • Avoid temptation (i.e. avoid the area where the razor blades are kept, etc.)
  • Massage the area that tends to be injured
    • This may serve as a reminder of self-worth
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of engaging in self-harm
    • Advantages:
      • Gets feelings out
      • Improves mood
    • Disadvantages:
      • May leave a scar
      • Never seems to work for very long

For More Information…

Julia Valley, M.S.W.

Youth Community Developer

Western Ottawa Community Resource Centre




Favazza, A. (1998). The coming of age of self-mutilation. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 186, 259-268.

Fortune, S., Sinclair, J., & Hawton, K. (2005). Adolescent views on the prevention of self harm, barriers to help seeking for self harm and how quality of life might be improved - A qualitatitve and quantitative study of school pupils in England. Centre For Suicide Research, Oxford University.

Laye-Gindhu, A. & Schonert-Reichl, K. (2005). Nonsuicidal self-harm among community adolescents: Understanding the “whats” and “whys” of self-harm. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 34, 447-457.

Nixon M K, Cloutier P, Jansson M. Nonsuicidal self-harm in youth: a population-based survey. Canadian Medical Association Journal 2008;178(3):306-312.

Trepal, H. & Webster, K. (2007). Self-injurious behaviors, diagnoses,

and treatment methods: What mental health professionals are reporting. Journal of Mental Health Counseling, 29, 363-375.