Why do so many think that only teens can struggle with self harm?
Last Updated: 07/02/2018 at 2:34pm
Danielle Johnson, MSED, Community mental Health Counseling, LMHC
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Maybe that's because it's related to teens that can't hide their harm. Adults use to hide it better and fake their emotions in a more serious way, so it's much more 'visible' and noticeable that teens are the ones self-harming themselves. Also it is a social construct that has taught people that adults are mature and strong and can never feel depressed.
That's a good question! Being a teen myself who struggles with self-harm this is what I think might be part of the reason why: As teens, we still live at home with parents, grandparents, aunts, foster care, wherever we are supposed to be until we're 18 years old and are considered able to "live on our own." For that being one of the reasons, as much as teens don't think or feel, those adults notice things. They notice the marks on our bodies and tell our doctors and get us into therapy. That's one reason that I think affects it - we simply still live at home, though many adults do as well. Some people don't understand that self-harm is used to *cope* with things, hard things, that we're having a hard time putting into words, dealing with in a healthy way. I think most people might assume that SH is a "childish thing to do" without understanding what it really is - the mental pain one is in to get to that point of hurting themselves. Many might think that by adult years "you" should know "right vs wrong" ways to cope - even though many are still learning. (Right = art. Wrong = self-harm) Coping skills are learned everyday, there's not an age where you stop learning them. Teens might be the main ones in the statistics shown dealing with self-harm, but that doesn't take away that many others out there are suffering as well and that EVERYONE deserves help to get better. And that recovery is possible for anyone :)
The media has been focusing on teenage self harm because it's more sensational. Most people tend to see it as a teen issue because of this and just assume that it doesn't happen in adults or that teens just grow out of it.
It may be because, stereotypically, it is often teens and younger adults that are shown to self harm on the like of TV shows and films. This is not true, of course. Self harm can affect people of a lot of ages.
Some think that because more people shed a light on it because they are younger, but the reality is just as many adults do it, but they hide it more.
I think that's because common people see teenagers are most vulnerable to emotional pains and all due to puberty and social problems and school and stuff, and tend to cope with it dramatically. people who've never experience self-injury before might not understand that it is not dramatic, it is not over-reacting, and it can be explained scientifically. Common people don't mind adults as much because they think them, those people over 18 years old, are able to manage their emotions way better and they won't react as 'dramatic' as teenagers, so they won't do anything as 'stupid' as self-harming. that adults are more wise and mature. that self-harming are just a form of teenage craziness, and over-reaction to daily problems. they don't understand that it's actually because there is no other way that seems possible at the time to release the emotions, and it can happen to every person of all ages.
I think this is the case because you te d to fins its teenagers that are known to self harm but reality shows that adults do self harm they just don't like to mention it so others where as teenagers are screaming out for help
Many believe that teens are the only ones who struggle with masochism because teens are normally the types of humans that fear social judgement. Teens are very self-aware, and fear being looked at poorly by society, or more importantly by friends, and peers. Teenagers, also struggle with identity, and are not sure who they are yet, and if they aren't sure who they are, then how can they possibly talk to someone else, about themselves. It's also become more likely in teens, because of rebellious styles like "Emo" and "Scene" where individuals seem to believe is fun to convey as wounding themselves. This is not a factual response, nor the response that a psychologist would diagnose. I only think this is why it seems that way.
Most first self-harming episodes begin during adolescence, and many adolescents do grow out of self-harming behaviors. There is a significant population that does not and continues the behaviors into adulthood. I do think that a cry for help is often the point of beginning to self-harm. However, self-harm is an addictive behavior that can take on a life of its own. Once it becomes an addictive behavior, people go to greater lengths to hide it. Those who use it to cope vs. those who are seeking attention go to greater lengths to hide it and are more likely to continue the behavior. Thus, those people who are more likely to continue the behavior are more likely to hide it without seeking outside help and more likely to continue into adulthood. The stigma on self-harm and the stereotype that it is only a behavior exhibited by teens makes it more difficult for adults to come forward to talk about it, furthering that stereotype.
I think teens are in a stage where they are dependent on another person, and for this reason feel worthless often when something bad happens. They are going through hormonal changes which leads them to make rash decisions.
Many people focus in on teens because those are usually the ones who seek out help the most. However here at 7 cups we know that self harm is something very many people experience.
Self harm is viewed as a cry for attention and therefore is more associated with younger persons. Teenagers often struggle with uncontrollable emotions and as such they are seen as the most likely ones to turn to such a drastic relief to daily emotions and pain.
I believe many teen struggle with self harm do to passed problems and very little support. As a teen most small problems seem major
Teenage years are difficult. There is a cultural understanding that these years are filled with reckless behaviour and that consequential thinking has not formed. perhaps the idea that transition years in adolescents is very difficult and that young individuals have not yet learned adaptive emotional regulation skills, this being the only demographic susceptible to self harm. I would argue that self harm presents in a number of ways and that perhaps the presentation changes through development.
Because teens always have a period of their lives where everything is dramatic and extra sensitive because their hormones are fully produced wich is the cause of extra sensitivity.
Many people think it's only teens because teens have a high rating in self harm than adults but adults have just as much of a complex live as a teen. Adults may think they will forever be alone so "there's no point" but there is. Also adults struggle with money.
Because you feel as adults you'd have sorted yourself down and would be more mature then to self harm yourself. Which is not the case.
I think people think that only teens struggle because teens go through pressure of passing exams, and friendship troubles etc where in reality, adults suffer with self harm too with pressure of jobs and relationship issues.
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