Girls Health, Office of Women’s Health, USA: Addresses Self-Harm

The Office of Women’s Health, a division of the United States Department of Health and Human Services addresses the issue of self-harm, specifically cutting, on their Girls Health website. It offers a brief description and treats the issue directly by asking: “Do you really want a friend who wants you to hurt yourself, cause you pain and put you in danger?”

It is a poignant question. I’d like to see issues regarding self-harm and self-injury discussed in chat rooms where adults who believe they have multiple personalities share daily struggles. Instead, escapades are discussed with abandon which then elicit concern, attention, worry and sympathy from other forum members.

Below is from the Girls Health website:

What are the signs of self-injury?

These are some signs of self-injury:

  • Cuts or scars on the arms or legs that you can see
  • Hiding cuts or scars by wearing long-sleeved shirts or pants, even in hot weather
  • Making poor excuses about how the injuries happened

Self-injury can be dangerous. Cutting can lead to infections, scars, numbness, and even hospitalization or death. People who share tools to cut themselves are at risk of getting and spreading diseases like HIV and hepatitis. Teens who continue to hurt themselves are less likely to learn how to cope with negative feelings.

Are you or a friend depressed, angry, or having a hard time coping with life?

If you are thinking about hurting yourself, PLEASE ASK FOR HELP! …You have a right to be strong, safe, and happy

Have you been pressured to cut yourself by others who do it?

If so, think about how much you value that friendship or relationship. Do you really want a friend who wants you to hurt yourself, cause you pain and put you in danger? Try to hang out with other friends who don’t pressure you in this way.

Girls Health, Office of Women\’s Health

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