Self Injury | What is it?

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Self-injurious behavior (SIB), also referred to as self harm or non-suicidial self injury (NSSI), are acts of physical harm to one's body as a way to cope with overwhelming feelings. Self injury is not intended to be a suicidal action. 

Self harm is used to cope with a variety of emotions. For individuals who feel numb, it can create  a sense of feeling real and alive. Others may self injure as a way to reflect feelings or thoughts on the outside. It can also provide a sense of relief from overwhelming psychological pain. Each person's experience is different. 

Some people who cope with self injury have difficulty stopping and may view the act as addictive. In therapy, the goal is to replace SIB with healthy, safe alternatives. 

Art therapy provides a healthy alternative to self-harm by creating art to express feelings, keep hands occupied, and distract the mind. Replacing SIB with healthy alternatives is difficult, but not impossible.