Below are some additional interactions on the article: Self-harm. Read it first.
This 2011 study gives a glimpse of self-harm statistics.
Take a look at this article for some insight on the reality of self harm in today’s society. It includes a lot of information but one of the main points covers the reality of guys self-mutilating just as much as girls BUT they hide it better. Hiding your pain or other emotions, regardless of whether you intentionally hurt yourself, is never a helpful or healthy thing to do. God deeply desires to have you share your heart with him, to bring him your hurt and rage and doubt and then in turn listen to what he thinks about you. He created you and knows you better than anyone and he can give you the courage and peace to continue and share this pain with a trusted friend, leader, or parent. Clue people into your heart’s state of being and allow God to speak his love and work his healing through the people he has placed in your life. There is nothing he can’t do!
One thing that can contribute to the struggle with self harm is being able to cope with stress. It’s easy to develop bad coping mechanisms. If you want to get an idea of where you’re at right now, take this quiz to test your coping skills. Regardless of the results, if you think this might be something you need a little help with, grab some time with your leader or school counselor and see what suggestions they have. Learning how to handle feeling overwhelmed is part of life, so make sure to talk to someone older and further along in life than you. Also remember that God can carry all of your worries and fears for you if you let him.
Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
Trust in the LORD.
Have faith, do not despair.
Trust in the LORD.
Matthew 11:28–30—Here Jesus himself invites us to trust in him, to surrender and give our hurts to him.
Matthew 7:7–8—Here we see Jesus tell us again that he wants to be there for us; we just need to ask him, seek him.
Isaiah 40:27–31—The Israelites struggled to know and see God, too; but let’s see what Isaiah had to say about that.
Psalm 147:1–3—God wants to bring you back to life, to heal you!
1 John 3:1—His love for you is great.
Matthew 18:15–17—Here we see a biblical account of how we should handle conflict.
Small group guide:
Check out this video made by a teen for her class. There are a lot of videos out there like this made by kids about self harm and depression. Maybe this is a way you can try expressing your own pain, anger, and other overwhelming feelings. Don’t forget though to share your emotions with a leader, parent, or chaplain and pray with them, asking God to teach you how he feels about you and how precious you are to him.
Do not be afraid—I will save you.
I have called you by name—you are mine.
When you pass through deep waters, I will be with you;
your troubles will not overwhelm you.
When you pass through fire, you will not be burned;
the hard trials that come will not hurt you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the holy God of Israel, who saves you.
I will give up Egypt to set you free;
I will give up Ethiopia and Seba.
I will give up whole nations to save your life,
because you are precious to me
and because I love you and give you honor.
Do not be afraid—I am with you!
Large group guide:
- Both Rachael and Nick talked about their experiences, their hurt and what they wished they had done differently. Do you find yourself in similar places? What can you begin doing now to begin the healing process sooner?
- Think about the adults that you know. Is there someone trustworthy that you could talk to, a pastor, leader, teacher, parent, or counselor? Remember that we are not meant to do life alone; talk it out with someone.
- Remember that near or far as God may feel, he is with you. Take some time to sit down and write out a prayer. Tell God how you feel, he already knows, but let it out anyway.
- Set goals for yourself. Write them out. Maybe your goal is not self-harm all week, to talk to someone once take baby steps. Break it down, write it out, find a friend to walk through it with you and reward yourself for good behavior. It may be hard, but you are not alone.
Remember that whether you are the friend or someone struggling with self-harm, it takes time to work through the things of your past. Be strong; it can be a long road and it may feel impossible. Take it from us; you are stronger than you think, especially with God on your side.
Read through this Psalm, maybe a few times and out loud even, and then take a few minutes to journal, draw, pray or even rewrite it with multiple colors and font sizes. Allow the truth of how much God knows you, loves you, and accepts you, penetrate into your core. There is absolutely nothing about you that he doesn’t already know and he still loves you fiercely. Nothing will ever change that!
Lord, you have examined me and you know me.
You know everything I do;
from far away you understand all my thoughts.
You see me, whether I am working or resting;
you know all my actions.
Even before I speak,
you already know what I will say.
You are all around me on every side;
you protect me with your power.
Your knowledge of me is too deep;
it is beyond my understanding.
Where could I go to escape from you?
Where could I get away from your presence?
If I went up to heaven, you would be there;
if I lay down in the world of the dead, you would be there.
If I flew away beyond the east
or lived in the farthest place in the west,
you would be there to lead me,
you would be there to help me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
or the light around me to turn into night,
but even darkness is not dark for you,
and the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
You created every part of me;
you put me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because you are to be feared;
all you do is strange and wonderful.
I know it with all my heart.
When my bones were being formed,
carefully put together in my mother’s womb,
when I was growing there in secret,
you knew that I was there—
you saw me before I was born.
The days allotted to me
had all been recorded in your book,
before any of them ever began.
O God, how difficult I find your thoughts;
how many of them there are!
If I counted them, they would be more than the grains of sand.
When I awake, I am still with you.
O God, how I wish you would kill the wicked!
How I wish violent people would leave me alone!
They say wicked things about you;
they speak evil things against your name.
O Lord, how I hate those who hate you!
How I despise those who rebel against you!
I hate them with a total hatred;
I regard them as my enemies.
Examine me, O God, and know my mind;
test me, and discover my thoughts.
Find out if there is any evil in me
and guide me in the everlasting way.