The Parent of a Self-Harmer

The Perspective of a Parent

I was reading through a couple of other blogs this morning and I wanted to share one with you.  It offers a different take on self-harming, one that I thought would be a beneficial read for you.  The main question that the author, a parent of someone with depression, asks is: is self-harm a legitimate coping skill or a silent scream for help?

The article in question is by Theresa Larsen and it offers the perspective of a parent.  She has written a couple of articles surrounding her son’s depression and how he, like me, turned to self-harm in order to cope.  You can find the link below.

A Legitimate Coping Mechanism?

Those of you following my blog will know I believe this to be a coping mechanism.  In Pills and Blades and my journey I describe it as such.  I will be going into that in our upcoming series About Self-Harm, launching on 5/7/2017, but in a nutshell it’s something that’s been proven to release some of the tensions, stresses and feelings that I experience through my depression.

Theresa Larsen has a different take on it.  She describes self-harm as being a maladaptive coping mechanism, or one that doesn’t help in the long-term.  I do agree with this.  Self-harm, for me, has always been a quick fix, short-term way of managing my symptoms.  It’s definitely not something I’d encourage for the longer term.

The Article

In an article I wrote titled “Why I’m Grateful for My Son’s Self-Injury,” I describe my son’s depression and the use of cutting to release some of his inner pain. This self-injury turned into an addictive and compulsive act that culminated in several suicide attempts. Cutting became his demon; one that needed to be fed, demanded attention, and was in control. No longer was my son the master of himself, the demon was. He described it as a monster, an obsession, “I want to cradle my obsession and love my obsession. . .the monster that has festered for, it seems like an eternity, inside of me. . .”

Check out Theresa’s article here and unpack what she thinks about self-harm and depression.  It’s certainly well worth the read!  As someone who understands self-harm and can explain both the act and the reasons behind it, I found it interesting to read the perspective of a parent.  Take a look.  You might find it interesting.  I definitely did.

More reviews to come!

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Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Author: Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the creator and writer for Pushing Back the Shadows. Find out more about his journey here and connect with him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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