It was February 2002, when life turned its thorns and splattered its remains on Asabe, a junior high scholar. She was raped by a close relative. Ever since then, Asabe could not get over the  shock and pain of that hazy moment, which automatically created, in her, a deep emotional wound.  One day,  in order to defuse the pain that had almost crushed her teenage life, Asabe decided to take the blame and bear the consequences for her predicament. Whenever she feels the surge of those emotional pains, Asabe would cut her thighs with a blade till she bleeds her ass out. “Cutting is the best way I could express my pains,” she asserted, “I feel free and happy after seeing my own blood.”

A researcher at Yale University reported 56 percent of 10-14-years-old girls interviewed engaged in Non-suicidal Self Injury (NSSI), in other words, Self harm. Another reporter at Cornell University also reported that one in four teens hurt themselves at least once.

Self harm or NSSI is a deliberate injury on oneself without any suicidal attempt. In most cases, victims find it as a means of defusing emotional pains by releasing those pains on their physical. When Sheila, another self-harmer was interviewed, she described self-harming as a means of punishing herself when things don’t go well. “I feel when things don’t go well, we have to hurt ourselves. So, instead of others hurting me, I rather do it myself.”

There are various types of self harm. The most common is cutting. Others include: poking, pinching, scratching, punching, burning, hair pulling, alcohol and drug abuse, overfeeding or underfeeding, creating emotion to interfere with the healing process. In each of these cases, victims vigorously inflict themselves until scars develop and bleeding oozes out. While in others such as overfeeding, alcohol, drug abuse, and sex etc self harmers  continuously feed themselves almost to death. In this case, they don’t stop eating or drinking until they automatically become unconscious of their inner feelings. For these category of people, overfeeding and drunkenness is the best way to release emotional pain, while sometimes, to punish self.

However,  self harm might appear helpful in releasing emotional baggage, but healing only last but for a short while. According to experts, in the long run, damages caused by self harm create more pain than it could cure. The process of cutting can damage the nerves and other delicate tissues beneath the skin. Also, open wounds from cutting, scratching, poking, et al. provide suitable environment for infection. In the same vein, studies have shown that overfeeding, drunkenness, as well as drug abuse, are capable of causing severe disorder, diabetes, cancer, ulcer and other related diseases. Self harm is more dangerous than it can heal.


Well, the good news is you can actually overcome or help a friend overcome addiction to self harm. Of course, it is easier than you think. The first best approach is to realize that hurting yourself is never the best way off negative situation. The best way out of pain is to remain plain and positive. You should as well note that voicing out is effectual in healing emotional wound. Therefore do not keep to yourself anymore. Talk to a trusted adult.  Consult your doctor or if accessible, a psychologist. Don’t just keep to yourself because the longer you cover up the more damage it incurs. However, peradventure you could not find a confidant, no hope is lost dear. You sure can help you.

In this case, find a distraction. Instead of cutting, poking, punching, scratching or burning, you can choose to draw, carve, or paint on a hard surface. Playing musical instruments such as piano, guitar, saxophone, et al. is also a terrific remedy. Apart from that, outdoor activities greatly are effective. You could play soccer, volley/basketball as well as other games. Source for and engross self  in series of motivational videos to help build your mind and facilitate healing process. On a lighter note, say “NO!” to self harm; Help others heal.

Credit: M. Beatrice Faith




  1. Nice write up Beatrice, this is an exposition on the social menace people go through in a harsh economy like ours, all manners of emotional abuse…
    But friends no matter the challenge you go through in life, please be rest assured that they are overcomable, challenges are real but our triumph are guaranteed, Let the word of God guide you out of every situation/challenges that life poses at you ( please see Psalm 119:105 & John 16:33)
    Always remember the word “SHAPE” This is an acronym of “Spirituality, Heart, Ability, Personality, Experience”
    The experiences you go through in life are your messages to others.
    “Every mess has a message” there is no glory without it’s story, Every star has it’s scar… so brace up, dust yourself up and move on. (Romans 8:28)
    when you fall never hold a pity party instead tell yourself I am bigger than this challenge, this mountain is surmountable….
    Friends you are born to win… (1Peter 5:7says it all “casting all your burden upon Him (Jesus) because He cares for you). Jesus loves you too much to leave you in pains. Remain bless


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