This archived article was written by: Kimberlee Ritchie
Self Injury Awareness Day, or SIAD, is an international day for acknowledgement and education in an attempt to lessen stigma on a very serious health issue, and it is on March 1 every year.
In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that 2-3 million people harm themselves on purpose as a coping mechanism. However, a survey in Britain by the Samaritans discovered that as many as 1 in 10 people self injure, but are not generally suicidal.
Injuries can vary from minor cuts that heal quickly to extreme wounds that leave permanent scars and need medical attention. The extent of the injury is not indicative of how serious it is – if a person is in serious enough emotional pain to harm themselves, any injury should be considered significant.
Self injury is not limited to gender, race or age. Nor is it limited to social standing, as it happens with every education level – including doctors and professors.
Millions of people all around the world suffer from it, many of them in silence. It is characteristic of a self injurer to hide their injuries, generally by refusing to wear shorts or short-sleeves. Self injurers often feel ashamed of what they’re doing due to an unjust social stigma.
As time wears on, it becomes harder to control. Cuts and burns become deeper and more severe, and it becomes harder to let go of. Studies have shown that it follows the addictive chemical processes in the brain –