Why kids self-injure

Learn about: Why kids self-injure from Wendy Lader, PhD,...
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Why kids self-injure

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One of the hardest things for people to understand and appreciate is why someone would hurt themselves to feel better. What do they get from that because, for the most part, from the time we are little kids you learn that if you hurt yourself, you don't want to do that again. It's really counter intuitive, which means it feels weird that someone can feel good from injuring. In fact, they do. What it does for most people, is when they injure they will say things like, "When I'm feeling emotional pain, the physical pain replaces that and helps calm me down immediately." We're not exactly sure how that works, but we do know that it does work almost immediately. It has, for people who are feeling too much, it has a numbing effect and helps them calm down immediately. For kids who are not feeling anything and they want to feel something, it can help them to feel less disassociated from themselves. It brings them back to a sense of reality and being back within their own bodies.

Learn about: Why kids self-injure from Wendy Lader, PhD,...

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Wendy Lader, PhD

Psychologist

Dr. Lader is co-founder and clinical director of the S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives Program. An internationally recognized expert on the treatment of self-injury, she lectures extensively on the subject and is co-author of the book, Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers as well as Self Injury: A Manual for School Professionals. In addition, she served as the expert for a training video on Self-Injury for the American Psychological Association. Dr. Lader is co- founder of the Self-Injury Foundation and a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Self-Injury. 

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