Self Injury Facts
Examples of self injurious behaviors include cutting, burning, scratching, picking scabs, punching self/objects, bruising or breaking bones, and hair pulling.
- More prevalent among females, although many males do self-injure
- Usually begins after puberty, lasts 5-10 years or sometimes longer if not treated
- Often have history of emotional suppression – significant people in their lives have discouraged expression of emotions like anger and sadness
- Generally NOT a suicide attempt – but could be
Some Reasons Why
Affect Regulation – trying to manage emotions
- Escape numbness: To feel something.
- Provide relief: When intense feelings build, self-injurers feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. By causing physical pain, they can reduce (let out) the pressure of emotional pain.
Communication – trying to express things they cannot say
- Relieve anger: Many self-injurers have enormous amounts of rage held within. Afraid to express it outwardly by other means, they injure themselves as a way to vent these feelings.
- A way to tell others the extent of their inner turmoil.
- Communicating a need for support.
- If abused as children, they may be continuing abusive patterns.
- Obtain or maintain influence over the behaviors of others.
- Stop dissociation, flashbacks ("to bring themselves back").
- To exert a sense of control over one's body when otherwise feeling out of control.
Campus location: Marguerite Hall, 1st FL
Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Evening Hours by Appointment
Phone: (716) 829-7819 Kim Zittel, LMHC, NCC
Director, Personal Counseling Center
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
National Certified Counselor Isabel Molina, APRN BC
Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner
Our campus ministers are available for spiritual counseling and support
The D'Youville College Health Center provides information, health counseling, and emergency treatment.
If you know a student who seems to be in trouble or may potentially harm themselves, report it to the Students of Concern Committee.
D'Youville's Disability Services Office can find you the resources you need for academic success.