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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Self-aggression among children and adolescents. “I didn't even carry documents as often as razor blades”

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Scars hidden under long sleeves are a silent cry for help. That's why they should put everyone around them on their feet. Mrs. Agnieszka is over the worst and now appeals to others – do not be indifferent. The appeal is very timely, because every sixth student mutilates himself. To help them, all you have to do is notice them.

If you are experiencing emotional problems and would like advice or support, here you will find a list of organizations offering professional help. In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

– I didn't even carry documents as often as razor blades. It was my trademark – admits Mrs. Agnieszka.

Mrs. Agnieszka self-harmed for the first time when she was 13 years old. When she was returning from school, an unknown man tried to rape her. She managed to escape. At home, she reached for her penknife. There was momentary relief. It started with the arm. Then the second one, then the legs. – Everything I could hide under my clothes – says Mrs. Agnieszka.

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Parents, teachers or friends never noticed it. Today, her entire body is covered with scars. – Paradoxically, by making me feel alive, the auto-aggression also caused the life to slip away from me more and more – says Ms. Agnieszka.

Self-mutilation is one of the forms of self-aggression and you can mean and give something different to each person who hurts themselves. It can bring relief, it can be – and usually is – a cry for help.

– Usually the reason is a very difficult emotional state that the person is unable to cope with in any other way and is also unable to cope with it on his own – points out Marta Wojtas, a psychologist from the “We Give Children Strength” Foundation.

According to the report “Young Heads. Opening up about mental health” from 2023, every sixth student mutilates himself. – This is a problem we encounter more and more often at school. This school year, it has actually become exceptionally intensified – emphasizes Magdalena Pawlak, a school psychologist.

– It is increasingly common for younger children, even those under 11, to call with this problem – says Marta Wojtas.

“If someone had reacted when they could have reacted, I wouldn't have to bother with mutilation.”

Mrs. Agnieszka was diagnosed with borderline disorder, she has had 32 stays in a psychiatric hospital and four suicide attempts. She was addicted to alcohol and drugs. Today he is 40 years old, is undergoing therapy and has a very important message for others: not to be indifferent to other people, especially young ones.

– I think that if someone had reacted when they could have reacted, I wouldn't have had to deal with mutilation for twenty-something years – says Mrs. Agnieszka.

A parent, teacher or classmate may react. Changes in behavior, such as isolation, but not only that, should be of concern.

– It is always disturbing when these behaviors indicate that the child is intentionally trying to hide, for example, some body parts – points out Professor Anita Bryńska from the Department of Developmental Age Psychiatry at the Medical University of Warsaw and the CBT psychological clinic. – During PE lessons, for example, he always exercises in a long-sleeved T-shirt or long pants – he adds.

SEE ALSO: In Gdańsk, 60 percent of surveyed students say they are unhappy. “The problem is nationwide”

In Gdańsk, 60 percent of surveyed students say they are unhappy. “The problem is nationwide”Grzegorz Jarecki/Fakty po Południu TVN24

It is worth talking calmly then. If you experience emotional problems, you can also seek help yourself, for example by dialing one of the numbers below.

You can find help at these numbersTVN24

In a situation of immediate threat to life, call 997 or 112.

– I would like children, teenagers and even adults who self-harm not to be ashamed to ask for help – sums up Mrs. Agnieszka.

Main photo source: TVN24



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