In a post in BTbatt, Jill Markussen (18) writes about self-harm. It is not self-harm that is the real problem. Self-harm is a survival strategy when one experiences that life cannot be mastered, and it is not otherwise possible to express the mental pain. 

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Jill Markussen writes that mental health is a concept that frightens many, and that many may not know what this word means. It is even worse to be open about one's own mental health, she believes:  

- For most people, our physical health is a simple topic to talk about, but when it comes to mental health, we find it far more difficult.

- I think a lot of the reason for this is that people are incredibly vulnerable to what others will think of them. For the people who live life happily in all their days (very few do that?) it can be impossible to understand a mentally ill person's thoughts, feelings and not least needs.


Self-harm is not about seeking attention

She therefore responds that those who actually dare to put words to mental pain and mental illness, experience a form of stigma as a result of this:

- I have read countless blogs that deal with mental health, and most of the authors behind the blog have at many times experienced that outsiders see them as merely seeking attention, writes Jill Markussen.

She believes that many mentally ill people use self-harm as a form of survival. Maybe just because putting the pain into words is so difficult. Self-harm is a taboo, she believes, and those who actually dare to talk about it can often be met with the cold shoulder because it is perceived in a completely wrong way.

- Many people may also see self-harm as a form of weakness. 


Self-harm: a way to prove mental pain

Self-harm is a complicated topic, and can be a serious problem for those who resort to this, and for relatives who have to deal with it. Jill Markussen points out that self-harm is not the problem in itself, but a form of solution to mental problems - in other words, a coping strategy:

- This is not to say that I believe that self-harm is a positive coping strategy, because it is by no means, but it is a form of expressing emotions through physically proving the pain that is deep inside the body and which is so hard to say in words.

She also emphasizes that self-harm is used to shift the focus away from the enormous pain within her and onto something material and objective.


Psychological trauma

Jill Markussen focuses on how overloads and psychological trauma affect us as human beings. 

- For mentally ill people, it can be difficult to experience the world and those around it as safe. If a person experiences a lot of bad things, such as repeated abuse, serious bullying and physical abuse, the person's thought pattern will change.

- The problem is that if you get too many negative experiences from people and the world around you, you can eventually start to live up to the "expectations" of it being so.

She further writes that even if you are overloaded, and although it is important to talk about this in order to regain your quality of life, it is thus not easy to put into words how you feel.


Help each other!

Stress does something to a person. The thought pattern is changed, emotions can settle in the body and the person can develop different types of symptoms that in a context can be put together for a diagnosis. 

- It is no shame to be struggling mentally, it is simply a part of life, writes Jill Markussen.

- Some are lucky and have a good quality of life and spark of life, while some feel that life is not worth living. 

She concludes with the following invitation:

- My message in the text today is that we are all human beings, we are of the same kind, and with that we also have to help each other. Help each other understand that everyone is equal on the inside, even if someone falls outside and is not feeling well.