How do you handle being overwhelmed? How do you handle when life puts in situations over which you have no control? Jamie was experiencing, had been experiencing these feeling for a while now. School, life, work – it was so much to handle. Jamie was desperate for control over some part of life.
When overwhelmed, when desperate, some people will do anything for a measure of control in their lives, including injure themselves. One in five men and one in five women will engage in self-injury, often beginning as teenagers. While cutting is often thought of as the most common form of self-injury, other methods can include burning, breaking bones, scratching, bruising, drinking something harmful, or pulling out clumps of hair.
Self-injury or self-harm is a coping mechanism, often to deal with emotional stress. It allows the individual to exert, feel, and see a modicum of control in their life. Being a Christian does not exempt one for experiencing these struggles, nor does it provide an instant cure to all of life’s problems. But it does provide a starting point.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7, AMP)
Our brains – the way they function, operate, and their importance – are extremely complex. Scientists may study them for their entire lives and still only understand a fraction of their operations! Therefore, brain injuries present a problem for scientists because the long-term effects are relatively unknown and treatment for brain injuries are limited to what we know.
To begin, talk to God! (Of course this is good advice at any point in life!) Tell Him of your problems, your anxieties, whatever is overwhelming you! And do not be afraid to seek out additional help! Find a trusted friend, a church leader, or a therapist to help you. It is not weakness to seek out help, but a strength to recognize that there are things in life that cannot be handled on one’s own!
2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2, NIV)
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8, NIV)
If you are a person sought out for help, listen! Do not be judgmental or condescending. Listen! Ask what you can do to help! Respond out of love, just as we are directed. If you feel unqualified to help, offer to accompany the person to someone else. Ask God for wisdom on how to respond.
March is Self-Injury of Self-Harm Awareness Month. Take time this month to pray for all who may be struggling. Ask the Lord to open your eyes to someone who you may help.
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