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Self-harm Mechanisms

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Self-harm Mechanisms

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

We cope with difficulties in various ways. One family of coping mechanisms is to attack ourselves in some way, doing actual or psychological harm.

  • Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms.
  • Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms.
  • Self-harming: Conscious physical self-harm.

So what?

Conversion coping can be confusing as the real problem is hidden behind a different mask. The reasons and route of conversion is not always clear and some exploration can be needed to help understand what is going on.

When people are acting strangely, ask whether this is authentic or whether it is a problem being acted out in some different way.

See also

Adaptive mechanisms, Anger

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