Identifying emotions by making sense of body signals in Self-Harm
This is supporting why treatment approaches should increasingly focus on helping people regulate their emotions through developing a better understanding and connection with what the body is communicating.
Many times for people that self-harm is difficult to identify their mental states or recognise and make sense of body signals: they often talk about a general sense of feeling overwhelmed by emotions or feeling detached and numb. So self-harm can act as a stronger sensation that provides immediate relief from feeling overwhelmed or brings them back from feeling detached.
According to neuroscientist Antonio Damasio, emotions are a physical reaction to a change, while feelings are the result of our brain reading and interpreting these body reactions. This explains why it is very important, when you seek therapy for self-harm, to focus on reconnecting with your body to help you identify and then regulate your emotions.