This episode was sparked by someone in a meeting. We were discussing how best we could help a person who had made several suicide attempts and regularly engages in self-harm, and this pillar of humanity said, "Yeah. They look like someone who would do that to themselves." Most folks brushed him off because of the combination of "charm", race, they way he dressed, and most definitely male privilege. I looked at him and asked, "Do I look like I would do this to myself?" He was deservedly shook and changed the subject.
This will be the first time I've ever discussed how I self-harmed. It doesn't look the same for all people and to attribute the thoughts and behaviors to a particular type is as dangerous as it is damaging.
When dealing with someone engaging in this behavior, please approach them with compassion and not your ideas of how you think they should be behaving. Thank you.
Below are some resources that address self-harm and suicide: