Interesting article about self-injurious behaviours– what they are and why they occur.
Self injurious behaviors are not the same as self harm. I feel self harm is a much more concerning issue than SIBs because it encompasses emotional torment (although there is overlap of self harm and SIBs in some cases).
On a small scale, my SIBs are not that big a deal. I bite my fingers while trying to process phone calls. Under the table, my nails dig into my leg during a meeting. These acts are not a lack of control. I am exerting some small control over my surroundings. Often, I can’t avoid an overstimulating environment. Pain works as a filter. Enough pain, and the ambient noise dulls to a roar so that I may at least fake my way through a conversation without tears. These are minor acts that may result in a bruise or a little blood, but no real damage.
The best you support you can provide to someone with self injurious behaviors is an open mind. Don’t dismiss possible triggers. If someone communicates to you that an environment or activity is overwhelming, even if that communication is not speech, pay attention to them.