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Jolixte
December 3rd, 2005, 02:52 PM
Some people SI to vent their emotions, some write/draw/dance/etc. Why is it that SI gets such an extreme reaction from people when they find out about it? Is it that it's taboo and/or more dangerous? I'm just curious as to people's take on this.

wolf
December 3rd, 2005, 03:19 PM
It's more dangerous. It's maladaptive. There is no real equivalence between a perceived inability to feel emotional pain and the physical pain of cutting.

If you believe that it enhances a personal sense of control ... get a damn train set instead. Self injury is a loss of control.

Self mutilation is not venting. It is not a positive expression of emotion, feeling, or living.

Drawing or journaling, on the other hand, do not leave permanent scars, nor are they likely to result in accidental death.

bbnflpn
December 3rd, 2005, 07:09 PM
what wolf said...

there are other forms of "cutting" like excessive tattos and pericings, i knew a few people who fit in to this catagory. one of my clients was so bad that he would constantly get tattoos (i dont know how he had any more room left on his body) his counselor said that for the duratoin of his stay in our progam that he was not to get another tattoo, (as far as i know he didnt get any after she said that, but i think that he might have had them put other places)

wolf
December 3rd, 2005, 09:41 PM
I usually forget self-mutilation for the sake of fashion as also being symptomatic. Thanks for pointing that out.

elfmage
December 4th, 2005, 03:22 AM
Self mutilation is not venting. It is not a positive expression of emotion, feeling, or living.


I disagree. A lot of self-harmers cite the fact that what they feel can't be expressed in words or images, which is why they injure themselves.



If you believe that it enhances a personal sense of control ... get a damn train set instead. Self injury is a loss of control.


A lot of that sense of control is not only the possession of control, but having control over yourself. If you lived with completely dominating control-freak parents for example, they may be able to control every other aspect of your life, but only you can control this deliberate pain.


Personally, I think the reason that it gets such an extreme reaction is due to ignorance; people know little about the actual causes (and rarely bother to ask or find out), or because of the sensationalism associated with people who do it for attention and nothing more, who dramatise it to the extreme to get more attention.

Just my opinion.

Mouse
December 4th, 2005, 04:12 AM
S.H (self harm) can be so many things. It can be a way to release feelings, or to induce tears if needed (i can explain this further if you like) or it can be a distraction to force yourself not to show outward emotion, a tool to control yourself.

Honestly, having cut deep enough to require serious stitches, I have no idea how someone could accidentally kill themselves with S.H. It's pretty simple, if there is a major artery there, don't cut too deep. You learn enough about veins etc in school to know what is safe and what is not.

The only answer I've ever gotten about "why does it get such a big reaction" is because it is wrong. As far as I'm concerned it's about the same as being a heavy smoker, except you can see the damage you are doing.

I thinkanother reson aside from ignorance is that people in modern society are very concerned about people's apearences. "The scars are so ugly, why woudl you ever want to do that to yourself?" - I've had so many people say to me.

S.H can be a form of venting, a way to let it out, venting doesn't have to be something that everyone can read/see/hear.

It might not be positive, but to a certain frame of mind it is. You can watch the blood and see "look, I am alive" which can be a shock when you feel dead inside. To a certain frame of mind it can be beautiful.

A lot of people dismiss S.H as stupid and want nothing more to do with it, and I think that only makes it harder for people to find the support they need to stop.
BB*
~miriam

Darakash
December 4th, 2005, 04:28 AM
A lot of that sense of control is not only the possession of control, but having control over yourself. If you lived with completely dominating control-freak parents for example, they may be able to control every other aspect of your life, but only you can control this deliberate pain.

Just my opinion.

This is a very interesting response. Though I have no personal experience with SI, I remember once when I was in my twenties, at an ACOA (adult children of Alcoholics) meeting attempting to explain something similar. I had found that when I was highly stressed, I would cease to eat, not to the point where it became a problem like anorexia, but for a small period...like a week, and it was soley for the purpose of having CONTROL over my own body, of having control over SOMETHING, and not feeling like a constant react-or....but that I was able to ACT....this sounds like a similar mentality.


It was sort of like "it's my body, and I can control it, I can decide what will happen to it"

wolf
December 4th, 2005, 10:34 AM
When you see someone whose arms from wrist to armpit are all scar tissue, you have MORE than idea that this behavior is "wrong."

She, incidentally, couldn't "feel" herself cutting on her arms anymore. So she started cutting on her belly. And has exposed bowel.

Self Injury is NEVER a coping skill. It's a blatant display of a lack of ability to cope.

Mirrored Wolf
December 4th, 2005, 12:18 PM
I disagree. A lot of self-harmers cite the fact that what they feel can't be expressed in words or images, which is why they injure themselves.





A lot of that sense of control is not only the possession of control, but having control over yourself. If you lived with completely dominating control-freak parents for example, they may be able to control every other aspect of your life, but only you can control this deliberate pain.




Personally, I think the reason that it gets such an extreme reaction is due to ignorance; people know little about the actual causes (and rarely bother to ask or find out), or because of the sensationalism associated with people who do it for attention and nothing more, who dramatise it to the extreme to get more attention.

Just my opinion.Yeah, I have friends that do this, just for attention, because they know people will go "Oh, what happened!?!" *sighs* They don't really understand it.


It might not be positive, but to a certain frame of mind it is. You can watch the blood and see "look, I am alive" which can be a shock when you feel dead inside. To a certain frame of mind it can be beautiful.

I agree with all four of these statements. As to the fourth one, To me, that feeling was the most amazing and beautiful thing I have ever felt... Just to know that I was still alive, was completely shocking. Even after how I felt inside, to be able to *see* that I was still alive.

I have an SI problem, I managed to get rid of it... But now it's coming back, I've started cutting again. I don't do it for the attention, I do it to make the feelings of helplessness go away, To cover up my depression and to make the pain I feel go away, even if it's only temporarily.

As to the why is it such a big deal question : It's made such a big deal, because of the people who do it just for the attention, and, because not everyone is smart enough to realise that they could kill themselves if they slit their wrist with a knife/razor. The ones who do it for attention end up killing themselves more often than those of us that do it to help ourselves.

I have no problem admitting the fact that I have an SI problem, because i've done it before, though it has come back.


Anyway, just my two cents.

puchidevil
December 4th, 2005, 01:11 PM
I think you have all missed the point here.

I understand your explanations, i understand the need to do it although i have never done it myself. I even understand how you all say its a release etc and a can be construed as beautiful by the people who do it.

But, i fail to understand how you dont see it as a problem when you describe it as a 'SI problem'. The very fact that you call it a problem must mean that you know it is wrong.

And I dont mean wrong to society, or wrong to me, I am talking about it being wrong to yourself. Justifying it doesnt make it more acceptable to see people abusing themselves in such a manner. Self harmers do it in secret thinking they are in control - they fail to realise that their 'secret' is on view to the whole world in the form of the physical scars - doesnt sound like control to me. Self harmers do more damage to themselves than any of their past abusers etc have ever done.

Emotional scars are easier to get rid of with the right help than physical scars are. I know a lot of ex self harmers who got the 'help' they needed, and EVERY SINGLE ONE is now ashamed of the things they did to themselves - and wear only clothes that cover their scars.

So, please, everyone, realise that ALL self harmers eventually seek professional help, so do it now! Go and get the help you know you need - THATS what i would call taking control - not abusing yourself.

Jolixte
December 4th, 2005, 07:58 PM
So, please, everyone, realise that ALL self harmers eventually seek professional help, so do it now!
Actually not "ALL" of them do. I'm curious as to why you think that.


I had found that when I was highly stressed, I would cease to eat, not to the point where it became a problem like anorexia, but for a small period...like a week, and it was soley for the purpose of having CONTROL over my own body, of having control over SOMETHING, and not feeling like a constant react-or....but that I was able to ACT....this sounds like a similar mentality.

I've done that, but it takes a lot to get me to that point.

blueiris
December 4th, 2005, 09:23 PM
Emotional scars are easier to get rid of with the right help than physical scars are. I know a lot of ex self harmers who got the 'help' they needed, and EVERY SINGLE ONE is now ashamed of the things they did to themselves - and wear only clothes that cover their scars.

So, please, everyone, realise that ALL self harmers eventually seek professional help, so do it now! Go and get the help you know you need - THATS what i would call taking control - not abusing yourself.

My right arm is completely covered in scars from self-injury. While I was self-injuring, I covered it with long sleeves. For my thigh, I would always wear shorts with bathing suits. You say every single one is now ashamed of the things they did to themselves - I'm not. I'm not proud of my scars, but self-injury is a way of dealing with stress. I don't cover them anymore with foundation or only wear long sleeves - I wore a strapless dress to a school dance just last week. I'm not flaunting my scars around, saying "ooh look at me, I self injure!" but I have no reason to be ashamed of them. Self injury is a part of my past and the scars are certainly not going to disappear if I cover them up. Granted, it's a negative way simply because of the possible long-risk damage that can result from it, but is it any worse than alcoholism?

I think people are afraid of it simply because they don't know enough about it. They see your scars, and they think that you must be suicidal or something, only because they can actually see the pain that you're doing to yourself. The scars are not pretty, they are ugly and discolored, they are simply displeasing to look at, which is why people act disgusted about it.

And it is a form of venting. It is always such a relief to see the physical damage you're doing to yourself, to actually feel it, if you're numb and dead inside.

wolf
December 4th, 2005, 09:24 PM
And it is a form of venting. It is always such a relief to see the physical damage you're doing to yourself, to actually feel it, if you're numb and dead inside.

That is precisely what's wrong with it.

Jolixte
December 4th, 2005, 09:28 PM
SI is an outward expression of an inward problem. That's the problem with it.

wolf
December 4th, 2005, 09:31 PM
Outward expression of an avoidance of dealing with an inward problem, IMHO.

It's not a solution, and it's worse than the problem itself.

Jolixte
December 4th, 2005, 09:34 PM
It's not a solution, and it's worse than the problem itself.

I agree that it isn't really a solution because the problem remains, but I don't think that it's worse then the problem. I don't think the act is all that inherently wrong.

Marcasite
December 4th, 2005, 11:13 PM
I think it's such a big deal because mental illness in our society is still such a taboo. I used to cut and I got a lot of flak for it. I would have quit a lot sooner if I had received support and care instead of being ostracized and criticized. If you self harm or know someone who does, urge them to seek professional help. I think self harm is the expression of some sort of deep troubles inside a person and that's what needs to be adressed before a person will stop.

puchidevil
December 4th, 2005, 11:37 PM
It is always such a relief to see the physical damage you're doing to yourself, to actually feel it, if you're numb and dead inside.

But honey - dont you see??

If you can feel ANYTHING - like relief for example - then you arent really numb and dead inside, are you?

All you have done is swallowed your emotions/feelings/aliveness - they arent dead - far from it.

All you are doing is proving that those who have hurt/betrayed/abused you still are. They dont even have to come near you - its as plain as day, and scaring yourself proves exactly how much control THEY have over YOU and your emotions.

If you want to be in control then you first need to lose control by releasing all those swallowed emotions safely.

Some posts have compared self harming to alcoholism. Ok, lets do that. Yes, they also continue to justify it, yes they also know its not normal behaviour, and yes, they also know they drink to forget/vent/release whatever trauma caused them to close down.

The difference is: once they seek the help they need, and stay off the booze, no-one can tell the difference between them and the next person, whereas a self harmer is always recognisable as a self harmer - or, to put it in society's terms, 'a person who does not appear to have the ability to cope'. And regardless of the arguments about 'coping' and 'venting' - it ISNT a coping/control mechanism, because if you WERE coping, you wouldnt feel the NEED to harm yourself.

Jolixte
December 4th, 2005, 11:47 PM
The difference is: once they seek the help they need, and stay off the booze, no-one can tell the difference between them and the next person, whereas a self harmer is always recognisable as a self harmer - or, to put it in society's terms, 'a person who does not appear to have the ability to cope'.
Are you referring to the scars? I'll just make a mention that SI doesn't always cause scars. SI includes bruising, scratching, cutting, burning, breaking bones, hair pulling, overdosing and probably some I can't think of.


Thanks for everyone's input, btw.

puchidevil
December 5th, 2005, 12:09 AM
Yes, I was just referring to the scars.

After all, it is the scars that will always brand a person as recognisable as a self harmer for the rest of their life - even years after they stop doing it.

I apologise if any of my posts in this thread offended anyone - but i did notice that each quote focussed on the less 'nerve-hitting' aspects. Almost as if the truth didnt want to be heard. :)

Mouse
December 5th, 2005, 12:56 AM
I think you have all missed the point here.

I understand your explanations, i understand the need to do it although i have never done it myself. I even understand how you all say its a release etc and a can be construed as beautiful by the people who do it.

But, i fail to understand how you dont see it as a problem when you describe it as a 'SI problem'. The very fact that you call it a problem must mean that you know it is wrong.

And I dont mean wrong to society, or wrong to me, I am talking about it being wrong to yourself. Justifying it doesnt make it more acceptable to see people abusing themselves in such a manner. Self harmers do it in secret thinking they are in control - they fail to realise that their 'secret' is on view to the whole world in the form of the physical scars - doesnt sound like control to me. Self harmers do more damage to themselves than any of their past abusers etc have ever done.

Emotional scars are easier to get rid of with the right help than physical scars are. I know a lot of ex self harmers who got the 'help' they needed, and EVERY SINGLE ONE is now ashamed of the things they did to themselves - and wear only clothes that cover their scars.

So, please, everyone, realise that ALL self harmers eventually seek professional help, so do it now! Go and get the help you know you need - THATS what i would call taking control - not abusing yourself.


Not all S.H.ers become ashamed of their scars. I've stoped (well exept for the occasional re-laps) for 4 years.. or is it more now? The only place I wear long sleves/pants to cover my scars (I've posted pictures of them before, you can't help but see them if you are talking to me) is to school, and as yet it hasn't really been hot enough for this to bother me. When the time comes I will wear short sleves etc. And when people ask me what happend I will tell them. I am not ashamed of my scars. I wouldn't say I'm proud of them, but I'm not bothered that I wear my emotional scars on the outside and I rejoyce that I let those emotions out at that time (who cares how I did it) and that I'm not haunted.

Not all S.H.ers seek help either. The last time I went to see my shrink it made me want to cut more. "Professional help" is not for everyone.

I never saw it as wrong to me.. I see it as wrong to my family/the people I care about because it hurts them, but it isn't wrong to me. I don't see how it could be, at least not any more so than smoking or getting blind-rolling drunk.

From your post, I dont think you really understand it as well as you say you do. (just mho)
~Miriam

Mouse
December 5th, 2005, 01:02 AM
Outward expression of an avoidance of dealing with an inward problem, IMHO.

It's not a solution, and it's worse than the problem itself.

Wolf, sometimes you can not deal with the problem because it is out of your control, you would fix the problem if you could, but you cant.

puchidevil, What exactly is wrong with being identified as a S.Her, or a recoverd S.Her?

BeigeAllen
December 5th, 2005, 01:21 AM
Some people SI to vent their emotions, some write/draw/dance/etc. Why is it that SI gets such an extreme reaction from people when they find out about it? Is it that it's taboo and/or more dangerous? I'm just curious as to people's take on this.

Okay, for the duration of this post, please remember that to me SI is defined as non-socially sanctioned (pathological) self-harm that can be classified as either suicidality, self-mutilation (which is further broken down into major, stereotypic, and superficial/moderate), or unhealthful behavior. This is not a form of healthy personal expression. This is any of a series of acts performed by a deeply spiritually wounded person and are cries of pain.

With any act of self injury, there are three components of self-harming acts: directness, lethality, and repetition.

Directness refers to how intentional the behavior is; if an act is completed in a brief period of time and done with full awareness of its harmful effects and there was conscious intent to produce those effects, it is considered direct. Otherwise, it is an indirect method of harm.
Lethality refers to the likelihood of death resulting from the act in the immediate or near future. A lethal act is one that is highly likely to result in death, and death is usually the intent of the person doing it.
Repetition refers to whether of not the act is done only once or is repeated frequently over a period of time It is defined simply by whether or not the act is done repeatedly.


Investigators have discovered a common pattern in the cutting behavior. The stimulus...appears to be a threat of separation, rejection, or disappointment. A feeling of overwhelming tension and isolation deriving from fear of abandonment, self-hatred, and apprehension about being unable to control one's own aggression seems to take hold. The anxiety increases and culminates in a sense of unreality and emptiness that produces an emotional numbness or depersonalization. The cutting is a primitive means for combating the frightening depersonalization.

As a parent, I did not want to imagine that this would happen to my children. When it did, I worked to help them find ways to feel in control of their environment through different art forms. My oldest son (now 14, a cutter at age 11) discovered woodworking. Just as he once cut himself, he now cuts wood, and is making an entire bedroom set for himself one piece at a time. Where he was harming himself, he has now found a means to actually control part of the universe around him.

The ultimate definer of whether or not SI incidents are something to worry about or not is in talking to the injurer about their reasons for the injury. Getting a lot of tatts or piercings does not mean someone has injury issues, they just have a different concept of cosmetic enhancement than some of us. Physically exacting rituals do not denote a cry for help, it may be the person's way out of the greater pain in their heart. Talk to the self injurer, find out what's in their heads and heart, its both the best preventative and the best cure.

:huddle:
Hugs are what we're for.

ewok
December 5th, 2005, 01:30 AM
hmm..

what plucks my tail feathers is HOW somebody who has never done it , never been in that situation , cant understand it can be an addiction can then turn around and say its wrong.. its seems to me that those type of people are treating S.h's like they have leprosy.. ie.. BEWARE - UNCLEAN..

what gives anyone the right to brand anyone like that?.. to me that is a totaly narrow minded excuse to LABEL or BRAND someone so that they can be looked down upon - sneered at or just plain ignored or even worse pittyied..so that they can live in their personal and perfect little world knowing that they have labeled something and now thats the way it should be for all time.. perfectly labeled and packaged for eternity..

if someone has done sh in the past and stands up and says its wrong then that person has earned the right to say that.. thats the person i will listen to..

but for anyone else to say that it would like having a marrige counsler who isnt married or a child support officer who doesnt have any children.. it just doesnt work..what gives them the right to tell people "what is" and "what isnt" and how to fix it when they have no experiance themselfs in that field..sure..they have the bookwork and the symbols after their name to say that they have studied said fields.. but..they have no real life knowlage in it.. all it is is just a job.. 9-5 go home and relax.. its not 24/7 for them.. they get an 18 hour a day break from it all.. the problem is 24/7 it doesnt take a break for office hours.. its there for life.. and it never goes away fully..

think about that..

puchidevil
December 5th, 2005, 04:19 AM
puchidevil, What exactly is wrong with being identified as a S.Her, or a recoverd S.Her?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being identified as a self harmer, or a recovered self harmer.

This thread was originally about society's views on self harming and the extreme reactions of people when they find out someone has self harmed.

My comments regarding ex harmers who are ashamed of their scars and the things they did to themselves related to people I know personally (and I do know a lot, SH-ing might be a taboo subject in society, but it is widespread) - and my comments also related to 'later in life'. Mouse, you are 18, ghostwolf you are 15, and blueiris, you are 16 - hardly 'later in life'. It would be interesting to see if you still have the same opinion of your SH-ing and scars when you are 30-something, your life is better, you no longer harm, you have children etc - and the scars which are a constant daily reminder of dark times you wish you could forget but cant because of the permanent damage you did to yourself. (that comment is common and often comes from the people I know who used to SH)

I also dont think that a person has to have experienced something first hand in order to fully understand it. I said in one of my post in this thread that I have never SH-ed - it doesnt mean that my life hasnt been so out of my control that i hadnt considered it. I am fully aware of all that is involved in self harming - but to tell me I dont understand it because i consciously chose not to do it belittles us all.

Mouse
December 5th, 2005, 04:33 AM
I hardly think age has anything to do with it, if anything shouldnt you become less ashamed as time passes, not more so?

puchidevil
December 5th, 2005, 04:54 AM
I hardly think age has anything to do with it, if anything shouldnt you become less ashamed as time passes, not more so?

Yes, you would think so wouldnt you.

But, and I speak regarding people I know :) , the opposite is true. They speak freely regarding this, and cannot believe they did such a thing. Yes, it helped them at the time, greatly so, but each and every person I know who did this has said that they wish they could have found a better way.

AlleyCat
December 5th, 2005, 05:50 AM
Because I have been there and understand, but yet never scarred (now I scar all the time damned cats) i don't see why society blows it into such a 'HUGE OMG THATS WRONG' drama when it isn't. Refering to the question I think its more about the obvious physical effects it has on some that is what makes society gasp, if we didn't scar I doubt there would be as much a fuss made as there is now...

There is a difference between cutting and being suicidal or dangerous to others and often people don't realise that, trying to think of something from a textbook I read but can't place it at the moment of a way to deal with pain is often to focus pain at one point that is controlled, centred and more intense than the other pain, if you'd seen the episode where Dr. Gregory House, from House, smashed his hand after going off painkillers for a few days

AlleyCat
December 5th, 2005, 05:51 AM
By the textbook thing I meant the exact psychological terminology used if anyone didnt get what i meant somehow..

Happy Shrew
December 5th, 2005, 02:30 PM
As someone who did self-injure for about a year (mostly cutting) I got to see a wide range of reactions when my behavior finally became common knowledge.

The most shocking thing, I think, is the violation of trust in self that is implied in the behavior. When all else fails, a person always has his or herself, the only person that they have a chance of trusting. To cause physical harm to yourself is to reject yourself in a way, and that violates the sacred bond of self.

I know this to be true because of the emotional rollercoaster involved when I first started cutting. I could feel myself begging for mercy and I ignored it like an executioner ignores the cries of the criminal.

What I did was an attempt at coping. It was a very bad method. It became an addiction that was only feeding my problem (since I was doing it as a form of self-punishment from holding myself to too high a standard). I'm not going to condemn or ostracize anyone who does it, but I will say that there is ALWAYS a better way.

One thing I do now (since those tingles of self-rage still do occasionally surface) is change my behavior in other small but powerful ways. I like to change my handwriting since it's something I have to always be mindful of and because it's a way of changing such a fundamental part of myself. Recently I decided to change some letters to be more spiky since I think it looks better, and the act of intentionally writing letters differently is very thereapeutic. But everyone has to find their own thing.

obsidiantrinket
December 5th, 2005, 02:38 PM
Oh boy, one of the most controversial subjects on the planet! *cracks knuckles* All right, here we go!

The reason, I THINK (keep in mind this entire post is just 'what I think', not truth, not law - no one is bound to it but me) society has such a reaction to SI/SM/SH is simple. A human being's number one primal instinct (and the only instinct humans have, according to many studies) is "SURVIVE!". Stay alive at all costs. (Obviously mental instabilities can override this instinct, but we're speaking in general terms here) Generally, we're just wired to stay alive. SI is a direct violation of that programming. Physical harm to oneself whether self-inflicted or otherwise decreases the chances of survival.. even if it's only to a minor degree, like a bruise. But in that same vein, many who do partake in self-mutilation, in their minds, do it to fulfill that primal urge. They do it to stay alive. I know I've been in quite a few situations where it's either cut on my arms or legs a litte, or throw myself off a bridge. I'll take the razor over the bridge any day of the week.

So, try to look from a "normal" point of view, a standard human with little-to-no mental/emotional abnormalities and healthy coping mechanisms (at least, society's standard of 'healthy'), and try to imagine what they see through their eyes when they look upon someone destroying part of themselves physically. It's awkward, confusing, heartbreaking, and disgusting. They have no basis of understanding for what would drive someone to do this, no other creature in nature exhibits this odd trend.. why would this sentient, wonderful thing called a human do such a horrible thing? I suppose you could call it ignorance, but that word seems a bit harsh. I sometimes wish I didn't understand what it's like to have to hurt myself. I can't blame anyone who doesn't understand - I even sympathize. A lot of people who do it don't even really understand it.. particularly when it manifests at a very young age.

Another thing that's been mentioned here, that SI is the way for people to cope when they have no other way to. Well, yes. That is a very true statement. SI doesn't show an inability to cope though - they cope just fine. They just happen to cope by hurting themselves. Granted, it's not "healthy". I'm not saying it's right (nor am I saying it's wrong) and I'm definitely not saying it's a coping method I would suggest for anyone. But it -is- a way to cope. Just like any other way to cope. "Coping", the word on it's own, does not denote healthiness one way or the other. It's just... coping. Dealing. Surviving.

I have also likened it to cigarettes previously, as have many people. There is no difference, in my mind, between SI and smoking cigarettes. They are both stress-relieving, coping mechanisms. The only difference is you can see what SI does on the outside. Personally, my methods of cutting and burning for SI are a hell of a lot healthier than smoking a pack a day.

Now, I can't speak for the rest of the world of self-injurers, but I can say from personal experience that in my five years of battling with it on and off, that I have -tried- other methods of coping. Exercise helps sometimes, it produces similar effects such as the release of adrenaline and sense of control over the body. But it doesn't work all the time. Writer's block dampens the journal avenue, lack of natural artistic ability only makes it worse when you view what you attempted to create as a failure, venting verbally only works half the time even when you DO have someone who loves and supports you. Sometimes, there really isn't an available option other than to injure yourself through whatever means.

Society's general view is they don't understand. I can't say I blame them, and I wouldn't want anyone who hasn't had to struggle with it to truly understand it - the trauma and pain that leads someone to do such an act to themselves isn't anything I'd wish on anyone.

...And I don't hide my scars. I wouldn't say I'm proud of them by any means. But I'm not ashamed, each one shows an obstacle in my life that I've faced, each one tells a story of my heartache.. and each one proves that I did accomplish what I am wired to accomplish.. and that is to survive.

BeigeAllen
December 5th, 2005, 03:25 PM
hmm..

what plucks my tail feathers is HOW somebody who has never done it , never been in that situation , cant understand it can be an addiction can then turn around and say its wrong.. its seems to me that those type of people are treating S.h's like they have leprosy.. ie.. BEWARE - UNCLEAN..

what gives anyone the right to brand anyone like that?.. to me that is a totaly narrow minded excuse to LABEL or BRAND someone so that they can be looked down upon - sneered at or just plain ignored or even worse pittyied..so that they can live in their personal and perfect little world knowing that they have labeled something and now thats the way it should be for all time.. perfectly labeled and packaged for eternity..

if someone has done sh in the past and stands up and says its wrong then that person has earned the right to say that.. thats the person i will listen to..

but for anyone else to say that it would like having a marrige counsler who isnt married or a child support officer who doesnt have any children.. it just doesnt work..what gives them the right to tell people "what is" and "what isnt" and how to fix it when they have no experiance themselfs in that field..sure..they have the bookwork and the symbols after their name to say that they have studied said fields.. but..they have no real life knowlage in it.. all it is is just a job.. 9-5 go home and relax.. its not 24/7 for them.. they get an 18 hour a day break from it all.. the problem is 24/7 it doesnt take a break for office hours.. its there for life.. and it never goes away fully..

think about that..

Sounds like the rants my son gave to me when we were dealing with his cutting. So here are the responses I gave to him.

Just because a marriage counselor isn't married doesn't mean they don't know anything about marriage. Single marriage counselors often are better at assisting couples because they do not have a bias towards either side. Currently married or formerly married counselors are a little more likely to be biased towards one side or the other based on their own experiences with marriage.

Same holds true for child support officers who have no children. You don't have to have children to know that they need food, love, stability, postive role models, and a pile of money spread out over the course of their lives in gifts and happy events. Next you are gonna tell us that to be an abuse counselor you either have to be abused or an abuser? Hogwash!

Fact is, people aren't half as complicated or as original as they believe themselves to be. Certain behaviors are triggered by certain sets of circumstances. Someone hurts you long enough in painful enough ways and you soon decide that hurting yourself is an option because at least you are in control of the pain when you hurt yourself.

What gives me the right to judge you in this matter? I have the right in this country to comment on anything I see that I think is just plain stupid. You have the right not to like my words or my opinions, but I still have the right to have them and air them. I have the right to teach my children that we do not lay our hand on the pretty red burner on the electric stove. Yes it makes an interesting scar, and yes, you have the pain tolerance of a bull elephant on the rampage if you can leave your hand there long enough to get a good scar from it, but its still a stupid thing to do unless you want a scar that advertises to the world that you are a target for any abuse they wish to heap on you.

Fact is, if someone else was abusing you, you would want someone to notice, to help, and to rescue you from the maniac hurting you. Why do you expect that it is supposed to be any different just because you are the one abusing you. There is nothing narrow minded about recognizing someone is in pain. There is nothing narrow minded in doing everything you can for the person to give them more positive ways to channel those emotions and energies. This does not make those suffering from SI any less than the rest of us. They just process things a little differently. What is wrong is allowing them to keep hurting themselves just because its easier than dealing with the issues causing them to hurt themselves.

Those of you who are SI's and don't have someone that is able to step in help you, I hope you will at least email me and vent rather than take the weapon to your skin. Heck vent at me publicly, I doubt I will melt from it. You folks may believe that no one understands, but there are many of us who do. There really are better ways to deal with the pain.

Hate to tell you that you are wrong about anything, but you are wrong that it doesn't ever completely go away. Cutting isn't all that new its just thanks to the internet, a lot of things get talked about that seldom did in the past. I was a cutter for a few years. I know the pain, I know that the physical pain distracts you from the emotional pain for a while. I also know that when you finally take control of your own life and start seeing more positive results, that the pain goes away and with it the SI urges.

I also know that many SI's just learn healthier outlets for their destruction. Many stuntpeople and extreme athletes embraced their activities as a more acceptable reason for getting themselves hurt. My son did that for awhile, he got into wrestling and quit cutting himself because in wrestling he got hurt everyday, so he didn't feel the need to do it to himself. He took two silver medals at the junior level while working out the rest of his pain.

When he took up woodworking he dropped wrestling, his reason was he didn't want to get too beat up to make things. He takes pride in himself and his appearance. He's still never gonna blend in a school photo, but we never cared if he did, we just wanted him happy, and for now at least, we have our wish. Since completing his first project, he is a lot happier. He said for him the biggest change is being able to look at the nightstand he made and see that it is everything he thought it would be. That with the right support, he can do anything he puts his mind to and it can come out just fine.

obsidiantrinket
December 5th, 2005, 04:36 PM
A lot of good insights have been brought to light in this thread, but one thing I feel I should mention is that I don't think it's anyone's place to say that SI is wrong. At least, not in the general sense of "It's wrong for everyone and no one should do it because it's wrong."

It's something a person does to their own body in their own life - and I don't believe it's anyone else's place to say whether that activity is wrong or right. They aren't causing physical harm to anyone else.. Actually, Robert A. Heinlein has a really good quote for just this occasion. Let me find it.

"Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful - just stupid)."

And even as someone who struggles with SI, I have to agree with him at least on that. :P

But as "stupid" as it is, I can't say that it's "wrong", and I don't see how anyone else can.

(But I do respect everyone's right of being able to say and believe what they want. That's just my two cents. :) )

((Edit: And I do think that it is EVERY parents right to tell their children that SI is 'wrong'.. that's a horse of a totally different color. I'm not trying to say that parents should let their children, in your example, burn themselves on the stove.. :\ - but at the same time, once they hit an age of better reasoning and judgement (whatever everyone's personal 'coming of age' time is (16? 18? whatever) that the parents should offer more support and alternatives and less 'That's wrong, don't do it.' - which it appears that you have done an excellent job with BeigeAllen, and I'm very happy for you and your son. I wish I could be forunate enough to find something along those lines like your son with woodworking... I wish my family would have known how to handle me as a child when I started. I was alone in the world, when I started.. I thought I was the only one who did things like that. Heh. But anyway, I'm looking, and I guess I'll just keep looking until I find my niche. :) ))

Apprentice666
December 5th, 2005, 04:56 PM
Some people SI to vent their emotions, some write/draw/dance/etc. Why is it that SI gets such an extreme reaction from people when they find out about it? Is it that it's taboo and/or more dangerous? I'm just curious as to people's take on this.

I believe it get's an extreme reaction because it can and will lead to suicidal actions, in fact, it is already a suicidal action. It can lead to that person killing themself. I used to SI before I met my girlfriend because I was extremely unhappy. I've got white scars all over my left arm. I tried to slit my wrists several times, though I never died. I don't know why or how, but I never did. I think it was 8 times that I attempted suicide and I know that if I were to attempt it one more time, I'd be successful, I just know it... but it's been a long time since I cut to attempt suicide. It puts you in a sort of europhoric trance that takes you away from the pain. With me, it would literally wipe my memory of an event, all the details, everything, the feelings, etc.. The only memory of it would be like that if I read it in a text book about someone else.

Danustouch
December 5th, 2005, 05:02 PM
I think my opinions on the matter are going to be far outside the norm here.

I have been a cutter, in my teen years, and still struggle with the temptation now. I've had two relapses in my adult years, as well.

What I have always thought interesting about society's view of cutting, is that society tends to forget that there is a huge historical basis for self mutilation as a sign of grief, loss, and self punishment.

Certain catholic orders practiced self mutilation as a form of shame, and some, even do to this day.

Certain native american tribes, would find relatives of deceased loved ones severing their own fingers, a very extreme form of self mutilation, to signify their grief, or as an accepted expression of grief.

Ancient Jews (and I say ancient, because I don't know if it is still practiced) would dress themselves in sacks, shred them, and cover themselves in ashes, a symbolic form of mutilation.

There were also religious reasons for self mutilation.. such as the Native American Sun Dance. Tatoos.. etc.

Mutilation is still practiced, and in fact, seen as a sign of beauty in many african cultures, today.

So why does OUR western, modern society look so differently upon self mutilation and self harm? Someone had mentioned that it is perhaps our emphasis on physical beauty. That may be part of it, but I would like to suggest that it is also our discomfort with great shows of emotion.

Go to a funeral in a different culture, and you will see professional mourners, who weep and wail for hours, if not days.

Walk down a street in foreign culture, and see males embrace, and kiss eachother on the cheek, or walk down the street holding hands.

The truth is, other cultures are far more comfortable with deep shows and displays of emotions, outwardly. Western and American culture (specifically) are far more stoic, far more distant, and to many foreign cultures, we appear, almost cold.

I think it is western society's basic fear, and discomfort of public displays of great emotion, that causes such discomfort with self harm. I think that self harmers are incapable of hiding their grief, their sadness, their emotion from the rest of the world, and yet we live in a culture which almost makes that a necessity. And those who are not self harmers, are SO gravely disquieted by our self harm, because it forces them to confront a level of emotion which they feel absolutely helpless to handle. They cannot help us cope, they cannot make it better, and it is so painful for them to watch, because it is a level of emotion which they simply have no ability to "cure".

And that's part of what makes Western society western society, isn't it? The urge to cure everything? Going bald? Here's a pill. Have sexual problems, Here's a pill. Wanna get skinny, here's the latest diet. We do not like things, that we cannot cure. And grief is something that you cannot cure. Emotional pain is something you cannot cure. And even fears (such as that of abandonment/rejection as someone mentioned) Cannot really be cured, except by time, and experience, and simply "getting through".

I don't advocate self harm. I hate that I still struggle with the desire to harm myself. But why? Not because I care what others think. I care because it means that I do not yet feel free to express myself in other ways. I don't feel comfortable enough to show my grief, and my pain. It means that I don't have someone in whom I can truly confide my feelings, and have them hold me up when I'm down. It means that I'm still allowing hurtful circumstances to happen in my life, many of which can be prevented. Oddly enough, I don't self harm when someone dies. I don't self harm when someone I love is ill. I self harm when I am feeling lonely, rejected, abandoned, unworthy, or self loathing. Some of those things are things which I can prevent myself from feeling. And unfortunately, I have not yet learned the coping mechanisms, or defense mechanisms to prevent them... so for that, I hate that I still struggle with self harm. And I hate to see others doing it too. I would like it, if none of us had to hurt, anymore.

Silver Ivy
December 5th, 2005, 05:50 PM
Some people SI to vent their emotions, some write/draw/dance/etc. Why is it that SI gets such an extreme reaction from people when they find out about it? Is it that it's taboo and/or more dangerous? I'm just curious as to people's take on this.

I can only write from my own experience of knowing people who have done this.

I think that SI gets an extreme reaction because to me and I think to others too - it indicates a kind of dislike of the self, and even self hate. I have known people who have done things like slash their legs with siscors ... and that often leads to trying to slash their wrists or other more extreme ways of SI. I think that it can seem kind of dangerous to other people who do not understand what the person who SI is going through.
I don't think that other people like to really see other people experiencing pain, so it can seem kind of confusing when a person causes their own pain in a physical way ....
Those are just my ideas ...

QUEEN OF THE DAMNED
December 5th, 2005, 05:55 PM
I think it is western society's basic fear, and discomfort of public displays of great emotion, that causes such discomfort with self harm. I think that self harmers are incapable of hiding their grief, their sadness, their emotion from the rest of the world, and yet we live in a culture which almost makes that a necessity. And those who are not self harmers, are SO gravely disquieted by our self harm, because it forces them to confront a level of emotion which they feel absolutely helpless to handle. They cannot help us cope, they cannot make it better, and it is so painful for them to watch, because it is a level of emotion which they simply have no ability to "cure".

Danustouch I must say that was very well said and I definately agree.

Mouse
December 6th, 2005, 12:36 AM
Fact is, if someone else was abusing you, you would want someone to notice, to help, and to rescue you from the maniac hurting you. Why do you expect that it is supposed to be any different just because you are the one abusing you.

This isn't true either.. Even when I was "getting help" I still didnt want it. SI is not always a cry for help..


it is already a suicidal action

No, it isn't. Only a small percent of people who SI actually want to die.

Danustouch.. That was an absoultly brilliant post and it makes perfect sence!!

Mirrored Wolf
December 6th, 2005, 08:48 AM
Alright. I'm in no way, shape or form ashamed of my scars. My SI isnt a cry for help, its a way for me to vent my emotions, the best way i know how. Cutting My cry for help, was posting in the SI help thread, not the cutting in itself. I got help, I quit cutting for a while, and now i'm back to it and i honestly dont mind it, it makes it alot easier to cope with everything thats going on. *shrugs*

Danustouch, i <3 that post.

wolf
December 6th, 2005, 11:23 AM
Just wanted to say ... I get confused reading some people's posts.

Clinically, "SI" means Suicidal Ideation. I know that a lot of people here use it as an abbreviation for self injury, but well, it's not.

Self injury is referred to a self mutilation or self mutiliative behavior, abbreviated as self-mut.

Where I am, anyway.

puchidevil
December 6th, 2005, 12:36 PM
I thought this thread was going to be a discussion on the general view of self harming according to society.

Its actually turned into a meeting place for self harmers to advocate what they do.

I cant say im not disappointed - but then again - there is never any reasoning with an addict. Its a realisation they have to come to all by themselves.

I just have a few short questions - if thats ok?

1. How can you say its not wrong whilst describing it as a problem?
2. If its right for you, why did you stop?
3. If it is normal behaviour, why is SH classed as a mental disorder/illness? And please dont give answers like ignorance etc, it doesnt wash.


I self harm when I am feeling lonely, rejected, abandoned, unworthy, or self loathing. Some of those things are things which I can prevent myself from feeling. And unfortunately, I have not yet learned the coping mechanisms, or defense mechanisms to prevent them... so for that, I hate that I still struggle with self harm.

4. Does that quote above not state, in the very own words of an ex self harmer, an admittance of the inability to cope with emotion, resulting in the urge to self harm?

Which is precisely what us 'non SH-ers' have been trying to put across. It isnt a coping mechanism - its an escape mechanism which doesnt result in the problem going away. We arent judging you, or saying flat out that it is wrong, but you must have noticed that the very name - self harming - has a very large word in it that says it all - HARM. Not cure, not cope - but HARM!

Danustouch
December 6th, 2005, 01:20 PM
Pulchidevil, if you'll read my post, you'll notice I even clearly stated that I don't advocate self harm. I was trying to explain WHY society considers it maladaptive. I still do think that it does have to do with our inabilit to deal with and cope with such raw pain, which makes us not want to see people cutting themselves, and harming themselves. I also brought up the fact that in other cultures, present, AND past, self mutilation WAS accepted. It is OUR culture which sees it as something bad. And I was trying to explain WHY.

Why I consider it wrong for me, and why I struggle against my desire to self harm (though I have had relapses), is that I believe I SHOULD be able to find better ways, not necessarily to COPE with the pain, and stress once it's there, but to prevent those sorts of situations,where I am feeling so low, from happening. I need to be able to find a way to NOT fear abandonment so much. To be stronger, for lack of better wording, so that my terror of abandonment does not make me "hate myself/harm myself" when I AM abandoned. To me, it's not the ACT of cutting which is so worrisome. I'm not going to "accidentally" hit an artery. Nor am I such a repeat offender that I'm littered with scarring, nor is the behavior likely to escalate. It is the WHY of my doing it which is so disturbing.

The WHY I am doing it is disturbing, because it means that I have not yet found a way to manage my fears, conquer my fears, work through my grief, etc. THAT is what is maladaptive. THAT is what is so bad. In other words, it's not who, or where I want to be. I could give a fig less how society views it, as I know that society's views on self mutilation differ from culture, to culture, and time period, to time period. The point is. I don't want to hurt anymore. So if I can find ways to PREVENT myself from hurting that deeply that I would WANT to relieve it through self mutilation, that would be the ultimate goal. No?

wolf
December 6th, 2005, 01:43 PM
Ummm ... we ARE in Modern Western Society. We are products of those mores, ethics, and understandings of the world, and our behaviors and understandings of acceptable behavior are shaped by that.

To engage in ritual practices of another culture is one thing ... but that's not the reasoning behind self-mutilative behavior. We lack the cultural context or the need to do things in those ways. Cultural relativism is dangerous, incidentally. Under that argument it is okay to practice forced genital mutilation of women, and it certainly is not, nor are things like honor killings and stoning someone believed to be promiscuous or homosexual.

puchidevil
December 6th, 2005, 01:53 PM
Thank you Danustouch :)

I did read the whole of your previous post - i agree with everyone that it was an excellent post.

My last post was aimed mainly at the youngsters here - and I am very glad you replied to it first. As an ex SH, your words will certainly have more of an impact than mine ever could.

Although, it IS kind of impossible to PREVENT hurt, as it is an emotion just as every other. The ultimate goal would be, IMHO, to give yourself permission to feel the hurt, to let it roll over you without fear, and to realise that it wont kill you and that there is a way through to the other side of it. Hiding the hurt from yourself only keeps it with you a lot longer than it would be if you acknowledged it, felt it and then released it.

And yes, I have been in very dark places at different times in my life - i do understand the extreme pull of the 'urge' to cut. But i never did. I sat and thought about things instead, and allowed myself to feel the anger, pain, despair, hopelessnes and helplessness - and I found a safe way to release it. At the time I didnt think I would survive the emotions coming through - but I did survive, each and every time.

Danustouch
December 6th, 2005, 03:33 PM
Wolf:

As I understood it, the question in this post was not "IS self harm right or wrong" but rather "WHY society (our society) VIEWS it as wrong.". I answered, in context of what I thought the question of the post was. I'm sure there are plenty of threads on this board which deal with whether it IS right or wrong.

I have stated why it is wrong, for me. And why I think Society views it as wrong, in this western society.

But intellectually, I do realize that there are other cultures, and historical cultures, which do not think it is. And I used them as an example of how their thoughts, are different than ours, merely to illustrate WHY our culture thinks of it as wrong.

I certainly did not try to imply that because it is right for these other cultures, it SHOULD be right for ours. I even said clearly, that I don't advocate it. The part where I was discussing how uncomfortable Western Culture is with displays of deep emotion, was meant to say "So, perhaps if we became comfortable with displays of deep emotion, and less quick to want to find an instant cure, we would be able to truly HELP cutters more. Because we would be able to more comfortably accept the depth of their emotions, more easily tolerate them, and have more patience for them, and understanding, and perhaps find more compassion within ourselves, to find more compassionate ways to deal with it, rather than merely saying "It's bad, don't do it".

Someone had brought up the fact that their children had found constructive outlets for their emotions. If this parent had been the type to merely say "It's bad, don't do it" rather than to look for the root causes of the behavior, and alternate routes for their children to channel their emotions, I don't think they would have had such successful results. This person looked under the surface, and addressed the issue at its heart, WITH their heart.

MOST members of THIS society, when they see or hear a cutter, simply say "You shouldn't do that, it's bad." or they say "I don't want to see you do that, it hurts me.". Which totally takes away from the reasons WHY they are doing it. "it's bad" or "It's stupid" reinforces the ideas of "i'm bad. I'm stupid. I'm unworthy, I'm alone. Nobody understands me.". and "I don't want to see you do that, it hurts me." reinforces those same idea's too, AND adds to it a "I need to hide this behavior" rather than allowing everything out into the open, to be discussed. Which basically says that those who are saying "don't do that, it's stupid" and "Don't do that, it hurts me" are more concerned about their OWN feelings, than those of the cutter. Which is why such cases are much better handled by a professional. Who can be objective, is trained to deal in this sort of thing, WITHOUT piling on excessive guilt or negative messages. It would be nice, to live in a culture where deep grief and deep pain were understood, aknowledged, and dealt with in a more understanding manner, rather than hidden, swept under the rug, and urged to "go away" as soon as possible. This is why some people have found Primal Scream Therapy so helpful.. because it allows them to express the true depth of their emotions. Which in this western society, is something which has been taboo for some time.

Jolixte
December 6th, 2005, 03:56 PM
3. If it is normal behaviour, why is SH classed as a mental disorder/illness? And please dont give answers like ignorance etc, it doesnt wash.

It's not. It can be a symptom of a mental illness, but it, in itself, isn't. You are legally (at least, in Florida) allowed to use cutting as a way to cope.

puchidevil
December 6th, 2005, 07:01 PM
It's not. It can be a symptom of a mental illness, but it, in itself, isn't. You are legally (at least, in Florida) allowed to use cutting as a way to cope.

tut *rolls eyes and shakes head at the splitting of hairs and deliberate ignoring of main points and other questions*

:)

Jolixte
December 6th, 2005, 07:21 PM
Ok then. I really didn't have anything to say to this, but I will anyways.

I thought this thread was going to be a discussion on the general view of self harming according to society.

It is.


Its actually turned into a meeting place for self harmers to advocate what they do.
I was interested in society's take, but this is an open forum so they may do as they wish.


I cant say im not disappointed - but then again - there is never any reasoning with an addict. Its a realisation they have to come to all by themselves.
Yep, and if they want help then they will get it.


I just have a few short questions - if thats ok?
Sure :)


1. How can you say its not wrong whilst describing it as a problem?
Personally, I believe that if there are emotional issues present then self-mutilation is a problem. Whether or not they want to deal with it is up to them. I'll assume that we're all rational beings here capable of making our own decisions.


2. If its right for you, why did you stop? N/A


3. If it is normal behaviour, why is SH classed as a mental disorder/illness? And please dont give answers like ignorance etc, it doesnt wash.
Ditto what I said up there. ^


4. Does that quote above not state, in the very own words of an ex self harmer, an admittance of the inability to cope with emotion, resulting in the urge to self harm? Yep.


Which is precisely what us 'non SH-ers' have been trying to put across. It isnt a coping mechanism - its an escape mechanism which doesnt result in the problem going away. We arent judging you, or saying flat out that it is wrong, but you must have noticed that the very name - self harming - has a very large word in it that says it all - HARM. Not cure, not cope - but HARM! If you are using it as an escape mechanism then I'm sure there are better ways to deal with the problem.

puchidevil
December 6th, 2005, 07:43 PM
:) thank you

Now if the harmers here do that with every other post from everyone - a realisation may just occur to some of you.

I do hope so.

BeigeAllen
December 7th, 2005, 01:17 AM
A lot of good insights have been brought to light in this thread, but one thing I feel I should mention is that I don't think it's anyone's place to say that SI is wrong. At least, not in the general sense of "It's wrong for everyone and no one should do it because it's wrong."

It's something a person does to their own body in their own life - and I don't believe it's anyone else's place to say whether that activity is wrong or right. They aren't causing physical harm to anyone else

:smoke: You know, my son told me this part. Again, my response as I gave it to him.

"There is more harm than just physical wounding, a fact you well know."

If you really must put yourself through pain, could you please do it in a more constructive manner? Take up a contact sport, sculpt, carve, take up woodworking, take up an extreme sport, get interested in tattooing, engage in some of those rituals that leave scars, at least then you are putting yourself through the pain for a constructive purpose. Take out your frustrations welding metal, the sparks will cause enough pain to keep you going for a while. Make bodies out of clay and torture them. Take latex and learn to simulate the cuts and wounds you do to yourself, with latex you can take it farther with less risk, and the first time you have to pull latex and spirit gum out of your eyelashes, you will know a new level of pain.

:apumpkin:
See, its not the look of what you do to yourself that bothers you, nor is it that we cannot handle your unusual personal art form. Its not even just the idea of you causing yourself pain. Its that to those around you who do care about you, seeing your endless cycles of unresolved pain is emotional abuse. You are hurting those around you who care for no reason other than your personal gratification. Now quit being silly and sit down and have a cookie. Would you prefer oatmeal, peanut butter, or chocolate chip?:fpeace:

Mouse
December 7th, 2005, 01:44 AM
1. How can you say its not wrong whilst describing it as a problem?
2. If its right for you, why did you stop?
3. If it is normal behaviour, why is SH classed as a mental disorder/illness? And please dont give answers like ignorance etc, it doesnt wash.


1. "Wrong" is different for everyone and "Problem" is different for everyone. It's a problem because (from my experience,) S.H is time consuming, while I was doing it I went to great lenghts to hide what I was doing, it can be anoying, you don't realise how much people actually touch you until you can't say anything to stop them and every slight touch causes pain, etc. It causes you to lie, and i'm naturally brutally honest, so that caused a problem for me. And it's a problem because people who don't understand go out of their way to make you feel worse. Being a problem for me does not make something inherently wrong. Waxing can be a problem too, but I dont think that is wrong either.

2. I stoped because I was asked very nicely by someone I gave my heart to, to please not cut any more. I stoped because I want to hurt myself not anyone else, and when you are in a relationship it's very very hard to hide the kind of marks S.H leave (Think between 20 and 50 cuts of various degrees that take up to two moths to heal without splitting open, and scar bright purple.). I didnt want to start a web of lies with this person, and S.H leads to lies. I never said it was right for anyone though, the world is not black and white, good and evil, right or wrong.

3. S.H is not a mental disorder in my country. It may not be "normal" but who are you to say what "normal" is? What gives anyone that right? Back to the smoking analogy, that is normal in our society isn't it.. but most would agree that it is "wrong".

Beside the point I don't, and i'm sure the other S.Hers below the age of 30 don't, appreciate you calling us "youngsters". Keep your age bias to yourself, please. Once again, I don't think age plays any part in this. Danustouch has mentioned she had a relapse well after her teen years, well into woman hood, so this should show you that age has little to nothing to do with this. Serious cutters come in all age groups. If we were the type to make small paper-cuts on our wrists as is the fashon right now, I could accept your prejudice, however we are not. I might be young compared to you, but I'm also a house-wife and have been for years. Some people mature much faster than others, so stop looking at the numbers and start listening/reading what people are saying. Only then can you truly judge us as "youngsters".

~Miriam

Mouse
December 7th, 2005, 01:58 AM
If you really must put yourself through pain, could you please do it in a more constructive manner? Take up a contact sport, sculpt, carve, take up woodworking, take up an extreme sport, get interested in tattooing, engage in some of those rituals that leave scars, at least then you are putting yourself through the pain for a constructive purpose. Take out your frustrations welding metal, the sparks will cause enough pain to keep you going for a while. Make bodies out of clay and torture them. Take latex and learn to simulate the cuts and wounds you do to yourself, with latex you can take it farther with less risk, and the first time you have to pull latex and spirit gum out of your eyelashes, you will know a new level of pain.


I'm glad that this worked for your son :) however, I must point out that this does not and wil not work for everyone. I've had so many people sujest this to me that I feel I must respond.

That kind of pain is a much different kind of pain, It's so different I can't even think of a way to put it into words.

And yes, I have tried these things. I make my own Athames and swords, and there is plently of risk to hurt yourself as you work. I've also done wood work, candle making and training to use a sword, all of which also present a risk.. But it isn't the same.

I've also have people sugest hair removal because of the pain (And it does hurt a LOT depending where you choose to do it). But again - not the same kind of pain.

I'm saying this because you need to realise your way is not the only way.
That and, well I guess it is almost traditional for me to argue with you :lol:
~miri

ewok
December 7th, 2005, 02:16 AM
That and, well I guess it is almost traditional for me to argue with you :lol:
~miri


hmm.. are you stalking her mouse?.. :collapse: or is this one of those traditional things i have been reading about oh here? :rubhead:

wolf
December 7th, 2005, 02:40 AM
It's not. It can be a symptom of a mental illness, but it, in itself, isn't.

Correct, in that self mutilation is not separately identified as a disorder but is a symptom of a disorder.



You are legally (at least, in Florida) allowed to use cutting as a way to cope.

Not really.

The Baker Act addresses involuntary commitment for mentally ill persons who are judged to be "substantially likely in the near future he or she will inflict serious bodily harm on himself or herself or another person, as evidenced by recent behavior causing, attempting, or threatening such harm."

The Act does not appear to define further "serious bodily harm." (The above statements are based on wading through about 70 pages of legal verbiage including reading through the Baker Act itself as well as examining several of the commitment forms. I do not pretend to be an expert on Florida's Mental Health Treatment Statutes.)

True, it's not technically "illegal" because this is a civil statute, not a criminal one, but self mutilative behavior could be considered serious bodily harm.

Pennsylvania is much more specific in the Mental Health Procedures Act regarding Self Mutilative behaviors.

"the person has substantially mutilated himself or attempted to do so and there is a reasonable probability of mutilation unless adequate treatment is afforded. For purposes of this subsection, a clear and present danger shall be established by proof that the person has made threats to commit mutilation and has committed acts which are in furtherance of the threat to commit mutilation."

obsidiantrinket
December 7th, 2005, 04:21 AM
Wow. This thread certainly has gotten interesting. I never meant to argue with anyone or offend anyone, or even use it as a soap box. My deepest apologies if I have. :(

And for what it's worth, the reason I am trying to stop the self-injury thing (and have, for the most part. only one little relapse in 3 years) is because I don't want to hurt the people around me. You caught my feeble attempt to dodge by throwing the word 'physical' in there. You're sneaky and sly and fabulous. :P

I see self-injury as being as much of a 'problem' as consumption of alcohol. In extremes, alcohol consumption turns into alcoholism, which is a problem. It is only "wrong" in the sense that it hurts other people - I don't consider alcoholism that hurts no one but the individual (but how often does that happen, really?) 'wrong'. Personal life, personal body, personal choices. I can't say it's wrong.. nor can I say it's right.

But I wouldn't go so far as to say that self-injury hurts people simply for the self-injurer's "personal gratification". That makes it sound more like a joy-ride than trying to deal with seriously painful emotions.

Okay, just for fun now, we're using the word 'coping' a lot here.. and I still don't see how self-injury ISN'T a way to cope. For example.

Something bad happens. (Failing a test, serious family/friend issues, whatever) Person A gets that sorrowful, angry, passionate, despairing, chest-gripping, lump-in-the-throat, "Oh my god, I'm going to EXPLODE" feeling. I know everyone knows what I'm talking about here. Now, to COPE with these emotions.. they cut. Or burn. Or bite or scratch or whatever.
... then they feel relaxed, and generally 'better'. After the adrenaline slows, they are left with a clearer mind and better rationality to fix whatever went wrong and cycle through, without the cloud of OHMYGOD EMOTION, and figure out the problem.

At least, that was always -my- personal experience with self-injury. I guess I can't speak for everyone. Maybe some people bypass the whole 'thinking it through' afterwards? I guess then it's not so much coping as escapism, I can see that argument.. but honestly, as someone who's dealt with self-injury for a few years, I've really not done much research/talked to many other people about it...

And, just for future clarity..

dictionary.com says this about the word "cope":

1 To contend or strive, especially on even terms or with success: coping with child rearing and a full-time job.
2 To contend with difficulties and act to overcome them: “Facing unprecedented problems, the Federal Reserve of the early 1930s couldn't cope” (Robert J. Samuelson).

I'm not saying it's the best way to cope, nor am I even saying it's a good way to cope. It's just.. a way. It's not as constructive as other methods, but it's not nearly as destructive as others can be, either. I'd rather take something out on myself than on someone else, or even an inanimate object.. breaking stuff can be expensive. (Like the person that punches holes in their apt walls. That gets pricey.)

Course, then I guess there's always 'anger management' classes... But anger isn't the only emotion that causes the urge to harm. Then there's professional counseling/psychological evaluations/medications/etc. Well, I've had a full range of those since I was a child, and I'm better now that I -don't- have them than I was when I had them. >.<;;

Anyway. I don't think anyone will ever know, for sure, why society takes the view of it that it does. Probably a compilation of everything that's been mentioned here, and then some. This topic's been fun to follow. :) I guess.. it could be as simple as.. pain is generally regarded as a bad thing. "If you're already feeling bad emotionally, why in the world would you want to compile that with physical pain? Freak." I've heard similar things to that from Jr. High / High School students who didn't understand. Eh. Who knows?


Now quit being silly and sit down and have a cookie. Would you prefer oatmeal, peanut butter, or chocolate chip?

Oh, oh, oh! Peanut butter! :) :) :)

puchidevil
December 7th, 2005, 07:32 AM
Beside the point I don't, and i'm sure the other S.Hers below the age of 30 don't, appreciate you calling us "youngsters". Keep your age bias to yourself, please. Once again, I don't think age plays any part in this. Danustouch has mentioned she had a relapse well after her teen years, well into woman hood, so this should show you that age has little to nothing to do with this. Serious cutters come in all age groups. If we were the type to make small paper-cuts on our wrists as is the fashon right now, I could accept your prejudice, however we are not. I might be young compared to you, but I'm also a house-wife and have been for years. Some people mature much faster than others, so stop looking at the numbers and start listening/reading what people are saying. Only then can you truly judge us as "youngsters".

I never once suggested that age had anything to do with 'cutting' and neither was it a judgement or a bias of any kind - it was a simple truth :). Not only are you under 30, you are actually under 20. That makes you a teenager, regardless of any perceived 'maturity'. Teenagers are young adults, hence me saying 'youngster'. It was a passing remark encompassing all - not an age bias 'thing'. If you were as 'mature' as you are suggesting - you would have known that.

May I suggest you also re-read all the posts here and also start listening to and reading what people are ACTUALLY saying. :)

ewok
December 7th, 2005, 07:57 AM
May I suggest you also re-read all the posts here and also start listening to and reading what people are ACTUALLY saying. :)


hmm. perhaps one should take her OWN advice first.. from what i have read from your posts it seems to me that its the "youngsters" who have the problem as they are the addicts which cannot be reasoned with.. i took your tone to be condensating and lectureing..and it seems that i am not the only one.. be biased or not.. i dont give a s**t..i thought this particular forum topic was about "why does society have such a negative reaction to Sh"..not just listen to the "OLDSTERS" beef on..

in days of yor there wasnt the epidemic proportions of cutters as there are today.. so perhaps the "youngsters" might just happen to know the real lay of the land in TODAYS society of WHY they do it in the first place..

maybe there are people over sensative in their reaction to this topic.. then again..cutting IS very personal and intimate in nature caused by an extreme reaction to outside stimulas..and people get defensive when discussing it..

puchidevil
December 7th, 2005, 08:56 AM
hmm. perhaps one should take her OWN advice first.. from what i have read from your posts it seems to me that its the "youngsters" who have the problem as they are the addicts which cannot be reasoned with.. i took your tone to be condensating and lectureing..and it seems that i am not the only one.. be biased or not.. i dont give a s**t..i thought this particular forum topic was about "why does society have such a negative reaction to Sh"..not just listen to the "OLDSTERS" beef on..

in days of yor there wasnt the epidemic proportions of cutters as there are today.. so perhaps the "youngsters" might just happen to know the real lay of the land in TODAYS society of WHY they do it in the first place..

maybe there are people over sensative in their reaction to this topic.. then again..cutting IS very personal and intimate in nature caused by an extreme reaction to outside stimulas..and people get defensive when discussing it..

Ok - I have re-read EVERYTHING in this thread - twice :)

1. - self harming IS a problem, it is an impulsive negative reaction to internal unexpresssed emotions, which in turn are caused by outside stimuli.
2. - it IS a form of addiction.
3. - addicts DO have to come to realisations in their own time, and cannot be reasoned with whilst they continue with their behaviour and continue justifying it.
4. - The 'youngsters' in this thread DO have a problem with it - whether they realise it or not
5. - Adults ALSO have a problem with it - but we are simply conversing at the moment mainly with the 'youngsters' in this thread - as it is these people who either refuse to see the problem or want to skirt around issues and focus on silly stuff - like being called youngsters. I didnt take offence at being called an OLDSTER :)
6. - If my posts were construed as 'condescending', 'condensating' (?) and 'lecturing' in any way - then you didnt understand the content properly. Either that or i have failed to express myself properly. If it is the latter, then I sincerely apologise. My posts were not written to cause offence in any way.
7. - I also thought this thread was about why society has such a negative reaction to SH.
8. - The trouble is - no-one IS listening to the oldsters beefing on - maybe if you did sit down and listen to them, you may realise they have some interesting things to say. Especially the oldsters who used to self harm and no longer do, except for occasional relapses.
9.. - Self harming has always been around - maybe not to the epidemic proportions of today granted - but the question ISNT whether youngsters happen to know the real lay of the land in todays society - the questions are:

Why are more and more 'youngsters' failing to cope in safe and constructive ways?
How and why has society as a whole failed so many people and forced them to internalise and become self destructive?

ewok
December 8th, 2005, 12:39 AM
8. - The trouble is - no-one IS listening to the oldsters beefing on - maybe if you did sit down and listen to them, you may realise they have some interesting things to say. Especially the oldsters who used to self harm and no longer do, except for occasional relapses.
9.. - Self harming has always been around - maybe not to the epidemic proportions of today granted - but the question ISNT whether youngsters happen to know the real lay of the land in todays society - the questions are:

Why are more and more 'youngsters' failing to cope in safe and constructive ways?
How and why has society as a whole failed so many people and forced them to internalise and become self destructive?


hmm.. wouldnt the "youngsters" be the ones to ask WHY there is such epidemic proportions? perhaps you should realise that its the "youngsters" who are the reflection of of todays society..what they are and do is based upon what has been shown/taught or self learnt in order to survive in our society..

speaking of listening to oldsters - i DID find your tone condensenting and i thought YOU might be more inclined to listen to someone older than yourself rather than to the youngsters defending themselves..

havnt you learnt yet that lecturing or talking down to someone (specially youngsters) usually , well actually , ends up gettting a totally negative response?.. people have to learn whats right and whats wrong on their own terms rather than having someone lecture on what THEY PERSONALLY think is right or wrong..

eg.. tell someone the stove is hot.. have you ever noticed HOW many actually are silly enought to put their hand on said hot stove JUST to find out if its hot or not?..same goes for freshly painted objects..

some things just HAVE to found out by personal experiance..

wolf
December 8th, 2005, 02:08 AM
One of the benefits of being human is that we do learn more vicariously than we do experientially, at least according to my Learning and Memory class.

Edit to add: If we didn't there would be a lot more Darwin Award winners, and we wouldn't be facing an overpopulation problem.

puchidevil
December 8th, 2005, 06:00 AM
hmm.. wouldnt the "youngsters" be the ones to ask WHY there is such epidemic proportions?

Why would the youngsters ask such a question regarding something they see as 'normal' behaviour, or, behaviour that is right 'for them'. That is my whole point, whilst going through something like self harming, it is difficult to step out of the situation and see the problem for what it is.


perhaps you should realise that its the "youngsters" who are the reflection of todays society..what they are and do is based upon what has been shown/taught or self learnt in order to survive in our society.

You are correct. It IS the youngsters who are a reflection of todays society, hence my last two questions in my previous post.


speaking of listening to oldsters - i DID find your tone condensenting and i thought YOU might be more inclined to listen to someone older than yourself rather than to the youngsters defending themselves.

I am not going to apologise for my perceived 'tone'. My attitude is not one of condescension, it is of concern. I have two teenage daughters of my own, who both also have to live and survive in todays society alongside everyone else. Neither one of them self harm - so maybe, just maybe, I am doing something right in my tone (as you put it), my attitude and opinions to life, society and its problems.


havnt you learnt yet that lecturing or talking down to someone (specially youngsters) usually , well actually , ends up gettting a totally negative response?.. people have to learn whats right and whats wrong on their own terms rather than having someone lecture on what THEY PERSONALLY think is right or wrong.

I have already said this exact same thing in one of my posts. I find it interesting that you call 'speaking the truth' (general obvious truths, not my own truths or beliefs) as talking down to someone. Truth, especially truths that dont want to be heard, do get initial negative responses, especially from youngsters I agree. This is due to inbuilt defence mechanisms - and truth can be construed as criticism - but that doesnt necessarily make it any less true.



eg.. tell someone the stove is hot.. have you ever noticed HOW many actually are silly enought to put their hand on said hot stove JUST to find out if its hot or not?..same goes for freshly painted objects..

some things just HAVE to found out by personal experiance..

You cant compare SH with checking whether paint is wet or not, or informing someone of a hot stove, and finding they have touched it anyway. But I do get your point.

However, what would a self harmer do if, say as an example, they came across an 8 year old deliberately hurting themselves with cuts deep enough to scar? Would they walk away in the belief that the 8 year old will 'learn' in his/her own time? Or that it is good for the 8 year old to experience this? Or would they say, never mind, at least he/she is expressing their emotions, and the way they are doing it is of no concern to anyone else?

I say that anyone, SH-ers or not, would be concerned for this child. Why should it be any different simply because the SH-er is older than 8 years old? Unfortunately, todays society demands that we mind our own business, dont get involved, turn a blind eye, pretend you dont see and it wont be so. Well, I didnt turn a blind eye to that 8 year old I speak of. He is real, and is now getting the help he needs, simply because one person had the guts to go against societies views and stand up and show they care for someone other than themselves. I dont mind being judged and hung for caring, even though my typed words come across as condescension, criticism or otherwise to some people. I care, dont mind showing I care, and I am proud that I do so.

Mouse
December 9th, 2005, 03:24 AM
Why would the youngsters ask such a question regarding something they see as 'normal' behaviour, or, behaviour that is right 'for them'. That is my whole point, whilst going through something like self harming, it is difficult to step out of the situation and see the problem for what it is.

This is not true either. Being a cutter does not make you unable to view the problem from a third person perspective, and even if it did that wouldn't stop them asking why others have such a horrified reaction when they find out about that person cutting. Yes it is an adiction, but it doesn't actually stop the function of your brain. When you walk down the street and a random person calls out "oooo SLASHER" as you walk by it is natural to question why they might do or say these things.

I too found your tone condescending, to say the least, and I comented on the "youngsters" thing because I thought it needed to be said, especially for the other people it was aimed at. I doubted they would voice their opinions against you. Cutting is a sensitive issue. It takes a lot of effort to stand up and talk about it, and when someone decides to talk down to you, you figure "what's the point, no one cares what I have to say".


Why are more and more 'youngsters' failing to cope in safe and constructive ways?
How and why has society as a whole failed so many people and forced them to internalise and become self destructive?

The stress youth face today is a different type of stress than the generation before us faced. In so many ways life is easier, but in others it's much more complicated. Perhaps, and this is just food for thought, maybe we feel too pressured to be always "constructive" and it makes us lash out? Maybe our society is too civilised? Maybe we are lashing out at ourselves because hurting other people/fighting is socially unacceptable, more so than it used to be?


5. - Adults ALSO have a problem with it - but we are simply conversing at the moment mainly with the 'youngsters' in this thread - as it is these people who either refuse to see the problem or want to skirt around issues and focus on silly stuff - like being called youngsters.

We are not refuseing to see the problem, we are voiceing our perspective on the matter, and seeming we live lives as S.H-ers, perhaps we might know a little about what we are saying? I'm not skirting around issues or focusing on "silly stuff". I have answered your questions directly and clearly to the best of my ability. How am I focusing on being called a youngster when the more than half of the post was addressing your questions?

BB*
~miriam

puchidevil
December 9th, 2005, 04:08 AM
This is not true either. Being a cutter does not make you unable to view the problem from a third person perspective, and even if it did that wouldn't stop them asking why others have such a horrified reaction when they find out about that person cutting. Yes it is an adiction, but it doesn't actually stop the function of your brain. When you walk down the street and a random person calls out "oooo SLASHER" as you walk by it is natural to question why they might do or say these things.

Again, a comment made regarding a particuler thing has been taken out of context and seen as a condescending attack.

The comment I made which sparked the above response was regarding stepping out of the situation and viewing it as whole, i.e. epidemic - not stepping out of the situation and viewing yourself from a third person perspective. It also had nothing to do with peoples reactions when meeting a self harmer. It was a direct response to the comment made by ewok, which was:

"hmm.. wouldnt the "youngsters" be the ones to ask WHY there is such epidemic proportions?"

Im not surprised that my comments are sounding condescending and are repeatedly offending some of you, when misunderstandings like the one above keep happening. I seem to be finding myself repeatedly explaining the context of my posts - it is getting kind of tiresome - as I am also repeatedly explaining that I do NOT view any of you with contempt, nor do I believe I am better than you. When I see a self harmer, my first reaction ISNT pity or disgust, I wonder about and get angry at the horrors this person has had to endure in their life to cause them to do this to themselves, and it saddens me.

So, please, before any of you attack any more of my comments due to a misunderstanding - please make sure you have the context correct. It may be my fault that my comments are being misconstrued due to my style of writing, I dont know.

wolf
December 9th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Everybody needs to get their heads out of the youngster/oldster trap.

When you see a particular word in a comment as an insult or challenge, you shut yourself down to the rest of what's being said.

Try to back off from that particular emotional piece, and respond to what's actually being said.

Philosophia
December 9th, 2005, 08:58 AM
Some people SI to vent their emotions, some write/draw/dance/etc. Why is it that SI gets such an extreme reaction from people when they find out about it? Is it that it's taboo and/or more dangerous? I'm just curious as to people's take on this.

I suffer from trichotillomania (a form of self-injury "hair pulling") and I also cut sometimes. So this is from my own personal experiances.
I think the reason people have such an "extreme reaction" to SI because they're afraid, especially if the person is somebody they care about. I have a friend who has been hospitalized so many times due to cutting ever since she was a child (she has scars over her arms, stomach, legs, etc.). I'm more afraid that I will find her heavily bleeding due to the cuts and react strongly, causing more damage. I'm afraid I'll find her and she might be dead.
When I cut, I don't care what people will think but when another friend of mine found out, she didn't want to see me because she was afraid. I was upset when my mum walked in and found me in the bathroom bleeding. She screamed and told me "not to die" while grabbing my arm away from me. Later, she asked me to take a "holiday" to improve my attitude and to distance myself away from her. Once in music class, I was so bored I started pulling my hair out in chunks because, to me, it was just a normal response. Another friend saw me and told me I looked weird because I was missing chunks of my hair. I started to wear a hat after that confrontation. IMHO, Self-injury is an addiction. It can be an unconscious act that occurs due to how our minds have been trained and how it is considered "natural" in that person's mind. For example, if a person has an itch, the reaction would be to scratch it. Its the same for Self-injurer's. If there is a trigger the response may automatically be to cut, pull hair, burn (which I've also done for a while until mum confiscated my matches), etc..
I believe people of any race, colour, creed, culture, etc. are afraid of things they don't understand, and self-injury is one of those taboo's that people are too scared too comprehend. They don't understand so they get afraid. Unfortunetly, sometimes they lash out because of it.
I found an outlet via writing. When I am strongly agigtated, angry, upset, etc. I grab a pen, paper, and simply write. I don't believe "writer's block" is a good excuse to not doing it. Its not about perfection or being "artistic". Its about getting your feelings out and not keeping them in which is a problem.
Sometimes, a person who hasn't experianced it is probably the best person to talk to. This is because they're coming from a totally different perspective that sometimes we don't have.