Self Injury

United States
October 11, 2007 4:54pm CST
If you are going to respond to this topic, then I recommend you to read everything that I am going to write/type below. While I have no problems with answering questions that people have, I do not like repeating the same thing over and over again. I am also going to ask you to keep an open mind. Ignorance will not be tolerated. I like facts. If you do not want to accept you might be wrong, then please leave. I am not trying to be mean. It is that this topic gets such a bad rep as people tend to be misinformed. Thank you. ^___^ Self Injury... The mere thought of imagining someone harming themselves on purpose can send shivers down your spine. To many people there is the harsh reality that they have to deal with on a daily basis. People have a hard time comprehending---understanding why anyone would purposely harm themselves. Pain is supposed to be something bad, isn't that the reason why it hurts when you fall down on the floor, burn yourself on the stove, or get bitten by a bug? You are not supposed to like pain in anyway, right? Self injury is more common than you think. Facts: Women are at a greater risk of self harming between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. For men the ages range from twenty to twenty-four. About one in ten people have self harmed by the time that they turn sixteen. It might be more due to the fact that a lot of people hide their self injury from the public. Unlike other coping methods such as drinking and drugs. Self injury is considered to be taboo. There are a good number of people that simply view cutting and burning as a way for young teenagers to gain attention and pity from their peers. People are starting to ignore the fact that attention and pity are just one of the many reasons why anyone would harm themselves. That is just the tip of the iceberg. Question: Why would people harm themselves? Answers: A lot reasons. (from selfharm.net) "Escape from emptiness, depression, and feelings of unreality. Easing tension. Providing release: when intense feelings build, self-injurers are overwhelmed and unable to cope. By causing pain they reduce the level of emotional and physiological arousal to a bearable one. Relieving anger: many self-injurers have enormous amounts of rage within. Afraid to express it outwardly, they injure themselves as a way of venting these feelings. Escaping numbness: many of those who self-injure say that they do it to feel something, to know that they're still alive." There many more reasons---to many to list. Another common reason would be control. Some people prefer physical to emotional pain because they find it easier to deal with. With physical pain you can treat it with bandages, pain killers, band aids, doctor visits, etc. It could take months or even years to heal from something emotional or mental. They mind find that the pain or blood distracts them from whatever is bothering them at the time. It is fact that when your body is injured it will release a natural pain killer called endorphins. This is the same chemical that is involved in the runner's high and drug addictions. In theory, someone could get addicted to the endorphin rush that they get when they cut themselves. This could also explain why most end up cutting deeper as time goes by---they need more pain to reach the same high. Yes, cutting can be addictive. That might be hard for hard for some people to believe, and I can understand why. People forget that you can get addicted to something on a emotional level. Addictions are not always physical. However, not everyone who cuts themselves are addicted. Some consider it a bad habit. Either way it is still hard to stop for many. A good number of people who self harm have reported being discouraged to show, feel, or talk about their emotions during their childhood. Or they might of never really learned how to cope with their problems in a positive way. Common forms of self injury include: cutting, scratching, picking, and burning. Common Myths: "The wound is not that deep, so the problem does not matter." The depth of the wound is not a clear reflection of the said person's problem. "People who cut should be locked up! For good!" Self injury is a coping skill the same way that drinking and doing drugs can be. "They just want attention. Leave them alone. They will stop sooner or later." Only a small amount of people who self harm do it for attention or pity. I think a lot of people believe that because there are a small amount of people in schools that do it as a way to fit it or become popular. Those people stand out; a lot of people who self injury hide it from their friends and family. You would notice the people doing for attention first. If you are cutting yourself to fit in with your peers then there are still some underlying issues that you need to deal with. Most people who cut/burn/etc cover it up with long-sleeved shirts, jackets, arm warmers, bracelets, pants, etc. If they wanted attention, then why would they be wearing jackets and pants in the middle of summer? "They are manipulating their family/friends/peers/etc." Only true in some cases. Not all. See above. "It is a personality disorder/illness/etc." No, it is not. Self injury is a coping mechanism. It does appear as a symptom for Borderline Personality Disorder. "Only teenage girls cut themselves." This is not true. People of all ages and genders have struggled with self injury. "It is a suicide attempt." Self injury and suicide are two different things. Suicide is done to end your life. Self injury is done to cope with your life. This might not be clear. So feel free to ask questions. I am currently trying to stop myself. So I can also speak from a personal point of view.
3 people like this
4 responses
@elemental69 (1562)
• Ireland
11 Oct 07
I admire you for posting this, and for admiting that you do it. I think it takes a lot of courage. I have never done any harm to myself, but I do not judge people who do either. I hope you suceed in stopping hurting yourself. :-)
• United States
11 Oct 07
No problem, and thank you for responding. I appreciate what you said. Thank you.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Oct 07
I permanently damaged my eyes slightly one day when I was young because I forced my self to stare at the sun despite the searing pain it caused me. I stood there a long time, staring directly at it as the tears rained down the side of my face and repeatedly told the world around me that if I all there was to the world was what i'd been seeing, then I didn't want to see. It's not even remotely the same situation as people who inflict self-harm over a long period for reasons they sometimes don't even understand. Still, I know what it's like to feel not quite alive, like your life isn't something you wanted, and that you can't really feel alive while living it. My eyesight degraded slowly since then and i'm now slightly astigmatic. I honestly don't know if sunlight can cause that, but my vision was 20/20 before. Now it's 20/25. So maybe it was just getting older. May you soon find a way through the pain you can't cut or burn and enter a place in your life where you can find a way to live happier and not need to cope, but instead find that elusive thing called hope.
@nin0507 (11)
• United States
12 Oct 07
I have known two people that injured themselves - both cut themselves on the lower arms. One is no longer with us - she was 23 years old. She was my friend but I couldn't help her...she worried a lot about what other people thought about her. I wish I could have helped her more.
@Margajoe (4720)
• Germany
11 Oct 07
Thank-you for sharing this. When I learned to accept myself the way I am, with all my goods and bads. I did not do that anymore. People expected to much from me when I was young. Had to get better grades, by saying this I would get scared and started hating myself cause I was stupid. Could not live up to the expectations. I would bang my head against the wall,because I could not concentrate on my sudying. Got me a headace, but did not help me. later I would get mad at myself and pull my hair till it hurt. Then I automaticly calmed down. No one new of this. They still don´t. I wanted to be perfect. Why? I don´t now. Nobody is perfect and nobody has to be perfect. I am 41 years old now.A normal person, not smart not stupid.But I beleive in me. Self respect. No one else needs to be proud of me, but me. Once again thank you. I hope you will stop soon. Please talk to people. Not your familly or friends. Other people. Like you are now. Take care.