self injury

February 27, 2007 11:11pm CST
There are hundreds if not thousands of people who cut themselves and they call it "self injury". I call it a bad way to deal with your problems. I was wondering if maybe any of you know someone who injures themselves and had any theories as to why mostly girls do it.
1 person likes this
7 responses
• United States
12 Dec 07
Self injury being a "bad" way to deal with problems is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Everyone deals with their problems differently.. Of course there are the cutters who do it for the wrong reasons, like to get attention or to kill themselves. I'd have to say that the majority of people who cut do not do it for these reasons. It is, as far as I understand it, a way of visualizing and getting a grasp on the pain. Cutting is a way of making emotional pain tangible. And, when something is tangible and in reach, it is easier to control and manipulate. Cutting has a lot to do with control, and finding a way to calm down. It's very cathartic.. As for why a lot of girls do it, I can't really say for sure without getting into gender stereotypes. I did read a very good book called A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong.. I'd recommend it if you're interested in learning more about the subject.
@Malyck (3428)
• Australia
16 Aug 07
I cut and burned myself when I was in my teens, after I was sexually assaulted by someone that I had once considered a friend, and had grown up with. After this sort of betrayal, I began to feel that there was something wrong with me, that I was wrong in general, and I wanted to punish myself for what he had done. Shortly after I started this behaviour, My beloved grandmother passed away, and I spiraled into serious depression and obsessive cutting, slicing apart my legs up to 100 times a day, every day. For many people, situations like this can trigger the self-destructive behaviour. People may see it as just a form of attention seeking or to be 'trendy', but often they don't know the truth. It has only been in recent years that I have opened up about my own assault. I still have the scars, but now they are just a reminder of something i have overcome.
• United States
14 Apr 07
I used to (and still sometimes) self injure. I also know several people who SI. I don't think that it's necessarily "a bad way to deal with your problems." It's not the best way, of course, but sometimes it is the only thing that seems rational in the moment. People generally do it for one of two reasons. Either the emotions are too intesense to deal with, or they don't feel anything at all. In either case, when SI'ing, adrenaline is released, which makes one feel better. Another theory about why girls SI more than boys is because boys are more likely to engage in rough sports.
• United States
21 Mar 07
Not only do I know someone who self injures, I am a recovering SI. Not a good coping mechanism, to say the least. A learned one that works, yes. Basically it is done for many different reasons and usually not for attention, or because it's a fad. Nor does it mean the self injurer is "crazy". The SIer has learned an unhealthy coping mechanism for feelings that would otherwise be overwhelming. This comes with depression and anxiety. Basically the pain that is on the outside can take focus away from that which is within. There are many different types of SI, not just cutting. And things you may not even recognize as such. Take for instance Britney Spears recent shaving of her own head in a bizarre way. SI. Classic. And as for females experiencing it more than males, society has taught women to turn hatred inward towards themselves, suppress their feelings, to be what is considered perfect "ladies". How can any woman truly live up to societal norms. They can't. Therefore they hurt themselves instead of turning outward for help.
@aries_0325 (3062)
• Philippines
28 Feb 07
Maybe they cut themselves to take their mind off emotional pain and place it onto physical pain? I'm no expert so I don't really know.
• United States
28 Feb 07
I believe there are a few reasons to this and everyone is different. One person could be doing it for the attention. If that's not the case, let's say the person is depressed and they cannot cope with their emotional pain. They are crying and crying and crying and just can't stop. The self injury, pain, blood, and taking care of the injury afterwards distracts them from their emotional pain. It is then directed towards physical pain and the crying can momentarily stop. I think girls do it more because they are more expressive with their emotions while guys tend to bottle it up more.
@DJ9020 (1596)
• United States
28 Feb 07
My daughter does. She has quit cutting, but picks at her skin all the time, and just recently picked off one of her toenails. I've asked her why, but she really can't tell me. From what I've seen, she thinks there is something wrong, like a small blemish or a scratch or something, then picks at it until it bleeds. She has been diagnosed with OCD and Depression.