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goldskittle

Any other adult cutters out there?

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My self-injury does makes me feel kind of immature. It's not really habitual but I've had 2 or 3 bouts in a two year period, with a cut or two here or there, and it's REALLY noticeable. When my coping mechanisms fail in a certain kind of situation, I just go to ribbons. :-( And it all seems to be associated with teens which feels like a great stigma wanting understanding as an adult. And it's not just attention seeking. The only other time I did it (I'm 26 now) was when I was eleven. I SIed the bottoms of my feet so no one would see. Only my mom ever noticed and that's because the evidence would swell up after swimming and be very noticeable.  And my current spots aren't noticeable except during swimming, generally. I hate the "attention seeking immature" rap that SI gets. It's most often a traumatic coping adaptation in extreme situations. I can only guess mine resurfaced because a lot of old issues suddenly resurfaced along with the stress of some major life changes. I I SIed because I didn't have the coping to handle the abuse I was receiving when I was a pre-teen and from the time I was a child. Once I blackmailed my folks into getting me therapy, I learned better ways to deal and I stopped. Now, it resurfaces when faced with something I don't think I can handle or my suicidal ideation gets bad. It's so much more complicated than the stigma attached to it. Even more so in adults I think. 

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@ MP welcome to here, rules link in lower-right hand corner.

Hope you find this place useful. :)

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If this post gets too triggery, feel free to edit it, mods. I'm not sure where the lines are.

I started scratching my skin with objects when anxious or distressed when I was 6. I first did the stereotypical cutting when I was 11 and got deeply mired in it at 15. I'm now almost 18, so, just about an adult. I consider myself one, at any rate.

I haven't cut deeply in over a month, have only cut once in the past month, and haven't hit myself in a long time. I burned my hands by accident on a friend's oven a few days ago, though, and liked it so much that I did it a few times deliberately. I've been poking and pulling off the blisters. I hope I'm not declining again. It's thankful that I don't scar easily. Some of my old cuts that required stitches have faded to white and are almost flat. I'm very lucky in that.

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I have cut before, when I was really depressed and usually drunk.  I haven't done it in years.

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I still cut and I'm in my 30's. I stopped for almost 2 years but recently started back. I see a therapist and have been through DBT that have provided me w other, great coping strategies but sometimes only cutting works...anybody out there understand what I mean? It's nice to know I'm not the only adult out there that cuts. I have so much shame and guilt attached to it, it's hard to talk about.

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I still cut and I'm in my 30's. I stopped for almost 2 years but recently started back. I see a therapist and have been through DBT that have provided me w other, great coping strategies but sometimes only cutting works...anybody out there understand what I mean? It's nice to know I'm not the only adult out there that cuts. I have so much shame and guilt attached to it, it's hard to talk about.

I know exactly what you mean. My therapist has given me lots of ideas, and I have lots of things I've found on line about how not to cut. But, sometimes, despite all of that, I still just need to feel it and see it.

As for age, I'm also in my mid-30's...and I started cutting in my early-30's. Old enough to for sure know better!!!! But I was in so much emotional pain...it helped. But, I feel the same shame about being an adult who cuts. I get so embarrassed when my therapist asks me about it. Because, even though I know she isn't judging, it feels like there's judgment involved.

I get all of what you're saying, Secretz.

Oh...and btw...welcome to the boards. :)

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I think the judgment you feel is your sense of awareness of being kind to yourself. I hate to say "conscience", but something along those lines.

 

We cut because it works on some level. If it didn't help, we wouldn't do it.

 

But as you point out, it does cause other problems. When those other problems that self harm creates outweigh the problems self harm temporarily relieves, it's a lot more motivating to stop self harming. At least it was for me.

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I'm also in my 30's and used to cut from my early teens to mid 20's.  I still cut a little from time to time.  But what I did notice, is I changed my diet to loose weight...I eliminated fast foods and processed foods and it made a positive difference in my mood.  I did some research and some say that this "cutting epidemic" is partially caused by what we eat...all the toxic garbage that's in the food.  It F*cks up the brain chemistry so if you have an intense (traumatic) experience, or series of negative experiences, you become less able to deal with it in a constructive way.  Culture, the media, etc. also plays a role. 

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I know that self harm is associated with teens.

 

But I've been reading here and I see a lot of very strong men and women dealing with some very difficult things. Because being an adult can be really lonely, really, we all think we are supposed to have our shit together and be perfect. Being an adult is perceived to be about coping and being an example. My respect goes to anyone who is living in torment and keeps getting up every day, every last one of you. It is hard to be that weary and keep going for everyone else.

 

This is beautiful…and it means a lot.  I needed to read something like this. Thank you.

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What you wrote here was very kind and well received my me, it's the hardest thing I do sometimes is wake up knowing I have to be me, but it's the bravest thing I am doing, and there is hope I am in my fifties and still am dancing with this issue too many scars not enough acceptance for myself. Thanks

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I did some research and some say that this "cutting epidemic" is partially caused by what we eat...all the toxic garbage that's in the food.

Could you please cite your sources for this?

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I had been skin picking for as long as I can remember - my lips, feet, any scabs or mosquito bites etc. But I only starting cutting when I was 19. I stopped a few months later but have cut in the odd mad moment since then (I'm 21 now). I have since replaced the cutting with binge eating most nights, which is just as harmful unfortunately :S but i'm really struggling to cut it out.

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I appreciate everyone's transparency on here. It's helpful. I've found something very therapeutic for me that I'm hoping will replace cutting all together. Other than listening to music, I've been writing poetry a lot. I used to write it only when it was needed...if someone had a loss or a celebration, etc. Now I'm writing it as a form of expression and it's working. Thinking of turning it into a book...maybe it'll help someone else one day. Just wanted to share. :)

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My experience with cutting, in contrast to most, has been extremely positive.  I started several years ago - I'm now 28 - as a way to stave off suicidal depression.  I  cut off and on, mainly during mixed states (morbidly depressed and in odd euphoria).  I used to get freaked out by it, seeing it as a sign of mental breakdown.  Whenever I would cut though I would always be in a better mood afterwards - I'd be in a mixed state but of a kind that kept me from trying to kill myself.  

 

My condition has improved a great deal since then.  Ironically my improvement in mood has come along with a significant increase in cutting (usually arms or legs) - now almost every day.  I've never cut very deeply though at times make somewhat dramatic (long cuts) in places mentioned.  I am conscientious about keeping cuts superficial so that I don't end up in the hospital (for the cuts at least).

 

The cuts are usually pretty visible, which doesn't bother me too much.  Seeing the cuts gives me a sense of comfort.   Usually people don't ask me at all.  When they do I'm usually able to deflect questions pretty well but if I'm going to be with people who I know are going to press me on the issue I usually just wear a light jacket.  

 

Of all of the therapeutic modalities I've tried cutting is the one thing I can do which I know will always stabilize my mood and which will keep me from going into downward spirals.  The therapist I see basically agrees that cutting for me is a necessary form of self soothing (since I can keep it under control).  The point that she makes is that most people engage in self harm - drinking, smoking, drugs, reckless driving etc.  The difference with SI  is that it is not socially sanctioned (therefore severely stigmatized, making people who engage in it feel worse about what they're doing).

 

It seems like most people/adults who cut wish that they did not.  I'm wondering if there are many people/adults who are functional members of society, cut themselves and are basically happy about.

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Cutting isn't a therapeutic modality.

 

Cutting is a coping skill that for most people ultimately causes more harm than the problems it is trying to solve.

 

One of the reasons cutting is not socially sanctioned is because it causes external damage and can lead to more-than-intended tissue damage with permanent issues to nerves and tendons, not to mention accidental death and infection.

 

We are a pro-treatment site. We are not a place for people who are happy with or seek to normalize a permanent identity as someone who cuts.

 

I hope that you can find less damaging ways to manage your emotional states.

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Thanks for the perspective - of course cutting isn't a therapeutic modality, it is a way to stay stable - whatever thoughts you or anyone else may have on it. I take some offense at your judgment - is it better that I get hammered every night, destroying my liver and my life or chain smoke my way to lung cancer or is it better to make scratches (literally scratches) on oneself to relieve mental anguish? Obviously deep cutting is bad. Any is. But there's a more manageable kind - not a therapy as such - but one that can keep someone stable, more so than drugs and alcohol. Again, it's not "good" to do but not seriously harmful to health or safety. I don't know about where your Admin privileges come from but I've talked to and read articles from people in the psychological profession who basically take the perspective I do - of course you can have your own but I'd appreciate you used your privileges - however precarious they may be - to foster discussion rather than pass judgment - we deal with enough of that kind of shit from society. Again - have your opinions - but don't pretend you speak the word of God.

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You're right - there are communities and professionals that would support your decision.

 

However, we have many vulnerable members in this community who are struggling to avoid self-harm, and therefore there are rules that we have set for the discussions that occur here.

 

You can find those here: http://www.crazyboards.org/forums/index.php/topic/55018-guidelines-to-the-si-board-read-this-if-you-post-here/

 

Of course you have the right to determine your own treatment and to decide for yourself how to manage your mental illness.  But if the way that we operate is so much at cross purposes to your ideas and goals, you might not be very comfortable here.

 

This community is non-neutral on the subject of self-harm, as we are on substance use, disordered eating, and the whole list of coping mechanisms that we have decided as a community do more harm than good.

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I have never pretended to speak the word of God, only to act to protect our more vulnerable members here.

 

If you read through the kinds of posts I make on this board, you will find that I am very much about harm reduction until people are ready to do something different.

 

Every negative coping method has positive and negative consequences. Cutting is neither better nor worse than overdrinking, overeating, smoking, overexercising, or any number of other things humans do that are self-destructive.

 

As tryp has said, we are UNEQUIVOCAL on our stance here about cutting. It's something people do to try to cope. We want to encourage them to try more healthy options.

 

There are loads of other pro-self harm sites out there. If this isn't a good fit for you because of your stance, I encourage you to find and use them. 

 

ETA: Specifically, I wanted to highlight from the link tryp provided about posting on this part of Crazy Boards:

2. The purpose of the board

 

Since the purpose of the board is to encourage and enable people to stop self harming, it's important that those using the board have this in mind when they post. We recognise that it's often not possible to quit right away. However when someone posts and admits they don't want to stop and don't want to use coping strategies, it creates a culture where it becomes acceptable to self harm in that way.

 

Just as people are not supported in continuing to binge and purge on the ED board, or to use substances on the substance abuse support board, we will not support self harm here. The response to posts as mentioned above will be to direct posters back to coping strategies.

 

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I started self harming when I was 16, and I'm 21 now. I feel like my family thinks that because I am an adult I should be over this by now (actually my aunt thinks that about all of my issues).

 

I've found that the older I get (and I know I am still quite young) the harder it seems to be to let destructive behaviors go. They become more ingrained as the years go by, especially the SI and the eating disorder behaviors, and it makes it hard to replace them with positive coping skills. Not impossible, but definitely harder.

 

I think it is also hard to be an adult with so much visible scarring. I have to keep my arms covered for job interviews, meetings, etc. People don't seem to think about the fact that teens who SI grow up to be adults who may still SI and bear the marks. I've had so many weird or rude comments from people, partly because I think it's unexpected--they think because I'm an adult that all of this should be behind me. If/when I do stop self harming for good, I will still have the scars. This isn't something I can easily leave behind and ignore, and I think many people just don't get that.

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Hi guys. I recently started self harming. I don't enjoy it. It actually scares me but i don't know how to stop or whether i should talk to my GP about it.

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Hi guys. I recently started self harming. I don't enjoy it. It actually scares me but i don't know how to stop or whether i should talk to my GP about it.

 

I would definitely talk to your GP about it, or your therapist if you have one. I think a lot of people feel similarly, in that they are scared by their own behavior. I know personally in the moment I am not bothered by what I'm doing, but afterward I often feel scared by the damage I have done. 

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Hi guys. I recently started self harming. I don't enjoy it. It actually scares me but i don't know how to stop or whether i should talk to my GP about it.

I would definitely talk to your GP about it, or your therapist if you have one. I think a lot of people feel similarly, in that they are scared by their own behavior. I know personally in the moment I am not bothered by what I'm doing, but afterward I often feel scared by the damage I have done.

Thank you. I've made an appointment so hopefully i don't back out

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Hi guys. I recently started self harming. I don't enjoy it. It actually scares me but i don't know how to stop or whether i should talk to my GP about it.

I would definitely talk to your GP about it, or your therapist if you have one. I think a lot of people feel similarly, in that they are scared by their own behavior. I know personally in the moment I am not bothered by what I'm doing, but afterward I often feel scared by the damage I have done.

Thank you. I've made an appointment so hopefully i don't back out

 

 

I was going to agree with mythweaver. I hope you're able to keep your appointment.

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As for me, my ten-year high school graduation reunion has come and gone, and I still SI. I've done it in some form or another for a long time, though. My memory is more holes than cheese, but I remember hitting myself and digging holes in my skin with fingernails even as a young kid.

 

I bet the support materials and the way the issue is treated will change, now that it's got something of a profile in the public consciousness. I remember going online years ago to look for other people who did what I was doing, and feeling worse because it seemed like there wasn't much, and pretty much everything was directed at girls. Between that and what's out there for ED sufferers, I didn't look for support online again for quite awhile. Now it seems like it's more broadly accepted that, surprise surprise, a person's gender is only tangentially related to SI, if at all.

 

I've wondered if it would help if self-harm were better contextualized, too. It's a complicated issue, way more to it than just cutting. I could wish that, if it's going to be dumbed down into a thumbnail, instead of it being about the method, the public talk were more about the motivation, because I'm confident that almost everyone would understand it if we could put it to them in terms they found relatable. Not "I self-harm because of [insert reason]," but, "I sometimes do a thing that hurts me, because it meets a need that I don't know how to meet another way." I'm thinking that most people have had an experience where they needed something, or felt that they did, and did something to get that need met that they regretted later.

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