Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Only teens? Really?!

42 posts in this topic

Posted

I'm so frustrated. I'm in my mid-twenties and struggling SO MUCH with cutting lately, particularly the past few weeks, although over last summer I realized that I have an addiction to it (when depressed). I try to look up resources and all I come up with is stuff about teens. Is anyone else frustrated at the assumption that this is simply a "young immature" problem??? I'm an adult in all senses...have been on my own since technically three days before I graduated high school even, never depended on a person for anything. Ugh I can't be the only one here...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Oh God no!  You are not the only one.  Stick around long enough and you will find a lot of people your age or older with the same disorder.  I've been struggling with SI for 25 years!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I feel like it's a 'stupid' problem to be dealing with (attention seeking, ect), even though I "know" it's not. I also know that the addiction isn't going anywhere, only maybe the severity of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I feel like it's a 'stupid' problem to be dealing with (attention seeking, ect), even though I "know" it's not. I also know that the addiction isn't going anywhere, only maybe the severity of it.

It's a very serious problem.  And I, for one, don't think it's about seeking attention.  Many people who SI will tell you that this is a way that they cope with stress.  Some studies have found that it actually releases dopamine in our systems which can help explain its addictive qualities. 

 

I have personally quit smoking, drinking, and drugs (both legal and illegal) but I still haven't conquered my SI.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I understand you completely. I am 22 and still struggle. I started when I was 13 but to this day it haunts me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I know it's a serious problem, as well as a life-long one. I had quit for years and re-started about a year ago off and on. On july 4 last year I thought I had (again) conquered it. I was pacing around the house screaming and punching walls with the effort to not cut, a battle that I won and ultimately lost.

 

I think right now my problem is that my boyfriend left me last week because of how I've been acting (I'm beginning to believe that I may had PTSD but lack resources to see a doctor) and he was my best friend, lover...my only confidant I have left. There's no words that come to mind other than devastated. I want nothing more than to text him and tell him how much I'm struggling but I feel like texting him saying "I can't stop cutting, I have a 6x8" patch on my leg that is 90% red with scratches, I need your help" is just 100% attention seeking. As much as it is the truth...

 

I had three days off work, part of which was spent healing and part of which was spent cutting. I know previously when I cut it's usually 1-4 cuts over a few days time and that irritates my leg when I have tight pants on for work. This is going to be insane tomorrow. I can feel it burning just walking around my bedroom with nothing touching it or loose fitting shorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I just sent him a text that says I can't stop...now I feel even more weak. If I put down the razor I start eating and I'm already having problems fitting into my pants. When I put down the food (which makes me feel sick anyways because of my lack of appetite) I start to get a panic attack.

I guess the good news here us that I don't want to keep cutting but I'm just as stuck...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You're not alone, I'm 31 and have had issues with SI for over 10years. I hope that you can find the support you need & start to feel better

 

Warm Regards

 

Chiaroscuro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

As multiple people have said you're definitely not alone when it comes to this sort of thing. I'm 20 and i've been self harming since a very young age.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Oh man, you are so not alone. You're in good company here. It's frustrating and alienating to look for resources for coping and find yourself confronting a stereotype that makes you feel irrelevant or ridiculous. It's kind of the same for guys of any age who SI (though that's getting better I think). It's definitely seen as a teenage girls' problem when the reality is obviously very different. The frustrating thing is that the stereotype cuts both ways. No pun intended. It makes it more difficult for anyone to seek help, otherwise they're pigeonholed. Even professionals do this sometimes.

If it helps, I'm 27 and have been cutting longer than not, as bad as I feel saying that. I was on my own without professional support for years because I had no money and no insurance. It's horribly lonely and scary. But I found therapy at a sliding scale, which helped. I got seen every week for $14 US per appointment. I don't know where you are, but maybe it's worth looking into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I used to cut for a couple of years in my early 20's. It was part of my depression.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

27, guy, former cutter/still get urges/had a relapse at the start of 2012 but I don't start my 'in remission since' count all over again because of a relapse. So I say I've been in remission for ten years now, with some hiccups and bumps along the way. You're not the only one.

In high school I actually knew more guys with SH issues than girls. Most were cutters. I've met a few other former cutters who are guys too. Stereotypes often have little to do with actual prevalence of something, more to do with who is just more visible and peoples' confirmation bias.

I do get frustrated at these assumptions though, and there's many in the MI field (though it's hardly exclusive to here or even exemplary.) Trauma survivors all underwent sexual abuse. Self harmers are attention-seeking young girls. And how most if not all of the local resources I can find for ADHDers are specifically for kids. Blah.

I did manage to stop without support, medical or otherwise. I just kept trying and trying until it stuck. But it was lonely and scary and awful.

Sliding scale counselling, especially if you can find a community clinic or similar, could potentially be really beneficial. It was for me, not with the cutting but yes with anxiety and me going batshit a year ago. I agree that it'd be worth looking into.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I just made another thread, but today in the locker room at work I was showing a co-worker the worst of my injuries that I sustained today out of klutziness. It's just above my knee on the back of my right leg, which happens to be the leg I target most when I cut. My pants were up around my thigh to prevent them from rubbing the new wound and the guy says "I saw that" (pointing to the front of my leg). I quickly pulled down my pant leg and mumbled a "yea, I'm not having a good time lately". He alluded to him cutting too and that was the end of the conversation. It's in the back of my mind that he's someone I could eventually talk to a little bit down the road. I drove him home from work and I think he was testing me out a bit as well regarding personal bits of his life. I didn't even think of him being a guy that self harms. That must be frustrating and make it even harder to find people to talk to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I am a 34yr old female. Its more shameful for me to think of myself as an adult injurer because I feel people expect me to be better adjusted now that I am an adult..or maybe it's just me who expected myself to be well adjusted by now..i think it's both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Oh & I've just remembered that Hubby has a close friend who's a guy who also has SI issues, so you're def not alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I find that a lot of resources target what they see as the main audience. So for SI, the belief is the main audience are teenage girls. It seems that in a lot of cases, teenage girls do SI - but obviously they aren't the only ones. However, because the resources are looking at what they see as the main population, it does exclude people who don't belong in that group. It's a real shame.

 

I've had issues with SI, on and off. I started when I was in my 20s and I had a big relapse last year. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You are not alone, trust me! I started self harming when I was 20 years old and I'm now 22 and still struggle with it. It's a serious problem and no way is it "attention seeking". 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

SI can be a problem for anyone, teen females are not the only ones, most of my close male friends have done it too, I'm almost 22 and I've been doing it since 13.

It is not attention seeking

I've started, stopped, started again, stopped again, thought I conquered it again, to starting after 2 1/2 years of not doing it, now half the time I do it to stop the impulse or the game, I do it when I'm bored, mad, sad, when I wanna play a game, I don't know. 

I hope one day I stop, I hope I can encourage others who are less into the addiction to stop while they still can...I'm a nanny and some of my kids are starting to show signs of "future SI'ers" and that scares the hell outta me, it makes me wanna cry, so I have a responsibility as a SI'er to BE THERE AND HELP THEM. and of course I go off on a tangent...

but long story short, it can happen to anyone, any sex, any age, any lifestyle, any anything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You're not alone, even if every piece of advice seems like it applies to teenagers. Especially if they are girls. Necroleon's right. If I don't talk about SI, then no one's going to help me get over it. If I do, I'm just doing it because I just want attention. Again, I feel like it's a silly problem I should get over and grow out of, though it is undoubtedly serious.

 

Case in point: When I was asked by a doctor if I wanted to hurt myself and I said no more than usual (when I was into SI and he didn't know) and he was concerned.

                       When I have told pdocs about my SI, they just play it down like it doesn't mean anything.

 

I started in my twenties. I can't help that that was the time when it became an option. I don't want attention but I don't want to be sick any more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've self-harmed in different forms for a long time, but didn't start "overt" SI like cutting until I was 22 or so. Studies and demographics have a major flaw, especially in socially stigmatized things like MI and self-harm: they depend on who is available to be studied. In our sexist cultural atmosphere, guys are discouraged from coming forward with mental problems. That's why, while the reports of are observed to be higher among females, the reports of successful suicides are higher among males, at least in the US and UK.

 

The stereotypes annoy me as well because I identify as neither male nor female. Where does that put me? Heh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I've self-harmed in different forms for a long time, but didn't start "overt" SI like cutting until I was 22 or so. Studies and demographics have a major flaw, especially in socially stigmatized things like MI and self-harm: they depend on who is available to be studied. In our sexist cultural atmosphere, guys are discouraged from coming forward with mental problems. That's why, while the reports of are observed to be higher among females, the reports of successful suicides are higher among males, at least in the US and UK.

 

The stereotypes annoy me as well because I identify as neither male nor female. Where does that put me? Heh.

Why do you say that men are discouraged from seeking treatment? I have never found that to be the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Bluechick, there is societal stigma to masculinity and health care. Just as our culture doesn't encourage boys to cry, our culture doesn't encourage men to admit their emotions, nor that their teary-eyes could be a symptom of depression, for example. It may very well be that the men that you've met are being met in a health care setting? Or they are rarities? Or they are well-treated once there, but they had barriers to accessing care? It's hard for me to tell from your anecdote. "Just as sex and gender matter in understanding health in general, they matter in understanding and seeking the best approaches to mental health and addiction. (...) there is a higher prevalence of internalizing disorders such as major
depression in women and externalizing disorders such as alcohol and drug addictions in men. There are also many mental health conditions which appear to be gender-neutral but are not. The onset of schizophrenia differs between men and women, with men typically developing schizophrenia much earlier than women. With the severity of
schizophrenia being associated with age of illness onset, men often have more severe forms of the illness.
It has also been shown that women and men seek different types of care, with men overall less likely than women to seek help whether from professionals or from lay persons." (http://www.cwhn.ca/en/node/41606)

 

It tends to be based on patriarchal sexism, but women are allowed to feel our emotions too strongly, and we can more easily seek help for being over-emotional than men can. A (female) starlet in therapy is no surprise; if Justin Beiber said that he was in therapy, heads would turn. "In general, women are in touch with their feelings and with other women, and they have a remarkable ability to express their thoughts and emotions." (http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Mens_Health_Watch/2010/January/mars-vs-venus-the-gender-gap-in-health) If therapy is all about emotional responses, then it stands to reason that people who can express them will have more success in therapy.

 

This same gender gaps exists in physical health as well. There is a stereotype of the manly man, or the macho man, who won't go to see the doctor sometimes for decades. It's got truth to it, too. There ARE men who die of treatable or even preventable causes because they wouldn't seek care. While there are women who do this as well, people tend to see it as the woman taking care of others before her own needs. That "logic" doesn't tend to exist around mens' health. "Like smoking, drinking and drug abuse are traditionally male problems that are increasingly threatening to women as well. Still, males dominate in these self-destructive habits." (same source). Why do men self-medicate so much?

 

Try this: look through the boards. What is our ratio of men to women? We have a LOT of women on the boards...

 

Finally, I will leave you with an essay:

Women think about health, and they do more about it. Women are more likely than men to have health insurance and a regular source of health care. According to a major survey conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, three times as many men as women had not seen a doctor in the previous year; more than half of all men had not had a physical exam or cholesterol test in the previous year; among men over 50 years of age, 41% had not been screened for prostate cancer, and 60% had not been screened for colon cancer in the previous year; and 25% of men said they would handle worries about health by waiting as long as possible before seeking help. In general, men who have the most traditional, macho views about masculinity are the least likely to get routine check-ups and necessary medical care.


Call it the ostrich mentality or the John Wayne Syndrome; by any name, men who skip tests and treatments, minimize symptoms, and disregard medical advice are asking for trouble. Men who look under the hood every time the engine coughs should be as quick to get help when they cough.


It is hard to know why men make such poor patients; busy work schedules and competing responsibilities and interests may play a role, but the macho mentality appears to be the chief culprit. Who can blame men for wanting to be John Wayne? But by following the example of that quintessential American he-man, men fail to take the simple steps that
can protect them from heart disease and lung cancer — the very same illnesses that plagued John Wayne before his death at age 72.

Edited by WinterRosie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I'm not sure what part of the world you are in but in my community that is simply not the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

You're in America? I gave you a Harvard medical study. I also gave you some Candian research on how the system could improve. Given that I posted this one minute ago - try reading the links :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

.

Edited by TOT

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0