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Why is Self Injury Bad Again?


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Trigger.gif You know I always wonder about the whole self injury thing. Yes, yes I know its damaging to your body but really, is that it?

Me for instance. I'm an excessively creative type, prone to finding new and exciting ways of causing myself physical pain. I don't MEAN to, but you know how it is the mood sets you off and before you know it you're experiencing anger, sadness, confusion - psychosis HELLO. Here comes the pain.

Personally ***overshare I think*** I've done some harmful things before:) Whats the big effing deal. I'm still here. I'm not suicidal.

The coping mechanism totally works - it snaps me the hell out of whatever crazy ass fit I'm going through - why is it so bad?

Is it really worse than all the delicious side effects of these buggering pills? Sometimes I think not.

The guilt and shame is there when people close to me notice or whatever, but the alternative is so much worse! Losing your marbles!

I'm so sick of other people and thier 'cut and dried' interpretations. I don't do it every day - just when I go nuts. WHY is it so bad. WHY?

Because other people say it is? unsure.gif

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I'm confident that lots of folks will chime in here, but let me take a first swing. A lot of it has to do with the perceptions of others. To this day, lots of adolescents get carted off to the hospital after cutting as others believe it to mean a suicide attempt. Most of my cutting clients seek help when 1) they've cut too deeply and medical attention is needed, and 2) after a time scar tissue becomes so prominent and so thick that #1 starts to happen with distressing frequency. It's a coping mechanism that eventually becomes a condition in itself.

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SI is not normal. It's is not a healthy coping mechanism. It tends to be reinforcing and escalating which is bad physically and mentally.

If things are bad when you don't SI, then you need more talk therapy and different/more meds. Period.

You aren't Van Gough. ;) That excuse doesn't work.

a.m.

p.s. Actually, it didn't work for Van Gough either. :)

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Trigger.gif You know I always wonder about the whole self injury thing. Yes, yes I know its damaging to your body but really, is that it?

Me for instance. I'm an excessively creative type, prone to finding new and exciting ways of causing myself physical pain. I don't MEAN to, but you know how it is the mood sets you off and before you know it you're experiencing anger, sadness, confusion - psychosis HELLO. Here comes the pain.

Personally ***overshare I think*** I've done some harmful things before:) Whats the big effing deal. I'm still here. I'm not suicidal.

The coping mechanism totally works - it snaps me the hell out of whatever crazy ass fit I'm going through - why is it so bad?

Is it really worse than all the delicious side effects of these buggering pills? Sometimes I think not.

The guilt and shame is there when people close to me notice or whatever, but the alternative is so much worse! Losing your marbles!

I'm so sick of other people and thier 'cut and dried' interpretations. I don't do it every day - just when I go nuts. WHY is it so bad. WHY?

Because other people say it is? unsure.gif

I, at one time thought as you did. I was 14 and was an admin of a pro-SI forum. Needles to say, it only got worse. I now sit with my upper thighs covered mostly in scar tissue. It did become a whole problem in itself, as I turned to it instead of thinking things through and fixing the underlying issue. Therapy and meds keep me sane and happier than cutting.

Excuse any bad grammar there may be it's late and I'm feeling weird.

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I'm so sick of other people and thier 'cut and dried' interpretations. I don't do it every day - just when I go nuts. WHY is it so bad. WHY?

Because other people say it is? unsure.gif

Hmm, I have actually wondered this myself before now - is self harm bad mainly because other people react badly to it and tell you it's wrong? Actually...no I don't think that's all it is. I know that sometimes I can "normalise" some quite damaging behaviours and justify them to myself, just because I want to carry on doing them...so I make the problem other people's, not mine (case in point: my previous excessive drinking, or my own previous self harm habits). These old habits become easier than alternative healthy/good coping mechanisms because they're the default strategy, tried and tested. They seem like they work because we're so familiar with them and we used to the exact effect(s) that they have. But that doesn't mean that they really are the best possible option, or that the only problem with them is the problem other people have - I feel that maybe these sort of habits can stop you from trying to develop other coping strategies, which could be harmful to you because you then miss out on some other quite valuable psychological tricks and tools. It might act as block to you growing as a person/learning to manage your mind because it's stifling other things.

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It did become a whole problem in itself, as I turned to it instead of thinking things through and fixing the underlying issue.

Oh - that's a much more succinct way of saying what I was trying to get at!

Off topic, but damn have I been getting a bit paranoid lately. I looked at what you just said and saw it as a 'orrible sarcastic remark ;) Ugh.
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You know I always wonder about the whole self injury thing. Yes, yes I know its damaging to your body but really, is that it?

Is self-injury damaging? In short, yes.

Me for instance. I'm an excessively creative type, prone to finding new and exciting ways of causing myself physical pain. I don't MEAN to, but you know how it is the mood sets you off and before you know it you're experiencing anger, sadness, confusion - psychosis HELLO. Here comes the pain.

Just because you are "an excessively creative type," doesn't mean that you are necessarily prone to "finding new and exciting ways of causing [your]self physical pain." Playing the "creative" card isn't really an excuse to cause yourself pain... it isn't a permission slip. I don't know, I just had to address that because that is what you made it sound like. Intense feelings, emotions, and all that that might lead one to self injure, ok, but not an excuse *to* self injure.

Is it really worse than all the delicious side effects of these buggering pills? Sometimes I think not.

You are assuming that pills are the treatment for self-injurious behavior. Yes, some people who self-injure have other mental health issues that *do* need to be treated with meds (like bipolar disorder, for example), but treating the behavior of self-injury is a therapy thing.

SI is a coping mechanism. It is an unhealthy coping mechanism, but one nonetheless. The best way to try and stop is through therapy and the formation of proper coping skills. Right now, when tension builds and/or something triggers you, you resort to SI because you don't have the proper tools and skill set to release the tension that you feel in a way that is not physically harmful to yourself.

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It did become a whole problem in itself, as I turned to it instead of thinking things through and fixing the underlying issue.

Oh - that's a much more succinct way of saying what I was trying to get at!

Off topic, but damn have I been getting a bit paranoid lately. I looked at what you just said and saw it as a 'orrible sarcastic remark ;) Ugh.

Oh no, it wasn't sarcastic at all - it was actually meant as a compliment! I was kind of having a dig at myself if anything, because I think that I tend to ramble on too much...I never use just a few words if I can say the same thing in a whole paragraph.

Btw, sarcasm really isn't my style. It's not a sort of humour that I understand very easily and I also think it tends to be quite a mean sense of humour used at other people's expense, so I don't like it. If something I say sounds sarcastic then it's most likely that I've either got the wrong end of the stick, or just didn't come across the way I intended to.

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- Infection

- Ugly scars

- Stigma

- It stops you addressing your issues

- It becomes tolerable and more escalating injury is needed

- It is painful for loved ones to witness

- It is not a mark of creativity, a mark of creativity is trying a different solution to a problem that is more effective and beautiful than hacking yourself to bits/whatever you do

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brooding.gif *sulks. Yeah I know. Its so much easier to pretend thats not a problem. blink.gif I just really hate pdocs and meds and the whole damn thing. It's a nightmare when your thoughts aren't your own and you aren't in control. In my line of work its like being a chef with no fingers. ninja.gif

Thank you all for your replies. (esp fellow south african Slicey -like we need more mortal danger in this country lol) Clearly when I posted that I was having a fragile moment. I think out of everything, its the internal scars that are the worst.

biggrin.gif I love you guys! x

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I haven't cut in 11 months. But my whole left forearm is messed up. There are slashes everywhere and I either have to wear long sleeves or multiple arm bands. It's ugly. I wish I hadn't done it now. It felt good and was a good outlet, but now I'm too warm or uncomfortable trying to cover them up.

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  • 11 months later...

i used to cut too like my friend.it doesnt work out as well for after youre parents find out what you did to youreself as a dude.

i cut for the first time in 7th grade with a gilbert knife, second time in 8th & 9th grade with a box cutter. cutting dosnet just hurt you it hurts those around you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It's weird because I've had the same line of thinking for a while. I know that SI isn't healthy, and I know it's not normal and I should be striving to stop. But........it's the only coping mechanism I have that works. Therapy hasn't worked or provided me with any coping techniques, neither have the OT's, pdocs or cpn. I've been taking Lorazapam PRN for the last few weeks, but the pdoc even wants me to come off that, as he thinks it addictive.

I even justify to myself that I'm 'not really a hardcore cutter' because I cut my left wrist in the same place using medical scalpels so the scars aren't so bad. But I know it's not normal. How do you stop yourself from doing something that helps even though you know it's bad, when there's no substitute?

Vicky

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Have you done dbt yet? Have you tried every medication yet? Have you exhausted every possible coping mechanism known to mankind? I think not, most likely, to at least one of the above.

So you don't actually know if there are things that "work" you just know there are things that "don't work."

But yes, the main difficulty with cutting is that it DOES work for a lot of folks. It's a quick, easy solution to an underlying, complicated problem that requires a lot of effort, energy, and intelligence to solve. Hence, a lot of folks choose to stay cutters.

But, you do not have to, and I hope you keep working at it, because, as the above posters have noted, there are also a lot of downsides.

Anna

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  • 2 weeks later...

Self harm is "bad" because it can interfere with your life. You start covering up your skin, your family gets suspicious or may even see the cuts, and even if you don't believe that it's wrong you still have to listen to all the stigmas that come along with it, and you have to worry about what others will think if you end up telling them about it, etc. By itself, if you're not doing enough damage to really harm or infect yourself, which is possible, theoretically it could be okay. But it's kind of impossible for it not to interfere with some kind of aspect of your life in the long run.

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