Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by John-Smith, Mar 21, 2009.

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  1. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    I began cutting around two years ago - nothing too serious, it was difficult at first and I didn't understand enough about knives to know how quick, or how slow I should go ( depending on whether I wanted to embrace pain or open my veins ) but I learned.

    Now, even though the clich├ęs of not swimming/wearing long sleeves, etc. are and will continue to be expressed I have no plans on stopping. I do not feel like being punished, for I have done nothing wrong - I've excelled in school, kept myself physically fit, and have been a very social individual. But I am somewhat confused as to why people give 'self-harm' such a bad name - almost coward-like.

    I do not cut for attention - my personality has proven to work well enough to stroke the ego once and a while - but I do not hide the scars in public.

    What I'm trying to understand is this - from personal experience I have found self-harm to be an enjoyable experience - and have researched the occurrence of it in human history for religious purposes (In almost ALL religions) - but I am still confused to why it is labeled as 'deviant'.

    Perhaps society has grown too cautious?

    Or, on the other hand, is this very normal?
  2. GA_lost

    GA_lost Well-Known Member

    What makes it enjoyable?
  3. crookxshanks

    crookxshanks Well-Known Member

    was just wondering why you dont feel the need to hide the scars.
  4. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    By my opinion, I can care less what you do in free time, addiction, obscene, whatever, as long as you remain a functional person and don't violate the rights of others.

    In fact, I'm more functional because I can cut to get a quick mood lift when I need it. Just try to keep your tools and wounds sterile.
  5. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Self-harm apparently releases feel-good chemicals, and that release can become a kind of addiction. Self-injury has the potential to cause serious physical damage to a person - physical scars, tissue damage, loss of limb, serious infection, fractures, accidental death...

    On an emotional level, if SI used to cope or generate a high, it's not within the "norm" of most people's experience, as most people avoid injury. Therefore, by contrast with the majority of humans, I guess SI is "deviant".

    As to religion-related self-flagellation, I've read that some researchers believe that people who engage in it are seeking to punish themselves, be forgiven or achieve some sort of "martyrdom" (martyrdom is perhaps too strong a word, but can't think of a better one atm). I've also heard that some researchers believe that self-flagellators have "chanced upon" the high they can get through self-inflicted injury and these people might have equated this high with some sort of "spiritual/religious experience".

    My own opinion? There are ways to cope that don't hurt, damage or leave marks. I wish I'd always been able to find them every time I needed them.
  6. Zurkhardo

    Zurkhardo Well-Known Member

    Excercise releases the same endorphins as self-injury (it's known colloqiually as runner's hight). So too does doing nice things for people (helper's high). Have you tried either two?
  7. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    Right. I guess we all self-medicate.
  8. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    Of course. Lifting and running usually help, but I'm not an endorphin junky. I began cutting not because I was miserable, but I had always been interested in how much physical pain I could endure.
  9. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    And that is a serious issue. Because your body can sustain a lot of damage, and you don't want to see how far you can go. That's symptomatic of disassociation -- which indicative of some issue that you should work through.

    Any idea why you're so interested in Pain?

    As your physical knowledge increases you become more prone to seriously injuring yourself. And the very facts that you wear long sleeves and don't go swimming indicate that self-injury has been negatively affecting your life.

    It's deviant because people who don't self-injure have no comprehension of why we do it.
  10. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    Perhaps it is an interest in the warrior aspect of mankind. We are all capable of self-harming in an extreme way, but since I have had no attachment to life I see no real risk in extreme lacerations other than the effect on those who love me. I understand the limitations of the whole thing - but am still drawn in some form of curiosity to cut myself.

    I do not need to wear long sleeves to hide my cuts because they usually are located on my upper shoulder. In fact, my wardrobe is somewhat professional - consisting of many many colors and work appropriate collared t-shirts.

    My struggle with socialite norms is this: The way I see it, society is just a consumerist illusion created by corporations that only wish conformity in regards to a consumer. If cutting was a popular past-time then I am willing to bet that fashion, language, and philosophy will change to bend around it.
  11. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    Society is full of cultural norms. And it always has been --now it's corporate marketing, but before that it was the Church, before that it was... etc. Cave people had social norms. You can't escape cultural norms. People will always judge you on how well you reflect social norms.

    Consider how tattoos and piercings are more accepted in society than self-scarring. Now I don't have tattoos or piercings, but my body from neck to calves iscovered in long scars. And because of it, my sanity and emotional balance is questioned as opposed to those with many tattoos. The best way to get out of serious inquiry is to respond when asked of their origin, "tough childhood." It makes you like Rorschach from Watchmen, :laugh: .

    I agree that there's little damage in extreme lacerations. Unless youre cutting yourself with a band-saw or an electric carving knife, then there's little damage you can do unintentionally. The veins and arteries are well protected with a tough skin and strong set of nerves, and the muscle doesn't bleed that much. Still, the question as to WHY you're willing to risk serious infection or self-mutilating scars is something of interest to people. I know my answer, and it has a fucked up back story that would lead somebody to suggest dealing with the issue.

    But if you're not going topless due to scars, then you should consider why you value the SI more than going swimming or tanning. Me, I have no problem with my scars, I enjoy them and don't mind when other people see them. In fact, I really like to go shirtless, because then people see that I'm not being "emo" due to the fact that the majority of scars , the long ugly ones are in places where people can't see usually like my chest or thighs.
  12. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    There's never a simple, clear-cut answer to something, is there? You and I both appear to be up sh*t's creek on this one. Indulge ourselves or the ones around us. From how I see you, I think we'll both make the same decision.
  13. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    It isn't particularly hard to observe good hygiene and sterility with your tools.
  14. jameslyons

    jameslyons Well-Known Member

    It's a risk that every person who SIs has. Besides I write from my own experiences, and I can tell you that I hardly spend that much time making sure everything is clean.
  15. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Then be less cursory in your protocols. I have a liquid disinfectant on hand. I dip the blade in before use to clean it up, takes two seconds, wipe it off and cut away. When I'm done, I put some of the disinfectant on the wounds. It adds all of 30s to your routine and greatly reduces the chance of infection.
  16. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    I can totally relate. Just minus the clear answer - but that really shouldn't bother me in the long wrong. I would say its a worse idea to hide who you really are.
  17. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    So it goes.
  18. jane doe

    jane doe Well-Known Member

    hai john. answering to your first post, i think society is scared to stare/ have contact with people with scars. I dont hide the scars when im in a bus or in the street. And when im for example at work i dont hide them if the wound is allready closed and old. People has made sarcastic commentaries about it but or just wont look at my arms. i think society has seen so much that wont be so surprised about it.
    i also think many people doesnt pay attention to the arms..but idk.
  19. John-Smith

    John-Smith Member

    Heya Jane.
    I can understand when something is forced upon someone who doesn't want to be disturbed about it. But, other than that, I have only found curiosity in other people regarding my scars. I also keep my shirt on when a cut is still healing - props to you for doing that too - the more civil you are the more understanding it seems people will be. (Or so I think.)
  20. jane doe

    jane doe Well-Known Member

    exacly. Ive met a lot of people feeling curiousity about what it feels and what are the reasons we have to do it, or what does it feels after/before, and such. people who has asked understand why we do it and seems more understanding with everything else aswell
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