Is self harm so bad?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by chilled..., Nov 18, 2007.

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  1. chilled...

    chilled... Guest

    Ok, well before I say anything, I think self poisoning IS bad, even if it is without suicidal intent, cos it is SO dangerous. And I think self mutilation leading to severe blood loss is also bad - again, very dangerous plus high risk of infection.

    However, superficial cutting, or doing what I do - burining myself with the edge of an iron, I personally dont believe that is bad. I mean a superficial burn to skin is FAR less damaging than the damage that alcohol does to your liver (many people go out with friends and get drunk after a hard day right?), plus you dont wake up with a hangover. And a superficial burn does much less damage to your body than stress does. I mean all you have damaged is a bit of skin, thats it. Stress affects almost every organ in your body, leaves you lacking sleep, not performing as well at work and can in the long term lead to heart disease etc.

    So, I dont think self harm (when done the right way) is a bad way of coping.

    You just gotta be careful where you do it. I do it on my shoulders cos then I can still wear short sleeved tops. And I hate totally sleeveless tops anyway, they dont suit me.

    I like swimming, but I always go at a time when I am unlikely to see anyone I know. If I do I just make sure to keep my shoulders under the water and appear relaxed and normal, so people are unlikely to expect that the burns are self inflicted.
  2. savetoniqht

    savetoniqht Well-Known Member

    I completely agree; I don't see what is so bad about it. There's like... severely cutting yourself to the point where it is dangerous to one's health and existence, but then there's what you said. I've never seen what's wrong with it.. maybe that's just me though.
  3. Smashed__

    Smashed__ Well-Known Member

    I don't do it the 'right' way, as you put it. However any form of self harm isn't good IMO. some may be better than other forms for reasons like blood loss, infection, major scaring, petachial hemorrhaging, cutting off oxygen to the brain causing more problems..however harming yourself isn't healthy, period.

    one shouldn't have to harm themselves to feel better, so in my opinion no form is good. :unsure:
  4. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

    I started off scratching my arm with broken glass and now I have to cut really deeply with a knife to get the same effect. Making superficial cuts has no effect on me anymore and I can't stop self harming until i've done some serious damage. I ended up in hospital once after cutting so deep that I almost lost the use of my arm. I think it's a progessive thing and over time it will get worse. My arm is really scarred now and it's embarrassing. Although I love it, i'm deeply ashamed that I can do such a sick act. I'd love to be able to slash my arms open without having anyone disturb/question me, but unfortunately that's never the case.
  5. Nessarose

    Nessarose Well-Known Member

    Going with what Ruby said, self-harm seems to go from seemingly minor things to life-threatening things. I started out scratching my wrist with a pen cap; started biting myself; went to bruising myself; eventually reached cutting my thighs, and then my wrists. Thankfully, I stopped there, but there is a high risk of infection. I did something to the cuts to increase the pain, but I won't say what; I'll just say I'm surprised I didn't get any infections.

    So, that's one of the problems with self-harm. It goes from something that one would think is innocent often to something dangerous. Take care, guys. Some of your stories worry me, and I hope your self-harm will fade. I know how good it feels, but it's not healthy. Be safe.
  6. resistance

    resistance Staff Alumni

    Self harm is bad because you shouldn't be doing it at all. Regardless of whether it's only a small burn or a superficial cut, the fact that you're doing it signals something is wrong and that problem should be solved in more healthier ways.

    I understand not everyone hurts themselves for the same reasons, to get the the same effect out of it but hurting yourself certainly isn't a good thing.

    I understand it's easier said than done when it comes to stopping self harming and turning to more healthier ways, especially if you've been self harming for a while but as pointed out, it goes from one thing to another so I highly suggest trying other methods to help, such as the ice and elastic band or the red marker, to actually seeking therapy and telling people how you're feeling. :hug:
  7. jane doe

    jane doe Well-Known Member

    i`m agree with those who says it`s bad, no matter how deep or where yo do it. the thing is that sooner or later, burning your shoulders won`t be enough and that`s why any kind of self harm is relative good.
  8. riz

    riz Senior Member

    I just think that if you can't express your emotions any other way than hurting yourself, you have a problem.

    That's not to say that people who self harm are "bad" people. It's just a bad reaction to stressful situations.

    Self harm usually starts harmless. I know I did. But behaviors like this usually progress further.

    Maybe in the same light, smoking a little pot here and there isn't a big deal. It's not addictive in the chemical sense and you are still able to function better than a drunken person. But after years of abuse, the pot starts to take over pieces of your personality. After a while, it's a part of you, and that's all you have.

    It's the same way with self harm. One day you just need a little fix, but the next day, you're right back into negative behavior.

    I understand where you are coming from, but I don't think it's healthy to rationalize self harm because when you really look at it, there is a problem. Solving it with pain shouldn't be a choice.

    Stay safe everyone.

    With love,
  9. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    One of the main reasons is because anytime you do something to your body that hurts, you're probably doing some kind of damage. Even if it's only minor damage, it's cumulative. You won't be young forever. And time, all by itself will take it's toll on your body. And other factors as well. When I was a teen, I never dreamed I'd ever be a heavy smoker. But I spent a number of years smking 3 packs a day. I sure didn't need the extra damage on top of what I did to my lungs.

    I started harming myself in various ways when I was about 12. Fortunately, I'm male and most of the areas I did it in (like on my legs) are now covered with hair and I rarely wear shorts anyway so nobody is ever going to notice. But those scars never really go away.

    And yes. Even superficial wounds are bad. Because even though they generally tend not to be serious, they can get infected pretty badly if they aren't extremely well taken care of. And then, there's the chance that if you're cutting, even if you don't mean to cut deep, you may get carried away or you may accidentally go too deep and hit a vein or something. Some people hit themselves in the head or whatever. That can cause very serious problems in your brain over time. Very bad idea.

    Basically, there's no right way to hurt yourself. Things that hurt, hurt for a reason. It's your body's natural defense.

    And the worst damage of all (assuming the physical damage never gets out of hand) is what it will do to you psychologically if you let yourself fall into the habit of doing it. The way the human mind works with things that bring us pleasure and/or relief/release is that whatever we're doing to achieve it is great at first and for a while but eventually, we need more. I think I started out with needles. They didn't seem to do any real damage and it was mildly painful. Eventually, that wasn't enough and I moved to broken glass and knives.

    Now days, I simply resist. Every now and then I slip but I haven't harmed myself in any significant way in years. The urge can get pretty strong at times but there are other ways of dealing with whatever gives you the urge to do it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2007
  10. Smashed__

    Smashed__ Well-Known Member

    I hope I can get that way. Its been about a week for me.

    I agree its progressive. It started with my hands, moved to cords, and now belts.:unsure:
  11. ggg456

    ggg456 Guest

    I used to think like the OP but I agree with what lots of people said especially Random. I don't self harm in terms of cutting anymore it's usually some stupidpathetic anorexic behaviour that I'm used to. And it's frightening when you are eating 3 meals a day and still can't function because of the toll that builds up after damaging yourself so much, for a long extended period of time. When it comes to superficial cutting- I agree with the OP in some sense, as I've never ever cut 'deeply' but there's always the risk of it becoming compulsive. I've gone through the compulsive thing a few years ago so have always been scared of even starting again because it can take over one's life. Then again, maybe self harming at that point even saved my life because if I didn't do that I'd be overdosing. Thankfully I don't do those things anymore.
  12. Metallica*Melinda

    Metallica*Melinda Well-Known Member

    If I could figure out the 'right way' to self harm my life would be so much better. I end up getting surgery and stitches all the time... thats not okay... but I dont know about what you're doing... maybe its a bit better?
  13. redheadsweetie

    redheadsweetie Active Member

    I think that having to hurt youself is bad. But really i am not one to talk becuase i just started in these last two weeks and cannot seem to stop :sad:

    Carry around alot of shame about it becuase deep down in myself i know its wrong.
  14. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    I'm just curious so I hope nobody will be offended by my asking.

    Why do you do it? I mean, is it something you just started doing on your own with no outside influence or did you hear about it or read about it or something and think it was something you should do?

    As for me personally, when I started doing it, I didn't know anyone else did it. I thought I was really messed up and was deeply ashamed of myself even though I was the only one who knew I did it.

    I think now, with the internet and everything, it's more well known and some kids might start doing it just because they heard about it.
  15. Melancholy

    Melancholy Well-Known Member

    I very much doubt that the reason why people repeatedly SH is because they read about it on the Internet. Generally SHers have tried all sorts of other coping mechanisms before they resort to SH.

    I certainly had heard about SH when I started, but didn't consciously do it because of that. I did it because I hated seemed like a logical solution.

    Regarding the original thread topic...I don't think SH is as much of a problem as many people say. I haven't done any great damage, and it has helped me to cope with my feelings better than anything else. Not the best coping strategy, I know, but when all else fails it is a better alternative than suicide.
  16. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your reply Lauren. I was hoping the question wasn't offensive. It's just an interesting topic to me and I've been wondering about that for a while. And mostly because I'd never heard of anyone doing it when I started doing it. I still wonder if it might still influence someone having heard about it. Even if it isn't on a conscious level.

    And on the second part of your post, I think it might be a more serious problem for young girls than males. Because when they grow up, women are often expected to wear attire that reveals more skin than men. They may not think about that when they're doing it but it could really hurt their self esteem later if they decide they would like to go to the beach or just wear clothing that's more appropriate to the weather. A long sleeve shirt and pants in July may get some strange looks. Women are more self conscious about these kinds or things, I think.

    So even if the physical damage is minor, the scars hang around.

    I've also read that repeated injury to the same area of skin can lead to cancers. If you look at the risk factors for many cancers, chronic irritation will probably be there. I think burning would be especially bad. On top of that, skin cancers are among the most common of all without any additional injury. Just exposure to the sun is often enough. You figure if you have an area of skin that has been repeatedly injured and then it has to deal with sun exposure as well, those people may be even more likely to get skin cancer.
  17. Smashed__

    Smashed__ Well-Known Member

    I get so upset, whether angry or sad that I 'need' it. It helps me calm down so much faster. I get a huge rush, and then I can sleep or go about my day with control. I wasn't Self Harming when my sister was, and I can only imagine the hold it had on her..she stopped (to my knowledge) after treatment. I don't cut, and don't ever plan to.
  18. geolab101

    geolab101 Well-Known Member

    your body hurting is a way of saying it doesn't exactly like what you are doing to it. you shouldn't do things that hurt.

    the fact you need to hurt yourself to feel better signifies that something is unhealthy. it isn't like the endorphines you get while working out. it is a reaction to cover pain. hurting yourself won't solve your problems and it can progress to a point where it is nearly impossible to go back.

    please try to stay safe.

    i've only SH'ed twice but i still sometimes think about how i felt afterwords and want to do it again. i think it would be best if you were able to tackle the problems that you currently have before just accepting them and accepting your SHing as a part of your life.
  19. Random

    Random Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not sure what this "huge rush" is you're talking about. I've heard a couple of people who SH mention it but I don't think I ever got it. As far as I know, I just did it to be doing it.

    But the rush could be related to the release of endorphins. Which, basically, what this is is that when your body feels a significant amount of pain, it will release a natural pain reliever known as endorphins. Kind of a natural "high".

    Problem is that if you have to injure yourself in order to feel it, it can easily lead to real problems.

    Try this. I enjoy spicy food. I always have but just recently, I started to figure out why. Not very long after I consume a spicy meal, I feel this nice rush. This is particularly true if the food had a lot of black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic or hot peppers in it. I believe the "heat" of the peppers causes the release of endorphins as well. It usually takes about 15 minutes after I eat. Sometimes, I eat raw peppers when I get a headache and it seems to help the pain.
  20. ggg456

    ggg456 Guest

    I used to hit myself with hammers and bruise myself badly up and down my legs before I started using sharp objects. Linked to physical abuse I suppose? I never read about hitting myself with hammers on the internet. Even then I was self harming through anorexia anyway..using sharp objects started around 16, before that I used to batter myself. I used to call my sister into my room to tell me everything that she hated about me (she enjoyed that, I enjoyed it too), everything that was ugly about me then I used to pummel myself. I want to insert a 'laugh' here but... sometimes I don't know how I survived my adolescence in my house. Self harm is linked to abuse for me, it was just a progression from childhood where others were doing it to me.
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