Is this a normal form of self harm?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by TheLoneWolf, May 16, 2012.

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  1. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    I've never really been a "cutter", but I do self harm when I'm feeling extremely distressed, usually by punching myself, hitting myself with things, punching walls and other hard objects, even intentionally running my head into walls...

    I like to think that I'm a reasonably intelligent person, and I understand that this behavior is stupid and quite dangerous. I have my reasons for doing it, and usually when I'm that upset, I care little for the potential consequences. My question is, is it common for men and boys who suffered a lot of physical abuse in their childhood to resort to this form of self harm? Or am I just some kind of psychotic idiot?
  2. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Guess I'll check back on this thread tomorrow. If I don't have any replies by then, I'm going with "psychotic idiot".
  3. Butterfly

    Butterfly Sim Addict Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    I don't think you can say any form of self harm is "normal". Some people gain emotional relief by self harming in different ways and this is how you obviously relieve yourself. It is common amongst self harmers to use physical pain to relieve emotional pain such as cutting, burning, pinching, hitting and headbanging etc.
  4. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. I know it's not considered "normal" in the general population, but how common is it in the self harming population? Everybody knows about cutters and many people know someone who cuts. My sister is a cutter, and I've had friends who were cutters. But I've never heard of anyone else punching themselves out of self loathing or with the intention of causing themselves pain. Maybe that's just because it's not something most people are willing to talk about... which is why I'm asking it here. I figure if you can't confess to something like that anonymously on a depression forum on the internet, you probably can't confess it anywhere... and if nobody else is willing to admit to doing it, I'm going to have to assume I'm the only one.

    Awkward. I'm now starting to wish I hadn't started this thread.
  5. scarlettdrknss

    scarlettdrknss Well-Known Member

    you're not alone on this one. i do a lot of things to self harm. i have never punched walls out of anger or frustration but i do when i want to hurt myself. i also consider putting the water on hot when taking a shower, so that my skin turns all red and feels burnt, self harm. i even bite myself sometimes. i think cutting has become kind of a trend, you know. everyone knows about it nowadays and it's fairly easy. it doesn't hurt much and not for long (if you don't cut deep). you merely have to slice something sharp across your skin, you don't actually have any control while doing it. when you consciously punch yourself or run into a wall, it takes a lot more courage. it's against our reflexes and i think it has more meaning when people do these things instead of cutting. i mean, when you cut, it's for a second and then you're already bleeding. when you punch yourself, you actually have your brain order to really bring pain to yourself. there's nothing else there in between. it's not the blade hurting you, it's your own body.
  6. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Okay, thanks for making me feel a bit less crazy, scarlett. It does take extreme emotion for me to get to that point, and it hurts A LOT more than cutting. Cutting alone doesn't cause me enough pain to make me forget my problems, it just makes me think "oh great, not only am I depressed, but now I'm also bleeding everywhere. That stain is never going to come out." But running my head into a wall? That makes me quickly forget everything that was bothering me. Instead I'm left wondering "why the hell did I do that? That really HURT", and I sit there enduring the throbbing pain, sobbing quietly in the dark as a lump forms on my head and I drift off to sleep.

    Yeah, I know, you're not supposed to go to sleep immediately after suffering head trauma, because you might never wake up again. But I don't really see the downside of that. Doesn't everybody want to die in their sleep?
  7. scarlettdrknss

    scarlettdrknss Well-Known Member

    exactly. i can't run my head into a wall becuse ny parents would immediately rush over to see what happened, i do kinda choke myself to sleep though if that counts in any way.

    you're definitely not crazy though. this is just a way of trying to solve the problems you have. it's not the best way and often it just gives temporary relief but it's just a coping mechanism i guess.

    i hope what i'm saying makes sense, just talking from experience,. i'm not any kind of expert xP
  8. uncle buck

    uncle buck Member

    you aren't any type of idiot. I do the exact same thing, along with many other things not mentioned. I too am a male, and in the real world am very much a man's man. Its my stupid little secret. But you def arent alone.
  9. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the validation, uncle buck, and welcome to SF :smile:

    Yeah, I'm a relatively masculine guy, yet at the same time I get pretty emotional at times. Unfortunately anger is one of those emotions, and sometimes I direct that anger towards myself. Maybe I just need to do some yoga or something. Though that wouldn't really feel very masculine.
  10. 1Lefty

    1Lefty Well-Known Member

    I won't try to analyze your behavior, but share some of mine - I am a puncher, used to to be refrigerators, but now its a hollow bedroom door. Family members have asked " Why not put on boxing gloves, and work on a heavy bag, or punch a pillow?"

    The simple answer is that my inner turmoil, and inner pain, require physical pain,to the extent of split, swollen, bruised and bloody knuckles, to even out the mental/emotional pain, before it completely overwhelms me and becomes out of control. Without that release, I can become hostile and mean to those around me, even ones I love, and I would rather hurt myself than to cause them misunderstanding.

    I can feel the pain being released through my fists, into the splintered and sometimes bloody door. And besides, it's easier for guys to explain - "I was working on my car and the wrench slipped" or "The hood closed on my hands"etc.
  11. jajo

    jajo New Member

    if it's any help, I work with teenage kids. I have seen a fair few boys get angry and lash out, or punch things/hurt themselves out of anger and frustration. It's almost like they can't control it and it always seems like they have had an emotional overload they can't handle. Could be that physically lashing out is a sort of release?

    Maybe what you experience is like a variation of that? Maybe some people learn to control urges like that as they get older, for whatever reason.

    Psychotic idiot? No
  12. Sais

    Sais Well-Known Member

    I think that's more "normal" than you think, I know someone who is not what I'd consider a suicidal, depressed or troubled person, but in a fit of anger he punched a window so hard and broke it. I do that too sometimes, but I choose softer things ... punch the sofa as if it is that person's face lol.

    By the way, you have a very funny way of putting things, I enjoyed readind your replys here. :)
  13. oval

    oval Well-Known Member

    I hit, beat, scratch myself (in the head mostly) hit walls or anything really, throw things, I've thrown myself against the wall before but never ran into a wall head first. I agree with you lonewolf, sometimes cutting just isn't enough. There has to be more pain and brutality.
    It has nothing to do with intelligence, i would say we just get a tunnel view and focus on nothing but how we can express our anger best. That's more important than the consequences in those moments
  14. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    You aren't weird or psychotic hun, you are just hurting deeply. Sometimes I punch's weird because sometimes I get really angry when I do it. It hurts like a bitch, but it sure takes me out of the mindset of the emotional pain I'm experiencing.
  15. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Wow, one of my old threads got revived... lol... thanks guys for the supportive replies.

    @1Lefty - yep, I can relate exactly. And I have the scars on my knuckles to prove it.

    @jajo - yeah, it started when I was a teenager, but I'm a full grown adult now. I would have thought I'd have grown out of that by now.

    @Sais - I'm glad you like my replies. I sometimes feel like I'm annoying people and think I have an abrasive personality... it's good to know that isn't always the case.

    @Good World - yeah, at times the anger just consumes me, and I need to experience severe pain to shock some sense back into me. I know it has nothing to do with intelligence, but it does seem pretty dumb when I think about it after the fact.

    @Christy - thanks, you're always a sweetheart :hug: I don't want you to punch yourself though! I'd let you punch me instead to get your aggressions out... don't worry, I can take it.
  16. aussiegal

    aussiegal Well-Known Member

    Well if this kind of behaviour classes you as an idiot, then I guess i am a member of that club also. I kinda just realised.. always thought that my self harming behaviour started twelve months ago with cutting. I occasionally was head banging during this time also. But now I think of it, about fifteen yrs ago I was bringing my head down onto the metal bar of my bed head to try to stop the thoughts and feel pain or using the corner of my wooden chest of drawers in the same way. Guess I have been self harming a lot longer than i realised.
  17. TheLoneWolf

    TheLoneWolf Well-Known Member

    Based on the replies, I've concluded that it's not abnormal or idiotic. It's just a form of self harm that most people don't usually talk about. I'm glad I was able to get it out there and find others who have experienced the same, though. To be honest, I never realized I was self harming either. I just thought I was having psychotic fits of rage. But it does indeed fit the profile of self harm.
  18. PJLane

    PJLane Well-Known Member

    you're not alone - i sometimes punch myself in the stomache and legs. its just an easier form of harm for me, i was a cutter when i was younger and already have too many scars, plus the benefits of it didnt for me outweight the negatives of having scars. but im a girl and not that strong, so i never have serious bruises from the punches.
  19. angeljazz

    angeljazz Member

    I'm female and never been physically abused, but one of my methods has been to just repeatedly slap myself in the face. I also pull hair out, but one relatively "normal" way to express this is by tweezing my eyebrows as slowly as I possibly can. Cutting is too bloody and intimate for me, I guess. In a way, the pain "snaps me out" of certain feelings, but without creating too many visible reminders when I feel better later.
  20. ellorian

    ellorian Well-Known Member

    I am a wall-puncher myself (stone for preference, the unevenness makes then hurt more). Though I stopped years ago when my wife and I promised to stop our self-harming behaviors for one another (she was a cutter). I have sometimes wondered though if causing oneself pain through hitting walls isn't far more common than we realize - think how often we ascribe wall-punching in men to being "angry". Well, perhaps mostly it is anger, but I wonder if sometimes we are mis-ascribing a self-harming behavior to something else.
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