Would you consider this self-harm?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by ThePhantomLady, Feb 25, 2016.

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  1. ThePhantomLady

    ThePhantomLady Safety and Support SF Supporter

    My therapist and I talked self harm among other things at our first session last week... how even the little habit of putting a nail in my thigh when I'm in uncomfortable situations is self-harm, and she promised to keep a look out for that during sessions and stop me.

    It has made me think...

    2 weeks ago I sprained my wrist (mod edit) It still hurts a lot. It hurts to type... and yet I am forcing myself to keep typing. I am not only typing here, but I am also trying to work on one of my stories.
    It was only Monday I got some bandages to wrap it with, before that I insisted on trying to use my hand as normally as possible... ignoring what I know about the RICE principle...

    Is that self harm? Or is it because I need to write (I love writing when I don't have writers block). And also... it's really hard to only use the left hand when you live alone...
     
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  2. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    Hmmm. If you are working in spite of the pain as a way to punish yourself or to relieve anxiety, then I could see this as self-harm but likely you just want to get some work done and are working through the pain! I do it all the time -- have a hip problem that hurts every day but working despite that pain does not mean I am intentionally self-harming.

    And, as far as the nail pushing into the thigh thing -- it is funny that you bring that up because my DBT handbook recommends doing that very thing instead of self-harm activities! So I guess it is the intention of the act rather than the act itself that determines whether it is self harm. If I push down on my arm with my nails as an alternative to cutting myself, then my intention is to prevent self-harm....does that make sense?
     
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  3. Williamstuckinarut

    Williamstuckinarut Well-Known Member

    Your wrist is healing, you are not self harming. In fact some might argue that using your hand to type is benefiting the injury and bandages might slow down the healing process.
    Having said that, only you know whether you're using your hand in the "right" way.
    Hope it heals fast! I know one thing or two about damaged articulations, it's no fun at all!

    Yes pushing nails into your thigh is self harming, but is it better than cutting? It's a coping mechanism. From this you might move onto even less invasive activities.
    The fact is we enjoy harming ourselves and we need to find safe ways to express this urge. I'm so glad i quit cutting. One thing that has got me through it was tattooing my self. Not terribly safe I know, but still a lot better that cutting deep or <mod edit methods> like I used to.
     
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  4. Butterfly

    Butterfly Pokémon Master Staff Alumni SF Author SF Supporter

    If you are deliberately typing to cause yourself pain then yes, it is self harming.
     
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