Self-injury (19)

1 Name: OP : 2009-12-14 18:16 ID:ar9WFcPL

What does /personal/ think about self-injury? I'm referring mainly to cutting, though there's other methods.

I don't have issues with it myself, but my girlfriend does. She's been dealing with it for a few years now. Thing is, she's telling me contradictory stuff on how she views it- half the time, she says she doesn't want to go back to cutting, and then she turns around and says it's just a coping mechanism and it's okay as long as it doesn't control her.

Problem is, that all sounds like BS to me, because if she's waffling, then isn't it already controlling her?

Anyway, I just wanted to know if any of you have dealt/are dealing with it and how you view it- is it just a coping mechanism (i.e. not inherently harmful, though it can have the potential to be if it gets out of control), or is it an inherently negative behavior?

2 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-14 20:14 ID:RLa9m34T

sounds like she has a problem. Self-injury in any form suggests some sort of self-loathing perhaps brought on by situations. If she gets off on pain, then as long as its done in moderation, it's okay, but if she is being contradictory about it, there may be an underlying issue. She needs to talk to someone about it.

3 Name: OP : 2009-12-14 21:01 ID:xollmaHX

She's been going to counseling for various things... this is all she's got:
-PTSD from being raped at 5 (not by a family member, it was a neighbor kid she and her brother hung out with)
-bipolar disorder (very recently diagnosed, just started on lithium)
-shitty, complicated family life (though who doesn't have one on this board?)
-polycystic ovary syndrome
-physical pains that she got surgery for, but they still come back (just not as often)

I'm not sure that I'd describe her as "getting off" on pain (I don't think she derives any pleasure from it), but she has told me that it's a fundamental part of her (as in, the opposite of pain to her is nonexistence). One of the reasons she started cutting was to bring herself out of the dissociations she would get during her depressive periods.

So basically, I'm at a complete loss on what to do. We're really, really close (as in, she'd be my best friend anyway) and we don't really argue, but this is one of the things that if I don't handle it properly, we'd end up in a huge fight.

4 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-14 21:48 ID:RLa9m34T


Jesus. That is one hell of a load man. So lemme ask you: Are you the only one in her life right now that can serve as a proper confidant? Are her parents really that bad?

5 Name: OP : 2009-12-14 22:13 ID:xollmaHX

Well, her parents aren't bad people, they've just done stupid things. It's not like she doesn't care about them, but being around them is stressful for her. She's got an older brother that's she's pretty close to, but for some reason she says she has a hard time trusting him with stuff- if I remember correctly, he doesn't even know about the cutting.

Just for some more exposition, we're actually roommates- that's how we met. (yes, OP is female.) We haven't really told anyone on campus about our relationship, not that we'd get any homophobia, but just because it would make it really awkward for our roommates. Her parents know that she's bi, but her brother doesn't. She actually didn't get to tell them- it's excessively complicated, but essentially she was going to a private boarding school, told her best friend there that she liked her, best friend flipped shit, and long story short, she ends up getting kicked out of that school.

So tl;dr- yeah, basically. She's got other friends, but none on campus with us.

6 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-16 00:52 ID:z6ME5cpN

Well, it's probably a hell of a lot healthier than drug abuse. She only has to worry about blood loss or infection. And hiding the scars.
With what she's been through and what she'll have to deal with for the rest of her life (and the extra shit she'll no doubt get from 'well-adjusted' people), I'd say cutting is something you should be least concerned about.

But since I've never had the urge to inflict (non-fatal) wounds on myself or know anyone who has, I recognize I'm most certainly not qualified to give advice here.
So I asked my good friend, Google.

7 Name: OP : 2009-12-16 04:54 ID:xollmaHX

Thanks. I checked them out (albeit briefly) and they seem to have some good stuff in there.

I guess what bothers me so much is that I can't understand why she does it.

8 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-16 05:37 ID:OhRr7iOF

I've done it in the past, but I know people who really get off on it. The only reasonable explanation I've heard is the addiction is to endorphins, not the pain. Pain is inherently bad to people, but the cutting isn't bringing mostly pain, it brings a sense of pleasure, a rush.

Self-harm can be dangerous as a coping mechanism. At worst, and statistically unlikely, this is a mock suicide, but Wikipedia ( ) makes me think this is more of a feeling of unreality sort of thing. That's how it was for me. OP, I truly hope your relationship can bring her enough reality, good, strong emotions, as to make the pain unnecessary. I hope this is not a wild dream of mine.

9 Name: OP : 2009-12-16 06:55 ID:xollmaHX

Thank you for that. I really mean that. Thank you.

10 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-21 04:29 ID:Ufy8v1lC

Cutting is a terrible thing to do, and I hope you can get your girlfriend to stop. It's a very hard thing to understand, and there are many many reasons as to why it happens.

Some find the endorphin release addicting, others think if they physically harm themselves they can distract themselves from psychological problems. Sometimes it just becomes an addiction like caffeine or heroin and you simply end up doing it for the sake of it. In the end, it's really just a coping method, one which can be replaced by something more productive or less harmful.

I spent 3 years of my life cutting myself. I had lots of stitches and staples put it, and nearly lost the use of my left arm. Now I'm 23 and stuck with hundreds of ugly scars all over my body and it's absolutely the worst thing I think I've ever done. People see them and instantly start to analyze and group me, often looking down upon me. I'm now having to wear long sleeved clothing every day of my life at work, home or just out. I have to keep people I've known all my life in the dark about it, because even at 23, your friends will still laugh at you and call you an "emo fag". If I could go back in time...hell yeah.

I'll write you a better post tomorrow, and elaborate a bit on the subject as I'm dead tired and about to go to sleep. Best of luck!

11 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-25 09:25 ID:NCNh6goz

Cutting sucks
I did it only because I am jet-setter to the core of my non-existing soul and my non-existing heart but I am too poor(in the terms of what its like to be 'poor' by jet-setters) to avord jet-set lifestyle.

But there is no need to feel down anyWay

12 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-25 09:43 ID:lQ1GjhHU


I agree with you on this.

Your refusal(and what you did) of living the life of common people is not only perfectly understandable but also highly appreciated.

So when you down there and feel dumb and out you have something you can smile about

13 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-25 10:06 ID:fcoEwBFn

Yeah guys totally!!!

Life is like only worth living when you are
3)have visa platinum and, you know, knots are very well tied

What common people consider "living to the full" is a little bit... erm embarrassing.

No, rly

14 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-25 18:27 ID:T90gFc/W

You know what is the great achievement of the 21th century?
Jet-set became accessible to all!!! The great first world freedom of the democrary! Of course you wont be invited to the vogue parties, but who the hell needs them??? I mean find a right person and do this with him/her... Just if you be clever enough you will be able to pursuit jet-set.
Just like flying to all over the world to see a 25$ gig of favourite band.. sounds pretty cool

luxury hotels are pretty useless too

It seems that today only prussian people care for vogue parties and luxury hotels
so screw it

15 Name: OP : 2009-12-26 04:57 ID:Heaven

Um... thank you for hijacking my thread?

Anyway, for those that are interested, I'm flying down tomorrow to go visit my GF tomorrow, so if we get to talking I'll keep you guys posted.

16 Name: OP : 2009-12-26 04:58 ID:Heaven

>flying down tomorrow to go visit my GF tomorrow

Uh, pretend that was grammatically correct.

17 Name: Anonymous : 2009-12-27 14:19 ID:UfWdgY2A

Actually, I laughed heartily at the derailing of that thread. Even if that's not the point of that subforum, well...

18 Name: Anonymous : 2010-01-23 10:59 ID:jKRZq08Y

17: you got issues of trying to get attention

OP: she can't seem to express her emotions in a healthy manner, i hope she can find the right counseling for her to get thru this. best of luck to both of ya

19 Name: Anonymous : 2010-01-25 23:18 ID:Heaven

I have a a hyperactive sensitivity to stress. I take a steak knife and slash myself up or burn myself with a lighter if I become too angry at someone being stupid. It's very relieving.

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