About Self-Harm – the Question

What Have You Learnt About Self-Harm? [Discussion]

The past six weeks have given us an opportunity to look into that uncomfortable topic of self-harm.

If you’ve not had a chance to read the series, do take a look as Alex cracks the topic of self-harm wide open, providing insights into why people do it and what effect it has.  He also discusses different ways to support them through it.

Today, I’m interested in hearing your stories.  Do you know someone who self-harms?  Are you someone who self-harms?  If so, what do you/they get out of it, how does it affect them?

Have you self-harmed previously, if so have you stopped?  What sort of things have helped you stop?  Did you go back?

So let’s get talking.  What sort of challenges do you face with self-harm and what has helped you or made it worse?  Let’s hear about it!

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Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Author: Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the creator and writer for Pushing Back the Shadows. Find out more about his journey here and connect with him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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5 thoughts on “About Self-Harm – the Question”

  1. I’ve never self harmed it I know of someone who did. I had a friend who was having a lot of problems mainly with facing their sexuality as well as other issues within the family home. At the time we were doing our A levels and One lunch time a group of us went to visit said friend I went upstairs to say Hi and found them passed out in bed lying next to a large kitchen knife, passed out with several empty tablet packets next to them. I rang the ambulance and they were seen to and admitted into hospital. When their parents found out what had happened I automatically got the blame I’m still unsure to this day why it apparently all my fault.
    As time went by they sought help and managed to get out of the home situation.
    I can’t comment further about this person as we’re no longer friends, but before we fell out I saw them away from their issues at home and being the person they wanted to be all along, they still kept the majority of their arms covered but they were on the road to recovery.

  2. I have self-harmed since I was a child. Started by picking my skin until it bled. Biting my nails until they were so far back they would bleed. As I got older, I began using anything I could find; nail clippers, art cutters, scissors, kitchen knives, etc.
    When I was younger, I didn’t fully understand why I was doing it, but I knew I couldn’t & didn’t want to stop. I was so afraid of getting in trouble, even at college age, I didn’t say anything to family and friends. I was also ashamed and embarrassed because I knew it was not normal. But… When my anxiety was high, or my depression caused a major crash, and those internal battles get going, a cut was a physical release for me of that emotional struggle.
    Four months ago I was placed under a psych hold in a facility because my years of suicidal thoughts had caught up with me. My mum was informed of the scars on my body. And I had to be monitored while waiting for transport. I remember being so upset and feeling like I failed my family that I tried to cut my arm on a screw sticking out of the bathroom wall. In the end I found a marker and drew lines where I wanted to cut, but I didn’t feel that release or comfort I would get.
    Now, everything has been taking away and my mum checks my arms and legs (mind you, I’m 32). But I haven’t stopped as I have wall push pins I use and I do it at work where I cannot get caught. When those thoughts creep in that I want to end my life, I don’t know, a cut seems like a compromise. My depression is a lot worse despite the 6 medications I am on, and when I am at my lowest I cut my arm to see the blood to remind myself I am alive or to try and cope with the feelings I cannot get away from.
    On some level I guess it is also self-punishment as since I have become an adult I find myself cutting when I forget to do something or my mum is upset because we don’t have the money for bills because I missed work for a medical. My legs have hash mark cuts for everything I felt I screwed up.
    When I see my scars, I am not ashamed. I run my fingers along them as a comfort when I can’t cut. They will always be a part of me.
    I’m trying to stop myself. My mum is trying but is actually adding to the problem. I am trying to stop myself on my own. I have a group of friends online who used to self-harm and we talk to each other to see how we did with cutting. And if we feel low one of us is always available to talk so the other doesn’t resort to cutting. Having someone who is or has gone through this is the most helpful thing I have found because they understand the feelings and the why.
    Sorry for the long essay, but I hope I gave one insight into a cutter’s mind. Thanks for letting me share.

    1. Kitchen knives…they don’t work, do they. Not quite sharp enough. There is nothing to be ashamed of though; it’s a coping mechanism that we employ because nothing else seems to work. Taking everything away definitely doesn’t help, it makes everything worse in my opinion. It’s one thing I say on here: leave at least one blade around so that people can still feel like they have that little bit of control in their self-harming. You’re definitely not a screw-up, though. Trust me on that one, you’re not. Thank you so much for sharing, I really appreciate it. And any time you want some support or someone to talk to, do give me a shout. It’s good that people can talk about this.

  3. I do.
    Have done on and off since i was 17. Cant remember why i started now, as in why i chose to do that.
    Its really bad right at this moment and i do feel kinda stupid (i really should have grown out of it)
    For me, i fight the thoughts for most of the day by distraction etc but at some point i hit a wall and logic turns on it’s head and the only logical thing is to pick up that blade.
    The professionals dont seem bothered, they say it’s my release and it’s superficial. And that makes me feel worse and the inner bitch says cut deeper.
    Sometimes i am desperately ashamed of myself and want to stop, sometimes i simply dont want to stop.
    I suffer with anxiety and depression, diagnosed last November (tho had it way longer than that). Each med change they make seems to make my sh worse.
    Tbh i am at the end of my tether most days.

    1. They’re right, it is a coping mechanism and a release but where they’re wrong is that it isn’t superficial. I think self-harm goes much deeper than that because there is either an emotional or psychological connection behind it too. You have no reason to be ashamed though, if that’s the way you cope then that is the way you cope, just it’s been (and sometimes still is) the way I cope. It’s one of those things we do. I know what you mean about not wanting to stop though, sometimes I want to cut almost for the sake of it, to renew those scars. If they fade…I don’t like it. If ever you need support though, I’m just a message away and there are other people around who can help as well. Keep going!

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