Any Cutters?

Yes, that is often the way it is justified.

It has been my job to be sure that people with this kind of justification didn’t prematurely end their lives. I have adopted a completely no hold bars approach whereby anyone even hinting at it gets to live naked in an empty room under constant watch for a period.

Ultimately, it is all about accepting responsibility.

HG

Thanks for the compliment.

I have never known of any cutters that actually was suicidal…I think suicidal people will do it as a last cry for help?

No, in my experience they do it accidently. It’s a bit like the scars. At the time they slashed they certainly were not thinking of leaning into the after-school play pen to pick up Roger from playgroup.

HG

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]No, in my experience they do it accidently. It’s a bit like the scars. At the time they slashed they certainly were not thinking of leaning into the after-school play pen to pick up Roger from playgroup.

HG[/quote]

[quote][url=http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Self_Injury/bloodred/]Self Injury (SI) is a coping mechanism, just like smoking cigarettes, alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, etc.

“Self-injury is a self-preservation technique for many cutters; the self-mutilation relieves anxiety and/or depersonalization symptoms which could lead to psychosis or suicide if not alleviated. Self-harm can be focusing, calming. It can give a person a feeling of control over their lives and their bodies which they have experienced no other way. People trying to help cutters should not try to take this coping mechanism away from the cutters without helping them first come to terms with things that trigger incidents and learning new, healthier coping mechanisms with which to replace the old ones.”

“For many self-injurers, self-mutilation seems the only appropriate response to the state of the world and to how they’re feeling about it and about themselves. Many self-injurers are extremely intelligent, sensitive, and creative people who have a hypersensitivity to the world around them[/url].”

. . . . .

It’s relief through release. Most people Self-Injure to relieve some unpleasant emotion, ranging from anxiety to depression. “Studies have suggested that when people who self-injure get emotionally overwhelmed, an act of self-harm brings their levels of psychological and physiological tension and arousal back to a bearable baseline level almost immediately.”

There are many speculations about why people Self-Injure. Some experts think the behavior stems form childhood trauma or abuse. However, statistics don’t support this theory. The backgrounds of people that SI are varied, coming from both abusive and non-abusive households. People also cited the need to feel real among their reasons for self-injury. Hurting themselves makes them feel something, where they otherwise feel numb to the world around them. Another theory concerning people that SI is chemical:

“Just as it’s suspected that the way the brain uses serotonin may play a role in depression, so scientists think that problems in the serotonin system may predispose some people to self-injury by making them tend to be more aggressive and impulsive than most people.”

[/quote]

You seem to be talking about two different phenomena, you and Battery 9. The article I cited also stated that cutters are not suicidal, and they don’t do it for attention. Now it’s true that suicidal people may cut themselves or do a half-assed attempt at self harm, but that is not the same thing as a cutter.

Bodo

[quote]“Self injury is any deliberate, non suicidal behavior that inflicts physical harm on your body and is aimed at relieving emotional distress” (LifeSIGNS). Some people find that physical pain is easier to deal with than emotional pain so they inflict injuries for relief. Injuries can vary from minor cuts that heal quickly to very serious wounds that leave permanent scars.

Cutting seems to be the most common type of self injury and “cutters” use anything from razors to scissor to broken glass to make repetitive slices on their arms, legs, or other body parts. Some people burn themselves with cigarettes or lighters and others pull out their own hair.

Self injury is usually kept secret and the “cutter” often feels deep shame and guilt for this ritual. People who self injure are at risk for infections if their wounds are not treated properly and permanent scars often result from the injuries.

Self injury only provides temporary relief; it does not address the underlying issues that are causing the emotional pain. People who self injure can learn to use new and healthier coping mechanisms with the help of a trained professional. It is important to get help from a therapist who specializes in this area. New coping mechanisms usually involve self expression in the form of painting, writing, or dancing or using exercise or yoga instead of hurting oneself.

If you hurt yourself intentionally, remember that you are not alone. You make think that this behavior makes you “weird” but this type of behavior is more common than you would think.

Talk to a counselor or your health care provider. You will not be the first person that they have seen for this problem and chances are that they have helped others recover from this same problem. A professional can help you to heal, both inside and out.

Stop by the College Counseling Center on the first floor of Jonsson Tower or call 580-5555 to make an appointment[/quote]

More info on the phenomena from a student health clinic at Skidmore College in the U.S.
American Association for Marriage and Family Counseling
Lifesigns

[quote=“Bodo”][quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]No, in my experience they do it accidently. It’s a bit like the scars. At the time they slashed they certainly were not thinking of leaning into the after-school play pen to pick up Roger from playgroup.

HG[/quote]

[quote][url=http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Self_Injury/bloodred/]Self Injury (SI) is a coping mechanism, just like smoking cigarettes, alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, etc.

“Self-injury is a self-preservation technique for many cutters; the self-mutilation relieves anxiety and/or depersonalization symptoms which could lead to psychosis or suicide if not alleviated. Self-harm can be focusing, calming. It can give a person a feeling of control over their lives and their bodies which they have experienced no other way. People trying to help cutters should not try to take this coping mechanism away from the cutters without helping them first come to terms with things that trigger incidents and learning new, healthier coping mechanisms with which to replace the old ones.”

“For many self-injurers, self-mutilation seems the only appropriate response to the state of the world and to how they’re feeling about it and about themselves. Many self-injurers are extremely intelligent, sensitive, and creative people who have a hypersensitivity to the world around them[/url].”

. . . . .

It’s relief through release. Most people Self-Injure to relieve some unpleasant emotion, ranging from anxiety to depression. “Studies have suggested that when people who self-injure get emotionally overwhelmed, an act of self-harm brings their levels of psychological and physiological tension and arousal back to a bearable baseline level almost immediately.”

There are many speculations about why people Self-Injure. Some experts think the behavior stems form childhood trauma or abuse. However, statistics don’t support this theory. The backgrounds of people that SI are varied, coming from both abusive and non-abusive households. People also cited the need to feel real among their reasons for self-injury. Hurting themselves makes them feel something, where they otherwise feel numb to the world around them. Another theory concerning people that SI is chemical:

“Just as it’s suspected that the way the brain uses serotonin may play a role in depression, so scientists think that problems in the serotonin system may predispose some people to self-injury by making them tend to be more aggressive and impulsive than most people.”

[/quote]

You seem to be talking about two different phenomena, you and Battery 9. The article I cited also stated that cutters are not suicidal, and they don’t do it for attention. Now it’s true that suicidal people may cut themselves or do a half-assed attempt at self harm, but that is not the same thing as a cutter.

Bodo[/quote]

Bod, God bless you.

[quote=“the chief”]Those who who know, know…
Those who don’t can’t be expected to.[/quote]

I’m certain that is correct.

I’d only heard of this recently, and it boggles my mind.

But, I know that we all understand things differently.

[quote=“the chief”][quote=“Bodo”][quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]No, in my experience they do it accidently. It’s a bit like the scars. At the time they slashed they certainly were not thinking of leaning into the after-school play pen to pick up Roger from playgroup.

HG[/quote]

[quote][url=http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Self_Injury/bloodred/]Self Injury (SI) is a coping mechanism, just like smoking cigarettes, alcoholism, drug abuse, overeating, anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, etc.

“Self-injury is a self-preservation technique for many cutters; the self-mutilation relieves anxiety and/or depersonalization symptoms which could lead to psychosis or suicide if not alleviated. Self-harm can be focusing, calming. It can give a person a feeling of control over their lives and their bodies which they have experienced no other way. People trying to help cutters should not try to take this coping mechanism away from the cutters without helping them first come to terms with things that trigger incidents and learning new, healthier coping mechanisms with which to replace the old ones.”

“For many self-injurers, self-mutilation seems the only appropriate response to the state of the world and to how they’re feeling about it and about themselves. Many self-injurers are extremely intelligent, sensitive, and creative people who have a hypersensitivity to the world around them[/url].”

. . . . .

It’s relief through release. Most people Self-Injure to relieve some unpleasant emotion, ranging from anxiety to depression. “Studies have suggested that when people who self-injure get emotionally overwhelmed, an act of self-harm brings their levels of psychological and physiological tension and arousal back to a bearable baseline level almost immediately.”

There are many speculations about why people Self-Injure. Some experts think the behavior stems form childhood trauma or abuse. However, statistics don’t support this theory. The backgrounds of people that SI are varied, coming from both abusive and non-abusive households. People also cited the need to feel real among their reasons for self-injury. Hurting themselves makes them feel something, where they otherwise feel numb to the world around them. Another theory concerning people that SI is chemical:

“Just as it’s suspected that the way the brain uses serotonin may play a role in depression, so scientists think that problems in the serotonin system may predispose some people to self-injury by making them tend to be more aggressive and impulsive than most people.”

[/quote]

You seem to be talking about two different phenomena, you and Battery 9. The article I cited also stated that cutters are not suicidal, and they don’t do it for attention. Now it’s true that suicidal people may cut themselves or do a half-assed attempt at self harm, but that is not the same thing as a cutter.

Bodo[/quote]

Bod, God bless you.[/quote]

Agreed, thanks for the link Bodo.

at the time, it was a way to self-soothe myself. I know it sounds bizarre to those who can’t imagine it…but seeing your own blood flow can have a calming affect.

There were times when I had to shut up so much, being in an extremely strict all Girls High School, I already knew I was a lesbian, and it killed me knowing that everyone around me hated what I was. I grew up being grossed out by lesbians, or being taught to anyways. And then I was stuck with this thing inside me that at times I could feel it getting bigger and bigger like I was a balloon that was going to pop. Cutting released that pressure…I never made big slashes, just tiny slits on my stomach or arms…but with surgical blades I found in Biology class…perfect because they leave hairline scars…very hard to see.

Afterwards I would put a bandaid on it, and it was like physically fixing my emotional problem. I felt calm and relaxed and felt sorry for myself in a way.(like when you fall down as a kid) Made me like myself more because I had to take care of the cut.

I usually did it after PE class…I couldn’t stand getting dressed with everyone because to me it felt like I was tricking my classmates. I had the mind of a boy so I shouldn’t be in there with them. I always got dressed in a cubicle…hated that I had to cut myself off from my friends. So after PE I would get dressed and then make a tiny cut just to feel OK.

Looking back I think it’s hillarious. All that crap I went through just because I was ashamed of liking girls. Luckily I got over that :laughing:

There was a dark little piece on cutting in 24 Seven just last week, called “Be Tragedy.”

He explained it like this and I thought it was probably pretty right on, “Maybe it’s chemical, the recurring endorphin deficits asserting themselves. But I know better. When you live for the next kick you learn to trade destructed bits of yourself for a good time, and soon self destruction becomes a kick too.”

Personally, I think it’s for dipshits. If I see people who cut, I don’t want to know them. Except, perhaps the wolf in me who thinks I could manipulate this person (rightly or wrongly). Do something positive with your life. Tragedy is not cool. Romeo and Juliet die they don’t live and love; that’s why it is a tragedy.

From the article:
"So you do drugs but you don’t die; so it hurts and the cowards abandon sets in. You can do brave things because you don’t care but you can’t care because you aren’t brave. Care? When everything crumbles so easy?

Why shouldn’t I burn my arm?"

Go right ahead.

It’s always intrigued me that people can find a kind of materialism in whatever they pursue. The pursuit of meaningless materialism is the route to all ennui, yet people seek it out even in tragedy.

Burn yourself. I hope it hurts, but if you want real tragedy just wait a few years life deals it up in spades; you’ll be able to bury yourself in exquisite pain. Lovely.

That said I do notice my sons bang their heads on the floor when they don’t get what they want. My own little cutters. So there is probably something deep rooted in our psychology about it. Now, just reading back over what battery9 wrote, that seems something quite different to the tragedy defence. More akin to my sons.

It’s one explanation. Correct me if I’m wrong, psychiatric professionals on the site, but isn’t it mostly sexually abused teenage girls that do this? Kids who use such an extreme method of seeking attention NEED ATTENTION. Healthy happy kids don’t stick razors in themselves. Yes, they need to take responsibilty for their own actions and learn to express difficult things, but obviously they don’t have the skills to do that. And they probably aren’t going to learn them without help and care from others.

The sexual abuse thing: A lot of cutters are probably too inarticulate to express what’s happening to them and they hate their teenage bodies because look where being pretty and sexy got them? They can’t get away from the situation and get some perspective because they have no control over their time or money. They can’t ‘talk it through’ because their families and schools may be the ones hurting them or perpetuating the situation by turning a blind eye. All the coping mechanisms we have developed as adults just aren’t available to children.

Endorphins are the body’s painkillers. As rational adults, we know how endorphins work and how to produce them in healthy ways. Poorly parented and abused or neglected teens don’t.

I understand why many posters are very very against this kind of behaviour. It’s easy to look down on people who don’t appreciate what life has given them when you are in your 30’s 40’s and beyond and you have seen people die and get sick and all the all the horrible things we all experience. It’s harder when we see 20-somethings doing it (I’ve never seen anyone in their 30’s and beyond do it. Presumably they’ve developed more socially acceptable ways to hurt themselves like alcoholism, prescription drugs or have just so over-stimulated themselves they really care anymore) But we have to have a little compassion.

There are difficult, damaged people in the world and we can’t just write them all off as ‘crazy’ and ‘bad’. Everyone has secrets and gross dumbass things we’d despise if we knew about them. I can count the number of intelligent, caring, responsible, mentally healthy people with ‘normal’ relationships with others I know on one hand. Still love the rest of youse. :rainbow:

What a rant. Some of this is about me. Some of it is about my friend Carrie who ODed when she was 18.

[quote=“Battery9”]at the time, it was a way to self-soothe myself. I know it sounds bizarre to those who can’t imagine it…but seeing your own blood flow can have a calming affect.

There were times when I had to shut up so much, being in an extremely strict all Girls High School, I already knew I was a lesbian, and it killed me knowing that everyone around me hated what I was. I grew up being grossed out by lesbians, or being taught to anyways. And then I was stuck with this thing inside me that at times I could feel it getting bigger and bigger like I was a balloon that was going to pop. Cutting released that pressure…I never made big slashes, just tiny slits on my stomach or arms…but with surgical blades I found in Biology class…perfect because they leave hairline scars…very hard to see.

Afterwards I would put a bandaid on it, and it was like physically fixing my emotional problem. I felt calm and relaxed and felt sorry for myself in a way.(like when you fall down as a kid) Made me like myself more because I had to take care of the cut.

I usually did it after PE class…I couldn’t stand getting dressed with everyone because to me it felt like I was tricking my classmates. I had the mind of a boy so I shouldn’t be in there with them. I always got dressed in a cubicle…hated that I had to cut myself off from my friends. So after PE I would get dressed and then make a tiny cut just to feel OK.

Looking back I think it’s hillarious. All that crap I went through just because I was ashamed of liking girls. Luckily I got over that :laughing:[/quote]

:bravo: :bravo: For your courage to share with us Battery 9. Perhaps your experience explained will help others know.

I’m more addressing the article which was more of a kind of angst glorification of tragic behavior, which is a load of nonsese in my opinion.

Of course, there is a more sensitive side to the issue.

They don’t have to have been sexually abused, but you are right, it needs to be seen as a clarion call to look at what is happening and one flag that would need to be raised is the possibility of sexual abuse.

However, I do think the cutter thing in Chinese society is quite often more evident of a silent rage than anything else. I knew a woman from HK that used to pull her hair out, for example. She was otherwise fairly functional with few other indicatios of a disturbed head space. Her hair was so patchy she always wore a scarf type thing. I have also known Taiwanese women with all the scars from an adolescent penchant for slicing. In every instance there was almost a pride invested in those scars that would simply not be the case in the west. Something akin to “I was such an intense little shit I even slashed myself. Pretty cool, eh?” Silent suffering is a virtue in Chinese society.

I think internalising rage is a lot more common in this part of the world, which is why when someone does go off, it so often seems so out of context to the precipitating trigger. “Pass the salt boy,” “Fuck you, here’s a watermelon knife for you, mum and granny instead.”

Ultimately though, slicing and self abuse is an extreme act of manipulation - a scar is after all an external manifestion, it is there for others to see. It requires some form of intervention to bring the stakes down. One way to do this is to up the ante. So you’re disturbed eh? Fine, this is how society prevents disturbed people from hurting themselves and others. Your rights will be returned when you have shown the maturity to handle them. We are doing this because we care.

HG

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]
I think internalising rage is a lot more common in this part of the world, which is why when someone does go off, it so often seems so out of context to the precipitating trigger. “Pass the salt boy,” “Fuck you, here’s a watermelon knife for you, mum and granny instead.”

HG[/quote]

IMHO it’s also more common with women in general, to various degrees, depending on where you are.

There are far more socially acceptable options for males to vent aggression than females.

HG

Several of you have alluded to an article that glorifies self-mutilation. I would like to read it, so I can better understand some of the posts in this thread. Without the benefit of understanding to what some of you are referring to (the article), some of the posts have seemed very compassionLESS.

I have posted info from websites about cutting and self-mutilation. Again, I will reiterate what they say - research does not support the theory that cutters have been sexually abused, and that there is therefore some type of cause/effect relationship. The articles also state that cutters HIDE their cuts from others, are deeply ashamed of them - that says to me that these people are NOT doing this to get other’s attention or sympathy. It is rather a pathological coping mechanism that can be replaced by a more healthy coping strategem if these people can be identified and gotten help.

I have a family history of depression. My great grandmother back in the 1800’s or turn of the century eventually got a lobotomy to alleviate her distress. That was the treatment of the time (talk about extreme). She died soon after. So, this mental illness, depression has lived in my maternal grandmother, my mother, 2 or 3 of my brothers and myself. I am getting to my point, hang on. I went through a bad patch - really depressed - really withdrawn - and the only family around at the time was my younger brother. He couldn’t stand seeing his outgoing, gregarious, fun-loving sister like that and basically turned his back on me. He felt like I could pick myself up by the boot straps, and that I was wallowing in self-pity, that I was trying to get attention. I’m still not sure how holing up in my apt, and going out only to work and to get groceries qualifies as attention seeking behavior, but . . . . . My point is he could have helped me by being compassionate, and trying to understand that I do indeed suffer from a very real illness. A phone call once a week just to say hi, I was thinking about you, hope you’re okay, sorry you’re doing poorly. You know? Like you would do if someone you cared about were in an accident and hospitalized or was diagnosed with cancer or had a heart attack. But often people with some type of mental illness are shunned - they’re stigmatized - villified - called selfish and irresponsible . . . . where’s the compassion for these cutters? Where’s the acknowledgement that this is an illness? Where’s the acknowledgment that maybe this is an experience that you don’t understand, and therefore have no right to judge harshly?

Maybe some of you who have posted haven’t realized how you’re coming across. But, I am reading from your posts, maybe incorrectly, that you are being judgmental, failing to read what the experts have said about this, and making uninformed opinions that lack compassion.

Bodo

Amen.

Hey bodo,

It’s just me. I happened to read an article in a Taiwan expat magazine just this week about self abuse and cutting. It was in 24 seven. Here’s the link. Judge for yourself. In my opinion, it is an angst ridden glorification of cutting and off the mark in terms of the discussion going on here, which is quite enlightening.

http://www.taiwannights.com/24seven/?op=articles&page=detail&detail=539

Thanks for the link Fox. Yeah, that article does not sound like the discussion going on here. The nihilism the author expresses is frightening.

Cheers,

Bodo