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  • cutting

    I'd like to have a discussion on cutting, or general self harm issues.

    Your experiences? Observations?
    Thoughts?

  • I don't want to minimize the subject or distract from it, but I have some interest in this because of my own issues with nail-biting. That doesn't sound as bad as cutting and it may seem trivial, but I've bitten the skin around my fingers until it bled or turned red many a time.

    I've been doing it since I was in middle school. I don't want to do it. I've looked into it very recently and apparently it's not just a human issue. Other mammals and even birds exhibit this same kind of compulsive behavior. I've got a friend that is worse than me. He often has his fingers bandaged because of it. He and I had a conversation about whether or not our issue is related to cutting. I wish I could understand it all.
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

    Comment


    • Great! Adds another component to the discussion. I've mostly considered it to be an adolescent phenomena. <br />
      <br />
      I hadn't considered the two to be related.

      Comment


      • That's exactly why it's embarrassing! It doesn't sound like an issue that a 40 year old man should have - especially one who claims to be a person of discipline.

        I'm looking at my hands right now and they look somewhat okay, but I've been working really hard at it because of what I do. Most of my clients are women. I know from my wife that women have a thing with men's hands. I don't want them to see that I bite them.
        "Those sowing seed with tears
        Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

        Comment


        • I think it's more tied to the release of adrenaline than anything. When we get injured, it is natural for our survival mechanisms to kick in. When someone is depressed, or mentally hurting and they cut themselves, they say they feel a release, that they feel "better". I think the "better" is endorphins and adrenaline that temporary boost up to deal with the pain. Then....like a drug addiction, the person desires to do it more and more. Physical pain is a distraction from mental pain.
          "Be what you're looking for."

          Comment


          • Have you linked it to stress or anxiety? To frustration or any unresolved business in your life? Hunger or any dietary restrictions self imposed? <br />
            Do you feel better while doing it or afterward? <br />
            <br />
            The two young girls living next door to me are cutters. I can see the perfectly straight razor lines on their thighs now that the weather is nice and they're in shorts. The motherly instinct in me wants to just bring it up and discuss it, then just hug and squeeze them til they cry lol<br />
            <br />
            A part of me believes these 2 do it partly for attention. But I do think they have some unmet emotional and mental needs. It isn't my place to intervene, but if they talk to me about it, I'll gladly help.<br />
            <br />
            The kids often come over to play with my dogs so I have a fair relationship with them, & I do get concerned with some of what I see and hear.<br />
            <br />
            Anyway. Still, have you talked to your doc about this?

            Comment


            • I've been unable to link it to anything like that, Kitty. The only thing I have noticed is that I find myself doing it when I'm unoccupied or if I'm bored. The recent research I've done has helped me to slow down, because there are a lot of health risks.

              I've never spoken to a doctor about it. Thanks for asking, because I'm due for a physical and I think I will ask.
              "Those sowing seed with tears
              Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

              Comment


              • Stillness, I do something similar except mine is that I pick the skin under my thumb nail. I do it to the point that my thumb nail beds are warped. It hurts, but it feels good all at the same time. I do it ALL the time. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that I do it in my sleep. I do it when I'm nervous, stressed, idle, busy, etc.
                "Be what you're looking for."

                Comment


                • I'm really proud of myself that since this topic came up, I haven't done it. It's been almost two days and I'm trying really hard. A few times I've started to pic with my fingers, which is where it starts, but I stop.

                  And kitty, I don't know that saying anything to those young women is a good idea. I don't think it's as simple as "a cry for attention." My wife and I have a young student who picks at her face. She's very shy, nervous, and quiet to the extreme. She's bullied at school, along with her younger siblings. She picks at her eyebrows which makes the area look bad, which obviously doesn't help the situation.

                  My wife and I want to say something, but who are we to do that? (Especially since I do the same basic thing, only not as visibly and with a little more control). She's got a mother and father. We spend a half an hour a week with her and she barely talks to us. We try to get her to open up, but she won't. We don't want to overstep our bounds, embarrass her, or push her away. We just try to do our best to let her know she's loved and that we're there for her.

                  On the other hand, I do think that moral support could make a huge difference if it came at the right time. Just talking about this has helped me. It just really needs to be the right time.
                  "Those sowing seed with tears
                  Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                  Comment


                  • I agree, I don't intend to bring it up without reason. <br />
                    I have always had some concerns about what goes on in that house, but it's nothing I can act on, and none of my business unless something is made obvious. The kids are home schooled and I do wonder sometimes if they have anyone they trust to confide in.<br />
                    The older girl is now 16 or 17 & rebelling in a major way. Pretty typical, but no less alarming for what I'm <br />
                    Seeing. <br />
                    <br />
                    Anyway. I just think it's fascinating. What our minds lead us to do to cope with life, so to speak. The two of you here with fingernail focus. I haven't met anyone with the hair pulling disorder. That's an intriquing one.<br />
                    <br />
                    I'm rambling.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by atskitty2 View Post
                      Anyway. I just think it's fascinating. What our minds lead us to do to cope with life, so to speak. The two of you here with fingernail focus. I haven't met anyone with the hair pulling disorder.
                      It's all related, I believe. I think they're considered to be impulse control disorders - kinda like tigers pacing or parrots pulling out their feathers. I've noticed I tend to pick at other things too, like scabs and ingrown hairs. None of that is anything to the degree that I've gone at my fingers over the years, though. Also, I am a bit particular about how I look, so I'm careful not to mar myself, especially in conspicuous areas. I can tear my fingers up and they'll heal like nothing ever happened, though. I've even had clients ask me if my hands are manicured. I was thinking, "You have no idea what I put these things through."
                      "Those sowing seed with tears
                      Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                      Comment


                      • I think that cutting is terrible. I have a lot of sympathy for people who do self harm like that. I think if someone is in that mind of pain, they would feel better if they talked to a professional. Cutting can be treated successfully. I would advise anyone cutting themselves to see their doctor. It should NEVER be accepted as normal for a person to injure themselves like that. I am not trying to preach, but that is what I think.

                        Comment

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