“One of the problems with cutting is that it can spiral out of control.”

This comment is from cloudsurf, on the post “Understanding Self Harm“. This is another difficult-to-talk about topics. But if people see it as something that never can be talked about, we will never make progress in finding out a way to help people into more constructive behaviors.

From personal experience (I SHed a lot between 14-20 and still cut on occasion, but not often), I really admire your support of your friend. When a couple of friends found out about me, they spread it around a bit, and lots of people reacted “stop straight away”/”you freak”/”you’re hurting us by doing this” etc, and that was because it disgusted/scared them rather than it would help me, so you give me hope. That said, I think there are some problems with SH in general:

One of the problems with cutting is that it can spiral out of control — the calm/control that a small cut gave at the start waned till I was cutting so much and so deep to get the same feeling. That’s when I realised I had to stop. It became my only way of releasing any emotion, and that, I think was dangerous. And it can also be addictive. I started needing it, and would freak the f*ck out if I didn’t have my blade with me (which made flying across the world to uni pretty difficult…)

Also at another level, cutting doesn’t (or at least, didn’t for me) help with the root of the issue — it doesn’t make the depression go away or even ease up. So you’re never really working towards something better, and often actually entering a bad cycle, because the feeling after the release of cutting has passed is SO bad that it is worse than not cutting (at least it was for me).

All the best to you and to your friend.

Editor’s Note: 1-800-273-TALK is a 24-hour crisis hotline if you are about to self-harm or are in an emergency situation.

photo by waferboard / flickr

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  1. Those are very valid points. Cutting does (in my experience) lose it’s potency and you simply don’t get the same results/relief that you once got. So you do have to take it up a level. I was once told by a psychologist that she didn’t see anything wrong with it as long as you didn’t do it so deep that you needed medical treatment. I wonder if anyone agrees with this position? I think, for some people, cutting can literally be a lifesaver. I’ve never really been able to ask anyone what their opinion is. Self harm is something you simply don’t /can’t talk about. For me anyway. So if anyone has an opinion to the psychologists position. I’d welcome a response.

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