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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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Psyke Offline
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Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 07:43 AM

There's absolutely no bad side effects to self-harm other than possible permanent marks on your body, assuming you're smart enough. If you continue bleeding, call 911 and you'll get sent to the hospital, and you'll be fine. You won't die. Especially compared to other coping mechanisms such as alcoholism and drug addiction.

What makes self-harm such a bad thing? It's a coping mechanism, only positive side effects, and most definitely better than most other coping mechanism.


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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 03:21 PM

Hey Psyke.
I tend to disagree with you. While self-harm may not have as bad of side effects as alcohol/drug abuse does, it still has bad side effects.
Yes, you can die from self harm. You could get a serious infection, become septic, and die.
Even if you don't die, it's the fact that your coping with your emotions in a self destructive way. It's not supposed to be that way.
Thanks for your opinion, it's much appreciated
Sorry if I sounded mean or angry
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 03:43 PM

Hey there,

While I can see what you're saying, I have to disagree as well. Being 'smart enough' isn't always enough to ensure that SH remains a 'safe' coping mechanism. It's something which, I agree, probably starts off as relatively harmless, but at time, but because it's used to cope, just as alcohol and drugs can be, it gets progressively worse quite often. You may start off with a scratch every now and then to 'help' yourself cope, but when that's no longer enough, you'll resort to cutting a few times a week, then every day, then multiple times a day. The cuts get worse and leave horrible scars on your body, and when it gets to that stage, it can be hard for a person who is so dependent on SH to stop themselves going to far. Being smart is one thing. We all know that if you go too deep it's dangerous, but it's not always easy to connect the logic with the actions, which is potentially extremely harmful for someone, and CAN, if not seen to, be life threatening.

Also, calling 911, or 999, or whatever the emergency number is for you, is not always an easy thing to do. For a lot of people SH is an extremely secret and private thing that few, if anyone, know about. Calling a complete stranger and telling them what you've done can be a very difficult thing for a lot of people to do, perhaps out of embarrassment or because they don't want people to tell them they need to stop. So yeah, logically if you call an ambulance you should be okay, but not everyone can actually do that.

I wouldn't say SH has only positive side effects. Like I've explained, it gets worse a lot of the time, and it can make a lot of your problems worse rather than actually dealing with them. What's more is that it doesn't actually help you. It may seem like it's working, but in reality all it's doing is distracting you from what actually matters. Sure, during the time you're actually SHing it may make the other things seem less important or painful, but afterwards, once the cut has been made, you're not only left with the physical pain of SH, the scars thereafter and the urge to do it again, but you've STILL got the initial problem there, making you want to use that coping mechanism again. If a problem is so bad that you've resorted to SH, you need to find other ways to deal with it, perhaps by speaking to a professional.

Based on all of that, and the extremely high possibility that it all applies to the situation you have in mind, do you really think that SH is better than other coping mechanisms? Sorry if this has seemed blunt, but I wanted to get the point across that SH is no better than any other damaging coping mechanism. It's not solving the problem or dealing with it in a way which will actually benefit you healthily. Look for alternatives because they're your best bet if SH has become an issue. IF it hasn't, kick the habit before it does, because it's risky and harmful and you don't deserve to have to go through that.

I hope this has answered your question and if you have any more, or need some help, feel free to shoot me a message sometime.

Take care,
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 05:42 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyke View Post
There's absolutely no bad side effects to self-harm other than possible permanent marks on your body, assuming you're smart enough.
The problem with your statement is that it assumes a specific scenario where the individual is careful to avoid cutting too deeply, uses only sterile objects to make the cut(s), and then cleans the wound properly. In my experience with individuals who self-harm, it's unlikely that those conditions are often met.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyke View Post
If you continue bleeding, call 911 and you'll get sent to the hospital, and you'll be fine. You won't die. Especially compared to other coping mechanisms such as alcoholism and drug addiction.
Merely being alive or not dying does not equal "fine." Your statement could be changed to "if you overdose, call 911 and you'll get sent to the hospital, and you'll be fine. You won't die." I'm not sure what gives you the idea that self-harm is any less harmful than drug use. People can live for years with drug addictions and alcoholism alike. Self-harm can become just as addictive and compulsive as drug use, and puts the individual at risk for infections and other dangers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psyke View Post
What makes self-harm such a bad thing? It's a coping mechanism, only positive side effects, and most definitely better than most other coping mechanism.
Again, what gives you this idea? Only positive side effects? Apparently you have never met or spoken to someone who self-harms. "Most definitely better" than drug use in what way? I'm inclined to consider self-harm to be largely identical to drug use and alcoholism regarding the risks involved.

When something is wrong, we want to fix it, not "cope" with it, especially when the coping mechanism comes with its own set of risks and dangers.


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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 06:12 PM

Self-harm IS bad. No bad side effects? What about the long-lasting scars, the secrets, the pain. Some end up going too far and seriously damaging nerves and/or bleed out. I don't think it has anything to do with intelligence, though. It has to do with internal pain and coping with that. People who self-harm don't think about the side effects. They just.. do it. Self-harm, to me, is just as bad as drug/alcohol addiction. So yeah. I respectfully, completely disagree.
   
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 06:19 PM

Self harm makes it so you don't learn how to cope with your emotions. And that's incredibly destructive.
   
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 06:28 PM

It's an unhealthy way to vent emotions. It is not an emotionally healthy practice.

It also breeds self-loathing, negative coping mechanisms and allows an individual to view violence as the solution to all issues.

You're thinking far too physically (It is damaging physically as well, but that's beside the point) when most of the issues a psychological.

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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 06:56 PM

Just take a look at my body. I am covered in scars from my ankles, all up my body, to my wrists. I am repulsive and it's becasuse of self harm. In the past 6 months, I've had 27 stitches. My scars are permanent. One of the negative side effects of self harm. I have nerve damage. There are several parts of my body where I have no feeling. I isolated myself from family and friends in order to hide the fact that I was self harming. I have had boyfriends dump me because of self harm. Even medical proffessionals treat me like crap because of my scars. It is humiliating, embarrassing and addictive. I have managed to quit smoking, yet I still can't kick my self harm habit.
It is most definately not a good way of coping.
   
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 27th 2012, 07:31 PM

Hi.

Is self harm really good?

Italics - positive
Bold - negative

I never thought I'd be with self harm, where I am today. It used to help, but the worse I did it, the worse I needed to do it which resulted in me being in a&e every day needing stitches and that with the suicidal thoughts I was having, resulted in be being hospitalised for four months. Now, me and stitches and blood don't mix. I didn't have a choice about hospital and I definitely didn't want it but I nearly let self harm kill me. I've been told If I want the scars to fade so that my arms looks 'ok', I'm going to need skin graphs. It made me severely anaemic from the blood loss while I was in the unit which I had to be tested for because people thought I was having fits as the anaemia resulted in me passing out and shaking uncontrollably. It hurt my mum so badly. The risk if death, infection and amputation. As well as the lies.

It hurts me when my mum self harms. Thankfully, its been a while now but when someone close you is hurting themselves on purpose and you can not stop then in any way, it's heart breaking. It's absolutely heart breaking.

And its not solving anything, is it? That's why a lot of people start as a once of, they think it helps them but it all comes back, so they do it again. It helps but then it all comes back and they do it again and it becomes what feels like a never ending cycle. You're not dealing with the problem that's making you feel you need to hurt yourself.

So there's a lot of negatives and the only 'positive' I can think of is it helps in the moment. But then I'm not sure if that's a positive because it soon comes back again, doesn't it?

I hope you know that if you need anything, we're here for you. You're not on your own. You're more than welcome to talk to us.

Jessie


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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 28th 2012, 08:05 AM

I'm going to have to strongly disagree with you. Self-harm is a negative coping mechanism, not a positive one. It fails to effectively resolve emotional issues, does not lead to positive emotional growth and often increases dependency on the part of the one who is coping. In other words, it temporarily solves one problem and gives you ten more each time you do it.

Side effects of self-harm include:

- Prolonged emotional dysfunction
- An increase in emotional dysfunction
- An inability to problem solve
- Troubled interpersonal relationships
- Loss of interpersonal relationships
- Lack of structure and organization
- Increased internal conflict
- Increased external conflict
- Addictive properties
- Isolation
- Loss of trust
- Lost of freedom
- Loss of responsibility
- Decreased quality of life
- Decreased productivity at work or school
- Loss of job
- Inability to make choices
- Forcible removal of personal rights and responsibilities
- Financial difficulties
- Loss of personal property, including home
- Loss of power and control
- Physical damage
- Permanent physical damage
- Hospitalization (medical or psychiatric)
- Forced Hospitalization (medical or psychiatric)
- Increased risk of suicidal thoughts
- Increased risk of suicide
- Accidental suicide
- Infections (including MRSA, Sepsis and blood poisoning)
- Death


Other side effects may be included.

I myself experienced almost all of the above in my battle with self harm. It destroyed my life and my relationships. I didn't even stop when I lost my home, or once I nearly died. It was not until I had no one left in my life, no home, and no chance to return home if I didn't pull my act together that I finally decided to finally stop self-harming. It was more difficult than words can say to stop, but once I did I was finally able to know what it meant to be happy and have a stable, fulfilling life with fulfilling relationships. If I had kept self-harming it would have only been a matter of time until I died.

Although everyone's experience with self-harm is different, I can honestly say I have never met anyone who was actually happy and led a positive life while actively engaged in that behavior.

Of course self-harm and other ways of dealing with emotions is a very personal decision. I can't convince someone that it's bad to do something; I had to come to that conclusion myself before I could recover. The best coping mechanism I've learned, though, is to work through my emotions. While it can be uncomfortable and difficult, I have found my life to be much more satisfying when I deal with stress in appropriate, healthy ways than by hurting myself.



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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 28th 2012, 09:26 AM

I have never practised self harm, and I don't very well understand it. To me, it really doesn't make much sense. It's like chopping off your toe to cure a tooth ache. Sure, you don't feel the tooth ache any more, but you are still in pain.
If you truly are masochistic, and derive pleasure from pain, why not try extreme sports? They are sure healthier, and they give a nice dose of adrenalin. Skateboarding and surfing, as well as martial arts, helped me to overcome addiction to drugs, and are a driving force in my life. I don't particularly like the pain when I fall, I'm more into the rush, but if my guess is right, that is what is really happening when someone intentionally harms themselves. The adrenalin and the anticipation of the cut, as well as the rush when you feel the pain, is the therapy, not the cut itself. With extreme sports, I get a massive rush from the danger, but I rarely actually get hurt. (Especially with surfing, even though I surf some seriously dangerous reef breaks.)

My understanding of self harm is limited, but if I am right about the anticipation and the rush, then I can see the motivation behind it. I just feel there are better ways to get a rush.
   
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - September 28th 2012, 09:55 AM

Is self-harm really bad?

Are drugs really bad?

Is alcohol really bad?

What about tobacco?

Sure, you'll tell me. Drugs are bad, mkay. Alcohol stuffs over your liver over time and decreases function of many vital organs. Tobacco smoking ruins your lungs and can cause many different cancers. Of course they're bad.

Of course self-harm is bad, numbnuts.
Now, a lot of the time I am unwilling to admit that. But being in denial doesn't change the facts. Self-harm is often a symptom of underlying issues - be they mental health issues or serious emotional trauma, caused by any number of things.

And when you think about it, as a coping mechanism, it's fairly shite.
One cut, the pain doesn't last that long. Unless you go deep, neither does the bleeding. As soon as the pain and the blood have gone away, because you haven't dealt with the underlying problem, you need more!

That's why often, over time, people who self-harm go from a few shallow scratches, to many deep gouges, often requiring brief ED admissions and medical attention, some requiring stitches, steri-strips, gluing, blood transfusions, tetanus shots . . . you name it.

And what about the strain all of this puts on Emergency Departments? People who deliberately hurt themselves, and yet Doctors and nurses and paramedics still have the same duty of care - first do no harm, keep your patient alive, ensure as much wellness as possible - what if they're treating you, whilst there's somebody about to go into cardiac arrest in triage, but they don't know it because they're dealing with you?

People complain about the strain many emergency departments are under. Many nurses complain (anonymously) about dealing with drunks - obviously you don't go out and get drunk accidentally. It's the same with self-harm.

Public servants are ill equipped to handle those with serious self-harm issues. A police officer once said to me, "I don't get paid enough to deal with people like you."

If you want to help people who self-harm . . . raise awareness. Make it so they can talk about it, so they have somebody to talk to. Somebody they can trust. If they slip up (because it's very addictive), somebody who will support them and accept it as just par for the course.

BUT FOR THE LOVE OF EVERY DEITY IN EXISTENCE, DON'T MAKE SELF-HARM OUT TO BE A GOOD THING.

Scars are not positive.
ED admissions are not positive.
Psychiatric assessment is not positive.
Being sectioned (having your right to refuse treatment/hospitalisation taken away from you) is not positive.
Not knowing how to cope with distressing emotions - definitely not positive.

Basically, you're taking a maladaptive coping mechanism, and saying, "it's okay!". It's really not. Maybe you self-harm, and you're in denial about the damage you're doing. One day you'll wake up. We can't force that on you.

Maybe you were trolling, just hunting for a reaction. If so, you've gotten one, consider your work here done.

Or maybe you were just ignorant, in which case, I hope we have educated you.

Happy posting.
   
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Re: Is Self-Harm really bad? - October 8th 2012, 08:24 PM

Wow, just completely wow. I used to cut myself a lot. Just my arm and possibly once a week. Never exceeded past that point, and all the horrible things you guys are saying never happened to me.

Anyways, thanks. I suppose. At least now I know there are some negative side effects for certain individuals.


A few things you must know about me.

1. Social interactions are confusing. I may offend you. Don't take it the wrong way.

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3. I'm brutally honest. Sugar coating is more brutal.

4. You, yes the person reading this, is a spectacular lovely person. Don't let anybody tell you different.

Best Anti-Suicide advertisement, especially considering it's not even about suicide.
   
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