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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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Question Could i be addicted q - April 27th 2017, 10:33 PM

Could i be addicted to it?. Cutting. I havent for a while because of my boyfriend. He doest like me doing it and i can't hide it from him. But i want to do it again..i know i shouldn't and its hard in the summer..but everytime i get even a little stressed i think about doing it. I used to do it every day. My lowest started out as 1 my highest was five.
Then 15 then 22 then 32. Eventually my highest amount in one day was 110. They go from my hip to almost my knee in both sides.. now i have hundreds of scars im trying to get rid of. But i still ..idk ..miss the stress it took away.
   
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Re: Could i be addicted q - April 28th 2017, 01:25 AM

I'm not going to try to describe addiction, I'm a sociologist, not a psychologist. I get why it would be hard for you though. Regardless of how you classify the addiction, it's still a habit or a release, even if it is harmful it is still something that makes you feel good. It can be hard to change habits, no matter how destructive, if you're still in a place where the part of your brain that's in pain feels it is beneficial.

Have you considered therapy?

Maybe you can try doing things when you really want to cut, like going for a jog, reading, painting, knitting or cooking. Something to keep you busy. I have struggled with my own problems and found that being occupied helped.




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Re: Could i be addicted q - April 28th 2017, 01:34 AM

I have considered it yes but it us not a realistic possiblity so i dont dwell on the idea.
   
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Re: Could i be addicted q - April 28th 2017, 08:15 AM

I've never thought of it as an addiction but now that you metion it I see it does indeed follow exactly the same pattern as drug addiction. People turn to drugs to escape, to seek relief, and they decide they want to stop, and they find they can't stop, because they still have a craving for the relief it provides. It's exactly the same thing. Drug addiction is a stress disorder.

(In fact that's my definition of "addiction" when you decide you want to stop doing it, and discover you can't.)

I've always associated cutting with severe depression. I see as you say stress brings on the craving for the relief. So the treatment should be the same as for drug addiction. Drug addiction is just a sign of an underlying problem, a severe unhappiness about life that is intollerable, that only drugs can solve. Cutting I have always thought was caused by severe depression, intollerable depression, which cutting brings temporary relief to. (By the way this sounds absurd to anyone who's never been that severely depressed. How can hurting oneself actually feel good?)

In both cases the solution is to first treat the underlying disorder. For cutting, treat the underlying depression. Get the patient to a doctor, a psychiatrist doctor if possible, otherwise start with a regular doctor, and start trying different antidepressant medications. You may have to try numerous different ones before finding one that works, so keep trying. Remember the first one may not work!

Exercise. Go for a walk. Walk with a group if possible.

Get in a group. Alcoholics have their AA support groups. Drug addicts have their NA support groups. Depressed people have... well it's not as well established, unfortunately, but we're working on getting support groups set up for people who suffer from depression and bipolar and other mental health issues, because getting together in groups helps brains heal. It just works. Check the NAMI website to see if there's a local affiliate in your town. Check the DBSA website to see if they have a group in your area. Ask the local hospital, local doctors, local counselors, therapists, church leaders, people who might know these things. Maybe start a group yourself. Maybe there's a treatment center nearby. Or any meetup.com group, or volunteermatch.com group.

Sorry this is where I give a long list of ideas, which all sound good, but it's possible that all of these ideas don't pan out and there still isn't anything. This getting connected with other people can be hard! (Some people make it seem so easy they do it effortlessly. The rest of us struggle.) Still it's a vital part of recovery. We all want to be connected, we all just need to figure out how.
   
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Re: Could i be addicted q - April 28th 2017, 10:01 AM

You could classify it as an addiction, you might not. It's up to you and your definition of addicted really. When you start to crave something frequently is when I generally call it addicted, but it's all up to you.

Of course you don't have to be depressed to self harm, I know someone who was going to to cope with anxiety, and using it to deal with just stress is another reason why people would start. It's not a healthy coping mechanism and shouldn't really ever be started, but people do it for a lot of reasons and not just depression in the end.

It's great you have your boyfriend helping you stop, although sometimes people may not realise that it isn't easy to break an addiction overnight. You shouldn't expect a relapse to happen but they do happen to many people and it doesn't make you a bad person. When it's the first thing you've turned to for ages and suddenly that's taken away from you, it is understandably hard to deal with. Finding different coping methods to do instead is better, distractions and alternatives only work so long but finding a completely different method like instead of self harming when you're stressed, you instead clean your room or have set goals and try and achieve one of them so you feel better, and it helps with the stress instead of it only going temporarily.

Talking to other people as well can definitely help as well. The more people on your side, the more support you have and the more people you have able to help you when you get urges. Finding a close friend, family member, school counsellor, even online friends or support groups help.

Take care.


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Re: Could i be addicted q - April 29th 2017, 01:33 PM

As people have said, whether or not it is an addiction depends on how you'd like to define it for yourself. But to answer your question, you could be addicted. Self-harm is a release and a coping skill (though unhealthy) and that is what many people find addictive about it.

Something you could consider is what you get from self-harm or what you're looking for when you think about doing it. Do you like the release or is there another aspect you like about it? If you know what you're looking for, you can try too chose alternatives that suit you.

Another thing you can look at is what triggers you. If you're anxious or stressed out, what is making you stressed? Is there anything you like to do to help ease your stress?


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Re: Could i be addicted q - May 12th 2017, 09:19 PM

Thats very sad to hear. Hope you are doin fine now.
   
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Re: Could i be addicted q - May 23rd 2017, 05:40 AM

not cutting is verry, verry hard. it took me almost 3 months after my step-dad had gone to prison for me to stop. what I did was I gave my blades to a freind (i trusted him a lot, but he is dead now) he helped me stop cutting. what I would recommend getting a trustedx freind involved, and giving then your blades. sure, you can feel alone, but it gets better. trust me on this. quitting cutting was not easy in any way. i understand how you feel. i may not be a good examplle, as i have a drug problem, but i don't cut anymore, and i feel the urge to cut sometimes, even though it has been over half a year since I quit.

hang in there. you can do it.
-Keagan
   
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