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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.

View Poll Results: If the scenario described below happened, you would think..
They're doing this for attention (in a negative way). 2 3.39%
It's a cry for help. 18 30.51%
They don't experience/seek to become free of the 'shame' aspect of self-harm. 24 40.68%
This can't possibly be self-harm, then. Maybe it was skin art of sorts. A game. A joke. You name it. 1 1.69%
They didn't realize that the scars were in plain view, or thought that others wouldn't notice. 23 38.98%
I don't care. I wouldn't think anything of it. 14 23.73%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 59. You may not vote on this poll

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Hiraeth Offline
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Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 01:11 AM

Something I'm curious about. I'll make a poll, and anyone who wishes to reply with additional comments are more then welcome to do so.

Question is: Suppose you are somewhere (anywhere), and you see a person whom you are acquainted with but know very little about in regards to personal matters. They are wearing short sleeves/have their sleeves rolled up/point is, not deliberately concealing obvious self-harm scars (but not mentioning it or anything like that either!). What would be your thoughts/reaction?

Edit: perhaps the question was not entirely clear - it's not about what you would do or say, but merely what kind of mental impression such a sight would leave in your mind.

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Last edited by Hiraeth; February 7th 2011 at 05:31 AM.
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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 01:36 AM

I wouldn't say anything because I wouldnt want anyone to say anything to me about it. Its not other peoples business and i dont care what they think when they see my scars. I don't want to have to hide my scars for the rest of my life and I'm not going to.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 01:49 AM

i wouldnt really choose any of the options because im one of those people sort of. like i dont go deep enough to ever scar more than for a few months. so if my arm doesnt look that bad or isnt very noticeably self harm scars i dont bother hiding them (like if theres really only a few lines). ive never had anyone say anything to me about them expect for one other girl who i found out s/h too and wanted to talk to me about things. so i guess i would just think that theyre in the same boat like, "yea i have this problem but its not fair for me to always have to wear long sleeves" its not that i want people to notice, but they would have more of a chance of noticing that something is up if i wear long sleeves in the summer. ive just mastered the art of keeping my inner arm against my body when its bad.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 02:01 AM

I would just nod and accept it.
It's horrible to be treated like a freak because of your scars. I've been a recipient of that and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 02:11 AM

I honestly wouldn't judge them or anything. Besides, there are some scars that can look like self-harm scars when, in fact, they came from somewhere else.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 02:43 AM

It would totally depend on the person and what my relationship with them was. Also, the place that we were at at the time. I wouldn't want to just say something right out in front of everyone. That'd be embarassing for them. And for me.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 03:21 AM

With me almost this exact scenario occurred, but I hadn't met the person. I was just getting some tea at the little drug-store and the cashier was around 17. As she was ringing my stuff up I saw her scars, and that's when I had ones just like that. I saw them and then before I left, I simply said, "You're beautiful". That's what I thought needed to be said, because I could have only wished to be able to have someone say that to me if they saw mine. By the way, I'm gladly self-harm free for over 4 months because finally someone saw and did say things like that to me.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 7th 2011, 03:41 AM

There is a possibility that it's just for attention. But, then everything I do everyone thinks it's for attention when it really isn't and that makes me feel even worse.
If I were in your situation I'd calmly ask what happened and if they're okay. They obviously want someone to see them. I go to great lengths to cover up my scars.
Just be kind and loving. Don't judge.
  (#9 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 04:50 AM

Today i went without anything covering my scars. I was seriously TIRED of hiding. but then someone asked about them... I lied pretty nicely. but most definitely not doing that again.
  (#10 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 04:55 AM

I'm glad to see the results that no one would have assumed or hope that it was some kind of joke. I don't SH is something people should joke about.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 08:04 AM

It wouldn't of bothered me. When I stopped self harming for 6 months, I couldn't be bothered to hide my scars. Yes you could still see them, but I was fed up of being hot basically! Anyone who does this has courage.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 04:10 PM

If they're not referring to them on their own, whether verbally or through body language, I wouldn't say it's for attention. They're most likely, as a few others have said, sick and tired of hiding it.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 10:34 PM

Tomorrow I'm wearing short sleeves to school for the first time since around September. I am so sick of having to hide my arms all the time. I'm stopping now. My scars are horrible and visible but by this time, I'm just so sick of it. I don't care about people judging me, so that's not a problem.

"Je arrete couper."

I've stopped cutting, or at the very least, I'm REALLY determined this time around. Last time: January 10th, 2011.

And already in this past month, I think I've had more urges than ever before. So I am infinitely proud of myself.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 10th 2011, 11:44 PM

Well if they weren't saying anything about it, then I feel that they probably aren't seeking attention. They probably either forgot they had scars or they were hoping someone would care. It depends on the situation, but in the one described it doesn't seem too negative.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 11th 2011, 01:03 AM

I was changing today and my dorm mate saw my scars on my hips. I thought she was going to die from the way she reacted. She's been asking me all day if I was alright and watch me like a hawk.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 11th 2011, 05:46 AM

I'm one of those who goes about with scars exposed. It seems most people either don't notice or keep their thoughts to themselves. Based on those who have spoken up, few actually suspect anything. I get variations of "new cat, hey?" often enough that I stopped analyzing everyone who said it within about two days of not covering my scars. I suppose it helps that my hands usually have actual cat scratches on them, but those who think anything of it provide the lie for me, whether they mean to or not.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 13th 2011, 08:34 PM

I don't cover up my self harm scars. I wear short sleeves if I want to and I also have to wear a tshirt at work so they are exposed then. I couldn't care less what people think anymore because I got quite tired of bothering to hide myself. If I saw someone else who was the same I would think they were brave, because it is a hard thing to do.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 13th 2011, 10:36 PM

I dont really get scars and I have like maybe only 2 scars and they turned white so not really noticable. If I self harmed not too bad then i would just say my dog scratched me and wear a t shirt I wear whatever I want I dont really hide my cuts i wear whatever I want to and if people notice they usally think its from my dogs.

So thats what i would think of that person that its not a big deal there not covering it up not a big deal at all its not for attention shes just wearing what she wants and they happen to show no big deal and maybe her dog scratched her and thats how she got them.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 13th 2011, 10:58 PM

In reality it would depend on the person. They could be doing it for attention but this would not be the first thought to pop into my head if I saw this. Truthfully, if I saw someone wearing short sleeves and they had obvious self harm scars I would view them as brave. I get so tired hiding my scars and I wish I were brave enough to walk out in the world in short sleeved shirts. It is a potential goal of mine but I am unaware if I will ever reach it. The closest I have come is wearing arm warmers that don't completely cover the upper half of my arms where there are evident self harm scars. I know there are some people who think I am showing them off for attention but I try not to worry about that as much because in reality if the person makes this judgment without getting to know me their opinion doesn't really matter.

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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 14th 2011, 12:35 AM

I've actually had this happen to me before and what went through my mind was saddness and sympathy. I know what it's like, and whether or not they were dealing with the same things I was, I still felt some sort of secret connection.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 14th 2011, 12:39 AM

While working on a project for school my Freshman year, this very thing happened... the girl whose home we were working at wasn't a friend, just an acquaintance from class... anyhow she'd rolled up her sleeves as we were working, and I noticed a row of healing cuts on her arm, a few inches shy of her wrists. My reaction was just this gut-wrenching sort of sympathy... I didn't know her well at all, so I had no idea why she might be doing this to herself, but I understood the action, and just felt bad that she was in that sort of pain. What I did (and hypocritically) was write an anonymous letter to my counselor about the girl, knowing full-well that I'd be horrified if such a thing happened to me... but thinking that it would be for the best, if this was a problem that she could get help with.
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Re: Revealing of Scars - February 15th 2011, 01:07 PM

No, I wouldn't react in any way. It's a part of them, and it's certainly not supposed to be judged in any way, whenever you think it's a cry for help, joke, or need of attention. They're still humans as we are, no difference with scars. Let them do what they want. I believe no one wants opinions for their problems. There might come a moment when I'd question it in my mind though.

What WOULD provoke my attention/opinion is if they'd ask for advice.Then I would consider them as wanting to remove those scars. But without the look for my advice, I wouldn't mind/think/bother anything.

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