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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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Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 01:27 PM

I was reading a post and this came up, I have noticed that my social worker always say I'm just seeking attention last time they noticed the marks and put me on a sanction and 24/7 hour watch.

I want to know why people always think your seeking attention when you self harm, I don't do it to seek attention, in a weird twisted way it actually helps with emotional distress, but I've noticed that people (mainly social workers, parents and siblings ect.) don't see it like that.

So anyone got any ideas?
   
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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 01:28 PM

I don't know if this has been posted before but I can't find a thread.
   
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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 08:02 PM

Honestly, it's hard for people who have never struggled with self-harm to understand why people do it. They assume that it must be for attention because they can't understand what other feelings might lead someone to bring physical harm to their own bodies. The best thing that you can do in that situation is to educate them on the different aspects of self-harm and remind them that different people have different reasons.



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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 09:13 PM

I'd imagine it's because a lot of teenagers do self-harm for attention

Last edited by Boobies; April 1st 2012 at 09:14 PM. Reason: Rearranging the sentence
   
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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 09:47 PM

I think Boobies and Iris are both onto something in a different way. You know those (dare I say annoying) girls* who are "bi" but only when they're around a hot guy? They'll make out with their female friends and whatever else, but it's just for fun. They have no intention of dating/being serious with/falling for a girl, they just know that guys are attracted to this behavior and that it gets them attention that they might not get otherwise. I know a girl in my high school who self-harms because she wanted someone to notice and to care. I know people who claim to SH just because they want to be more "emo." The older generations hear stories of kids that do shit for attention and it becomes a generalization.

I'm sorry that people are accusing you of cutting for attention. I hope you get the help you need soon. I'm always available to talk if you need it.

***I say girls here because that's what I've witnessed from experience. Never seen guys make out to impress a girl, but I'm sure it happens.


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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 1st 2012, 10:37 PM

I think it's because people either can't or don't want to understand what the real reason is. I know that most people who do it don't do it for attention, so that's usually the last reason I consider, but apparently I'm a rarity? There is of course the fact that some people do do it for attention so for someone who doesn't understand it's easy to assume that everyone does it for the same reason.


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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 2nd 2012, 01:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iris. ♥ View Post
Honestly, it's hard for people who have never struggled with self-harm to understand why people do it. They assume that it must be for attention because they can't understand what other feelings might lead someone to bring physical harm to their own bodies. The best thing that you can do in that situation is to educate them on the different aspects of self-harm and remind them that different people have different reasons.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kate* View Post
I think it's because people either can't or don't want to understand what the real reason is. I know that most people who do it don't do it for attention, so that's usually the last reason I consider, but apparently I'm a rarity? There is of course the fact that some people do do it for attention so for someone who doesn't understand it's easy to assume that everyone does it for the same reason.

Just as an aside, we can always count on Kate and Sammi to give really thoughtful and really insightful answers to very difficult posts..and not just this one. +2 to you guys, bravo! I always enjoy reading you answers.

First, not everyone thinks cutting is 'Just' a way to get attention. How they judge the behavior is a combination of their own experience with these things as well as the presentation of the cutter. Often, when confronted, the cutter lapses into silliness and denial, which tends to reduce their credibility, you know. This is too bad, b/c cutting results from (amongst many other things) an inability to express one'e emotions. So, expecting them to discuss their emotions when the cutting becomes apparent isn't often realistic...nor indicative of anything other than the presence of a real issue with self expression. Circular logic, I know..but you have to understand the beginnings of that particular circle in the first place, and most don't!

Since this is obviously very personal for the OP, understanding that most people just don't understand the reasons for cutting makes it extra important for you to be as clear and serious as possible about what's going on for you and hat precipitated the cutting, even if it means just saying you hurt a lot inside and need some help.


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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 2nd 2012, 08:28 PM

I think people think that self harm is a way to seek attention because the media tells them that only "overdramatic emos" self harm. People are like sheep, these days; you tell them something and they agree just so they fit in with everybody else.

It's kind of hard for people who have never done it or felt the urge to do it to understand - my friends always ask me why I do it, why I don't just throw the scissors away, et cetera.

Also, everybody judges; we're all guilty of jumping to conclusions at some time or another. Thing is, a lot of people don't tell anybody that that they self harm, and so people continue to believe that anybody who self harms isn't a decent person, they're just overdramatic and attention seeking.

I do know of some cases where people hurt themselves to get pity or because they were just jumping onto the bandwagon, but I know of many more where people hurt themselves for personal reasons that are much more justifiable than because they wanted pity or attention.

I guess people are sometimes scared to accept that somebody could be so ashamed of themselves that they self harm, so they turn it into some kind of joke and a stereotype. Well, it's not funny at all and it's a long, painful journey.

I hope that I've helped you understand why some people jump to conclusions. This is just my opinion based on my own observations.


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Re: Why do people think when you self harm your attention seeking? - April 2nd 2012, 09:48 PM

I believe the media and peer influence have a lot to do with the tmyth of most self harmers hurting themselves in order to seek attention.
I could list (I will not due to the possibility of someone getting triggered) several movies/books/songs/other forms of meadia, that can influence someone to SH.
Peers are a huge factor, though my peers did in no way influence me to start SH (I began SH in middle school before I knew the shocking amount of my peers that SH), they do influence each other without meaning to.
I say without meaning to because most people that SH do not talk about it openly and then if someone notices they get picked on by classmates which leads to more SH due to the bullying and it all factors down to people not being educated and having an understanding about how serious and noncomical SH is.
Also, another reason could be that more people now are starting to open up to friends and others about mental health issues and coping mechanisms such as SH. This increases the awareness of SH among the general population whether in a negative or positive way, they know of it and in turn will react to it how they feel fit.
Also, as with all things, no one has the same experiences and no one can one hundred percent relate to someone else. So therefore, when someone who has never SH'd or thought of SH in their life sees someone that SH or has a friend that comes to them for help, they do not know what to do and do not and cannot fully, no matter how hard they try, understand the reasoning for someone hurting themselves.
   
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