Ignorance Strikes Again…

So, my attention has recently been directed to one szrecovery.wordpress.com, who felt the urge to enlighten everyone with regards to the true reasons behind self-harm. Fuck what all the mental health professionals have to say about the issue. Mr. szrecovery is the man with the plan. It’s not about traumatic experiences, childhood abuse, or emotional detachment. Nope, those cutters are just seeking a little attention. He is the Dr. Laura of self-harm. Except, he is not actually a doctor. In fact, I was not able to find any justification for his view other than. “I used to cut and I did it for attention”. Well then, OF COURSE, if you did it for attention then everyone must also do it for attention. Oh hell, I am just going to copy his post here.

I know that I’m going to..
sound like an asshole posting this. But there are suddenly a few posts about cutting under the bipolar tag. I thought cutting was more of a borderline personality disorder thing. People should know that cutting, as well as, suicide can be ‘contagious.’ One person mentions it, it triggers others. One person attempts using one method? Other people try that method.

Then again, sometimes I just post under bipolar when I mention my girlfriend. (She has bipolar.)

It’s really difficult to kill yourself by cutting. So my guess is.. that it’s attention-seeking. Hey.. I’ve cut once in my life, and that’s exactly what it was. And I’m embarrassed to admit that. And it left me with nothing but embarrassing scars. When I worked in mental health, I remember seeing people with scars all up and down their arms and legs. And I used to think to myself.. why? Isn’t it embarrassing? I’ve seen people with entire muscles cut, so that their arm has this big crevasse where the muscle used to be, and they lost some function of their hand.

I’m not saying go kill yourself, but if you cut, you should really join a therapy group for cutters. Because if you post about your wanting to cut, it’s contagious. One person posts about cutting, and suddenly there’s a few posters who follow by cutting and then posting about it.

All I have to say is: Bad blogger! Bad! (Slap on wrist.)

Your right, you do sound like an asshole. Your title and first sentence combo should have given you pause. Unfortunately for us, it did not and you published your ignorant diatribe. I have already said what I wanted to say in my comment, which follows:

Cutting is very seldom about attention seeking. As someone who worked in mental health, I am surprised that you are not aware of this. As someone who proclaims to be concerned with the ‘contagiousness’ of blogging, I am appalled that you would suggest such a thing on your own mental health blog. Even if you did not know that cutting is not commonly associated with attention-seeking, I would have thought your concern about other bloggers would lead you to at least Google the issue and spend 2 seconds reading any of the numerous articles on the issue.

The leading mental health foundation in the U.K., Mind.org.uk, which pulls up second on the list when Googling ‘self harm’ offers the following:

Is self-harming behaviour attention-seeking?

“Because it can be hard to understand, healthcare professionals, friends and relatives sometimes mistakenly regard people who self-harm with mistrust or fear and see their behaviour as attention seeking and manipulative.”

“Experiences like these [traumatic experiences in childhood, abuse, etc…] erode self-esteem. Emotions that have no outlet may be buried and blocked completely out of awareness. If a trusted adult betrays or abuses them, and there are no other witnesses, children will often blame themselves. They turn their anger inwards. By the time they become adults, self-injury can be a way of expressing their pain, punishing themselves, and keeping memories at bay.

There is often an absence of pain during the act of self-injury, rather like the absence of sensation that often occurs during abuse or trauma. The body produces natural opiates, which numb it and mask the emotions, so that little is felt or realised consciously. A badly traumatised person may end up feeling quite detached from their feelings and their body. Some may injure themselves to maintain that sense of being separate, and to convince themselves that they aren’t vulnerable. Others may injure themselves in order to feel something and know that they are real and alive.”

And your statements about suicide are also misguided. I will; again, quote from mind.org:

“Whether someone wants to live or die may seem to be a straightforward choice. But some people are suspended in a grey state of survival, where choices and decisions are kept on hold. This is where self-harm happens.

For those who self-harm, surviving is subject to rigid controls; feelings are suppressed for fear of what may lie behind them.”

Your concern for the contagiousness of blogging, while admirable in theory, is misguided in application. If you are truly concerned about the health and well-being of others around you, I would suggest that you get your facts straight before you write.

The bad blogger here is you and only you. Shame on you.



~ by aikaterine on August 29, 2008.

3 Responses to “Ignorance Strikes Again…”

  1. Good response to a fucking stupid post. I did all I could to hide the fact I was cutting. I didn’t want people to know because I knew how fucked up a coping strategy it was. But at the time, I didn’t have any other skills. And it was a huge emotional thing for me. I didn’t know any other way to express the pain I was in. I wasn’t taught growing up how to express anger or sadness because it wasn’t allowed.

    I’ve been ‘clean’ for more than 7 years now. I still have the urges when things get rough. But I’ve learned ways to deal with the emotions.

    Bloggers like that piss me off. Thanks for speaking out.

  2. katm –

    Sorry it took so long to respond. I have also been ‘clean’ for a while now and the urges do still come back. I am under the impression that they will most likely continue. It is amazing how they (the urges) just role off my back now.

    Hope all continues to go well for you.

  3. It was when he held PatAnon responsible for random suicides that pissed me off the most.

    “Talking about cutting makes other people want to cut. What if your post made someone go and attempt a full blown attempt at suicide? How would you feel?
    Most likely, you’ll say, it was their choice. Just like you.
    It was fucked up and sick. Is that the reaction you wanted? You certainly got your attention.”

    Thanks Aik.

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