No, I Don’t Want to Die.

I think that there is a huge misunderstanding about self harm and suicide. There is a huge difference.

Today, I’m going to be talking about cutting, so I know that’s scary for some people. But I think, by sharing my opinions and experiences, people will begin to understand more.

So, self harm. I’ve talked about it before. It’s a weird subject for many people, because they don’t understand what’s going on. They simply think that people who cut are trying to kill themselves, when that may not be the case.

For me, self harm is not about wanting to die. You can engage in self harm without wanting to die. Just because I cut, doesn’t mean that I have a death wish.

All of this sounds pretty scary, and I guess that it is. I’ve never really been scared of the  subject, I find it fascinating, but that’s the psychological side of me.

For many people, when you hear self harm or self mutilation, you think well that person is trying to die. No, that’s not necessarily it. Now, there are instances that this is true. But for the most part, self harm is about pain management. I know that sounds weird. But it’s true. When you feel so emotionally out of control or when you are in so much pain emotionally, hurting yourself allows you to feel a different pain, it also gives you a control over something.

I’ve had people tell me that they cut for years, never telling anyone. Or, worse, I’ve had people tell me that their young children have talked about it. That last one is new for me. It’s kinda scary, even to me… I think that’s mostly because I’ve never thought about people younger than teenage years engaging before. Teens, yea. Because they deal with so much, it makes sense. The hormones, stress of high school, their body is changing, that one guy is going out with that girl that you don’t like. It’s a lot to deal with. Mix in a disorder, like bipolar or depression, and boom! You have someone who is likely to engage in self harm, and that makes sense to me. But young ones, under 13 years old? I’ve never heard of it. But I guess that it can happen. It means that there is something going on in that child’s life that isn’t right. The child is dealing with some issues that need to be addressed. Whether it’s a broken home or sexual, emotional, or physical abuse, there is an issue at hand. Parents may not be ready or no how to address it.

I would want to ask the child, do you want to die? I can almost bet that the answer would be no. Because if you asked me, the answer would be no, in most situations. Just because I want to harm myself doesn’t mean that I want to die. And yes, I still deal with the idea that I want to cut. And that’s ok, as long as I don’t engage, I’m safe. People worry that when I say that I want to cut that I’m going to. And, more times than not, I don’t engage. I think of something else, I blog, I journal, I go for a walk, or I read a book. I do things that take my mind of whatever is making me want to cut. Or, if I’m not triggered by an object or situation, I simply want to cut, I distract myself so that I no longer focus on what I’m wanting to do. It doesn’t always work, but it does help. And, most of the time, I don’t cut.

I went years without cutting myself. But I found that I found other things to do to myself. Like popping a rubber band too hard on my wrist, running my hand under extremely hot water…things like that. Granted they aren’t that bad, but it’s still harming myself.

When I do want to die, it’s much more violent than just cutting.

So, just because someone hurts themselves or want to hurt themselves, doesn’t necessarily mean that they want to die. They just don’t know how to appropriately deal with what they are feeling. Instead of being scared of it, or scolding them, try to help them in healthy ways. Get them to talk to you, take them for a walk, have them eat a healthy snack, do something that helps them deal with the negative that they are feeling. It will help you help someone else.

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About Preslee

I am diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic and Anxiety disorders, and PTSD. I write about my own personal experiences and thoughts.

Posted on August 11, 2013, in Mental Health, Support and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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