Friday, June 27, 2008

THE LAST CUT IS THE DEEPEST: BLEEDING TO EASE THE PAIN...[UPDATED]



UPDATE:

I've received two comments on this blog post which I would like to share:

"Anonymous said...


As with anorexia, what it comes down to is control. This time, I control the pain. Not others who have hurt me, not a depressing job or bad news. I get to dish it out on my terms. There can be an incredible amount of relief derived from this when one lacks other safety nets.

June 25, 2008 10:45 PM
"


"Deni said...


There is a really helpful group out there that revolves around helping cutters. To Write Love On Her Arms is the name of it. www.twloha.com They have a myspace and a facebook page.. and many people post on the message board there at all hours of the day to help support each other in the efforts to stop cutting.

Now.... Medusa... some might wonder why you have taken this particular topic up... but I understand why. Post kimkins triggered me into wanting to do this again. (I struggled with this when I was a teen). I appreciate you for taking the time to make people aware of it, and to all of those people out there who are struggling with it.. I know they appreciate the "education" about it too. So many people judge the cutting habit as just something to label people with and don't ever stop to realize that there is emotional scars deep inside that drive it.


It becomes an addiction in the same way that eating, drugs, drinking, anorexia... etc... does.

There is a chemical released in the brain that actually overrides the part of your brain that says "hey this might be dangerous". It is a problem that cannot be ignored and forgotten.

If you are currently cutting, or even thinking about cutting... please go to twloha.com and look for where to get help. You are NOT alone... and there is help out there.

June 27, 2008 10:52 AM"



Here is the link Deni mentions in her comment:

To Write Love On Her Arms

~~~~~~~~~~~

It is seldom talked about, but cutting has reached epidemic proportions and has become especially prevalent in people suffering from eating disorders, particularly anorexia and bulimia.

Cutting is a form of self injury (SI) or self harm (SH) where razor blades, utility knives, tacks, scissors, needles, shards of glass, pins, knives, etc. are used to cut one's skin, usually the arms, legs, abdomen, or inner thighs.




For cutters, cutting relieves stress and overwhelming feelings of longing, pain, rage, rejection, sorrow, and emptiness. Because of their inability to express what they are feeling on the inside, self injury becomes the physical manifestation of these overwhelming feelings. Cutting and other forms of self injury often go hand in hand with mental illness, a history of trauma and abuse, eating disorders, perfectionism, and low self-esteem.


For those who cut, cutting quickly becomes an addiction as it releases endorphins causing the cutter to experience feelings of euphoria and peacefulness. Endorphins are natural painkillers that kick in during stress and trauma and numb the pain from the cutting.

This endorphin rush results in the “cutting high," driving the cutter to once again experience that "high" which, in turn, triggers more cutting...and the addiction. However, as episodes of cutting increase, the numbing effects of the endorphin rushes lessen and the cutter begins to experience pain. It is with the onset of pain that many cutters come face to face with their cutting addiction.

The majority of those who cut do not have suicidal intentions and are not seeking attention. In fact, most feel very self-conscious and guilty, and make every attempt to keep their scars and wounds covered with clothing.


Both males and females cut, although current data indicates that four times more women cut than men.



An excerpt from a post last week by a young cutter:

"About a year ago... i started seeing a councelor. At first, i thought i would hate it, but she ended up being awesome... i could never manage to really tell her about my cutting. I mentioned that i had done it in the past, but to me, that was all it was.

At the end of my freshmen year, i started again, more and more often, and couldn't exactly control it. For me, its not something that i hate, i hate it when other people who dont understand question my means of doing it, its not like i want to do it forever, but at the time, it was the only thing keeping me going. It was what i was surviving off of. I was dealing with my parents split up in what some people would say a horrible and disturbing way, but to me, it was natural, and its what my body wanted.

The summer after freshmen year was when i started to get bad. I started hiding everything from people, keeping my cuts on my legs, and making sure that i'd wear basketball shorts or that i'd swim in a bikini top and board shorts. No one thought anything of it, it was cute, it was my style. i kept it that way until i had to start volleyball at the beginning of the year. Wearing spandex makes it hard to hide scars, much less cuts, so i stopped all together... for a while. I managed to go for quite a while without turning back to, what at that time had escalated to a razor.

Finally, things started seeming impossible, and i had no way to deal with it. I hadn't seen my councelor for a few months, and even though i'd tried to get ahold of her, she would rarely return my calls, being insanely busy as she was.

Thats when i started on my shoulders, i found out that i could still wear t-shirts and volleyball jersey's, and no one would have any clue. Plus, i could fit at least a hundred cuts there, no matter how disturbing that seems. I managed to fully cover every spot i could reach, and it didn't seem like enough. I started moving down my arm slowly, and by the last game of the season, i was just at the point that my jersey covered all of them... barely. Finally, the end of the season came, and i had no reason not to do it, so i got worse. I ended up with more on my shoulders, going over the other ones when they had healed enough not to catch on the blade.

I remember one night, i had a breakdown, i dont even remember what it was over. I locked myself in my bathroom, and i remember sitting there in the warm water, with nothing but candle light, for over 3 hours. I attacked myself. I think i ended up with over 200 new cuts that one night. it was the worst i had ever gotten, and it scared me. I couldn't move, and i started to get cold, even though i was in hot water. My arms started feeling numb, and it was then that i decided that i could never let it escalate that bad ever again. This was only a few months ago, and since then, i've managed to almost fully stop myself except for the occasional here and there.

The only ones i've had in the past few months are a star that i carved into my ankle, now nothing but a red scar, though it'll probably last forever, and a few little ones on my arms, nothing big. The most recent was a few nights ago, i had a horrible day, and ended up with 15 on my stomach, but then realized that i needed to stop. they're not big, or deep, and should heal soon, but i still dont need them there.

I hope that i'm stopping, but i dont really think i have that much say in what happens, i think whatever path my life takes me on will determine whether or not i need to cut."


WARNING: THESE VIDEOS COULD TRIGGER...




The Secret Cut:








TO ORDER THE SECRET CUT DVD, CLICK HERE:

http://www.thesecretcut.com/default.asp?id=1806




LINKS:
http://www.freewebs.com/healthyrecovery/cutter.bmp
www.trustedtherapy.com/self-harm.htm
http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y10/mezzobrit/warning.jpg
http://lancashirecare.wordpress.com/2008/03/27/february-2008-special-section-on-suicide-and-non-suicidal-self-injury/

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17 comments:

Anonymous said...

As with anorexia, what it comes down to is control. This time, I control the pain. Not others who have hurt me, not a depressing job or bad news. I get to dish it out on my terms. There can be an incredible amount of relief derived from this when one lacks other safety nets.

Medusa said...

{{{Anonymous}}}

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave your comment.

Many have difficulty understanding what drives one to cut, and your comment hits the nail on the head: control.

I would be most appreciative if you would share more of your "story" in this comment section so that others may have a better understanding as to what triggered your first episode of cutting (i.e. at what age was the first episode, if you have an eating disorder or have suffered abuse, if you have sought help, etc.)

Again, many thanks for commenting and being so candid.

All the very best to you,
Medusa

Deni said...

There is a really helpful group out there that revolves around helping cutters. To Write Love On Her Arms is the name of it. www.twloha.com They have a myspace and a facebook page.. and many people post on the message board there at all hours of the day to help support each other in the efforts to stop cutting.

Now.... Medusa... some might wonder why you have taken this particular topic up... but I understand why. Post kimkins triggered me into wanting to do this again. (I struggled with this when I was a teen). I appreciate you for taking the time to make people aware of it, and to all of those people out there who are struggling with it.. I know they appreciate the "education" about it too. So many people judge the cutting habit as just something to label people with and don't ever stop to realize that there is emotional scars deep inside that drive it.
It becomes an addiction in the same way that eating, drugs, drinking, anorexia... etc... does.
There is a chemical released in the brain that actually overrides the part of your brain that says "hey this might be dangerous". It is a problem that cannot be ignored and forgotten.

If you are currently cutting, or even thinking about cutting... please go to twloha.com and look for where to get help. You are NOT alone... and there is help out there.

Medusa said...

{{{Deni}}}

Thank you SO much for your comment and the information on To Write Love On Her Arms

I will add your excellent comment as an update to the body of my post.

Again, many thanks for taking the time to provide not only the link but for sharing your own personal experience.

Abbey said...

With so much disinformation out there with regard to self harm/injury...its nice to read a post that shows both insight and compassion.... ta

Medusa said...

Abbey, thank you SO much for your very kind words.

Anonymous said...

I just finished a book you may want to check out. It is called "Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light" by Vanessa Vega. She has a blog. Ms. Vega is a teacher and the book is very well written with great insights. She also dealt with eating disorders.

Medusa said...

Anonymous, thanks so much for the information on "Comes the Darkness, Comes the Light" by Vanessa Vega.

I will definitely check it out.
Again, many thanks!

Anna said...

thank you for writing this, so many teens like myself need to read things like this. im a recovering cutter... and i agree that parents or loving, caring adults need to know when their teen is doing this, but like im my case.... i told my parents, actually my whole family, when at the family reunion i was the only one wearing a lite hoodie in 95 degree weather. my family just blew it all off... and after a while my main source of depression became my family and friends. The fact that i ask, actually begged for to be helped, not only with words but it is carved in the very body the lord gifted me with, and no one wanted hear or see it. this went on for years,i really dont remember how i started i just know i was 12 when i started. im 19 now, and though my body shows the scars of my battles my family still doesn't see that i had, and still have problems. i still suffer from depression, anxiety and feeling of wanting to cut but im getting help,mostly from my long time friend, and now husband who is the most beautiful man both in side and out and my religious believes in God. Now for the first time, in a long time im happy, i feel free.

Medusa said...

(((Anna)))

I'm so happy you're receiving such wonderful support from your husband and your long-time friend.

Sincerest best wishes to you in your recovery.

Medusa
xoxo

Anonymous said...

I've been cutting for nearly a year now. I had a friend who recognised almost at the start from seeing another friend go through the same. She urged me to tell people. I did. It made it worse. Since I started, all thats happened is I've become so much better at lying. I saw a counsellor for 6 weeks and convinced her I was fine. I've convinced my family I'm fine. My friends I'm fine. Since then, I've started starving myself, or forcing myself to be sick if I think I've eaten too much. Since then I started taking diet pills, desperately trying to "fix" my body. I started cutting on my legs instead of my arms so they wouldn't be seen. I want a release. I want to hurt this shell around me, because the skin I'm in isn't mine. It doesn't feel like me, it's not who I want to be. And no one seems prepared to listen.
I'm sorry. But I had to say it sometime.

Medusa said...

(((Anonymous)))

- MischaSoleil - said...

I am a cutter, too. I began at the age of 14 or 15 but I injure(d) myself in other ways since age 5 or 6: pulling out hair, scratching my skin with fingernails and so on. Much later, at the age about 21, there was a short period of drinking shower gel or even acetone. Most of the time I did those things to avoid dissociations (the "softer" ones) but I didn´t know this until someone explained it to me recently. But sometimes I wanted I wanted to escape from institutions and the vicious therapists ecc. there. If they have to bring me to a hospital, they could not harm me, ´cause I´m out of reach ... Wrong. There were the next ignorant a**holes (I apologize), and, by the way, after hospital I had to go back to the institution where I "lived".
Ok, that was a lot of text, now I´m 29 years old, I don´t know why I´m posting here but I wish you all good luck for the future. Bye.

Brandee said...

I, too, was a cutter/burner. Started at age 15 and did it in areas I could cover up until one day in the hospital I found a wire and dug it to the bone on my wrist. Not pretty. I went 7 years without then burned again a few months back but am ok now. Very common in eating disorders and depression.
I once heard a quote from the Prince of Tides "to hurt the outside is to not notice the coming apart of the soul". There are many different reasons why people self harm. eating disorders in themselves is self harm. I doubt many do it for attention as it's embarrassing and having to explain scars now is not fun because I don't want anyone now to know!
((hugs)) Medusa!
Brandee

Anonymous said...

I feel isolated because I don't cut.

I hurt myself in other ways - I hit and bite and scratch, pick at my skin until it bleeds, bang my head on things, pluck out body hairs one by one - but because I don't leave scabs, it doesn't count. I can't find any online community for non-cutting injurers.

I have bald patches and ingrown hairs on my legs and pubic region. I have pale white scars from scratching the same area so much. I've had mild concussions, left thick hematomas in my arms and legs - but it still doesn't count.

Could you make a post about this? Maybe encourage more non-cutters to come out?

Anonymous said...

hey, I self harm, well i use to i havnt done it for a 4 munths at least, I started when I was 11, I have scars on my arms from when I use to do it, I get so self conciouse when people stair at me, my friend told me to do it on my legs the people wouldnt see. I can just sense people stairing at me,and i hate when people judge me and dont understand they never will understand cos they havnt been through it and their minds are to closed to understand it. but latly ive really had a huge urge to do it again, like when i wash my hands, its like i can feel my arms tingle, when i cut my arms, i feel free, all the pain and hatred just runs away with the blood, and my arms become numb and tingle, and i just cant explain how much is relieved off of me and how good it feels, i hate when people say you have cut the wrong way, i dont cut my self to kill my self, i cut my self to deal with things and its my way of coping with things.

Heather Renee said...

I don't think I fit with most people who cut. I'm kind of odd in that I'm Bipolar and my cutting follows the severity of my swings. 95 percent of the time, I can keep things together, cope with the swings, let other people know when I'm struggling and need help and support. My support group is... unbelievably there for me.

5 percent of the time it spirals out of my control, past what I can handle, into a morass that I'm drowning in. My symptoms become so severe that I lose myself in them and I'm both irrational and incoherent. Reality is twisted by my perception of it until I'm lost.

These are the times when I cut... not because I hurt, not because I need control necessarily, but because it gives me something REAL to focus on. Something that is not my disorder ripping at the inside of my skull, something that I am ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN is real. It centers me, and allows me to balance enough to reach out and get help.

I'm ashamed that I've cut then, and I am mortified when I come back to myself by the fresh scabbing. Over time the scars fade to white lines, barely rough to the touch, dipping here and there. Each time is an ordeal, and each time my meds are adjusted, my support system improved, safety nets set in place...

It's now 9 months since the last instance, and I have been stable on my medications since April. My symptoms are an annoyance, not a force of nature. I feel, I hope, that this has, if not ended, reached a point at which it is preventable.

For me, it seems, it is held at bay, but reading accounts of others struggling with cutting or eating disorders... my heart aches. I have no magic way that I stopped cutting, only the kindness and care of friends, the desperate efforts of therapists and psychiatrists. And for their belief in me, I am grateful.