Self-Harm & Cutting

Self-Harm & Cutting

“One cut here, one cut there. No one will see, no one will care.”

One of the most hazardous symptoms of mental illnesses is self-harming.

And to narrow it down even further, the most common form of self-harm, especially in younger people, is cutting.

During my high school and college years, I knew a few people who were cutters.

I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why someone would intentionally do something so abhorrent to their own body.

That is until I was diagnosed with depression and found the emotional pain so overwhelming at times that the only thing that seemed to alleviate it was physical pain.

It was like choosing between the lesser of two evils. The physical pain not only made me momentarily forget the neurological pain but it was also easier to treat by popping an aspirin in comparison to my prescription medication for depression which seemed to take forever to take effect.

I learned three things for a full year that I did it.

Firstly, it dawned on me that the trauma of a mental illness can indeed be so strong that it leaves you desperate to try anything to stop it, even hurt yourself more.

Secondly, cutting is just like a zillion other drugs. It can work initially until you become immune to it and have to do it more and more.

Before you know it, all you’re left with is scars on your body and even more trauma than before, both physical as well as psychological.

Lastly, as ironic as it may seem, self-harm is also a form of self-medicating which is never a good idea. Some people drink. Some take street drugs. Others cut themselves.

All of these methods are utilized in order to have a “quick fix” for mental health issues. In reality, there is no quick fix. It takes a lot of time to get it under control and self-medicating just stunts any possible progress.

That’s why it’s always better to consult a professional before medicating yourself in any way.

Have you ever known someone to self-harm themselves? Have you ever been tempted to self-medicate yourself? Share your thoughts and experiences by commenting below.

Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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Laurel Griffin(@laurel) (@laurel)
2 years ago

I am always so amazed and lifted up when people share such intimate stories. I try to bolster my own courage but it always fails me. (Do I even have any?) I’ve been told that it’s because my whole childhood was based on fear and shame. I had a co-worker who told me about her cutting and how she took out a mop and bucket to clean the blood up before her roommate would get home. She was such a beautiful girl and so sweet. I tried to keep in contact with her but lost track of her many years… Read more »

Active Member
Laurel Griffin(@laurel) (@laurel)
2 years ago

Thank you so much, Neel, for your kind words. I was shocked yesterday how painful it was to re-tell this story, after so much time gone by. I suppose its like a loved one who commits suicide or harms themselves in other ways, how desperate it is to say “I care so much. Please don’t feel this bad. If you could only see yourself like other people see you”, and know that even though they appreciate your words it can’t cancel out their “feeling bad”. I think emotional pain is a really hard thing to over come once you’re in… Read more »

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