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Unread 24 May 2006, 23:58   #1
pig
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I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Now I was wondering if GD can offer me some advice.

Firstly she doesnt know I know, but my girlfriend is pretty worried about her as she showed off her new wounds in the ladies, at a nightclub on monday night.

Now I would like to know a few things.

Firstly If I approach her about it, would it make her do it more?

Secondly what makes people cut themselves?

Finally should I tell her family/doctor/sister etc?

Shes quite a good friend id say, but she has her issues. Most of them are to do with relationships. But my gf whos friends with her too isnt too sure what we should do, if anything.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:02   #2
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Cut her throat and tell her it's the logical conclusion.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:04   #3
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

My ex-girlfriend used to cut herself and was very shy and insecure about it all.

Most people didn't know she did it - it showed up more when she had a suntan.



My ex-housemate also used to cut herself and was also shy and didn't like to talk about it with most people.

I remember a particularly enjoyable evening when she came back pissed as a fart, cut herself and it bled everywhere. Calling an ambulance while she's screaming at the foot of the stairs and bleeding everywhere is




Anyway - based on my somewhat limited experience I wouldn't talk to her about it. It isn't your business and she won't appreciate it.

Noone "knows" why people cut themselves. It's supposedly a way of getting stress of out your system (by diverting the pain, so to speak). It can also be a cry for help, or some form of attention seeking. Some people supposedly just like the adrenaline rush you get with the pain of it.

Anyway - this is often caused by more deep-rooted problems (depression or more severe mental disorders). In which case it would be a good idea to go to a doctor.


But she has to accept that it isn't a good thing first. And "showing it off in the ladies" doesn't sound like she knows that. It sounds like she's a ****ing idiot to me.



But again - it isn't your concern or business, so don't take a leading hand in it. It'll lead to animosity and bad feeling. And you won't be helping anything.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:04   #4
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Is she arab?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:04   #5
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

You could hide her knife.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:05   #6
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

nah indian, my gf was horrified when she saw it (whos an A rab)
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:06   #7
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vaio
You could hide her knife.
Thing which makes me feel bad is that I left a knife in her room on saturday night when I was cutting some lime up to go with the drinks...maybe she used that knife ;/
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:07   #8
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by pig
nah indian, my gf was horrified when she saw it (whos an A rab)
She probably has issues at home. That's the only logical explanation to it I guess.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:10   #9
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Dont ask her about the cutting, but see what you can do for her.

PS, if she wants to cut, let her, im not sure i see the point in stopping her. (I read an article recently that suggested stopping people committing suicide or self harming is immoral, which swayed me somewhat)

This isnt to say dont care with her, but go to the root of the problem, not all the external guff
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:10   #10
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

don't bother doing/saying anything (is my honest advice)
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:11   #11
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

foreigners eh?


gotta love em
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:13   #12
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

well thanks guys i wont do anything

can you cut this thread up mods and delete it ;o
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:13   #13
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Actually, on a serious note, YOU KNOW THE NAME AND LOCATION OF AN EMOTIONALLY INSECURE GIRL?!

Sharing's caring.

Remember that Pig ... SHARING IS CARING!
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:15   #14
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

shes in the room next door to me

right now

watching tv
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:20   #15
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

I'd personally talk to her about it. but not in a judgemental way. the fact that she shows the cuts off to other people suggests its more of a cry for help than a simple coping mechanism.

but then i do like to try and help people. (or maybe interfere? i dont know)

as has been said above, its normally a symptom of a larger problem, and as such isn't an issue in itself (provided she is using clean blades and not going too deep etc). Getting her to seek help about the causes of her behaviour may eventually help stop the behaviour.

there is a lot of information available online about self harm if you wish to educate yourself on it further
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:22   #16
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by pig
Firstly If I approach her about it, would it make her do it more?
Well she didn't tell you for a reason (whatever that is), and if she's liable to do that kind of thing, is it wise to provoke her anger, (possible) sense of shame or embarassment (that you know)?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:26   #17
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Tell her to cut it out, it's not big and it's not cleaver!
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:29   #18
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

My feeling is though that if I do anything it could just make it worse. Those who truly care about her ie her best friend and parents must know about as she wears sleveless tops. With this in mind I feel I should stay out of it. I could make her feel worse. Not only that theres two weeks left of term, im not too sure I want to be the person who has to be responsible for making sure she sorts herself out. I mean I have problems and stuff, and better friends who have issues as well, does it make me a bad person? Probably, infact yes.

Anyway ill have a chat with my girlfriend tomoz and we can see...
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:34   #19
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

If her parents cant fail to put two and two together, then its not your problem or your place to do anything about it, im afraid. Maybe you could make sure her parents know, but be prepared for her anger and the fact you may no longer be friends afterwards
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Unread 25 May 2006, 00:39   #20
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Ideally every problem can be answered* by a wiki reference.

*Incorrectly
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Unread 25 May 2006, 01:07   #21
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vampy
I'd personally talk to her about it. but not in a judgemental way. the fact that she shows the cuts off to other people suggests its more of a cry for help than a simple coping mechanism.

but then i do like to try and help people. (or maybe interfere? i dont know)

as has been said above, its normally a symptom of a larger problem, and as such isn't an issue in itself (provided she is using clean blades and not going too deep etc). Getting her to seek help about the causes of her behaviour may eventually help stop the behaviour.

there is a lot of information available online about self harm if you wish to educate yourself on it further

maybe she could hang herself from a hook instead. STOP TRYING TO RECRUIT YO
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Unread 25 May 2006, 02:05   #22
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

I don't know whether you should talk to her about it, but maybe consider where it might lead if no one offers her any help or a way to get or an avenue for expressing her feelings.

Last edited by KaneED; 25 May 2006 at 02:35.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 05:55   #23
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

I reccomend suggesting a design if shes going about showing it to folk...
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Unread 25 May 2006, 07:33   #24
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toccata & Fugue
next time you wanna talk to someone about why its bad to recklessly damage their body go and get some sort of scan on your liver and bring that along.
T&F said what I wanted to say.

Most of us self-harm in some fashion, it's just this is a different approach from the 'norm'.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 07:40   #25
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toccata & Fugue
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Think of it like a tattoo or a piercing, its just a thing. Its not particularly attractive but next time you wanna talk to someone about why its bad to recklessly damage their body go and get some sort of scan on your liver and bring that along.
Are you implying she's having fun when she cuts herself?

I'm genuinely curious here, I don't think I know anyone who does cut themselves so I'm unaware of how they think about it.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 07:48   #26
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
T&F said what I wanted to say.

Most of us self-harm in some fashion, it's just this is a different approach from the 'norm'.
Just because a secondary effect of an activity primarily done for pleasure might be harming to the self, it does not necessarily follow that it is conceptually identical to an activity who's primary purpose is self harm which may or may not be 'pleasurable'

No matter how noble your motive, I would appreciate it if you didn't pervert logic.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 07:52   #27
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
Are you implying she's having fun when she cuts herself?
Yes. The people I know who harm themselves do not do it so they are harmed, they do it for the relief/pleasure/sensation they gain from the sensation of pain. Obviously I cannot speak for every person who has harmed themselves in this fashion but I suspect that goes for a lot of people.

If people genuinely wanted to do (permanent) damage to themselves why not just chop off their fingers? Why do it in an area which heals reasonably well, where they can do it again and again?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
it does not necessarily follow that it is conceptually identical to an activity
I never said it was conceptually identical.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 08:00   #28
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
I never said it was conceptually identical.
then what was the point of your statement?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 08:02   #29
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
then what was the point of your statement?
To say they were conceptually similar.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 08:10   #30
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
To say they were conceptually similar.
like an elephant and a grapefruit.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 08:24   #31
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yahwe
like an elephant and a grapefruit.
One's a refreshing snack on a summer afternoon outside on the lawn, and the other's a grapefruit?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 09:26   #32
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Like T&F and Dante said, as long as it's just cutting the surface of the skin, it really isn't doing her any harm (as long as she's using clean knives).

Just make sure she doesn't do it when completely pissed, like my housemate .

I'm sure there's oogles of sites out there more qualified to answer your question than us anyway pig. If you really want to help, maybe get some information from one of them, print it off and give it to her with an "just thought you might want to read this" comment.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 09:28   #33
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Yes. The people I know who harm themselves do not do it so they are harmed, they do it for the relief/pleasure/sensation they gain from the sensation of pain. Obviously I cannot speak for every person who has harmed themselves in this fashion but I suspect that goes for a lot of people.

If people genuinely wanted to do (permanent) damage to themselves why not just chop off their fingers? Why do it in an area which heals reasonably well, where they can do it again and again?
I thought it was a cry for help or whatever. I don't really understand in any sense how people derive pleasure from inflicting pain on themselves.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:15   #34
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

JBG: depends on the person itself and his/her scenario etc

self-harm is usually i find, to alleviate some guilt/responsibility and so forth - make yourself feel in control, similar to the psychological natures of bulimia. talking to her or not depends on the person itself and what you may think caused it, if it seems extremely serious and she is almost hopeless then i'd probably intervene and offer a shoulder to cry on and/or someone to always let feelings out to. however, if it's something she needs to do to keep in control of certain things, then it's most likely that it won't ever venture into real harm and it's something more deep-rooted (ie family forcing her into x and y, etc) but i'm not really too sure how to deal with that, as it branches off into a whole new level of involvement.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:17   #35
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
I don't really understand in any sense how people derive pleasure from inflicting pain on themselves.
Do you understand any better people who want others to inflict pain on them?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:46   #36
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Do you understand any better people who want others to inflict pain on them?
Not really. I mean I understand it in the abstract sense but if someone told me they were into it I'd think they were taking the piss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerome
however, if it's something she needs to do to keep in control of certain things
How does cutting yourself keep you in control of things?
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:48   #37
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
Not really. I mean I understand it in the abstract sense but if someone told me they were into it I'd think they were taking the piss.
Im guessing from this the Irish S&M scene doesnt really come to your town.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:55   #38
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonnyBGood
How does cutting yourself keep you in control of things?
Because you're the one doing it. I suppose it's kind of like the popular motion of biting your first when thinking of something really terrible / embarrassing. There's lots of pain in this world we can't control, if we hurt ourselves then we focus away from it. Of course this is speculation, I don't cut myself, but I have certainly hurt myself (e.g. punching a wall) to "distract" myself from another type of pain.
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Not really. I mean I understand it in the abstract sense but if someone told me they were into it I'd think they were taking the piss.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 10:56   #39
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Exclamation Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

She'll grow out of it.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 11:01   #40
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

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Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
Because you're the one doing it. I suppose it's kind of like the popular motion of biting your first when thinking of something really terrible / embarrassing. There's lots of pain in this world we can't control, if we hurt ourselves then we focus away from it. Of course this is speculation, I don't cut myself, but I have certainly hurt myself (e.g. punching a wall) to "distract" myself from another type of pain.
Oh okay, so it's like frustration? I don't really do those things anymore since I perfected total control of my mind though

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Unread 25 May 2006, 11:24   #41
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

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Originally Posted by Toccata & Fugue
Through being drunk all the time?
Someone has to make the decision to get drunk constantly!
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Unread 25 May 2006, 11:53   #42
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

Self harmers rarely kill themselves. The cutting is more like a ritual to relieve stress/tension etc., but it can also double as a way of self punishment. It is usually a sign of deep emotional distress and tends to be linked with depression, and sometimes even schizophrenia.

I would really advise against trying to confront her about it, she needs therapy and/or medication. Unless you love this person dearly, you really do not want to get emotionally involved.
Plenty of people here have said "leave it be", that is not a very humane thing to do either; I would tell her sister. If it has been going on for a long time, then her family might know, but then again, they might not...
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Unread 25 May 2006, 13:06   #43
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

an ex of mine cut herself...

oh and the 17 yr old i'm meetingon saturday used to cut herself in the past as well.

It's actually worryingly common.

But no, don't bring it up with her.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 13:55   #44
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

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Originally Posted by pig
Now I was wondering if GD can offer me some advice.

Firstly she doesnt know I know, but my girlfriend is pretty worried about her as she showed off her new wounds in the ladies, at a nightclub on monday night.

Now I would like to know a few things.

Firstly If I approach her about it, would it make her do it more?

Secondly what makes people cut themselves?

Finally should I tell her family/doctor/sister etc?

Shes quite a good friend id say, but she has her issues. Most of them are to do with relationships. But my gf whos friends with her too isnt too sure what we should do, if anything.
I guess maybe it depends a bit on how close a friend they are exactly, and what their other close friends would be like at talking to them about it, maybe they would be in a much better position to help her etc. But I think the fact that she shows off her wounds means she's either proud of it, or is a way of crying out for help? So confronting her about it might mean she starts talking to you about it (if she does like the attention) and showing you her 'new wounds'. I guess if I was in your situation I might tell one of her closest friends that i'm really worried about her, and say what you heard, then maybe they will have a better idea of why she does it and what to do.

And as people have said above me no-one really knows totally why people do it, although the amount of people who do it is increasing (fairly significiently I believe), and I don't think anyone really knows why. I don't really think there's one correct answer eg (addiction to chemicals produced/relief of stress/attention seeking/crying out for help).


But whatever the reason I think as TomKat said the first step is for her to realise that it's not good, and she seems like she's quite a way off that.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 14:18   #45
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

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Originally Posted by god113
And as people have said above me no-one really knows totally why people do it, although the amount of people who do it is increasing (fairly significiently I believe), and I don't think anyone really knows why. I don't really think there's one correct answer eg (addiction to chemicals produced/relief of stress/attention seeking/crying out for help).


But whatever the reason I think as TomKat said the first step is for her to realise that it's not good, and she seems like she's quite a way off that.
The reasons why people do it vary, but there are distinct trends. As I pointed out before; severe emotional trauma (such as having been abused/raped), prolonged major depression, or bipolar disorder (manic depression) are common among self harmers. The purpose of the self harm tends to be directed against obtaining some form of alleviation from one or several of those mentioned above. Exactly what the person gets out of it is not paramount; the whole ritual is a symptom of something underlying and probably quite serious.

As pig said, he does have problems on his own, and by confronting her he risks being "drawn" into her problems. She could be alienated by him approaching her, but he also risks having her show up at his doorstep the next time she cuts herself
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Unread 25 May 2006, 14:31   #46
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

I'd perhaps worry a little about the cause. I don't think it likely that most people cut themselves primarily for the 'pleasure' of it, although it might eventually become addictive.
To be honest, I wouldn't confront her unless it was someone I knew really well.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 15:59   #47
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

chicks dig scars dude
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Unread 25 May 2006, 16:46   #48
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

My reason for saying you should talk to her about it is that she's likely to be embarrassed about the scars when she gets older. As someone said above, she is likely to grow out of it....self-harm is generally a teenage/early 20's 'passtime' (although some people do still do it in adulthood, most famously brought to media attention by princess Di).

One of the most frequent questions I get asked about body modification is how to remove self-harm scars, or whether they can be covered with a tattoo, or disguised by a 'proper' scarification piece. The problem is, at the time, cutting provides an instant relief to current emotional pain, and as such, people doing it are very unlikely to be thinking of the future implications of their actions.....but when it gets to the future, many people wish they no longer had the scars, however helpful the act of cutting itself was to them at the time.

You'll probably have a hard time convincing her that it's not a positive behaviour, as people who cut often have very skewed views about it (which is hardly surprising, given that it is often a symptom of depression, which completely ****s up your perspective). A good example of this is this column http://www.bmezine.com/news/guest/20031030-cora.html (WARNING: link contains images some people might find disturbing) written by a friend of mine. At the time he wrote it, he was under the illusion that he was a transsexual, and was taking oestrogen. Since realising that trying to change his gender wasn't what he really wanted, he has said this: "My views on the topic have inverted themselves, and have given way to a massive confirmation of a very old theory of mine, namely that estrogen makes you batshit ****ing nuts." In my opinion most of the opinions expressed in the column are complete bollocks, but due to his mental state at the time, he really believed everything he said.

Rather than trying to stop her, I really think you should try and talk to her about it and get her to seek help for the underlying problem...or if you don't feel close enough to her yourself, get one of her closer friends to do it. As I said before, the fact that she shows off the scars makes me truly think that she is doing it at least in part as a cry for help. Most self-harmers who do it purely as a release/control mechanism are very secretive about it. DON'T tell her family though, they are likely to be very worried and see the behaviour itself as the problem, rather than a symptom of something more deeply rooted.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 17:54   #49
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

I agree with everything you said T&F... my primary reason for saying in this case I would say something is that she SHOWED people the cuts. That is almost certainly a cry for help, and I'm one of those people who finds it very hard to just stand back and let people get on with self-destructive behaviour.

There are three people out there walking around now who would be dead if it wasn't for me (suicide attempts where i called 999 even when i was told not to). And all of them have since thanked me for it. This is what makes me think intervening in some situations is ok.
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Unread 25 May 2006, 18:35   #50
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Re: I have a friend (shock horror) who cuts herself

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Originally Posted by Toccata & Fugue
I have problems with the film Secretary for stylistic reasons but the point that the woman in that who cuts herself is best helped by a being spanked or whatever is a good point. It might not be "healthy" but then what is?
A good diet and lots of exercise?
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