Need help for self-harm?
If you’re not sure where to turn, call the S.A.F.E. Alternatives information line in the U.S. at (800) 366-8288 for referrals and support for cutting and self-harm.
Cutting isn’t a suicide attempt it’s a way to give vent to emotional pain and stress. The cut releases powerful chemicals (endorphins) that provide relief.
• The relief is short lived, and is quickly followed by other feelings like shame and guilt. Meanwhile, it keeps you from learning more effective strategies for feeling better.
• Keeping the secret from friends and family members is difficult and lonely.
• You can hurt yourself badly, even if you don’t mean to. It’s easy to misjudge the depth of a cut or end up with an infected wound.
• If you don’t learn other ways to deal with emotional pain, it puts you at risk for bigger problems down the line, including major depression, drug and alcohol addiction, and suicide.
• Self-harm can become addictive. It may start off as an impulse or something you do to feel more in control, but soon it feels like the cutting or self-harming is controlling you. It often turns into a compulsive behavior that seems impossible to stop.
Worried someone you know is cutting?
Signs: Small cuts or abrasions
Unexplained blood spots/stains on clothing, towels or tissue
Wearing long sleeves and pants
Wanting to be alone for long periods of time
Here are some suggestions:
If you/they cut to express pain and intense emotions
• Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
• Express your feelings in a journal
• Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
• Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
• Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling
If you/they cut to calm and soothe yourself
• Take a bath or hot shower
• Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
• Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
• Massage your neck, hands, and feet
• Listen to calming music
If you/they cut because you feel disconnected and numb
• Call a friend (you don’t have to talk about self-harm)
• Take a cold shower
• Hold an ice cube in the crook of your arm or leg
• Chew something with a very strong taste, like chili peppers, peppermint, or a grapefruit peel
• Go online to a self-help website, chat room, or message board
If you/they cut to release tension or vent anger
• Exercise vigorously—run, dance, jump rope, or hit a punching bag
• Punch a cushion or mattress or scream into your pillow
• Squeeze a stress ball or squish Play-Doh or clay
• Rip something up (sheets of paper, a magazine)
• Make some noise (play an instrument, bang on pots and pans)
Substitutes for the cutting sensation
• Use a red felt tip pen to mark where you might usually cut
• Rub ice across your skin where you might usually cut
• Put rubber bands on wrists, arms, or legs, and snap them instead of cutting or hitting
Source: The Mental Health Foundation, UK
((FYI: I didn't rewrite I simply snapped up the information with the sources to pass it on to you in the exact format as I'm not a medical professional.))
Why am I blogging about cutting?
I've known people who have. I have some self injurious behavior and I've worked with people who did other kinds of self harm. Something a therapist said to me I found rather startling: Cutting is this generations communication.
I have a character in Zombies Ahead who cuts. He's never learned other coping mechanisms. Cutting can become addictive. But like with anything else change needs to come from the person. No one around them can make the decisions for them (at least not in the long term). I'm sure some people will take issue with how this particular characters brought his behavior under control but it's a matter of what works for the individual.
Zombies Suck Blurb:
Forget undead corpses searching for brains. These zombies crave a different kind of head that keeps them young forever. Club Zombie offers safe haven, providing sexy ways to extract what they need from patrons, and the opportunity to find their destined mate.
Alex Waterman is ashamed of his “vile, unnatural desires” and lives a in a desolate world of loneliness and suffering until discovering… it’s not his life. Suddenly he’s swept away to a place where his desires aren't evil, they’re a mark of the dominant he’s born to be, and appreciative stares and aggressive flirting replace fear and self-loathing. But one night stands aren’t on the menu: Alex seeks “the one” to complete the missing piece of his soul.
Boy-next-door Ulrich calls to Alex, as does the gorgeous but self-destructive Cutter, and an element of irresistible danger clings to bad boy Storm. How can Alex decide between three tempting possibilities?
Maybe he should keep them all…
Facebook: Z Allora Allora
Pinterest: ZAllora Allora