Self-harm (SH) or deliberate self-harm (DSH) includes self-injury (SI) and self-poisoning and is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of body tissue.
The motivations for self-harm vary and it may be used to fulfill a number of different functions.
These functions include self-harm being used as a coping mechanism which provides temporary relief of intense feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress, emotional numbness or a sense of failure or self-loathing and other mental traits including low self-esteem or perfectionism. Self-harm is often associated with a history of trauma and abuse, including emotional and sexual abuse.
Self-harm is not limited to humans. Captive non-human animals, such as birds and monkeys, are also known to participate in self-harming behaviour.
Although the person may not recognise the connection, self-harm often becomes a response to profound and overwhelming emotional pain that cannot be resolved in a more functional way.
Many people who self-harm state that it allows them to “go away” or dissociate, separating the mind from feelings that are causing anguish. This may be achieved by tricking the mind into believing that the present suffering being felt is caused by the self-harm instead of the issues they were facing previously: the physical pain therefore acts as a distraction from the original emotional pain.
Alternatively, self-harm may be a means of feeling something, even if the sensation is unpleasant and painful. Those who self-harm sometimes describe feelings of emptiness or numbness (anhedonia), and physical pain may be a relief from these feelings. A person may be detached from himself or herself, detached from life, numb and unfeeling. They may then recognise the need to function more, or have a desire to feel real again, and a decision is made to create sensation and ‘wake up’.”
How can I explain it? It’s very difficult for me. It’s not something I would talk about, yet here I am, struggling to form words in a foreign language to explain something I feel deep, deep inside my mind.
How can I explain it?
It’s like when I listen to Chopin or Schubert. Overflowing blood is probably one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen.
Still, the thought that someone else - anyone - could come to see these cuts scares me. Because they’re perfect; ruby red on pale skin, almost like a work of art; but they wouldn’t understand it. So, you see, it’s not always true, what they say.
Screaming for someone to hear?
Looking for someone to stop this habit?
Because these cuts are fucking beautiful.