Has there ever been a holiday more likely to bring disappointment for someone with a chronic illness?
Or, even worse, that they were just being edgy and trying to get attention "Look! But it's not all that complicated -- self-harm releases endorphinsmeaning it literally makes you high. It's the same reason some people find exercise or spicy foods addictive.
Continue Reading Below Advertisement So if you ask me why I cut myself, it was for the exact same reason that you fall into your own vices -- I've hurt myself to defuse anger, to punish myself, to feel relief from emotional pain by giving myself physical painto feel something when I'm feeling numb, and to stop feeling bored.
Continue Reading Below Advertisement And, like with other drugs, your brain eventually develops a tolerance to self-harm, requiring more and more for you to get the same high.
When I started, I would just scratch my arms without even drawing blood, and I could go for weeks without doing it again. Within two years, I was hurting myself for hours at a time, and even required stitches on one occasion. I once stepped into a public bathroom stall to self-injure at 8 p.
The next time I looked at my watch, three hours had passed. I approached cutting my thigh with the same time-dilating attentiveness normally reserved for marathoning Orange is the New Black.
Netflix At least viewers get to have a year-long break between sessions.
Continue Reading Below Advertisement Since most people think of addiction as a chemical thing, this highlights the difference between an "addiction" and a "coping mechanism": Basically, coping mechanisms don't mess up your life.
If you get into exercise or knitting, you can build sexy new biceps or a new sweater to cover those biceps with those two coping mechanisms don't have a lot of synergy. But with an addiction like self-harm, you still "cope" with the immediate problem, but you also get loads of scarring, shame, and a new secret to keep from everyone around you.
And yes, there are withdrawal symptoms if you try to quit another person with experience in self-harm I've spoken with describes tremors and headaches when they tried to stop. Endorphins function like heroinso when you stop doing the thing that produces them, your body gets mad as hell and starts screaming for that metaphorical needle in your arm.
It's been shown that treating victims of self-injury with endorphin-blockers magically makes them stop wanting to cut. Another person I spoke to, who we'll call Emily, said she eventually developed an allergy to Band-Aids. And she's not alone ; it's not technically an allergy, but a condition called contact dermatitiswhich develops after prolonged exposure to some irritating substance -- in this case, the adhesive in the Band-Aids that you keep plastering on yourself.
Eventually, your skin goes on constant high alert, freaking the hell out whenever that substance touches you. So in addition to being all strung out and achy, now you're breaking out in itchy hives. Because the scars and bleeding clearly weren't making you self-conscious enough.
So the last time self-harm became visible in the press was when everyone was worrying about or mocking "emo" culture a few years ago, as if the self-harm was part of the fad, along with the eye makeup and swooped black bangs.Twelve More Essential Facts.
Voice hearing is often seen as a prime symptom of psychosis (American Psychiatric Association ). Hearing voices (auditory hallucinations) is considered a first rank symptom of the specific psychosis of schizophrenia (Schneider, ).
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