This came from Live Journal and it nicely sums up those who self-injure…
“Self-injury is any deliberate, non suicidal behaviour that inflicts physical harm on your body and is aimed at relieving emotional distress. Physical pain is often easier to deal with than emotional pain, because it causes ‘real’ feelings. Injuries can prove to an individual that their emotional pain is real and valid. Self-injurious behaviour may calm or awaken a person. Yet self-injury only provides temporary relief, it does not deal with the underlying issues. Self-injury can become a natural response to the stresses of day to day life and can escalate in frequency and severity.”
Types of self-injury include, but is not limited to cutting, burning, poisoning, bruising, overdosing, carving words or symbols on the skin, breaking of bones, hitting or punching oneself, piercing the skin with sharp objects, head banging, pinching, biting, pulling out hair and interfering with wound.
Personally, I have cut, burned and bruised myself. It is a part of my expression of self-hatred. I have some scared, but the cutting ones do not show. I have hidden the marks even from my husband. What I experience is that I usually do this to release the tension of intense feelings or agitation and to make the thoughts go away. It brings a sense of calm. That is where the addition cycle comes in because it releases endorphins, but then I feel guilty and ashamed…and there the cycle starts. It is an ADDICTION!!
I was doing well for about five years. But, when my grandfather passed away, I started again. At one point, work and therapy became so stressful that I was cutting 4-5 times per day just to get through work because I started to have flashbacks of my abuse.