Author Topic: Is self harm a lifestyle choice? **Trigs SH**  (Read 184 times)

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Offline Vermilion

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Is self harm a lifestyle choice? **Trigs SH**
« on: August 23, 2017, 07:46:53 PM »
I saw a support worker earlier and she thinks that SH is a choice, that I'm choosing to do those things to myself and it peed me off a bit. In a way she's right because no one is forcing me to do it but I don't think that I really choose it? It's a last resort for me when I have no other options to cope with the crap in my brain. Surely a last desperate action isn't a choice? I can't see why anyone would really choose self harm.
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Online Tucan

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Re: Is self harm a lifestyle choice? **Trigs SH**
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2017, 10:23:01 PM »
Yes and no. Deep down it is a choice but it isn't as simple as that. Some people self harm to cope with suicidal urges. I have been told to self harm by professionals when in crisis if I needed to. I think it depends on how much professionals understand. A decent professional will understand that sometimes it feels like you have no choice about self harm but will work with you to try to help you to reduce self harm and eventually learn other ways to cope. It is a desparate thing to do by people who are in desperate places. Try to not feel judged.
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Offline Rob

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Re: Is self harm a lifestyle choice? **Trigs SH**
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2017, 10:45:22 PM »
I think she used the wrong words.

As you say, she is right superficially, but she shows a fundamental lack of understanding of why self harmers self injure. It's not about a desire to self harm (which is generally what's inferred by 'choice'), it's more about the need that some people naturally feel to respond and cope with their emotions. Non self harmers don't get that 'positive feedback' from such actions, they get the exact opposite feedback so there isn't any driving force/motivation making it even an 'option' for them. The choice part is only the end product of a self harmer's emotional process, it isn't the beginning, it's an emotional endpoint to which I think that some people can pass to without even making a conscious decision about actually self harming or not, which would mean it wasn't completely by choice at all, simply natural progression. So in that case, no.

To try to avoid self harming, many people will put their tools out of sight/reach. Does that also have the effect of adding extra time to consciously reject using them, allowing it to be more of a decision? And is any decision to self harm  taken because it can reduce even more damaging alternatives?
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Offline Vermilion

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Re: Is self harm a lifestyle choice? **Trigs SH**
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2017, 10:42:51 PM »
Ursh I suppose that she didn't really understand SH very well, she wasn't nasty about it and at least she didn't call me an attention seeker but she didn't really understand SH (among other things). I have to admit I was surprised too, most professionals are more understanding.
It does feel like a natural progression of the emotions I experience combined with a near constant compulsion to SH. I agree that she used the wrong phrase, choice isn't the right term, it's far more complex than that. I don't even enjoy the act of SH so why would I choose it?
Frankly Autocorrect, I'm rather sick of your bull shirt.