Jump to Last Post 1-7 of 7 discussions (21 posts)
  1. LailaK profile image72
    LailaKposted 10 years ago

    In my psychology class, we have discussed that people who cut themselves do so because they are craving for attention. I don't think that this is the case. I think that people who cut themselves are exhibiting so much emotional pain that they feel should be expressed physically through cutting themselves. What do you think? Explain

    1. cloverleaffarm profile image73
      cloverleaffarmposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I had a foster child who cut, and the reason given was there was so much pain, this was the only way they felt that they could release it.
      I have heard, and read this reasoning before. I suppose some could be doing it for attention, but for the one I know who cut, they did it to "expel" the emotions that they couldn't verbalize. Great, thought provoking question.

    2. profile image0
      kimberlyslyricsposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      You are absolutely correct.  Self mutilating is a form to show someone a means of the degree of their pain.  Blood also helps temporarily the degree of emotional pain that can't seem to be communicated.  Never for attention and takes years of therapy to reverse the behaviour.  I know, I am one.

      1. LailaK profile image72
        LailaKposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        You know kimberlyslyrics, I totally agree with you! And most cutters try to hide their scars and their pain by constantly wearing long sleeves; so they would never attempt to hurt themselves for attention. Thanks for stopping by!

    3. Pearldiver profile image70
      Pearldiverposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      It looks like you have found a pretty substantial reason why one shouldn't take the ignorance of inexperienced others on board! How sad that those 'who get paid to teach' others have no vested interest in the reality and validity of their own worthless advice! sad

      Perhaps on this issue, your own interpretation qualifies you far, far higher in life's circus, than the clown of questionable value and knowledge that holds the title of teacher! 

      Well done... you have empathy.. a key attribute of very high value! smile

      1. LailaK profile image72
        LailaKposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Pearldiver, thank you soo much for making my day! I was personally very very shocked to hear my psychology teacher's interpretation of cutters. Even though I do not have any friends who cut themselves, I think that no one would hurt themselves for the mere sake of "attention." Thanks again smile

    4. Melindas Mind profile image72
      Melindas Mindposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      People who cut themselves and show it off are looking for attention. People who cut themselves and hide it are struggling with other issues. When I would selfharm (I'd bite myself until I drew blood), it wasn't for attention, as no one ever knew. It was because it took what was inside and put it on the outside and that made me feel better. Another reason that selfharm helps is because the pain releases endorphins and that also helps.

      1. LailaK profile image72
        LailaKposted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Melindas Mind, I want to specially thank you for stopping by and being courageous in sharing your experience!

        1. Melindas Mind profile image72
          Melindas Mindposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          No problem. I'm in a much better place right now and it helps to help others.

  2. Eric Newland profile image60
    Eric Newlandposted 10 years ago

    I think a lot of real psychological illnesses attract a certain type of person who will copycat the behavior for attention, to the detriment of the people who are genuinely suffering from it. Because then you have the difficulty of separating people who genuinely need help from emo kids who cut themselves to they can post pictures of it to their Facebook friends.

  3. punamdharkar profile image60
    punamdharkarposted 10 years ago

    A person who takes such an extreme step may likely be saying, "World, you haven't acknowledged me enough. The the pain of being ignored, not wanted, not valued...and yet I have survived thus far,,,but you know what, I can't take it any more...a life of not being counted, of not being valued...of always having to live up to expectations, of never being able to express what I want. Enough...dear one (the self) more of the" I do believe when a person cuts her/himself, it's a cry to be acknowledged for the basic struggle of living.

  4. Jonathan Janco profile image60
    Jonathan Jancoposted 10 years ago

    I don't think self-mutilators are craving attention for the sake of attention, I think they are craving for attention to be paid to something that is happening to them. It could be abuse or a difficult to notice learning disability or trauma. I'm no expert, but to say it is merely a case of vanity because they havent been coddled enough, I think that's a bit farfetched.

    I used to have an issue with self-inflicted aggression but i didnt cut myself. More often I punched myself or slammed my head into walls. But this happened to me as an adolescent and young adult because of what I went through as a young child. Of course, no one really mistook this for craving attention because I tried not to allow anyone to witness me do this.

  5. Shanna11 profile image80
    Shanna11posted 10 years ago

    I need help guys, and this is the only place I could think of to ask for it, since it's a related topic. I don't cut, but tonight while at work, I noticed that my quiet and reserved, but generally polite and nice coworker had his sleeves rolled up. He always wears long sleeves, but I'd never really thought about it. Well, I noticed his arms were latticed with cutting scars-- some of them noticeably fresh.

    It stopped me cold in my tracks- that kind of stuff really affects me deeply and my heart just broke. I felt horrible instantly for not being more friendly to him. I don't talk to him beyond hello's and goodbye's, so I would feel horribly awkward approaching him about it. Also, he's 27, and I'm 18. I go to a school where guys are highly pressured to get marry. Like 25 is literally considered an old age to get married at (it's just the weird culture here...) So I'm worried if I'm suddenly friendly he may take it the wrong way...

    Long story short, I just don't know what to do. I can't stand the thought of him cutting himself, and I don't know why he does it, but I feel like maybe there's something I can do for him? I tried to talk more to him and make direct eye contact for the rest of the night... I just feel so helpless. Any advice?

    1. SomewayOuttaHere profile image60
      SomewayOuttaHereposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      well...this person needs help - help that you probably can't offer...he's getting rid of some emotional pain with physical pain....if you get to know him, you could just be direct and ask if he's seeing someone about his pain since he's inflicting it upon himself...nothing wrong with being direct sometimes...if he had his sleeves rolled up - who knows? he may want someone to notice, see him, hear him

      1. Shanna11 profile image80
        Shanna11posted 10 years agoin reply to this

        Maybe. I just want to do what I can to help him. He had his sleeves rolled up I think because we work in a dishroom and we had to do some particularly deep cleaning tonight and it wasn't conducive to sleeves.

        1. LailaK profile image72
          LailaKposted 10 years agoin reply to this

          I am not sure if this might make it awkward or not; but you can casually say to him "ohh what is this on your arms?" And if he gets nervous and denies anything related to cutting; you can try to get to know him better like SomewayOuttaHere said. Now, I do never encourage lying in any way, but I would personally say to him "My arms looked like this when I used to cut myself." This will make him relate to you more and most likely ask you how you stopped. From there, you can indirectly adress his issue through your "past" experience. Again I do not encourage you to lie to him, but if this might help save the life of someone, then I don't see any false in it.

    2. danstanton profile image60
      danstantonposted 10 years agoin reply to this


      I know the Mormon community well enough to know that your co-worker, if Mormon, may be afraid of the church's view on the behaviors. Regardless, he does need help. I understand your fear of reaching out due to the implications of the views of the church, but offering friendship and being non-judgmental won't hurt. Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask for help.

    3. Jonathan Janco profile image60
      Jonathan Jancoposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I can remember feeling helpless like that around that age, perhaps a little younger. It took something pretty extreme to get me to snap out of it, so I wont offer advice based on my experience. However, simply calling attention to what you see could be a big help. If he sees that even someone he is not particularly close to is so affected by his behavior it could be a wake up call for him. And I understand how you feel because I can get very depressed or upset when I see someone hurting badly enough. Having gone through similar issues earlier in life it is very hard for me to turn my back on someone like that. I would just say express concern for him and see how he reacts. If he is receptive to your concerns it should do him a world of good.

  6. Cara.R profile image68
    Cara.Rposted 10 years ago

    I am very surprised that the professor of the class did not correct that misnomer. People who self injure regardless if they show their wounds to others or not, are not looking for attention. You are correct when you write that they take their emotional pain and take it out on themselves. Sometimes people who do self injure; do it because they feel emotionally numb and cutting or other forms of self harm, is a way to help them feel something other than their numb emotions.

    1. LailaK profile image72
      LailaKposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Exactly! Thanks for stopping by smile

  7. gsidley profile image77
    gsidleyposted 10 years ago

    Like others who have responded, I think you should change your psychology teacher. For a teacher to peddle the "attention-seeking" motive is unforgivable - people who frequently self-harm are already vilified in many parts of society (including Accident & Emergency Departments and psychiatric services) and we do not need educated professionals further propagating this perjorative label.

    Deliberate self-harm can serve various functions and varies from individual to individual, including self-punishment, mood regulation, escape from an intolerable situation and as a form of communication.


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