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Blood Makes All The Bad Things Go Away

1690 words - 7 pages

"Enraged, sad, lonely, stupid, worthless, irrational, crazy. I can't stand what I think because I sound like such a whiner, so self-involved. During I feel very focused and full of anticipation. I purposely hold my breath as I cut and let it out when I'm through, so I breathe out as the blood runs out. I feel so calm. All the noise and stupidity in my head is gone, I feel like I'm floating... I feel stupid because I feel like I don't have a reason to do it. That's why I keep it to myself. [female, age 15, 1 yr SIB, HS]" (Martinson). In a world where stress is relieved by simple things like screaming, and crying lays another form of relief. This form helps the people who do it detach from everything else, and really feel. Self mutilation is a form of addiction just like drugs and alcoholism, and like all others stems from a variety of cultural and psychological factors.Although the aspect of self mutilation makes some cringe, some are pleased at the sight of their own blood. To fully understand this, is too know what self mutilation really is. It's defined by Deb Martinson as the act of attempting to alter a mood state by inflicting physical harm serious enough to cause tissue damage to your body. "This can include cutting (with knives, razors, glass, pins, any sharp object), burning, hitting your body with an object or your fists, hitting a heavy object (like a wall), picking at skin until it bleeds, biting yourself, pulling your hair out, etc. By doing this brings their levels of psychological and physiological tension and arousal back to a bearable baseline level almost immediately" (Martinson). People who self injure could be anyone, male, female, gay, straight, a high school student, rich, poor, teachers, or anyone around the world. "The incidence of self-injury is about the same as that of eating disorders, but because it's so highly stigmatized, most people hide their scars, burns, and bruises carefully. They also have excuses ready when someone asks about the scars (there are a lot of really vicious cats around)" (Martinson).There seems to be a lot of myths about self mutilation, such as it's a failed suicide attempt, a cry for attention, that the people that do it are crazy, and that it's a minor thing. All these are not true, in fact far from it. Steven Levenkron claims "Self-injurers are not suicidal. They're actually pretty careful about what they do and how they do it. They don't intend to destroy themselves, so they quickly figure out how deep, how long, they can safely cut. The wounds are usually quite short (only an inch or so, usually on the non-dominant forearm) and very controlled. Nevertheless, tragedies -- including serious medical complications or death -- can and do occur" (Sullivan). Self mutilation is a lot more common that most people realize, statistics show that ".75% of the general American population practices self mutilation, the highest percentage being among teenage females, people diagnosed with borderline...

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