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Self-harmers to be given clean blades

Mental Health Cutters 2006

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#1 Fragsta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 06:49 PM

A headline caught my eye today - Self harmers to be given clean blades

Just to summarize, self-harm patients who are intent on harming themselves will be given clean blades to do som and advice on where to cut themselves most safely, by nurses.

I want to hear your opinions on this. Will it do more harm than good?

I personally think this is pretty ridiculous, and if its going to happen, it has to be done in only extreme cases and very carefully. Are they intending to just give up when a patient refuses to stop their self-harming, and let them do it as long as it is "safe"? I think it could encourage self-harming. What if self-harmers taking this as saying that it really is safe to self-harm?

What if due to the sheer number of self-harm patients, some nurses give up without even trying, because it's an easy way out of the problem for them? If that happens, it'd result in probably a lot more deaths and seriously threatening damage from self-harming, and those nurses may get away with it if patients are discharged.

What does everyone else have to say on the subject?
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#2 Broph

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:08 PM

Along with the clean blades would probably come words of encouragement and suggestions of therapy; it'll probably be part of the deal.

Cutting can often be a "phase" that people go through and it's less an attempt for suicide as it is an attempt to have some control over the feelings, even if it's pain, in their lives.

Honestly, I don't have statistics on cutters becoming suicide victims, but it's probably better to cut with a clean blade than to risk infection that could turn much worse than the inflicted wound.

#3 Fragsta

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:23 PM

View PostBroph, on Feb 6 2006, 12:08 AM, said:

Along with the clean blades would probably come words of encouragement and suggestions of therapy; it'll probably be part of the deal.

Cutting can often be a "phase" that people go through and it's less an attempt for suicide as it is an attempt to have some control over the feelings, even if it's pain, in their lives.

Honestly, I don't have statistics on cutters becoming suicide victims, but it's probably better to cut with a clean blade than to risk infection that could turn much worse than the inflicted wound.

Just a phase? The article did say that many patients keep coming for decades. And what if the clean blades, words of encouragement don't come? As I said before, nurses could well end up using this as a quick way to get out of tricky self-harm situations. Not all nurses are squeaky clean.

Anyway it's not as if self-harmers listen to reason as it is. If someone tells them that they can have the blade but its not supposed to encourage them, do you think it won't?
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#4 G1223

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:53 PM

I guess I missed the cut yourself do drugs and drink till you puke phase of childhood. Does that come before or after trying to find friends outside of school and stop giving a crap about the folks at school?
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#5 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 08:21 PM

To be honest, if I went to hospital with cuts and depression and they tried to offer me free baldes I wouldnt take them. It would be like really openly admitting that I would not and could not stop, that by accepting the "charity" of the blades I was allowing the self-harming to consume me and control me.

However, for those who would accept, they are not going to see it as acceptable just because the hospital is trying to prevent AIDS speading and infection. If they are in hospital with a self-harm related issue then they know it is not good and that they need help. They know that they are doing something destructive. Thye are not suddenly going to think "oh, so its ok now" because they are given a safer means of cutting.

And while not all nurses are squeaky clean I really dont think those who are not are in the majority. No nurse with a conciensce is going to fob off a serious self-harm patient with new blades and not offer the support. I think that is an unlikely situation unless it is a worst case scenario and all other treatment has failed and all they can do is keep the person as safe as possible.

So I think this is not a good thing, but it is preferable to people getting infections and blood loss from bad blades and cutting in the wrong places. I know this happens, and it is not nice.
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#6 G1223

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 09:21 PM

When I have considered suicide I have looked at a gun  and also pills. Cutting myself I would take it from the same logical process and I would not mess it up. I would cut from the wrist down 4" so as to open the veins lengthwise.

Doing any sort of cutting is attention getting and deserves to be ignored. I might sound like I do not care. Both times I tried sucide I had an intervention by a couple of friends One pointed out how selfish a Bastard as I was being. I was harming my family and my friends and leaving them to despair. We agreed that sucide for any reason other than irreverseable desease was wrong.

I think this is a horrible idea and wish it were not the case but
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#7 Narc

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:11 PM

Quote

Doing any sort of cutting is attention getting and deserves to be ignored.
Well... not necessarily ignored but certainly not to be treated as attempted suicide. The only reason I have ever contemplated cutting myself was when I was going through a bad patch and needed some different kind of pain to concentrate on... and even then, I decided against it, because it seemed a very cowardly way of behaving. Another person I know admits she has cut herself in the past and never had intention of killing herself, but rather of exchanging the mental/emotional pain with physical pain, which she could manage better...

On the actual topic of the thread, I would say that offering clean blades and instructions on how to cut so as not to kill oneself would very likely be appreciated by people who do this. That said, I also agree that it might bring some kind of apparent encouragement, so it definitely needs to be supplemented with psychiatric(?) counselling, to try to help those people deal with their non-physical pain better.

/Two cents.

Edited by Narc, 05 February 2006 - 11:12 PM.

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#8 G1223

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:33 PM

The only reason I might cut myself was to relocate a physical pain. Be it a broken finger as the doctor was resetting it. No because the emtional sufferings.  When I was depressed I had one of those interventions where I was told and it has stuck tomorrow is going to be better than today. The breakup will be less painful  tomorrow. I got me through when I could not stop the hurt any other way. When the wall had fallen and buried me. It got me past it.

Of course I see my Ex every now and then and I see how she messed up her life and how I did not add to it and I can say I happy I did not wind up with her.
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#9 Narc

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 11:42 PM

Well, yes, you've learned to deal with emotional pain. I myself learned that same lesson - "tomorrow will be better" - simply by observing what was happening. But some people haven't learned this. And some can't learn it, or don't believe it. And they cut themselves. And hate themselves for it. Which makes the next day suck even more because they keep cutting themselves and can't seem to stop. It is a vicious circle and it can cause tremendous harm. And it can require counselling and outside assistance.

If nobody minds, I'd like to paste a part of a comment on this same topic on Fark:

Quote

[...]While there are people who will injure themselves for the attention or to seem "badass", alot (maybe most) self-injure as a means to confront their emotions & will more often than not, will prefer keeping such things secret.

It's just easier to drag a blade or poke the skin or whatever method than it is to talk about something. The person may have been abused or had their trust violated, which likely won't help opening up to someone.
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#10 Enkanowen

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:45 AM

View PostG1223, on Feb 5 2006, 09:21 PM, said:

Doing any sort of cutting is attention getting and deserves to be ignored. I might sound like I do not care. Both times I tried sucide I had an intervention by a couple of friends One pointed out how selfish a Bastard as I was being. I was harming my family and my friends and leaving them to despair. We agreed that sucide for any reason other than irreverseable desease was wrong.

I think this is a horrible idea and wish it were not the case but

Alright, how? I cut for almost eight years and only two people knew about it. One person found out by accident when she saw my scars; the other I told because I wanted help to stop. Cutting is not to seek attention,  Perhaps you sought attention. It seemed to have been a fad exploited by teens to get attention (and even then it should tell you something about how sick our society is if our children need to make themselves bleed to get attention).

Cutting =|= suicide. They are two completely different things. And cutting does not lead to it. Cutting is an outlet of a psychological disorder. Therefore it is a symptom rather than a cause.  It is a twisted way of dealing with emotions. It is not good and I am the last person to condone cutting, but I do not dismiss it.  Ignoring the symptoms to psychological illness is just as severe as not taking someone to the hospital when they are really sick.

More on topic: I do not think giving out clean blades is a solution because access to clean blades is really easy for anyone. Giving information on how to treat cuts properly and how to sterilize blades would be a lot less condoning while still being helpful.

Edited by Enkanowen, 06 February 2006 - 12:48 AM.


#11 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 11:42 AM

Quote

More on topic: I do not think giving out clean blades is a solution because access to clean blades is really easy for anyone. Giving information on how to treat cuts properly and how to sterilize blades would be a lot less condoning while still being helpful.
Actualy, thats a good idea.

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Doing any sort of cutting is attention getting and deserves to be ignored

Completly disagree. Sure, some people cut because they want to draw attention to something that is wrong with them but do not feel able to talk openly about it, such as abuse. But many many people dont. As Enkanowen said, cutting is a symptom of a psychological disease, in the same way that chest pains could be a symptom of a heart problem. If they are ignored as attention seeking, no-one will find the root problem and things will get worse and worse. Most people can deal with bad times and emotions thats they dont like. Some people cannot deal with it on their own. These people have a problem, they have less then normal capabilities to deal with emotions. The brain is an organ that malfunctions like any other.

In my case (I have been cutting since I was 11) it is because if I get really angry or sad I cease to cope. My brain just seems to frazzle. I want to do something that is pure destruction; hurt something, break something, break myself. I know I cant, I know that whatever I would want to do would be incredably destructive and could possibly land me in serious trouble. So I cut. I think it lends me a sense of power, a sense that for one moment, I have total control over life and death, the knowledge that if I go slightly wrong, I could kill myself. It is a destructive form of self-preservation for me, and I dont know why I am like that. But I am. I have even attempted suicide because, while it may hurt my family to lose me, at that point it hurt me more the stay alive and I felt that what I needed to do to preserve myself (in an emotinal way; I did not want to become so consumed by my emotions that I ceased to be myself, I would rather have ended my life before then) was paramount. Selfish but true.

So no, cutting is not attention seeking in most cases. I would have been distraught if my parents had found out and I know my parents would not have supported me (they are quote old fashioned on the subject) so there would have been no point.
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#12 Fragsta

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:00 PM

View PostSchmokie_Dragon, on Feb 6 2006, 01:21 AM, said:

To be honest, if I went to hospital with cuts and depression and they tried to offer me free baldes I wouldnt take them. It would be like really openly admitting that I would not and could not stop, that by accepting the "charity" of the blades I was allowing the self-harming to consume me and control me.

However, for those who would accept, they are not going to see it as acceptable just because the hospital is trying to prevent AIDS speading and infection. If they are in hospital with a self-harm related issue then they know it is not good and that they need help. They know that they are doing something destructive. Thye are not suddenly going to think "oh, so its ok now" because they are given a safer means of cutting.

And while not all nurses are squeaky clean I really dont think those who are not are in the majority. No nurse with a conciensce is going to fob off a serious self-harm patient with new blades and not offer the support. I think that is an unlikely situation unless it is a worst case scenario and all other treatment has failed and all they can do is keep the person as safe as possible.

So I think this is not a good thing, but it is preferable to people getting infections and blood loss from bad blades and cutting in the wrong places. I know this happens, and it is not nice.

Hmm, I suppose you could be right. I sure hope it is used only in worst-case scenarios. I just don't think it's too discouraging is all.


View PostSchmokie_Dragon, on Feb 6 2006, 04:42 PM, said:

In my case (I have been cutting since I was 11) it is because if I get really angry or sad I cease to cope. My brain just seems to frazzle. I want to do something that is pure destruction; hurt something, break something, break myself. I know I cant, I know that whatever I would want to do would be incredably destructive and could possibly land me in serious trouble. So I cut. I think it lends me a sense of power, a sense that for one moment, I have total control over life and death, the knowledge that if I go slightly wrong, I could kill myself. It is a destructive form of self-preservation for me, and I dont know why I am like that. But I am. I have even attempted suicide because, while it may hurt my family to lose me, at that point it hurt me more the stay alive and I felt that what I needed to do to preserve myself (in an emotinal way; I did not want to become so consumed by my emotions that I ceased to be myself, I would rather have ended my life before then) was paramount. Selfish but true.

So no, cutting is not attention seeking in most cases. I would have been distraught if my parents had found out and I know my parents would not have supported me (they are quote old fashioned on the subject) so there would have been no point.

:( :hugs: You don't still do this, then? Do you now see that this was the wrong way to make yourself feel better, or the only way at the time?

Edited by Fragsta, 06 February 2006 - 12:27 PM.

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#13 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:19 PM

*hugs back* I do. Not regularly, but I have not 'quit' as such.
I know it is destructive but when I am 'in the moment' it is the only thing that will calm me down. That or going skitzo at something (which isnt an option). And I think the pain snaps me out of my mood. It makes me concentrate and suddenly my claws retract and my teeth are pulled.

Quote

I just don't think it's too discouraging is all.
as I said, it is not about discouraging, it is about treatment. But I think Enkanowen had a better idea.
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#14 G1223

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:02 PM

SD I am sorry. I wish I could say I understand why doing injury to yourself is the only way you can control yourself. But I cannot You need to talk to a professional about it.  Actaully once you start talking about it you will feel better.
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#15 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:14 PM

I have spoken to a doctor. he reffered me to an psycho-therapist person. They did squat. I didnt even get an appointment with them.

LOL, I tell them I tried to kill myself and they didnt care!

But yeah, maybe try a diffarent doctor eh. my boyfriend has been great. He doesnt understand about the cutting but he is always there for me to stop me going that far.
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#16 SparkyCola

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 04:44 PM

{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Schmokie}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

I think there are lots of reasons people self-harm, attention seeking aint usually one of them, and suicide is usually utterly unrelated as has been said.

i think they should only give them out IF the person has been cutting with a dirty blade. Then - not giving them a blade aint gonna stop htem cutting, but giving them a clean blade MAY stop them getting an infection.

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#17 Schmokie_Dragon

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:01 PM

exactly. Though as I said, even if I was using a dirty blade, I still wouldnt accept clean ones from a doctor, as a point of pride. It would be like accepting I had lost all control and couldnt stop, even if I tried. (But I'm not that far gone! :p)
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#18 Fragsta

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 05:16 PM

Well, I can see my opinion is outnumbered...in my own thread, too! :lol:
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#19 SparkyCola

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:18 PM

Go on...?

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#20 Fragsta

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:20 PM

Basically, I think that the system could be abused, and some self-harmers may take it in the wrong way, as encouraging. I'm not saying this as a generalisation, it's just something that could happen to some people.

Edited by Fragsta, 07 February 2006 - 06:20 PM.

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