Self Mutilation

“Non-fatal self-harm is common in young people worldwide.”  Self-harm, just in case you aren’t aware, is deliberate harm without suidicidal intention.  Often, “self-harm” is characterized as cutting, but there are actually four classifications, according to wikipedia:

Classification Examples of Behavior Degree of Physical Damage Psychological State Social Acceptability
I Ear piercing, nail biting, small tattoos, cosmetic surgery (not considered self injury by the majority of the population) Superficial to mild Benign Mostly accepted
II Piercings, saber scars, ritualistic clan scarring, sailor and gang tattoos Mild to moderate Benign to agitated Subculture acceptance
III Wrist or body cutting, self-inflicted cigarette burns and tattoos, wound excoriation Mild to moderate Psychic crisis Accepted by some subgroups but not by the general population
IV Autocastration, self-enucleation, amputation Severe Psychotic decompensation Unacceptable

Well, obviously 99% of the US population are self-mutilators, as ear piercing and tattoos are included.  But I think the most known way of self-mutilation is often considered cutting (class III).  It’s a coping mechanism, a way to either deflect pain or draw sympathy.

I think there’s an alternative to cutting.  Tweezing.  It can be compulsive, a way to cope, a way to feel alive. 

It’s sad.

But true.

5 responses to “Self Mutilation

  1. Okay, for a second I thought that this was a joke – that “tweezing” wasn’t really a form of self-mutilation. Is that article for real? I guess I just can’t understand why someone would do that to themselves.
    I tweeze a lot. I tend to get really bad razor burn so I tweeze my bikini line and underarms. Have for years. Then I tweeze my eyebrows (only a little because they are naturally thin) and little stray hairs here and there. And really noticeable hairs on my widow’s peak. I guess that sounds like a lot – but it’s not compulsive and I don’t get any sort of emotional release from it. To me it’s just part of beauty maintenance. I guess that’s the difference?
    Interesting article, though.

  2. Thank heavens you included the link. I was really not looking forward to driving down there and holding a tweezing intervention, mostly because tweezers are easily hidable, it would take us forever to find your stash if you had one. Whew.

  3. delightfuleccentric

    Here’s the funny (funny sad, not funny haha) part of this post: I didn’t know if there was such a thing as tweezing, but I wondered if there was, and if it was similar to cutting. Because I do tweeze (like Jen) along my bikini line, and sometimes my legs – not the entire part, just the pieces that get missed. But once I get started, I feel like it almost does become compulsive, and I worried that I was hurting myself in the same way that cutters do. I don’t really think I have a “problem,” certainly nothing that needs an intervention! And I only have one pair of tweezers. Don’t worry!

  4. Just one more hair. Just ONE more hair….

    Maybe it’s like Lay’s chips. You can’t have just one.

  5. bpdnightmare

    I have cut myself to the point were I cut nerves and tendons. My right pinky no longer moves. Cutting is such a dark, disturbing thing. If I could only explain to you the dark pleasure you get when you see yourself bleeding and you start to feel something again. Its ugly.

    I remember seeing a show on MTV about self-mutilators and one of them actually did what you suggested, she plucked her pubes out until she was completely bald.