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Old 04-30-2007, 11:45 AM   #1
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stress relief??

hey, i need a bit of help here, and i'm a bit curious about some of your opinions as well.

anyways, i have a couple of close friends of mine that hurt themselves for "stress relief" or depression relief, depending on how they word it. they're all female, and what they're doing is using a blade to cut themselves or using a pointy object such as a needle or a thin nail to pierce themselves. the intent, i guess, is to cause enough pain so that they get some kind of relief from whatever they're going through.

IMHO, i don't think that its a healthy habit. they are hurting themselves, and in particular, one girl ended up having to see a doctor after a hole that she "pinned" through her arm ended up getting very badly infected.

my problem is that i don't really know what to do. they are my friends, but although i've pointed out that its probably not a good idea to do it, i haven't really told them that they need to stop because it can be a sensitive issue for some. i know that some of them do go through some tough situations either at home or with other relationships, but i don't see where that's really justification for hurting themselves physically.

anyways, what are your opinions on the matter, and what kind of advice can you guys offer me on how to help them out.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 04-30-2007, 12:28 PM   #2
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I am in a similar situation, where a number of females I know come to me about problems they have with their boyfriends, parents, etc., and they also resort to self-harm as a method of coping.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is dish out some tough love. One girl who's come to me repeatedly finally dealt with her problems after I told her to, and I quote, "Get the hell over yourself and grow up". It did a world of good for her. Might not help so much with your situation, though.

Be a good friend. Let them come to you, talk to you, and just vent. Sometimes that's all they need. But if, after a few months, things aren't starting to look better, then send them off to seek professional help.
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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yeah same problem at my school. See thing is they think they have horable lifes and they are hated by every one. i quote this from my school btw this was a FEMALE! :I hate my life my parents grounded me the whole school year for punching my mom in the stomach: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i screamed at her. Number one her life is not horable. number 2 DONT be suprised if you get grounded for punching your parents. These dumb little "problems" they think they have are no reason to go hack their arms off. They just need to get over it and live like normal people.


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Old 04-30-2007, 04:54 PM   #4
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^^^^
you're not exactly getting the point. when i say that they're going through some bad situations, i'm not kidding. some of it is their fault, but its definitely not all their fault. i won't go into details as i respect their privacy, but there is a reason why i'm asking about this. its a sensitive issue for them, and i just don't know what else i can do without pushing them away unintentionally.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 04-30-2007, 04:56 PM   #5
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I usually find having a flaming row useful. Provided the person you have it with understands that it is purely therapeutic, it shouldn't do any harm to your relationship. It is very cathartic, usually.


I'm assuming prayer isn't an option for these people?



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Old 04-30-2007, 05:10 PM   #6
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Or punch a pillow?


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Old 04-30-2007, 08:57 PM   #7
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have sex, play video games, go out, party, go see a good(not depressing) movie, go to a firing range, go to the gym, listen to music, watch TV.

probably wouldn't want to drink alot or do hard drugs, since they take you down to a lower level afterwards.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:33 PM   #8
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Your friends who are cutting need counseling very badly, stingerhs, and probably anti-depressants. They're using inappropriate and very unhealthy coping mechanisms for their problems, which likely are pretty bad. Some of the kids who are into cutting are depressed enough to consider suicide, so it's not something that they should take lightly. If there's some way to bring it to the attention of the college counselor, that's probably the best thing you could do in this case.
Edit:
Cutting info and more info.


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Old 04-30-2007, 09:57 PM   #9
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Jae is right, its not something to be taken lightly. They need to get some kind of help because it could lead to further depression. Recommend it to them and if they push help away I would get help for them.


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Old 04-30-2007, 10:02 PM   #10
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Self injury is a serious matter. It is a very unhealthy way to deal with stress. Do whatever you can to get these friends into counseling. They may at first be mad at you, but your first duty as a friend is to try to get them to stop hurting themselves.


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Old 05-01-2007, 12:19 AM   #11
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That's bad. I've heard of self-piercing during depression but have never figured out why they do it? Aggravating pain makes it lighter? Atleast not in my case.

I would suggest counselling first-off. And after that recommend them other stress-busting methods, like fix them up a hobby, like video games, crosswords, Su-do-ku or you get the point. Are these friends of your teenagers? (can be fifteen times tougher with us teenagers, you know)


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Old 05-01-2007, 12:21 AM   #12
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tell them to run a few miles or ride a bike. that helps my depression.

but if they insist on using knives and needles, insist they pour lemon juice into it for a nice citrus sensation. i am only kidding, don't do that! tell them to seek professional help, also talking with them helps more than you realize. hang out alot and call them.


Battle is a pure form of expression. It is heart and discipline, reduced to movement and motion. In battle, the words are swept away, giving way to actions-- mercy, sacrifice, anger, fear. These are pure moments of expression.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:56 AM   #13
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You ought to recommend they get some help, I'd also recomend you subtly get them to watch Harold and Maude.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:38 AM   #14
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another great stress relief is water, that will unclog your brain from those self-abusive thoughts. riding bike is definitely my favorite stress relief.


Battle is a pure form of expression. It is heart and discipline, reduced to movement and motion. In battle, the words are swept away, giving way to actions-- mercy, sacrifice, anger, fear. These are pure moments of expression.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:58 AM   #15
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Personally I find getting into violent arguments to be a good stress reliever... You can get really caught up in it and feel great when you win. That and it's an excellent way to vent your frustration at people.

Either that or some other way to distract yourself. Reading a good book or playing a video game works with me, though if your friends are cutting themselves I don't think any of the options I listed would do much good.

Let us know how it turns out for them.


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Old 05-01-2007, 09:51 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabretooth
That's bad. I've heard of self-piercing during depression but have never figured out why they do it? Aggravating pain makes it lighter?
If someone cuts themselves and feels pain externally, it temporarily takes their mind off of the internal pain that they're feeling. Obviously it's not a healthy way of dealing with the internal pain.


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Old 05-01-2007, 04:23 PM   #17
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Since I am very aware of this situation but I also respect people's privacy all I will say is: Follow Jae's advice stingerhs



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Old 05-02-2007, 07:24 AM   #18
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well, i've made some progress with at least one of the girls concerning the cutting. i confronted her about it, and i managed to get into a good discussion about what was going on with her. since i see her on a regular basis, we both made an agreement that we would be accountability partners: i would check in on her to make sure that she not cutting herself, and she would check in with me on one of my personal problems.

as for the other girls that i know, i'll be making an effort to confront them about their problem as per y'alls advice.

anyways, thanks for the links and the sharing of your opinions on the matter. i do appreciate it.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 05-02-2007, 03:01 PM   #19
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One more thing stingerhs: trying to help these people makes you a good person, remember that, even if you don't succeed...In the end they must be willing to help themselves, which is usually the trickiest part of that.

I know it well, cause I've been through depression myself, it's hard to accept help from other people when you don't even feel like helping yourself...

What you are doing is good, don't patronize them, be there for them, open up to them, show your own vulnerable side, only then will you get the same in return to be able to help them...

[/Dr Phil mode]



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Old 05-02-2007, 05:08 PM   #20
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Even if you are an accountability partner with this girl, stingerhs, I'd still urge her to get professional help. Having accountability with you is great, but it should be part of a broader treatment plan with someone who has had professional experience treating this condition.

If it makes you feel any better, I as an eye doc would have my friend get help with a mental health professional, because I'm not really qualified to treat the problem.


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Old 05-02-2007, 10:50 PM   #21
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^^^^
hey, i agree. but i'm also a believer in taking things one step at a time in some cases. this case in particular is a rather sensitive one because of her situation at home, and i know that trying to take this in front of her parents would only make matters worse for her. believe me, i will do what i can, but sometimes you have to take a less direct approach to the problem.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 05-02-2007, 11:56 PM   #22
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well I have people that I now that do that and there all female...their like that when they are mad, sad, or have problems with family or friends, cuting yourself for them is like a drug, it good for them its like crying when you cant or they just like the felling, what you can do is talk to them so that they can get it all out, you fell deter is you talk about it no...if they don't lisen...kik their ass ^^thats my opinion


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Old 05-03-2007, 05:43 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
If it makes you feel any better, I as an eye doc would have my friend get help with a mental health professional, because I'm not really qualified to treat the problem.
Jae, what do you do for a living? (if you don't mind me asking) I'm confused...



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Old 05-03-2007, 05:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Negative Sun
Jae, what do you do for a living? (if you don't mind me asking) I'm confused...
Eye doc. I came up through the ranks, though. I also did a little EMT work and
some nursing school, and worked in hospitals while in college/professional school to help offset some of the bills.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 05-04-2007, 02:34 PM   #25
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Cool, well I work at an opticians...We've got two full time opticians working there and about to expand soon...That's why I wondered hehe

For some reason I thought you were a lawyer lol

Anyways, back to topic!



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Old 05-04-2007, 03:41 PM   #26
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IMHO, i don't think that its a healthy habit. they are hurting themselves, and in particular, one girl ended up having to see a doctor after a hole that she "pinned" through her arm ended up getting very badly infected.
Been there, done that. I once counted over fifty cuts on my arms. Believe me, it's an incredibly addictive and traumatizing habit. I remember sitting in a psychiatrist's waiting room two years later reading a story about a girl cutting herself, and it took me litterally fourty-five minutes to stop shaking.

It. Is. Not. Fun.

Quote:
my problem is that i don't really know what to do. they are my friends, but although i've pointed out that its probably not a good idea to do it, i haven't really told them that they need to stop because it can be a sensitive issue for some. i know that some of them do go through some tough situations either at home or with other relationships, but i don't see where that's really justification for hurting themselves physically.
Listen. If your friend was coming down with pneumonia, you'd tell her to seek a doctor. If she refused, you'd get the doctor to her. Plain and simple, right?

Same with cutting. She needs help before she does serious damage to herself. Go to your school's social worker and alert him or her to the problem, and he or she will talk to your buddy and carry out whatever is deemed necessary.

Quote:
Sometimes, the best thing to do is dish out some tough love. One girl who's come to me repeatedly finally dealt with her problems after I told her to, and I quote, "Get the hell over yourself and grow up". It did a world of good for her. Might not help so much with your situation, though.
Not advisable at all. Cutting is a symptom of serious problems, and serious problems are not solved by yelling.

Quote:
Be a good friend. Let them come to you, talk to you, and just vent. Sometimes that's all they need. But if, after a few months, things aren't starting to look better, then send them off to seek professional help.
I'm sorry, but that's just not right. If your friend cuts himself or herself, it should be a very serious red flag to you. You should immediately alert a doctor, psychiatrist, school nurse, social worker, or other professional so that the person can get help. Self-injury is a very serious problem.

Quote:
i screamed at her. Number one her life is not horable. number 2 DONT be suprised if you get grounded for punching your parents. These dumb little "problems" they think they have are no reason to go hack their arms off. They just need to get over it and live like normal people.
While I understand you didn't know better as schools skip trivial things like this for important things such as who was the president in the US in the early eighties [/sarcasm], you have to realize that if a person is cutting himself or herself, he or she is definitely not feeling good. This whole 'yell at them' or 'kick their ass' nonsense is what happens when prejudice and ignorance takes over for real knowledge, and is not helpful at all.

Look, I've been there. I know how it can feel like to have a friend suffer and not know what to do. A friend of mine tried to kill herself and came back to school with her wrist bandaged - I had no idea how to approach her or on how to help her. Another friend of mine was in a serious accident and lost her mom - again I just let her be by herself for a long time instead of being there for her, simply because I did not know better and was afraid I'd make things worse for her if I said something wrong. Today I know that while you will occasionally say something stupid, it's far better to be there and occasionally be hopeless than to not be there at all.

Be there for your buddies. That's what it's all about.

Quote:
That's bad. I've heard of self-piercing during depression but have never figured out why they do it? Aggravating pain makes it lighter? Atleast not in my case.
There are various reasons. Self-punishment; physical pain being a way to vent mental pain; a step to make it easier to kill yourself... I don't know.

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Old 05-04-2007, 05:01 PM   #27
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General note for anyone....
If cutting is related to the person being abused by an adult at home (or if you're the one who's being abused), and you're not sure what else to do, you can also make an anonymous call to the child abuse hot line (in the US it's 1-800-4-a-child). The counselor can give you appropriate information on what you can do. For those in college, contacting the college counselor (even if you do it by anonymous email/note/phone call) can help get that person into the help they need.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 05-04-2007, 07:01 PM   #28
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Not advisable at all. Cutting is a symptom of serious problems, and serious problems are not solved by yelling.
Which is why I said after that sentence that it most likely wasn't for everyone (with heavy sarcasm on the 'everyone'). The girl I was speaking of didn't have any serious problems - she just needed to get over herself and grow up. She was one of the ones who only cut for the attention it gets them.
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Old 05-05-2007, 01:35 PM   #29
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Tell your female friends ~snipped~

Most people today don't what real hardships are. Even the "poor" live like kings compared to the real poor in other parts of the world.

So far as stress is concerned, try living through the Great Depression or before modern medicine or during most of WWII or in the western parts of the U.S. before it was settled.

Some things don't need to be spelled out in detail. Thanks, Jae


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Old 05-05-2007, 03:27 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arátoeldar
Tell your female friends ~snipped~.

Most people today don't what real hardships are. Even the "poor" live like kings compared to the real poor in other parts of the world.

So far as stress is concerned, try living through the Great Depression or before modern medicine or during most of WWII or in the western parts of the U.S. before it was settled.
I'm sure you would be found guilty of complaining about some of today's "hardships" as well, it's all relative and no matter what the cause is it should be dealt with appropriately...

I'm sure that Scots who were in the battle of Falkirk would laugh at the "luxury" Scots had while fighting WW2, it's all relative, but it doesn't make it less important or meaningful...

Fine, some people need to grow up and snap out of it, and they will, teenage angst and suicide or even cutting has been around for ages, and it's not gonna stop soon...The world we live in today is comfortable yes, but it's also very confusing and scary to most because it's not as defined as it once was, which is good in a way, bad in another way...



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Old 05-05-2007, 04:28 PM   #31
Jae Onasi
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Moving to Kavar's Corner, since it's developing into a discussion of self-injury, which is a little more serious than most Ahto topics.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 05-06-2007, 03:02 PM   #32
Doomie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arátoeldar
Most people today don't what real hardships are. Even the "poor" live like kings compared to the real poor in other parts of the world.

So far as stress is concerned, try living through the Great Depression or before modern medicine or during most of WWII or in the western parts of the U.S. before it was settled.
Just because I have it better than most people in the world, I forfeit all my rights to be sad? Just because I have shelter, and enough food to survive, doesn't mean bad things can't happen to me.

~snipped quote~

Cutting yourself =/= stupidity. It is not genetic. There is no way you can 'pollute' the gene pool with some sort of 'depression gene'. And even if it were possible, we don't tell other people with 'less desirable' genes (Mentally challenged people, or people suffering from genetic diseases) to kill themselves, do we?

Also, depression, or any other state of mind that would make someone cut him/herself, can (usually) be cured, and the person can become a functioning member of society.

Saying people who cut themselves are stupid is ignorant, and saying that they should die is, well... I have no word for it.

Last edited by Jae Onasi; 05-06-2007 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 05-06-2007, 06:24 PM   #33
Negative Sun
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No offence Arátoeldar, but you don't know what you're talking about, what you're saying makes you sound narrow-minded as ****

I wonder if you would still spout that kind of wisdom were it a member of your family that was doing that or that was depressed to that point...



"I killed a man cause he killed my goat."
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Old 05-07-2007, 12:01 AM   #34
stingerhs
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well, this thread is certainly moving beyond its original intentions.

anyways, i got together with a couple of other folks that i work with up at my church, and we got two of those girls that i mentioned into some professionals (for the record, they are more than just ministers or the like. they are psychologists with actual degrees).

anyways, i'm hoping this turns out for the best. and keep the one girl in your prayers (assuming that you're the praying type) since she has a situation at her family that had to be taken care of as well.

lesson learned in all of this: get proactive. you're not really being a friend to anyone if you know about something, and then you don't do anything about it. and please be smart about it. none of this "yelling" and "telling them how to do it" nonsense. believe me, that's the last thing that they'll want or need to hear.


See the struggle of the faithless lot as they negate their time
How low to sink to the depths of their frame of mind

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Old 05-07-2007, 01:10 AM   #35
Jae Onasi
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Cool that you were able to help them, and I'll put the one gal and her family on my prayer list.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

Read The Adventures of Jolee Bindo and see the amazing Peep Surgery
Story WIP: The Dragonfighters
My blog: Confessions of a Geeky Mom--Latest post: Security Alerts!
Love Star Trek AND gaming? Check out Lotus Fleet.

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