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Old 08-11-2019, 07:49 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: North America

I've been thinking about this a lot since I read this post last night, and I don't know if there's any right answer here.

I don't think method or medical severity of self harm are reflective of level of distress in many cases. After all, someone may be in extreme distress and never choose to self harm, and someone could self harm to a medically significant degree for something relatively minor, simply because it's become their primary method of coping.

What I do think varies, though, can be the reason behind specific form of self harm and the level of stigmatization.

So, for me personally words would indicate less severity of distress (as for me, my more typical self harm has typically occurred as an effort for grounding or releasing other more intense emotions) but more desire to punish myself or remind myself of something I did wrong. For others, their reasons may be different and the reason for words might indicate more severe distress.

I also think that any visible self harm scarring is stigmatizing, but anything outside of very faded narrow lines on the arms is often stigmatized moreso, at least by others. So larger scars, more extensive scars, more numerous scars, word scars, burn scars, etc are often seen as more severe by the general public (I'd assume because they're more confronting to look at) but that's not a reflection of whether the symptoms causing the self harm are "severe" or not.

Basically this was a long way of saying I think severity is all relative, and I don't think there's any real way to classify a hierarchy of what methods are more severe than others outside of like.. medical significance, which isn't necessarily reflective of a person's mental state. What methods are more severe in terms of mental distress is going to vary so much person to person that I would venture to say any hierarchy would be applicable for only a small subset of self harmers, possibly only for one specific self harmer.

Last edited by Greyscale : 08-11-2019 at 07:58 PM.
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