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Old 10-08-2020, 09:40 PM   #1
UsualClown's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Question about SI.

Hello! I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but I have a question about self-injury. I read some posts on the "advice" tab of RYL, but couldn't find anything about all the types of SI.

Ever since I was little, I used to eat my nails, as a way to cope and relax. I still do it nowadays, when I'm feeling anxious or impatient I eat my nails until they are almost bleeding. This is something I've been trying to stop for a while, but this isn't what I'm here about.

Is eating my nails a type of self-injury? or is it simply considered something I do because I'm anxious?

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Old 16-08-2020, 04:55 PM   #2
Join Date: Aug 2020

I have no medical background, so this is just my personal opinion and should be taken with a grain of salt:

To me it's self injury if you do it with the intent of injuring yourself. If that's not your main goal, then I would classify it as more of a side effect.

The same way that I would consider getting a tattoo self-harm if you do it because you want to cause yourself pain but not if you do it because you want a tattoo and the pain is just something you are willing to endure it order to reach your goal = getting the tattoo. The same way extreme exercising can be self harm if you do it to actively cause muscle strain and potential injury but not if you simply work out because you enjoy exercising and accidentally overdo it and cause yourself muscle pain.

To me it's the intent that makes the difference.

So I would personally not classify your nail biting as self injury but as symptom of your anxiety. Which of course does not make it less damaging. The intent may be different but the consequences should be quite similar.

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Old 31-08-2020, 05:30 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: UK

I agree with ghostspaces' comment above. Either way, it mustn't be very pleasant for you. I hope you find some alternatives when you're feeling that way (I tend to fidget with bits of blu tack or hair bobbles - as a suggestion) and give your hands some time to heal :)
Take care x

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