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Self-harmers to be given clean blades
Nurses want patients who are intent on harming themselves to be provided with clean blades so that they can cut themselves more safely. [...] "My instinct is that it is better to sit with the patient and talk to them while they are self-harming. We should definitely give advice on safer parts of the body to cut. It could get to the stage where we could have a discussion with the patient about how deep the cuts were going to be and how many."

81 Responses:

  1. Same logic as a needle exchange, methinks. However, I'd rather the emo douchebags just go through with it and rid the world of their whining...

    • weev says:

      And hopefully cause Internet hilarity on their way out.....

    • gytterberg says:

      I probably wouldn't be able to back this up logically but to me it seems more like giving junkies clean, pure drugs instead of clean needles.

    • Wow, your comment and the others are... Awful.

      Christ, it occur to you that people who are cutting themselves actually may have real problems, and need therapy?

      "Emo douchebags"? The people I've known who have cut themselves have been in really bad states, and I do know a girl who had serious problems with infection. It's not like, "oh, look, I'm cutting myself, aren't I cool".

      Mental illness isn't fucking funny.

      • pavel_lishin says:

        It is when they post on the internet about it to get some attention.

        Yes, yes, they're mentally ill - but they're still annoying as fuck, and they aren't my friends.

        • As far as you know.

          Most people don't actually advertise it when they're depressed.

          • pavel_lishin says:

            Then they're not annoying me with their pleading for attention, which is the same thing as far as I'm concerned.

            I've had some depressed friends. Luckily, they didn't cut themselves. If they did, and I noticed, then yes, of course I'd help.

            But if I cried for every person who posted their problems on the internet, I'd dehydrate in seconds.

          • pygmalion says:

            You know, I agree with you (besides the "depressed part". I personally don't see cutting as being much different then piercing and tattoo obsessions).

            Obviously, none of these commenters know a damned thing about Harm Reduction or why it is used. Or anything about those who do it with their lack of knowledge of the people who do it.

            • Depends on the situation, I guess. I've definitely known girls for whom it was actually a sign of a major problem.

              But yes, certainly a lack of imagination and willingness to understand other people.

          • quercus says:

            Most people don't actually advertise it when they're depressed.

            Indeed. And too many of the whinebrats with their hands stapled to their forehead are confusing chronic depression with a dull night on MTV.

      • You're right. It isn't funny. It's fucking hilarious, for the reasons posted below. I've got nothing against those who are emotionally disturbed; I've got everything against those who use self-abuse as a vehicle to gain attention and some form of twisted respect, which, in my (limited, narrow perspective from a position of privilege, to save you an argument) opinion, is where a lot of this stems from.

      • quercus says:

        For every one self-harmer with a real problem (mental or just social) there's a trainload of whiny spoiled mallrats who are doing it because they even lack the creativity to think of a new avenue to express themselves.

        Cutting yourself is all too easy. As a pain level it's somewhere between aerobics and a Friday night in Darlington. Lots of displayable angst for little real lasting effect.

  2. dmlaenker says:

    Well, well, this has certainly become a society that caters to the emo kid's every whim.

    • daruku says:

      Naw, I think this is a society that caters to victims. Emo kids are just another form of a victim. Many things would not have happened if people didn't just take it and claim they are a victim. Once you claim victim, you are free to take wealth from other people. Free airline tickets for getting bumped, millions of dollars for burning yourself, and many others.

      • dmlaenker says:

        Wow, if it's so easy and commonplace to exploit the system, then nothing must exist outside of graft. Why, have you done it?

      • dmlaenker says:

        Oh, wait, you're an industrial fan! Ha, ha! Enjoy impressing your friends by talking about how everyone with the exception of you is a Mindless Sheep (tm).

        • daruku says:

          You know I was agreeing with you. I just generalized it more. No need to say something like I am smarter than everyone else. I just think that people should think more about what they are saying. Somebody once asked me how do we know, that there are moons and other planets out there. For that matter, they asked how do we know, that there are other solar systems out there. AAHHHHHRRRRRGGG!!!

          A society that depends on what others say is ludicrous. You have to find our for yourself.

          • dmlaenker says:

            You know I was agreeing with you.

            No you weren't. I said existence was absurd. You said the masses (of which you apparently aren't) are weak.

            Somebody once asked me how do we know, that there are moons and other planets out there. For that matter, they asked how do we know, that there are other solar systems out there.

            I have no idea how this non-sequitur relates to anything. Obviously this unknown person should be able to read and hasn't. That's unfortunate, but has nothing to do with whether people are Weak and Easily Manipulated.

            A society that depends on what others say is ludicrous.

            A society that cannot depend "on what others say" refuses to learn, cannot build upon prior learning, and stops being a society. You're romanticizing willful ignorance. Don't you even know what you're saying?

            • daruku says:

              I do know what I am saying because I am saying it. I have seen the world. I know what the future holds for Us less globified. My race is a dying race because of globalfication. I know my kind will not live past the 1% population base of this world. We, my race, will get breeded out. It has already begun. What I do know is that I have to tell everyone my knowledge before I pass away. That is my mission.

  3. 33mhz says:

    Don't forget the lemon wedges and salt.

  4. altamira16 says:

    Except the bit that people have more issues than being self-harmers if they are willing to cut themselves while other people are watching.

  5. fantasygoat says:

    Where did this cutting bullshit come from? It seems pretty recent, like the last 10 years or less. I mean, I knew a cutter when I was in high school but he was seriously fucked up, and he was definitely the only one I'd ever heard of until recently.

    Back then it was considered seriously strange behaviour, but now it's all fucking cool and shit? What the hell.

    • pdx6 says:

      Girls tend to cut more than boys I've found. I don't think cutting is anything new, but rather someething that has gotten more attention as of late. See also: The Secretary. See also: Needle Play

    • pavel_lishin says:

      It's probably been happening for awhile, but until the internet became easy, it wasn't possible to be an attention whore share your pain with the world.

    • kathrynt says:

      I started doing it about fifteen years ago; the last time I cut myself was eleven years ago. I swear to God I had never heard of anyone else doing it when I was doing it, and all the reasons I had for doing it came out later, on the therapist's couch. I couldn't articulate a damn thing about it at the time.

  6. wetzel says:

    it always seemed to me razor blades were a lame way to do it. i mean, small thin clean cuts really aren't that painful -- everyone's cut their finger with a knife before, it doesn't hurt that bad because it's narrow.
    now, i want some of these cutters to move up to sharpened vegetable graters or serrated knives. if you're going to inflict pain on yourself, at least do it well.

  7. Perhaps there was a mix-up at News Corp. and a MySpace promotion somehow ended up as a government press release at The Times?

  8. pavel_lishin says:

    Hey, and we should give alcoholics clean beer at AA meetings while they get their act together.

  9. transgress says:

    Can you imagine how depressing that must be for a cutter? I mean, to have people be like 'okay here is a razor blade, remember its down the street not across the bridge'

    • cutting and suicide attempts are not the same thing at all. One is an attempt to cope, the other is giving up. cutters who intentionally attempt suicide don't generally do it by cutting because they dont'see cutting in that way.

      • transgress says:

        I started to put a 'yes i know cutting != suicide' disclaimer, but then I said to myself, 'but what would <lj-user="sykopixee"> do with the extra hot air?', So I posted it without the disclaimer.

        By chance, are you also an expert on aspergers syndrome?

  10. basal_surge says:

    Why all the fuss, 200 years ago it was standard medical practice. Maybe there's some money to be made with marketing an updated version of this handy bloodletting device to cutters.

  11. nidea says:

    My friend had a fetish for cutting he wanted to explore, but when I asked the otherwise-fantastic people at the cool sex shop about it, like how to get advice on doing it safely, they looked at me like I was nuts. Hey, it wasn't my fetish. Don't know whether he ever did anything in that realm...

  12. xenogram says:

    It's 13,900 now.

    Just sayin'

    • abates says:

      14,400 and this post is the second result.

      It would be first, but Livejournal's still letting Google index syndicated journals.

  13. korgmeister says:

    OK, even though I'm not a trained nurse, can I volunteer to be one of those people who sits and talks with cutters?

    Coz that would be fun.

    "Why are you doing that? Seriously? I'm trying not to be judgemental. But I go to pretty great lengths to avoid physical pain, so this behaviour of yours doesn't really compute."

    Maybe I'm being optimistic, but maybe I might manage to jar a few long-disused cogs in their brain into action and have them go "Hold on a second. This is fucking NUTS!"

  14. holy shit, this is hilarious...and so, freaking wrong. wrong wrong. Don't provide condoms in schools, but do give cutters clean blades and advise them on where to cut so as not to "harm" themselves? I might be off track, but shouldn't the response of the medical community be, um...stop that? And it isn't quite the same as giving clean needles to addicts...nurses don't watch them shoot up and advise them on how best to get the vein.

    • Opiates are also a legitimate addiction in and of themselves. Being a whiny depressed young girl is not. Cutting is a symptom, and you should be addressing the underlying causes, not encouraging this maladaptive behavior.

      I don't dispute that these kids have problems, but the answer isn't to pamper the poor dears. They have to get some serious therapeutic help, even if their only disease is (in many cases) being attention-seeking whiners.

    • arcatia says:

      Harm reduction workers do actually show people how to shoot safely. It isn't as easy as just trading dirty needles for clean ones.

  15. matt_od says:

    wow... there are a lot of judgemental, ignorant replies here. imagine if people had your reactions towards your dirty little secrets. you know you have them, too.

    • That's why they're dirty little secrets (secrets being the key word...people usually cut in secret). Why out private shames to an underpaid nurse? And it's not the cutters who are funny, but the people who are suggesting this as a plan of action to deal with cutting. It's ridiculous, and in no way helpful.

  16. catenoid says:

    Cutting serves a purpose: it's an effective, if messy, sedative. It is used to mute mental turmoil. There are worse treatments, although psych people do generally try to move such patients over to better ones. But in general, the
    turmoil is a bigger problem than the cutting.

    • dmlaenker says:

      See, I just thought it was a little strange, but understandable, then some industrial fan decided this was the right place to go off about the Mindless Sheep [tm] that he apparently isn't.

  17. fo0bar says:

    I would just like to step in the middle of this hot topic and say: I like puppies.

    That is all.

  18. airmax says:

    is that looking for the same words at gives no result.
    Probably, because all users out there are dead already?