Talking About Trauma

The causes, treatment, prevention, and implications of trauma

Self Harm: Know the Signs, Help a Friend

Knowing the signs of self-harm can help you help others Read More

When I was a teenager who

When I was a teenager who cut, I would have been mortified if my mother had brought it up--but now that I'm an adult, I see that I really needed her to. The issue was that I was terrified my anger toward my father would provoke him to hurt my mother, and so I had to express the anger secretly in other ways. I can understand now that she was incapable of helping me express my emotions when she felt the necessity of clamping down so hard on her own. But nevertheless, I really wish she or someone else had offered me an outlet to discuss the issues that were boiling under my skin, without judgement or blame for the kinds of things I was feeling.

Thanks for this article. It rings true.

Releif of pain

I understood self-harm to be a means of getting releif from pain - the continuous monotonous ache of anxiety is relieved by inflicting pain which subsides - a beginning (intense pain), a middle (soreness) and and end (release of physical pain) and this is preferable to the monotony and endlessness of continuous anxiety - and as a bonus with the relief of physical pain the mind is temporarily confused and there is also a momentary relief of emotional pain

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Robert T. Muller, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychology at York University, and author of the therapy book, "Trauma and the Avoidant Client."

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