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

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

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


Subscribe to Talking About Trauma

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?