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Is It abnormal?

Ms. Nobody

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Does anyone find that when they cut in certain places, they feel more of a relief/calming effect then others? For example:

Its summer and its hotter then hell. There’s no way I’m going to be able to wear long sleeves in this heat, so I opted to return to cutting on my legs and only a little on my arms for the summer. I noticed that cutting on my legs doesn’t hold the same amount of relief compared to cutting on my arms. I found that I have to cut way more then usual when I’m harming on my legs.

Is that abnormal? What may be the reasoning behind why this happens?

Edited by Ms. Nobody
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Ms. Nobody,

I appreciate your curiosity about this particular question. However, as it is a bit graphic in nature, I'd appreciate you putting a [trigger] label in the title so that people don't just stumble in here and be unprepared.

I'm not qualified to answer your question as I've never come across anyone addressing the issue before. I'll be curious myself to know what people's experiences are here.

This said, though we can all agree that self-injury is a coping mechanism, it's not a healthy one. It is a good idea to spend some energy working on alternative coping mechanims beyond self-injury such as are taught in DBT classes. Have you ever done Dialectical Behavioral Therapy before, or worked on self-soothing and mindfulness exercises before? That sort of thing can help you more safely redirect the urge or need to cut yourself.


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HI Ms. Nobody,

Ok so I will tell you my thought on this but I would normally not talk much about this as it is a bit triggering and quite a tough topic.

I have mostly not cut for 2 years and work really hard to try to remain as calm as posible because of my lack of control in tough stressy moments I tend to loose it and can't think straight or focus much thought on anything constructive in the moment once I'm in it SO I work hard to pull out of stress before I cross the line. However 2 weeks ago I became overwhelmed and my control went a bit low so I crossed this topic again and struggled. So either way this is my thought on your question:

I don't think cutting on other areas has the same meaning for me at least because in the moment I'm thinking of the exit without wanting a exit and the wrists hold that meaning( I now negative) anyways all other body spots seem to not to give the same feeling because of this thought I have attached to what I am doing at that moment. I have in the past dealt with the same very thing and in the summer so you are not alone on your thoughts. Recently I struggled on this and the fear of people seeing was enough to make me stop during and refocus my need for help but normally when I am like this I have a hard time with any control because it is all negative and attacking and my thinking is way off. I think it is more important for me to try and prevent even getting upset so I can remain in some control.

I think that if you look at why you do what you do you may get your answer. Mabe you feel that the legs are not as vulnerable as the wrists ( even though they are) or mabe you get frustrated because it is hidden on the legs and so you do more, mabe you hold back when you think people may see on your arms. Really who know's but I think you may have your own answer. These thoughts I can understand but I still think that if you have any control over where you do it maybe you should work on control not to at all. Years ago I struggled alot with this topic and I've worked really hard to overcome this issue and mostly I have but not without a everyday thought like what Mark said it is a coping thing so it is better to try and find a way, anyway, to cope better then this.

So this is what I do to try and focus my issues away from myself.....

I wear elastic bands the ones that you wear in your hair, a black one ( black = negative thoughts) I wear this everyday I fidget with it and basically knowing why I wear it helps me (I have no idea why) I also wear a red one (red = life) on the bad days when I am really depressed and struggling with negative thoughts, sometimes I wear 3 or more depending on how I feel on that day. I guess I need a visual of some sort to distract me to focus on and knowing why I am wearing them keeps the focus away from me. I also thought to make braclets with the same thoughts against them something only I would know again just to have a focus point. I also paint using lots of red and black they are a bit dark and negative but again anything to get the focus away from me, I write poems and music and try to express my thoughts somehow.

I think my point in telling you this is that there is some other things to do other then self harm to get IT out. I hope that you are able to find something else that can distract you and if you need help pls ask. I hope that this helps you pls take care.

Edited by nightfalls
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Guest ASchwartz

Dear Forgeting,

Those are terrific coping mechanisms alternative to using the actual cutting. I am pleased to read that they work for you and I am convinced those are good ideas for others who cut themselves. Good going. :)


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I'm trying to think how to say this correctly, without getting misunderstood or being too discriptive. I don't cut myself. I do hurt myself and I really wish I didn't. I don't do it too often, just when I get too overwhelmed and can't focus enough to tihnk of a better way to re-establish my control.

For me it's about feeling, and specifically feeling pain. Wether I have a million thoughts and cant quiet them and need something to focus on or I feel numb and unreal and need something to remind me I am alive.

I am mostly careful not to break my skin because I don't want to leave any permenant marks. (I use my nails).

I usually hurt my arms, specifally the underside of my forearms. I also bite myself, my fingers.

When I have been feeling bad at work on a few occasions I havent had any long sleeves and I have found that I don't get the same feeling of reliefe when I have directed the harm elsewhere, upper arms and thighs. I think this is because it just doesnt hurt enough.

I have heard of ther methods like pinging an elastic band against your wrist, but that didnt really work for me. Hurting myself is something I do when I'm at my lowest. I much prefer my other, non-damaging methods of coping.

Edited by Kalima
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