11 thoughts on “Self Injury: An Interview with Barent Walsh, Ph.D.

  • September 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

    When I began to SI I found no relief in it. I didnt’ understand, really, why my brain was insistent on me doing it. Logically I knew it was wrong. Emotionally, if I didn’t do what my brain was telling me to do then it just wouldn’t shut up – it was quite a frightening experience and I’m glad that I no longer feel the need to cut.

    • September 21, 2010 at 6:00 am

      SI can be extremely frightening. Thank you for your comments.

  • September 16, 2010 at 4:42 am

    The first time I ever did this, in my case cutting, I had never heard of anyone doing this. ‘Self Injury’ was still considered by most a suicidal gesture. Luckily, I had a great psychiatrist who was not too scared, and who knew and understood why I did it.

    In the seventies, I had also never heard of anyone who did what I did and is commonly known as bulimia.

    In both cases I thought I was the only and first one. (the cutting came in the 80’s) and stopped with my first child.

    The cutting worked like magic. So did stabbing.

    For me it was not so much about getting rid of bad feelings as it was about coming out of a state with no feelings, and just total numbness, and when I didn’t even feel my arm. It felt so wonderful to feel.

    But even now, and it has been a very long time since I have done either one, the physiology still works.

    Like today, I had a dentist appointment that was incredibly painful, and it hurt so badly in fact, that by the time the dentist finished, I felt as if I had received a big shot of morphine and I was stoned. (Even said so) This opiate reward effect always happens to me following a painful experience.

    Thanks for the article, KAT

    • September 21, 2010 at 5:59 am

      Thank you for your comments.

  • September 17, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    Dear Christ5y Matta,

    I just wanted to give you one piece of feedback, as this is my first posting on any of your articles.

    When people share on articles where the topic and/or their respnse to it is very personal, it really makes such a huge positive difference when the author occasionally acknowledges that they heard the comment.

    It’s such a small thing to invest in but makes such a big difference.

    Even when I comment on an article it is in part to please the author, that I listened.

    Getting feedback, or being acknowledged, is equally important to both the author and the one who puts much care into a comment, especially when it’s vulnerable.

    My point here is not that you should respond to every comment, but just perhaps that you communicate in whatever brief form, and when appropriate, that the people who commented were also heard by you.

    Thanks for listening,

    Katrin R.

    • September 21, 2010 at 5:41 am

      Thank you for your comment

  • January 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I have always tried to explain si I manifest, as exactly a way to alleviate something even to the point of showing people the lack of response I had to the pain that should be evident.I would say ” that’s how much pain is inside”.This eventually became a very dumb way to make a point and I am committed to not smashing ceramic muggs on my head or vanity mirrors on my forehead.Mindfulness etc… as well as a low stress-or, non competitive life style is very important for me.I have had many years to get over it as I have been doing it for 40 years.Although I do not do it now I know it is possible under the right circumstances.

    • January 26, 2011 at 9:18 am

      Thank you for sharing your experiences. I think there are many people who can relate to your point that external self injury is sometimes a communication of internal emotional pain.

  • November 17, 2011 at 11:19 am

    When i started SI;mine was of burning and cutting,(mainly cutting), i was 12 when it started, i’m currently 14 now and have found many ways from cutting myself. Such as, my passion in writing poetry and expressing my emotional distress, by talking to my mom and my boyfriend. My boyfriend Cameron is a big supporter of me and he makes me wanna change for the best, for this relationship and not hurting my self from distress. I still have feelings about wanting to pick up that blade, but i think back on the one year i haven’t touched it, and i’m glad the warmth is coming from with-in, not from my blood. I’ve taught my self love and respect, and i’ve seen it first hand with Cameron and I.(:
    Thank you this article,helps me seeing things on why i was doing it and not that i sounded crazy to the ones around me.

    • November 17, 2011 at 11:55 am

      Thank you for sharing your experience. It is gratifying to see the healthy strategies you have used to tolerate distress.

  • October 3, 2012 at 6:36 am

    I like this post so much for sharing a good interview and way of good treatment of self injury.


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