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Sadists are those who enjoy giving pain. Masochists are those who enjoy receiving pain. However, most of us attempt to avoid pain, especially emotional pain. In fact, research suggests that emotional pain can sometimes hurt more than physical pain. We all have different ways of coping with pain (e.g., spirituality/religion, drugs, ignoring it/refocusing, attitudinal changes, therapy/talking through it, exercise, even swearing), and some are more effective than others. Some methods can even be destructive. What emotional pains have you dealt with in your life? How did you deal with them? Was it effective? Having gone through it, would you deal with it differently were it to happen again?


Why on Earth would someone purposely want to cut his or her self? As odd as this might seem to many of us, non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) such as cutting, burning or intensely scratching oneself without suicidal intent, is a major problem that most people don't know much about...

Studies conducted by Nock and Prinstein (2004, 2005) suggest that there are four primary reason for engaging in NSSI: 1) to reduce negative emotions, 2) to feel "something" besides numbness or emptiness, 3) to avoid certain social situations, and 4) to receive social support...

In reality a number of studies have found that the primary reason for NSSI is reason number one: to reduce negative emotion. This seems like such a bizarre reason! How is it that inflicting physical pain or injury could be used to deal with emotional pain? Despite how paradoxical this may seem, people most often report the following reasons for NSSI: to stop bad feelings, to relieve feelings of aloneness, emptiness, or isolation, to distract from other problems, to decrease feelings of rage, to release tension, and to control racing thoughts.

I bring up the topic of NSSI on Overcoming Self-Sabotage because self-injury can be used as a maladaptive approach to stress, similar to the way many people use alcohol or drugs to help them "forget" about their problems for a little while. Similarly, many people who self-injure do so to cope with stressful situations or upsetting problems with other people. ...because of things like distraction, self-punishment, and release of endorphins, self-injury may help people avoid feeling negative emotion.

Cutting to Escape from Emotional Pain? An Introduction to Self-Injury


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 29, 2010 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=308

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