The criteria for addition to alcohol and drugs are diagnosed using the criteria for substance dependence. There are 7 criteria for substance dependence and the person would have to have at least 3 of the criteria within the same year.
Tolerance- A- a need for increased amounts of the substance to achieve desired effect; B- noticable diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of the substance.
The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control substance use.
A great deal of time is spent in activities necessary to obtain the substance.
Important social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced because of the substance abuse
The substance use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused by the substance.
If you replace the word substance with the word cutting; wouldn’t it fit just perfectly?
People build a tolerance for self-mutilation. It starts off as just one cut and then one cut is no longer enough. You then need another and another.
When you do not cut you start building cravings. similar to an individual going through withdrawal.
The amount of cuts grow as well as the depth. They become dangerously deeper.
You can not seem to bring down the urge or control it.
You spend your day seeing ordinary items as useful tools.
Summer is no longer fun when it is filled with long pants and hooded sweat shirts.
You know it is wrong, dangerous, and hurtful to others but you do not seem to care.
Are we ever really recovered? I have been labeling myself a recovered self-harmer for some time now. I use to self-harm for more than 10 years and have not self-harmed for about 5 years. A therapist would say that I have recovered from my self-destructive urges. However, does anyone actually recover from self-mutilation?
You have not done the act of physical self-harm but the urges never go away. They can still be triggered by vivid descriptions of the act or the images that people post up on their social media sites. To see an image of mutilated fresh can make even the strongest of individuals powerless or uneasy. The sight alone can bring back an enormous amount of memories of self-destruction. You fight against it and win the internal battle.
We are not recovered. We are lifers. We struggle day in and day out to stay away from self-harm. This truly is an addiction. A person that was addicted to alcohol can not say I was an alcoholic. They are forever deemed as an alcoholic even when recovered.
There are so many cases regarding people finding out about cutters. For whatever reason they will see that cut but, I really want to know is it possible that maybe we want people to find out? Somewhere along the cutting spree do we mess up on purpose? Is this our way of asking for help?
I must ask myself did I want to keep my secret forever? Does any of us want to keep that secret or do we secretly wish for someone to see that cut, that one cut that will let us know that help is on the way.
Did I want people to find out about my cutting? Is it possible that I did mess up on purpose and that I wore cuts on certain places to have someone figure out my secret? Was that day that I put myself in the hospital an accident or a semi sub-conscious way of seeking help? Did I secretly want to stop cutting? If yes why after all is revealed was I still cutting myself?
Somewhere along the line I feel that maybe we do mess up on purpose and that we are forced to do something drastic in order to seek help. We are forced to go to the extreme simply because no one noticed how fucked up we are.
That journal entry is a tribute to my razor. I wrote it with the hopes of expressing my huge attachment and years of dependency on that cold piece of metal. It was one of my many attempts to separate myself from my ever consuming addition to cutting. I sadly have to note that I failed shortly after bidding farewell. Also, there were many attempts to stop and many more failures.
I don’t believe people truly understand the magnitude of suffering from that type of addiction. It truly is an addiction even if people choose not to acknowledge it as one.
Addiction– the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.
The definition of that word describes cutting or self harm in every which way and form. A person truly suffers day in and day out. One needs to cut just as badly as an alcoholic needs their next drink. Everything about your life comes down to your next cut, the amount of blood you spill and the perfect looking scar left after it all.