autism: self injury, do you do that ?

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pokerface
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11 Mar 2012, 2:55 pm

mds_02 wrote:
pokerface wrote:
I don't understand the concept. Doesn't self harm make matters worse instead of better? How can physical pain a replace mental pain.


In the "real" measurable sense, yeah, all you've done is add some physical injuries to the list of things wrong in your life. But it has the effect of making your problems, whatever drove you to that point, seem less urgent. Faraway. It leaves you with this intense calm afterwards. The world's volume is turned down. Like nothing can touch you, nothing can even get near you.


I'm doing my utmost best to understand but I can only come to the conclusion that the feeling of calmness you describe is only temporary. It doesn't change anything in the long run which means that the cycle of self harm will start all over again. I think that people deserve better than the misery of pain and suffering.



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11 Mar 2012, 4:51 pm

pokerface wrote:
mds_02 wrote:
pokerface wrote:
I don't understand the concept. Doesn't self harm make matters worse instead of better? How can physical pain a replace mental pain.


In the "real" measurable sense, yeah, all you've done is add some physical injuries to the list of things wrong in your life. But it has the effect of making your problems, whatever drove you to that point, seem less urgent. Faraway. It leaves you with this intense calm afterwards. The world's volume is turned down. Like nothing can touch you, nothing can even get near you.


I'm doing my utmost best to understand but I can only come to the conclusion that the feeling of calmness you describe is only temporary. It doesn't change anything in the long run which means that the cycle of self harm will start all over again. I think that people deserve better than the misery of pain and suffering.


It is temporary. It doesn't help in the long run. But it does help in the right now, and sometimes that's enough.


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Callista
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11 Mar 2012, 5:04 pm

I don't really perceive it as "pain and suffering". It's a superficial injury, that's all. It's pain, but it doesn't feel bad.

That doesn't mean I recommend it as a coping method; it doesn't solve the root problem, and that means it's only a temporary solution--it can patch things up but the problem itself only gets worse in the meantime. If you're using it to force yourself to do more than you should be or to get through unacceptably high stress situations, you're just going to burn out.


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Mayel
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11 Mar 2012, 5:30 pm

No, not at all. In fact, I hate any kind of pain and will try to avoid it with utmost effort. Even to the point of self-medication which I consider could be harmful and lead to injury of another kind. Nonetheless, I'm lucky not to experience strong pains with regularity, quiet rarely to be sure so that option seldomly comes into play.
That being said, I wouldn't consider self-medication injury since its purpose is the avoidance of pain, the only problem being possible side effects.

So, no, I never would do that. Then again, I wonder why somebody would do something like that? Maybe I should read this thread carefully.



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11 Mar 2012, 5:37 pm

Other people have different sensory systems, they experience things differently, they think differently. One person's "painful" can be another person's "insignificant"--or "agonizing". We all have different psychological experiences of pain, too. Think about the athlete who enjoys pushing himself to run farther or lift more weight, even though it makes him sore. They have to have a different experience of pain. Or what about people who like tattoos and piercings, and don't mind getting them; or beekepeers who get used to bee stings? And then there are autistic people who feel light touch as painful, and those who don't notice when they get big bruises from being clumsy, and those who don't notice when it's below freezing but can't stand summer heat. It's just all different. It stands to reason that self-injury should be something that's more likely to be temporarily helpful for some people than for others.


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Mayel
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11 Mar 2012, 5:52 pm

Callista wrote:
Other people have different sensory systems, they experience things differently, they think differently. One person's "painful" can be another person's "insignificant"--or "agonizing". We all have different psychological experiences of pain, too. Think about the athlete who enjoys pushing himself to run farther or lift more weight, even though it makes him sore. They have to have a different experience of pain. Or what about people who like tattoos and piercings, and don't mind getting them; or beekepeers who get used to bee stings? And then there are autistic people who feel light touch as painful, and those who don't notice when they get big bruises from being clumsy, and those who don't notice when it's below freezing but can't stand summer heat. It's just all different. It stands to reason that self-injury should be something that's more likely to be temporarily helpful for some people than for others.

Is it something sensory as being related to the senses exclusively? Different "wiring" leads to different reactions and thus behavior?



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11 Mar 2012, 8:04 pm

Well, sure. I mean, if you're wired not to have much response to cold, you're going to be comfortable in a T-shirt in hovering-near-freezing temperatures; so you'll wear less than the people who are wired to respond strongly to cold, and are probably huddled in big coats. Your experience of the world around you is quite dependent on how your sensory system works. If it weren't, we wouldn't have to create special measuring devices to measure things objectively when we do scientific experiments; but because our senses vary from person to person and situation to situation, we have to create equipment to compensate for that (and to extend our senses) when we want to be precise.

Here's something I learned in Perception class: The psychological experience of a stimulus is a different thing from the stimulus itself. That is, for example, "seeing something" is more than just the light waves reaching your eyes. It's also the way your retinas process it, and the way your brain interprets it, and the information you learned growing up--things like what the corners of walls look like, or the way things get smaller when they move further away. All of that is involved in "seeing" and the light waves are just one small part of it.

Similarly, people perceive pain differently--NTs and autistics both. Some NTs are sidelined by a sprained ankle; others will try to walk it off. Some love summer heat; others stay hugging their air conditioners. People are just different. It's not just a matter of interpreting the same experience differently: They are actually having different experiences to begin with. The guy who's out in the freezing weather with a T-shirt on truly doesn't perceive it as being particularly cold, or, if he does, feels the cold as pleasant or refreshing. Different people, different ways of experiencing things--all within a range that allows us to act on those stimuli appropriately, but still different.


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11 Mar 2012, 8:14 pm

Callista wrote:
nintendofan wrote:
Apple_in_my_Eye wrote:
A little bit when I was younger. The worst point was when I was in my teens, but it was mostly just pounding fists/knuckles (and sometimes, objects) against my head -- no headbanging on concrete, cutting or anything.

.


the kind im mostly asking about is that kind, not "conkrete or cuting" .

im just courious if it is comon with autism in genral.
Pretty common, yeah. Even with Aspies. I've done a little bit of headbanging when I was little, but mostly it's bashing my arms against solid objects, or biting myself.

Though, I think you may be surprised at the many similarities between the "cutting" sort of self-injury (planned, controlled) and the impulsive sort that happens during meltdowns when you can't take any more. The only real difference seems to be that planned/controlled aspect--the reasons for both sorts are the same: you're stressed out and you can't take any more and you resort to hurting yourself because that seems to make it a bit better, or at least expresses your overload in a way that words can't.


i dont allways hit myself in meltdown i somtimes hit myself in the legs hard in genral, legs are very very bruised.


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pokerface
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11 Mar 2012, 8:25 pm

Callista wrote:
Well, sure. I mean, if you're wired not to have much response to cold, you're going to be comfortable in a T-shirt in hovering-near-freezing temperatures; so you'll wear less than the people who are wired to respond strongly to cold, and are probably huddled in big coats. Your experience of the world around you is quite dependent on how your sensory system works. If it weren't, we wouldn't have to create special measuring devices to measure things objectively when we do scientific experiments; but because our senses vary from person to person and situation to situation, we have to create equipment to compensate for that (and to extend our senses) when we want to be precise.

Here's something I learned in Perception class: The psychological experience of a stimulus is a different thing from the stimulus itself. That is, for example, "seeing something" is more than just the light waves reaching your eyes. It's also the way your retinas process it, and the way your brain interprets it, and the information you learned growing up--things like what the corners of walls look like, or the way things get smaller when they move further away. All of that is involved in "seeing" and the light waves are just one small part of it.

Similarly, people perceive pain differently--NTs and autistics both. Some NTs are sidelined by a sprained ankle; others will try to walk it off. Some love summer heat; others stay hugging their air conditioners. People are just different. It's not just a matter of interpreting the same experience differently: They are actually having different experiences to begin with. The guy who's out in the freezing weather with a T-shirt on truly doesn't perceive it as being particularly cold, or, if he does, feels the cold as pleasant or refreshing. Different people, different ways of experiencing things--all within a range that allows us to act on those stimuli appropriately, but still different.


I don't think a different perception of pain explains self harm.
I have always had a very high tolerance for pain but I have never felt the need to harm myself physically.



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11 Mar 2012, 9:19 pm

I'm not saying there's a cause and effect relationship--just that people who self-injure are probably experiencing their pain differently from the people who observe the self-injury and assume they must be in horrible pain or similar. It's a big problem because it leads psychologists/professionals and observers in general to make assumptions centered around their own perception of pain and injury rather than thinking about how the person actually experiences it. So if Person A is looking at Person B's self-injury, Person A is assuming that Person B experiences the same things they would be experiencing if they had that same injury, or that same behavior, when of course that isn't true. You have to look at the person's subjective experience of their own body and their own sensory system.


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12 Mar 2012, 7:31 am

ScientistOfSound wrote:
I bite my thumb sometimes. Drew blood a couple of times actually. :/



is that llike stress or just in genral? just courious .

are you aspergers/ high functining autism/ low functining autism ?


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12 Mar 2012, 2:21 pm

When my meltdowns get really really bad not only do I hit myself cratch my arms bite my arms or head bang I start to want to cut myself. Once it was so bad I was taken to the hospital because I slit my wrists.


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14 Mar 2012, 5:11 pm

I hit my face/head or other areas of my body when I get really frustrated or stressed. I have done this all my life. My dad says that it stresses him out a lot and he makes that clear, but I can't help it. I guess he doesn't get that. :?


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HDLMatchette
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12 Jan 2020, 10:15 pm

In case any of you are dealing with an autistic who self-injures or otherwise show aggression to others, The Thinking Person's Guide to Autism has some really good tips on how to handle that in a way that is compatible with neurodiversity: http://www.thinkingautismguide.com/2016 ... ssive.html