Monday, June 05, 2006

Self-Abuse: Another Trend in Mental Illness

In a world of desensitation, where people see every form of violence and sex routinely--and that's on the nightly news forget the internet--is it any surprise that young people up the ante to "feel" something? Self-Abuse, a trendy teenager malady has upgraded into a trendy college malady.

Rodey, a college sophomore, said cutting became part of her daily high school routine.

"It was part of waking up, getting dressed, the last look in the mirror and then the cut on the wrist. It got to be where I couldn't have a perfect day without it," Rodey said.

"If I was apprehensive about going to school, or I wasn't feeling great, I did that and I'd get a little rush," she said.

Whitlock is among researchers who believe that "rush" is feel-good hormones called endorphins produced in response to pain. But it is often followed by deep shame and the injuries sometimes require medical treatment.
Feeling nothing, feeling pain is an improvement--at least it's something. This seems like a spiritual problem to me. Nihilistic, listening to the bad news spewed at institutions like Cornell and Princeton, convinced that the future is hopeless and that they are helpless to do anything about it, young women hurt themselves.

Too much navel gazing, not enough action. Not enough love in the form of charity. Not enough faith in a Power greater than self. Not enough hope and belief. Adrift and isolated in the misery of unfairness--college campuses emphasize and focus on life being so unfair--these girls take the tact of death by 1000 cuts, a slow suicide.


vj said...

As I read this and some of the links attached, my heart aches. A spiritual problem? Could not agree with you more. Kids in this generation are given so many material things but what about building inner strength, faith in God, reaching out to others, a solid home and parents to turn to? It seems to be so lacking.

I've been thinking about a title for my book. "Never Alone" has come to mind more then once. Reading this today makes me think it may be just the title that I'm looking for.

Anonymous said...

I'm a 23 year old self-injurer. The only thing worse than people deliberately harming themselves, is people who don't understand that this is not a "children's" problem, nor is it a "girl's" problem.

Self-injury spans all ages, genders, sexual orientations, races, religions and social classes.

Self-injury can be, but is not always, related to suicide. The implications that they are connected are part of the leading cause of society's misunderstandings regarding self-injury.

vj said...

Dear Anonymous,

I am so sorry to hear that you suffer in this way. I will say a prayer for you that God may send you someone that can help you with your pain. Please take good care of yourself!!!