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Re: I really good question ***trigger*** terrics

Posted by alexandra_k on October 7, 2005, at 18:04:34

In reply to A Question and a big ***trigger***, posted by terrics on October 7, 2005, at 12:49:16

hey there. i don't si anymore, but i used to...

it used to be thought (and this is the really big ****trigger***** for me...) it used to be thought that si was a manipulative / attention seeking gesture.

but that does little more than encourage clinicians and others to be judgemental about it...

so then Linehan (and others too i suppose...) thought that it might actually be worth ASSESSING the reasons for si, and the best way to do that might be to actually ASK people why they did it and actually LISTEN respectfully to what they say rather than to say that the 'REAL REASONS' (ie that of manipulating and attention seeing) have just been repressed or whatever...

And what they found...
Is that people si for a variety of reasons.

Here are a few that i remember...
(and i'm sure you can find more by doing a google search)

- punishment. some people feel 'evil' or 'bad' and si helps them to feel 'clean' or 'pure' or like the evil has been purged or something like that.

- expression of pain. some people feel like there is so much pain inside them and what is hard is that others can't see that. like when you bang your leg and it hurts so damned much and there isn't so much as a mark on it. not even a bruise or anything like that. and that can be so damned frustrating (because you get much more sympathy if the injury is visible). so sometimes physical injury is a way of trying to show other people that the pain is legitimate. it is an understandable thing.

- to regulate intense emotions. and i'm wondering if your 'to clear the mind' thing might be a little similar to this. i used to get such intense emotional states that i thought i was going to die. or that i would do anything, anything at all to make it stop. and sometimes i get voices screaming at me and the same goes. i would do anything to make it stop. and si used to help quiet the voices. or to still the emotion.

- to bring me back. in the face of dissociation. physical pain would help to ground me in my body and that would counter the emotional pain which was removing me from it. because sometimes i'm terrified of dissociating. i'm terrified of what they might do.

and there are more reasons...

some theorists noted that si gets the endorphins (the bodies natural opiates) going. that that goes some way towards explaining why it is that after si people tend to feel more relaxed and at peace and almost good. almost in a good mood.

i have heard many suggestions of alternative activities... i think you need as many suggestions as possible. because some of the alternatives are only genuine alternatives insofar as they serve the FUNCTION of si. and different people have different functions for that. so, for example, i have heard of holding a cube of ice tightly in your hand until it melts. if the pain sensation is the function of the si then that should work fairly well as a good substitute. but if having a visible reason for the pain is the function then such a replacement would be inadequate...




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