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Penny Rayas, MFT
Penny Rayas, MFT, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  I have 20 years experience in the mental health field
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starting at childhood age 9 I would cut myself and put blood

Resolved Question:

starting at childhood age 9 I would cut myself and put blood on my face to look like i had a bloody nose, mouth, and eyes and stare in the mirror. I continue to do this and get a calming proud feeling from it. I am currently in DBT and trying to learn how to get through emotions so I don't need to do this behavior but i am unsure as to why I started it. Why would I child do this behavior?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Penny Rayas, MFT replied 5 years ago.

It is hard to know how a child who is 9 comes up with the
idea of self-harm. Different children have told me different stories of how it
started. I often wonder if most find that cutting and blood makes them feel
better by accident. For instance,
falling down and getting a bloody face may produce a numbing feeling because of
endorphins that will kill pain. It is an accidentally learned behavior. The
same endorphins will also stop feelings.
Many of the children I work with were abused and they told me by harming
themselves they would put an end to the fear when will the hurt happen. I wonder what you remembered before you
started harming yourself? I am glad that you are learning the skills on how to
cope and this and learning how to feel your feelings. Most of my clients stop
self-harm when they are able to tolerate their negative feelings and anxiety.
The behavior is also like any other addiction because your body produces endorphins
when you self-harm. Your body takes time to learn how to produce endorphins on
your own. Exercise, rest, yoga and meditation will help you produce natural endorphins and teach you how to reduce your stress.

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