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what would you HONESTLY think if you saw self harm scars? Watch

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    i'd freak out if I'm being honest
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    I have pretty much the same reaction for anybody I encounter with self-harm scars. I usually feel a pang of empathy and also think how brave they are to not care what anyone else thinks of their scars. Obviously if I saw scars on a close family member that for some reason I had never noticed before or they were relatively recent cuts I would sit down and talk with them about it, just listen to them really. But you can't exactly do that with strangers.

    A girl at work had scars on her arms and I just gave her a reassuring smile that said I understood. She seemed to get it.
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    I have scars which pretty much cover both sides of my lower arms. They're two years old now, but very noticeable. ITs getting too hot to wear long sleeves, by I am still very concious about my arms.
    I hope people don't view it as attention seeking, but after two years long sleeves get a bit tiresome.
    So if I saw them, I suppose I would wonder what happened, be concerned but not ask because I hate it when people ask me what happened.
    Of course if they were recent some sort of action would have to be taken and I would try to help as much as possible.
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    Look to be honest until i actually see how bad the scars were i dont know what I would think I wouldnt judge them or think anyless of them but i would be concerned to how the scars look
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks for the honesty.

    I see where you're coming from and I've been hiding them for the last 7 years but it's coming up to summer and tbh it's hot wearing sleeves all the time. How long would you need to know the person before "accidentally" seeing them to come to a different conclusion than that they were attention seeking? As I said in the OP, a lot of the scars (the majority) are clearly quite old, would that change your perspective at all? Thanks.
    I think it's quite sad that so many people would think a person with self harm scars wanted attention if they were on show, but I've got sort of personal experience which im sure changed my views a lot. My sister is in pretty much the same situation as you, and she got the confidence to start wearing short sleeves/shorts in summer a few years ago when you can pretty clearly see the old scars on her left arm and leg. I just think shes incredibly brave and it shows how much progress shes made to go from being depressed and attempt suicide, to being a confident happy person 5 years later - and I know how hard it was for her, and how great her life is now.

    Hopefully people will just ignore it or wonder what the story is. Try not to worry about it, my sister has never had any comments as far as I know except out of curiosity.
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    #1

    (Original post by pigwigeon)
    I don't really understand the viewpoint that seeing the scars are an indication that someone wants attention. Fair enough if someone purposely draws attention to them, or gets their fresh cuts out, but scars? Really? Are you saying that anyone who's ever self harmed should cover up their scars forever?

    Maybe I'm a minority, but I'm really not bothered what people think of mine any more. They're a part of me now, people can think I'm attention seeking (:rolleyes:) or they can just get over it and get on with their lives. Likewise, I don't really bat an eyelid when I see other peoples'. If they're open cuts, I often think to myself 'I hope they're getting help', but apart from that, nothing.

    OP, covering up for 7 years is impressive. I say get 'em out. You can't keep them hidden for the rest of your life. People might ask you about them if they notice, but you'll find that a lot of people will notice and not say anything.
    Thanks. I do really want to just wear short sleeves like everyone else and not be sweating all the time from the heat but I'm terrified of the response from people. I'll be honest, I don't really have many friends so I don't want to drive the people I do have away as it'd be awful. Hence the thread, I just want normal every day people's opinions. If it really is the prevailing opinion that I must be an attention seeking liar (as it seems to be so far) then obviously I won't do it, that's why I want honesty.

    None of the scars are fresh cuts, the newest are a few months old if that makes any difference to anyone.
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    I'd probably think that they were too immature to deal with issues healthily but that they'd probably learn in time.
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    It's definitely not attention seeking in my opinion. You did it. You stopped doing it. It's your business. You have every right to wear short sleeves and to not have to worry about what people might think.

    Good luck with it all.
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    (Original post by Oh my Ms. Coffey)
    Messed up/obsessive girl.
    what if it was a guy
    • #4
    #4

    Well...

    I know this girl whom I had a crush on, and when her and I were hanging out she kinda let it "slip" that she cut herself. She told me she thought she was a freak, etc. I tried to tell her that I understood since I've gone through some pretty rough times myself yet never went as far as to cut, though I did consider it at some point.

    At the time, I felt a lot of empathy for her and I told her I'd help her with anything and even go with her to seek help, yet she refused. Apparently she was too ashamed of it and didn't think anyone would understand.

    In my opinion, psychologists or whatever obviously KNOW that people self-harm, it's not some new thing, so of course they'd be prepared to understand.

    Anyway, nowadays I wonder whether she just told me to get attention... I'll stick with this theory.
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    I show my scars, and bruises, and I certainly don't want, or like, attention. Someone was very nice once, and just randomly stroked my arm as we were talking, but she knew what was going on. Most people just assume I burnt myself or something.
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    Showing scars isn't attention-seeking, and neither is it necessarily attention-seeking to mark yourself in a 'visible' place. I have noticeable scars on my forearms from about 5 years ago. At the time, I was self-hating enough that I wanted to **** up the future for myself, and I did that by making sure that I would never be able to show my limbs without it being obvious that I had hurt myself, so that my future self would have to suffer. Now, I appreciate that this was a product of mental illness and not a healthy way to think, but it's not exactly attention-seeking either.

    I'd probably have a sneaky compare of their scars with mine (not that the severity of the scars defines the severity of the problems they experienced, but eh, natural human curiosity) and if they were someone close to me, I'd feel insanely guilty in case my self-harm had affected theirs in some way.
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    I'd simply think "dude, (person) self harms his/herself. Then move on. It's not that important unless people make it important.
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    I remember my friend asking me why I had a strange scar running across the inside of my arm, so naively I told him I must have cut myself ages ago. It wasn't until a few minutes after that I realised what I was implying, even though I've never self-harmed. That';s why I'd never jump to conclusions about any scars I see on people - I tend to not bring them up; it just leads to potentially a more awkward situation for everyone.
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    Seriously? Attention seeking?
    It irritates me so much that people still think showing scars is for attention. I have scars but I haven't cut in years, am I supposed to wear long sleeves for the rest of my life?
    Fresh cuts, fair enough I can kinda see that too. It annoys me when people show off their fresh cuts just because I personally find it really triggering. There's no need to show off fresh cuts because they will eventually heal, you can at least stick a bandage over them. Scars are gonna stick around for years, there's no need to stay covered up for ever. It's your body & your past OP! You know you weren't attention seeking, screw everyone else - its none of their buisness!
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    I've only seen one person with really bad self-harm scars. One day when I was working in a tattoo and piercing parlour, a woman came in the shop to ask whether it was possible to tattoo over her scarring. Her whole was covered in deep scars and even some on her face. I thought she was so brave to show her scars to me.
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    if it was a friend/relative i'd get straight to the point, i don't beat around the bush with these sorts of things. i'd definitely want them to tell me what was/is going on and to try and help them in whatever way i could (unless ofcourse it was something they genuinely enjoyed, which is doubtful but still a possibility).
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    With a stranger I'd feel sorry for them (obvs) but other than that not much else, nothing surprises me these days and there isn't much you can do to help a random stranger.

    With a friend's bf/gf I'd think it not my place to say/do anything. I might talk to my friend about it and see what they're doing about it and if they are helping their bf/gf through the rough patch in her/his life.

    With a friend I'd poss talk to an older sibling of theirs if they didn't already know and I'd really put an effort into helping my friend and suggest ways to help her/him through the depression (you've gotta have some sort of depression to self harm like that).

    With a family friend I'd be really mega upset and I'd talk to other family members and depending how imediate they were, I might even help them start going to counselling or seeking some kind of help anyway.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thanks. I do really want to just wear short sleeves like everyone else and not be sweating all the time from the heat but I'm terrified of the response from people. I'll be honest, I don't really have many friends so I don't want to drive the people I do have away as it'd be awful. Hence the thread, I just want normal every day people's opinions. If it really is the prevailing opinion that I must be an attention seeking liar (as it seems to be so far) then obviously I won't do it, that's why I want honesty.

    None of the scars are fresh cuts, the newest are a few months old if that makes any difference to anyone.
    It's true, a lot of people have misconceptions about it. But I'd rather have the opportunity to tell them than them assume things. They won't stop talking to you just because of a few scars. They might be wary of you, because for people with no other experience of it, self harm is frightening and getting your head round the 'why the hell would anyone purposely do that?' part of it is difficult. They might be offended you hadn't told them about it before. If they judge you for it, then maybe you can help change their opinions, and if not, it's absolutely their problem.

    If you want to do a halfway sort of thing, look into camouflage makeup such as Dermablend. It's basically a concealer for scars, birthmarks, stretchmarks etc., and whilst it won't eliminate the problem, it can boost your own confidence. I used it religiously for a good few months, forgot to put it on one day, no one said anything and then I realised I didn't need it any more, and honestly I don't think I ever needed it really.
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    I saw someone at a concert once with them, he was fairly good looking and confident and he was jumping up and down and telling me how excited he was as we went through the door, a few minutes later he shouted "who wants a shirt?!" and threw his top into the crowd, he had scars all the way up his arms, hundreds of them, old ones though, not fresh ones. I just thought "how sad, i hope hes okay now and hes not just acting happy:/"
 
 
 
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