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  • Draco Malfoy

    Male Self-Harmers

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    • Self-injury is commonly thought of as an issue for women, especially teenage girls, and much of the population of self-injury support websites is female identifying. Male self-injurers are not generally seen as a big part of the population but research shows that many self-harmers identify as male

      Research

      While past research has indicated more women self-injure recent aggregated research has found that that the female to male ratio for self-injury is fairly similar. Males are found to be more likely to hit and burn themselves while females are more likely to cut and burn themselves.1 If there genuinely is a major difference between the genders or if these more recent studies point to bias in data collection hasn’t been agreed upon. 

      Self-harm is especially prevalent amongst trans males. For example, in Canada a 2015 nation-wide survey of more than 900 trans* youth showed that two-thirds had engaged in self-harm in the past year. The Trans Mental Health Study of 2012 in the UK found that 59% of trans* youth had deliberately hurt themselves, compared to 8.9% of all youth. This is because trans* individuals experience discrimination, violence, and sexual harassment, as well as a lack of support at home and school. Trans* individuals also face issues when accessing healthcare services. Many do not feel comfortable discussing trans-specific healthcare needs with GPs. Delayed transgender treatments exacerbate the issue.

      If You’re A Male Self-Injurer

      Self-injury isn’t a behavior limited to women, not at all. Also, cutting isn’t the only form of self-injury out there. It’s neither more nor less legitimate than something like hitting yourself, hitting your body against something or burning yourself. 

      Men are often taught to hold in their emotions and to keep from showing any ‘weakness’. This is an unfortunate part of many cultures but don’t less this hold you back. Keeping in your emotions doesn’t equal strength and an act of self-injury does not equal weakness. Self-injuring doesn’t mean you’re gay, it has nothing to do with homosexuality. Neither does it mean you should be labeled as anything by your peers.

      While there are ignorant people don’t let your fear of not being legitimized let yourself from getting the help you may need.

      [1] http://www.jabfm.org/content/23/2/240.full#R13[/embed]

      LifeSIGNS has a helpful page for male self-injurers.

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    Anya_Lily

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    I do not know much about the subject of SI at all really, just I know lots of people who do and I do too. The only person I KNOW that self-harms that I know off-line is a male. He is somewhat open about it though, which somewhat confuses me since I am purely about confusion and secrecy with it. He’ll sometimes have his sleeves rolled up and not care if people see. Esp one day it was pretty bad all over his arms from the night before, which I have no problem or disgusted with him for doing it or anything, jsut…. I dont know. I was surprised he was so open? I probably sound judgemental here for this -.- Well.. I’m not judgemental about it… but w.e haha idk even why I posted this comment. Just, I know a male self-harmer I guess was the only reason..

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    Guest Anonymous

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    I’m a 22 year old male, and I was hospitalized for cutting myself.  The doctor told me I was the first male cutter that she had treated… I guess we’re rare, but we’re out there

     

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    My 15 yr old son self-injures. I’ve suspected it for a little while & confirmed it a month or two ago when his wounds were more than he could explain away. We talked about it & I believed him when he promised to stop. And I didn’t see the behaviour any more. Then a week ago I discovered that the wrist bandage he was wearing (supposedly a sprained wrist from gym class) was hiding new cuts & I fell apart.

    It’s not that I don’t understand or that I am worried that he is suicidal. I was a cutter for many years, myself. I understand more than most. In fact, because I understand the pain & hopelessness that motivates his actions all too well, it breaks my heart even more. For any parent, seeing wounds of any kind on your “baby” is horrible. Knowing they’re self inflicted is heart wrenching. But knowing, first hand, the mental state that a person has to be in in order to do such a thing & realizing that this is what your child is now suffering…. that’s the worst kind of heart break I can imagine.

    My son really isn’t that different than most kids his age. In fact, most people would never even guess he has a problem. He’s just your average teenage boy, but he’s also a cutter (primarily). So, yes… males definitely self-injure &, unfortunately, many go unnoticed because it’s just not what we expect from our boys.

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    Guest jakemcr97

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    Im a gay male teenager self injurer, though my sexuality doesn’t influence myself cutting. didn’t realize this was so rare.

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    Draco Malfoy

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    Research is pointing out that guys self-injuring may be less rare than they originally thought. Though some research has shown that men in general may favor different types of self-injury than women it doesn’t mean there are no guys who cut themselves. Far from it. Over the years I’ve known a number of guys through the forums who cut themselves. You’re definitely not alone.

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    Personally I view this from the prospective that neither age, gender, or sexuality have anything to do with who self injures more. And as for the research and statistics, I believe they are wrong because it mostly only covers those that have disclosed that information in therapy, were admitted to the hospital, or treated in the ER. A vast number of males cover it up, don’t realize they self injure, or don’t disclose they self injure to anyone. Because of there peers, social media, misleading research, and stereotypes males feel they have more at stake if that information gets out. They are taught to be strong, hold in there emotions, and fill the shoes or exceed that of the typical male. By doing so forces there hand of never disclosing that information unless they get caught, they decided to break the cycle, or someone confronts them about it.

    I’m male, I’m not gay, but I am a self injurer. I have been one for a long time for many personal reasons but it all leads back to coping with life. And as for me I decided to break the cycle and speak about it online but still in person I hide it and I hide it well. One sad plus side to being a male is if a cut shows up on you, you can play it off as an accident without anyone questioning it.

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    Wolfgang_25653

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    im with you man. i am 20 and cut as well. even online sources tend to women self harmers and not male which doesnt help much.

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    Another Day

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    I began to self harm about two or three years ago, it began as something ocassional it developed into burning myself about a year ago, and about three weeks ago I began to cut myself in my left leg.

    I’ve noticed that among all the people i know that harm themselves I am the only male, and at first I thougth that it wasn’t propper for a man to do this, but now i embraced the fact that even when selfharming is wrong; it isn’t more or less of a problem regarding of your gender.

    I’m straight, 21 years old, and it doesn’t change anything about it.

    Forgive me if my english is not perfect but I’m not from an english native country.

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    I feel like the world associates cutting,eating disorders,and self-image issues with girls.But that’s not true.There are guys that self-harm and struggle with other issues like the ones I listed above.I’m a guy and I’ve been struggling with depression since I was about 17 and I started cutting and dealing with self-image issues around 19.Most are girls but we male self-harmers are out there.(P.S. I’m 22 now)

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    Guest anonymous sorry

    Posted · Report

    I'm a trans male (ftm) and I happen to self harm as well. It's sad that things like these are overlooked and not noticed

     

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    Draco Malfoy

    Posted · Report

    I'm a trans male (ftm) and I happen to self harm as well. It's sad that things like these are overlooked and not noticed

     

    You're definitely right! I need to research trans* self-harm and include some information. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)

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    Guest wounded_bear

    Posted · Report

    I guess I am the rarest form of men. I have been doing self-harm since the 3rd grade and thought I was the only person in the world, both male and female that cuts. I am also 40 years old now - go figure! We do exist!

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    I dunno what happened to me but I'm a male SI who cuts. I cut in High School but went to therapy and went into remission. I was later diagnosed as bipolar and after being being in a bipolar depression and having suicidal ideations for about 2 years I recently started cutting again. I'm in DBT treatment again for the 3rd time (somewhere new and better this time.) I dunno but male SI are definitely out here...

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    Massey Harris

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    I am a male and was a cutter from about the age of 18 to 28 or 30.I am 55 now.

    Back in the 80s they just put you in the mental institutions (State Psychiatric hospitals).I was institutionalized for some time and it was NOT pleasant. I have finally weaned myself down to just biting my hands and wrists to the point that they sometimes bleed. I have been at the biting stage for about 25 years now. They hurt pretty badly and constantly cramp up. I do it when I get upset or have anxious nights when I cannot sleep. It just seems sometimes that I cannot cope, and biting relieves my tension. I am 55 and doing pretty well now (VERY WELL FINANCIALLY!) but still bite myself. My past experience though has taught me to never seek professional help for fear of repercussions or being put away. It’s like I lead a double life… both of them very lonely.

    P.S I am straight and aside from being single I lead a relatively normal life with a nice house and two wonderful dogs.

     

     

     

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    quiet_as_a_rat0.1

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    Sometimes, male self-injurers hold in their emotions for different reasons. I'm a male self-injurer and I admit I unhealthily hold in my emotions as a coping mechanism. Growing up, I held in my emotions to be unnoticed by people including my family because of social anxieties all throughout my life. I hold in my emotions like some guys because I don't want to risk being hurt on inside. I don't feel strong. I ironically feel weak not being able to express myself. Trust me, I don't recommend holding in emotions.

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    Guest Wolfie

    Posted · Report

    On Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 7:19 AM, Guest Anonymous said:

    I’m a 22 year old male, and I was hospitalized for cutting myself.  The doctor told me I was the first male cutter that she had treated… I guess we’re rare, but we’re out there

     

     

    We are indeed out there...

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    Sweet Tony

    Posted · Report

    Interesting.  I am a 45 year old male who began hurting myself only a couple of years ago.  Not sure how many are like me BUT I think if you include alcohol, drug use and reckless behavior you would find many men fall into the "self-harm" category.  I do commit reckless behavior, such as careless driving, because I don't care what happens to me but really I scratch, pick, and prevent healing for the most part.  I have periods of self-loathing and work-related PTSD anxiety.  I also suffer from chronic IBS which encourages self-harm behavior.  Feels good to write about it.

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About Us

Welcome to self-injury.net. We are a support community for self-harmers and also provide information on self-harm, creative works, media lists, lists of resources (helplines, textlines, mental health apps, therapists, etc.), etc. We focus on self-injury but a number of other mental health issues are included.

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  • self-injury.net
  • Founded
  • Description
  • self-injury.net is a self-harm community and resource founded in 1999. Provides support, resources, and information on self-harm.
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    Draco Malfoy Draco Malfoy
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