The Questionnaires
Conducted by A.E. Cox

Filled Out By: Mark
Addiction Type: Self-Injury

Q: So, tell me about this addiction. (What the addiction is, how old you were, why it started, how long it lasted, etc.)
A: My addiction is self harm, in specific cutting myself. It started when I was about 16 after several suicide attempts following a car crash.

Q: When did you first know your addiction was an "addiction"?
A: I didn't for yeas and years, not until in fact I got on the internet about 5/6 years ago and realized I wasn't the only one, I thought it was part of me, like there was something wrong with me...

Q: Did you feel other people judged you based on this addiction?
A: Oh god yes, people never understand things unless they've been there themselves, and you may think thats not true but believe me it is. I only let my 'friends' see what I did to myself once and that ws by accident, they walked in on me and none of them understood, I can still see the looks of disgust and horror on their faces. I never let anyone see/know again.

Q: Did you try to hide the addiction from others? Is so, what would you do to try and hide the addiction?
A: I only cut my arms, usually the top halves but if you see me wearing a lot of long-sleeved clothes then you know I've been cutting the lower half too.

Q: Did you loose any friends or harm any relationships due to your addiction?
A: Yes, after that day when people walked in on me, some of them were never the same again.

Q: Were there certain "triggers" that made you want to continue your addiction?
A: Emotions. I couldn't handle them, I didn't know how, so I'd turn the emotional pain into physical pain so I could deal.

Q: When did you decide enough was enough and get help for your addiction?
A: After i'd seen how so many other people had been through the same thing, talking about it with others online, realising I had a problem was hard to do.

Q: Were there certain steps you took to recovery? Did you go to someone for help?
A: There are a few web sites that deal with self harm that have great advice, they helped a lot, but self - harm is still very much a taboo subject, people dont generally want to talk about it or don't want to know. Whereas there are many many places to get help for drug/alcohol/abuse there isn't for this which is amazing when you think that thousands of people go through self harm. I once tried to talk to my dad about it and he told me he'd known for years and it was stupid and I should have grown out of it by now. I was so shocked, they knew and didn't say anything? And for years I felt like a 'freak' of some sort. We've never mentioned it since.

Q: Did you experience any kind of withdrawal symptoms?
A: I still do, all the time. Whenever I get hurt in some way I can feel my skin itching as every instinct I have tells me this could all be over so quickly.

Q: What kind of support system did you create for yourself in trying to overcome the addiction?
A: I made a few friends via the internet who have the same problems as me and we are there for each other/talk to each other if the feelings arise.

Q: What would be your advice to anyone currently experiencing this addiction?
A: First realise you are NOT alone, not be a long shot, you are NOT a freak, thousands of people go thought the same feelings/things every year and there is help out there, look on the web.

Q: How do you feel your life has changed since your recovery? What have you learned?
A: I don't know if I am fully 'recovered' or not, I had the problem for so very long, I still get the 'urges' even know, I'm just more self controlled. I haven't cut for some time now. I've learned not to bottle things up so much, to be more expressive, even though I still cant 'talk' to people I found my self-therapy in the form of my online diary which keeps me sane.