The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Four Reasons Why We Sefl-Injure

Compiled by Kary Oberbrunner

“All cutters are demon possessed.”

This was the comment I received recently on facebook:

“This is a demon spirit and people need the power of the Holy Spirit to be
delivered from this. Mark 5:5 And always, night and day, he was in the
mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”

I couldn't disagree with this more. Here is what I said:

“I appreciate your heart for prayer regarding those who self-injure. (I used to be one of them) But I don't think everyone who cuts is demon possessed. If we assumed this from Mark 5:5 then we could also assume that everyone who has seizures or convulsions is also demon possessed based on Luke 9:42”

There are many misunderstandings about self-injury, including the one above. The most frequent misunderstandings center on the reasons why people self-injure. Perhaps providing some clarity would help.

Here are 4 reasons why:

1. TO FEEL - Affect modulation (distraction from emotional pain, ending feelings of numbness, lessening a desire to suicide, calming overwhelming/intense feelings)

2. TO CONTROL - Maintaining control and distracting the self from painful thoughts or memories

3. FOR SELF-PUNISHMENT - (either because they believe they deserve
punishment for either having good feelings or being an "evil" person or because
they hope that self-punishment will avert worse punishment from some outside

4. FOR VALIDATION & EXPRESSION- Expression of things that can't be put into
words (displaying anger, showing the depth of emotional pain, shocking others,
seeking support and help). Expression of feelings for which they have no label --
this phenomenon, called alexithymia (literally no words feeling), is common in
people who self-harm
• Reasons = See Osuch, Noll, & Putnam, Psychiatry62 (Winter 99), pp: 334-345
/Zlotnick et al, Comprehensive Psychiatry 37(1) pp:12-16.
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