Self injury scars on arms and patient questions. - page 3

by dirtyhippiegirl

5,740 Views | 25 Comments

Just curious as to whether anyone else on here who is also a former self-injurer has ever had to deal with questions from patients about your scars? What do you say? I work mostly with adults and thus don't feel obligated to... Read More


  1. 2
    I only have vision in one eye and to many people its quite visible. However, my job has nothing to do with my monocular vision. I choose not to answer questions at all - I just change the subject.

    At work, the care is not about ME. If folks are persistent, then I redirect them with a "lets focus on YOU" and my pts are more than willing to talk about themselves.
    Liddle Noodnik and VivaLasViejas like this.
  2. 1
    I would simply tell them that "it is personal" or maybe "it's a very long story"... Hopefully they take the hint and do not probe any more.
    Last edit by SuzieeQ on Aug 12, '12 : Reason: font too small
    VivaLasViejas likes this.
  3. 0
    I have the same problem, and questions from the general public have prepared me for it all. I just say "I was sad as a teenager and took it out on myself". If they probe further I say "it was the in the past and makes me feel uncomfortable to talk about it as I regret it now."
    I do not wish to shock people or make them feel uncomfortable, and most people get the gist pretty quickly.
    For me, I think it has limited my job opportunities as working on a ward such as a teenage mental health ward could lead to some awkward questions. So that is something you may want to think about. Some teens, especially ones with personality disorder, may view those things as "cool" or a competition.
    You do have the option, legally, to wear long sleeves for religious or cultural reasons. This may be an option you may wish to take if you state to your employer it is for those reasons.
  4. 6
    I got attacked by a bear

    I saved an infant from a rabid pit bull

    During my last job at the butcher, my arm was caught in the meat grinder


    Nicer ways to say its none of your business
    jds87, athena55, VivaLasViejas, and 3 others like this.
  5. 2
    I think it says a lot that in spite of our struggles we're there in the first place. That shows great strength (speakin' for myself lol) - So dealing with these situations can come from within as well. We can trust ourselves to know what to say with whom I think. Sometimes I have said and sometimes I've just veered away from the subject. It took a while and some therapy to get un-self conscious about the scars and I think it'll be the same for you. xo
    jds87 and VivaLasViejas like this.
  6. 0
    After mucho testing of various brands on my part, I've finally decided that 100% cotton does the trick of covering without being too stifling in the heat. I've also invested in some Grey's Anatomy scrub tops which are also a lot lighter in fabric.

    In my neglect of this topic, I missed some awesome replies. Lurved the limp/horse story!

    I'm not actually self-conscious about my scars anymore and haven't been for many years. My self-harm history dates back some fifteen years so this ain't my first rodeo. Just trying to sort out a very frustrating dilemma that I believe jadelpn succinctly re-phrased.

    I think that covering is probably my most ideal option right now.


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