The pictures in this section can be very triggering. Please make sure you are safe before looking at them. If you are not safe, please return to the front page.
If you feel you can deal with very graphic pictures of self-injury go ahead and view the pictures
I would like to stress that this collection of pictures should not be seen as an encouragement to injure yourself. I do not want it to turn into a contest to see who can send me the ‘worst’ pictures.
This section has certainly helped keep my inbox full. Below is a few examples of the e-mails I get. You can read more comments on the picture collection in the feedback section.
Felicity has these comments on the picture section:
I’m writing to ask you, as an ex-cutter and a person still dealing with the effects of self-injury in my life, to please take down the pictures you have on your website. They help no cutter or cutter’s friend to understand what happens. Instead, they inspire sick, twisty feelings of inadequacy and self-pity, which, in turn, may lead to deeper, worse cuts, and a desire not to stop because “Hey, maybe I can get my cuts on that site and be famous like Richey James.” You’re making the problem worse, not better.
And another thing — some of your links have nothing to do with self-injury. Instead, they deal with self-mutilation, which, if you actually knew something, you would realize is different from self-injury. Self-mutilation is done to achieve a cosmetic effect. It includes self-piercing, among other things.
Sort things out. I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but I feel you’re making it harder for self-injurers to stop and get help.
Jade sent me this response to Felicitys comments:
I’m writing to you after having read Felicity’s email. For some people the pictures may be ‘harmful’, I personally have never met anyone else who was affected negatively by them. While I’m wanting to respect Felicity’s opinion and her reaction I am forced to whole-heartedly disagree.
I also am a recovering self-injurer, I however was infinitely helped by these living testaments to the fact that we are not alone. There is no way that I could have gone this long without cutting without this site, especially the pictures page.
A printed out picture of Richey James (who was brought up in her email in a somewhat derogatory way!) is what brought me to this website in the first place. I would like to both thank you for this site and that particular page as well as request that that page not be taken down. There is a warning and the requirement to obtain a password, which is plenty to safeguard those who wish to veiw the pictures, with the exception of those who would use the motivation which could possibly be induced as a subconscious excuse to do what they would do anyways. If someone finds it triggering the first time they go to it, they will know its effects.
I am also horribly offended by the comment that people who would add pictures of themselves are just wanting to be famous. That comment is sickeningly close to the one that I’ve been having to deal with for years, that people who self injure are just wanting attention. While I personally have added no pictures of myself I have complete respect for the decision (and bravery to expose this social taboo) of those who did contribute.
I don’t think that this site is just well-intentioned, I believe it’s truly helpful in many different ways to many different people.
The photographs that used to be openly expressed were a major inspiration; not to cut, but to merely see that there are some people worse than I ever was. They are support to my old habits. The pictures are not triggering; they remind me of all I’ve recovered from.
I am a cutter and I feel that seeing other people’s cuts help me. Mine are not as bad as theirs and it makes me see how bad I could look if I carry on. I think that to a lot of cutters these pictures can be very triggering but I personally don’t. Different people have different coping methods and to be a selfharmer yours must be quite different from “normal” methods. If you can see both sides of the way these pictures can help, you shouldn’t be slagging them off for being on the Internet.
Also, before I could see the pictures I had to go through “warning pages”. If someone doesn’t want to see the pictures, don’t look. People who are old enough to self harm and go online are old enough to make up their own mind if they want to view these pictures or not.