Springingtiger's Blog

Aspergers and Self-harming?
June 2, 2011, 03:09
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I have been carrying on a twitter conversation with @anne_barbano about head banging and self harm in Aspergers.
A question. I – as you may know – am a hand-biter and headbanger, another Aspie I know used to cut her arms. If you know of people on the Spectrum who have similar behaviours or if you can shed light on the causes and effects of the behaviours please feel free to comment on Twitter @springingtiger


4 Comments so far
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The main question is what it does for you personally. Research has suggested that it is part of our sensory issues wherein, we are trying to deal with sensory overload. You literally are overflowing with “information” that your brain cannot process as fast as it is taking it in. The results have been compared to the “fight or flight” instinct and even a near seizure state (like mine) where the situation (once it reaches it’s peak) is unstoppable until you literally run out of energy. All that “energy” has to go somewhere right? There are many variations of degree that this has in it’s affects on people. From the all out explosive seizure to impulses that are hard to dismiss. All of it seems to focus on bringing all the information into one place to be dealt with and processed. We have so much trouble processing our senses, this may hold many answers in the future on why so many of us are involved in or at risk for self harm. Hope this helps.

Comment by Dave Wilde

Thanks for this, I think you are right about the role of overload. Sadly I found an article on how easy it is to get concussion so I really need an alternative release.

Comment by springingtiger

this also seems to be a frustration response. If one is frustrated, and there seems to be no way to “fix” the problem or situation, one may reflexively head bang or punch one self- or pull one’s own hair. The hair pullig is even part of our language- “I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to get the job finished on time.” It’s a way of venting frustration. Some just do it more literally than others.

Comment by Nancy Oliver

In some cases it’s not so much feeling as if one is banging one’s head against a brick wall, as banging one’s head against a brick wall to feel!

Comment by springingtiger

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