sell out's picture

my friend has been involved in tons of different kinds of selfharm for years. recently, she has taken up choking. i understand that she needs something to keep her going, but the choking is making her dizzy and sick, and i'm worried that it could cause her to...die.
so my question to you all,
can choking make you die?


Campfire's picture

Firstly, I question whether

Firstly, I question whether it's particularly safe for your first port of call to be on a website aimed at gay youth which has nothing to do with medicine, psychology or self harm. It might be a lot safer for you to raise your concerns with your doctor who might have good information or be able to refer you to someone who specialises in that area. So everything I say here is just someone using their common sense and a personal opinion, I have no personal experience with self harm.

I've never personally heard of choking as a method of self harm just to demonstrate I'm no expert. Depending on what your friend does in order to cause this choking, I doubt there's much risk in the way of death. I mean if she's just sticking her fingers down her throat, or squeezing her neck, her natural body reflexes won't allow her to kill herself in that way, a bit like how you can't suffocate yourself to death by holding your nose. However, should she be using implements to do it (like a rope) something could go wrong, choking after all does result in asphyxiation if it goes on long enough. Death I would imagine would still be difficult to inflict on herself, especially as that isn't usually (if ever) the main goal of someone who self harms, but accidents happen.

Nevertheless, continued deprivation of oxygen to the brain over periods of time will result in lack of brain function and a shorter life expectancy. The fact that serious symptoms like dizziness are showing already would say to me this needs to be nipped in the bud whether she likes it or not.

Self harm is not a normal hobby. It's an indication of someone psychologically suffering whether you know it or not. I would seriously suggest you take a look at some of the links on this page. If your friend doesn't want to talk about it or accept help, maybe give her some documents about good ways to tell other people she self injures, and at the very least how to keep herself safe if she's going to continue? I've always felt that if you're a true friend you would be willing to piss your friends off or have them hate you if it meant keeping them safe.

Good luck.

"If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other cause for prejudice by noon."
- George Aiken