Selfharm

Posted by Ryman @ryman, Jun 30, 2017

I assume this is the right group. I have never discussed this with anyone but my grandson yells at me about it. When I get very stressed, I sometimes scratch my arms or face. I haven’t done any real harm. It is a way to relieve stress when it gets to be too much. I cannot tolerate anxiety or depression medicines which I assume would be a doctor’s answer. Does anyone else deal with this?

Liked by Parus

@gingerw

@ryman @parus I have read this entire thread and found it so interesting to see how others view self-harming, PTSD, depression,etc. I have had severe bouts of depression several times, have gone through counseling, have had SSRIs prescribed at times, etc. For me, I find that self-harming can take several forms, and as parus said, not all are that visible. What has worked for me may not work for others. I try to journal in longhand, and took courses in graphology to analyze what was under the words. I do crafts to keep my hands and mind busy, creating something to donate, rather than diving into food/mindless eating/self destructive things. I go for walks and watch nature around me. Does it sound like distraction? Yep, it is. I need to get out of my own head, to not bring up nor dwell on past memories, and realize that the sun will rise in the east/set in the West today, tomorrow, and the next day. I have to take responsibility for myself, and tell myself constantly that I am worth taking care of, by whatever means needed, and what works for me is unique to me.

Jump to this post

@gingerw So tastefully written. Thank you for being encouraging without being preachy or self-righteous. The type of encouragement that leaves me feeling I have not failed.
Distraction is my strongest tool-as long as I keep the distraction healthy.

REPLY
@parus

@lisalucier Yes, I have talked some about self-harm. Those thoughts do not go completely from me when I reach a hurdle that seems insurmountable. The thing is I know once I start it is not an easy act to stop. Not that it would lead to death or the like. I have not done so for around 3 years. I did not mention thus to any primary caregivers, but when past scars were seen it ended up in my chart online. I was furious and nearly started again. I know many do not understand self-harm and see it as a precursor to suicide. Nothing like ramping up the past. Arrgh they just don't understand!!!
Not wise to blow a fuse either…this information appeared in my record as well as the D.I.D. from the therapist. Went off on her for breaking confidentiality and then things-well. We, I and they are all me. Mostly integrated unless the stress becomes more than "I" can handle.
So even through all of that no self-harming occurred.
Thank you for asking. The ugly thing about self-harming is the shame from others which further reinforces the need to do so. Each urge resisted is a victory for the the one self-harming. Like other addictions-it can be overcome which [for me] does not mean the desire is not still there in hard times. This is likely true of any addiction
There are many types of self-harm and all are not visible.

Jump to this post

@parus You have done well to realize and articulate that self-harm ideas tend to come in relation to stress and though the feelings are there you do not necessarily need to act on those thoughts.

Good insight, @parus. I appreciate you adding those thoughts to this discussion.

REPLY

Self harming thoughts seem always lurking. The relief would be only brief, the scars are permanent. We know if we start it is so hard to stop.
A word about Rescue Remedy-it does contain alcohol. It is the alcohol that gives a sense of calm. We would not want to see one habit turn into another.

REPLY

Such a good point, @parus. It is a common thing to replace one addiction with another. I appreciate your pointing that out!

REPLY
@parus

Self harming thoughts seem always lurking. The relief would be only brief, the scars are permanent. We know if we start it is so hard to stop.
A word about Rescue Remedy-it does contain alcohol. It is the alcohol that gives a sense of calm. We would not want to see one habit turn into another.

Jump to this post

Hi @parus, we have not crossed (cyber) paths for a while. How are you doing these days? I'm enjoying watching the leaves slowly turning color and looking forward to cozy turtleneck sweaters as the temperatures go down – at least in my part of the world. I would love to see one of your pencil drawings on this Sunday afternoon. Have you got any fall flowers or garden scenes to share?

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi @parus, we have not crossed (cyber) paths for a while. How are you doing these days? I'm enjoying watching the leaves slowly turning color and looking forward to cozy turtleneck sweaters as the temperatures go down – at least in my part of the world. I would love to see one of your pencil drawings on this Sunday afternoon. Have you got any fall flowers or garden scenes to share?

Jump to this post

@colleenyoung Appreciate your asking. I posted in the CBD oil anxiety thread about current status. No need to be repetitive. Have been drawing. Nothing related to garden though. Did bring all houseplants in as temps are in the 30’s. Leaves will start turning. Usually have by now. Cold is painful so no playing outside. Next warmer day will be pot emptying day 😔

F616D006-4D37-474D-9930-60D0EEF5F8D8

REPLY

I have selfharmed for a long time. On a few occasions I have selfharmed because of suicidal thoughts. This caused me to cut a vein in my arm, imagining I would bleed out. However, I knew 99% chance I wouldn’t die and couldn’t imagine myself being successful. I wanted to be found? Am I attention seeking? Is it a suicide attempt or me being suicidal or is it just selfharm?

REPLY
@mia001

I have selfharmed for a long time. On a few occasions I have selfharmed because of suicidal thoughts. This caused me to cut a vein in my arm, imagining I would bleed out. However, I knew 99% chance I wouldn’t die and couldn’t imagine myself being successful. I wanted to be found? Am I attention seeking? Is it a suicide attempt or me being suicidal or is it just selfharm?

Jump to this post

Hi, @mia001,

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You may notice that I moved your discussion and combined it with an existing discussion titled, "Selfharm." I did this so your message would be seen by all of the members who've discussed experiences with self-harm here previously. If you are replying by email, click on VIEW & REPLY to be brought to the new location of your post and to read through some of the messages shared by other members.

With self-harming for a long time, I can imagine you have endured much emotional pain. I'd like to request that some other members I referred to who've been involved in this conversation would return to address your questions about whether you were cutting in a way that could cause bleeding out because you were wanting to be found or attention seeking, or if you were just suicidal. Please meet @parus @rlinstrot @georgette12 @ryman. @hopeful33250 and @gingerw may also have some input for you.

What is your thought on whether your cutting was truly suicidal, or something else, @mia001?

REPLY
@lisalucier

Hi, @mia001,

Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. You may notice that I moved your discussion and combined it with an existing discussion titled, "Selfharm." I did this so your message would be seen by all of the members who've discussed experiences with self-harm here previously. If you are replying by email, click on VIEW & REPLY to be brought to the new location of your post and to read through some of the messages shared by other members.

With self-harming for a long time, I can imagine you have endured much emotional pain. I'd like to request that some other members I referred to who've been involved in this conversation would return to address your questions about whether you were cutting in a way that could cause bleeding out because you were wanting to be found or attention seeking, or if you were just suicidal. Please meet @parus @rlinstrot @georgette12 @ryman. @hopeful33250 and @gingerw may also have some input for you.

What is your thought on whether your cutting was truly suicidal, or something else, @mia001?

Jump to this post

@lisalucier Thankyou for your reply and for moving my post.

I’m not sure. Sometimes I think the only reason I’m not dead is because I can’t think of a way to end my life painlessly and with 99% chance of success.

There have been times when I’m driving that I’ve pulled over because I was terrified I would deliberately crash. But even though the urge was there and strong, there was still a voice in my head saying “What if you survive? You can’t afford a new car. It would be so embarrassing. What if you ended up disabled?”

I definitely have thoughts of suicide and suicidal urges.

I definitely self harm.

But is it really a suicide attempt when I self harm and it hurts too much for me too cut deeper? When I know the chances are I won’t be able to do it? When part of me is hoping someone will find me? When I’m screaming in my head for some kind of escape from this pain?

This question has been bothering me for a while. Then today I had an appointment with a psychiatrist that my doctor referred me to, for review. I didn’t like the psych as he was quite abrupt and I felt was rude. He said that what I did was not a suicide attempt and I should not use the word suicide. That if I’d really wanted to commit suicide I would have cut my throat or jumped off a bridge.

His instant reaction and reply shocked me, and to be honest, made me feel guilty, humiliated and ashamed.

REPLY
@mia001

@lisalucier Thankyou for your reply and for moving my post.

I’m not sure. Sometimes I think the only reason I’m not dead is because I can’t think of a way to end my life painlessly and with 99% chance of success.

There have been times when I’m driving that I’ve pulled over because I was terrified I would deliberately crash. But even though the urge was there and strong, there was still a voice in my head saying “What if you survive? You can’t afford a new car. It would be so embarrassing. What if you ended up disabled?”

I definitely have thoughts of suicide and suicidal urges.

I definitely self harm.

But is it really a suicide attempt when I self harm and it hurts too much for me too cut deeper? When I know the chances are I won’t be able to do it? When part of me is hoping someone will find me? When I’m screaming in my head for some kind of escape from this pain?

This question has been bothering me for a while. Then today I had an appointment with a psychiatrist that my doctor referred me to, for review. I didn’t like the psych as he was quite abrupt and I felt was rude. He said that what I did was not a suicide attempt and I should not use the word suicide. That if I’d really wanted to commit suicide I would have cut my throat or jumped off a bridge.

His instant reaction and reply shocked me, and to be honest, made me feel guilty, humiliated and ashamed.

Jump to this post

I really urge you to call a crisis line for help when you are feeling suicidal. Your local county has a crisis line or lines for life is good. I understand uou are in deep pain and it seems the hest way out id suicide. I have had several suicide attempts. I understand your thinking "what if it doesnt work". I have a defibrillator so it would shock me. Nothing lasts forever and pain and depression can get better. You need to find another pyschiatrist. Please reach out to a crisis line for help.

REPLY
@suscros68

I really urge you to call a crisis line for help when you are feeling suicidal. Your local county has a crisis line or lines for life is good. I understand uou are in deep pain and it seems the hest way out id suicide. I have had several suicide attempts. I understand your thinking "what if it doesnt work". I have a defibrillator so it would shock me. Nothing lasts forever and pain and depression can get better. You need to find another pyschiatrist. Please reach out to a crisis line for help.

Jump to this post

@suscros68 I do use help lines when I get really scared. The problem is sometimes… I don’t want to. It’s like I rebel against my sensible self when I’m emotionally overwhelmed.

Just to clarify, the psychiatrist was a one-off appointment requested by my doctor as a review. I’m definitely not seeing that psychiatrist again though!

I do see a psychologist fortnightly whom I connect with really well. That’s been helping although I still feel awkward and tend to avoid talking about suicidal thoughts and or going into detail about selfharm.

Sometimes I find writing down my thoughts and then giving it to my psych helps me communicate… maybe I will write something before our session this week.

REPLY

Pain and depression can get better. Self-harm is an outlet and a distraction. At times it can even be a way of seeking attention or asking for help. There are healthier ways of dealing with the pain and loneliness that come with depression. When we hurt there are healthier ways to deal with hurt. Depression can bring with it isolation because we cannot feel like others or enjoy the things they do. Seeing a therapist is a healthy start. Be honest about your self harming with the therapist and do not hide it. Secrets can be harmful.
Writing is a start and can be easier for some than talking. Never hesitate to call a help line.

REPLY

@mia001 Would you mind my asking your age? How long have you been feeling this way? Was this the first time you met with the psychiatrist? Have you tried or seen another one?

REPLY

@mia001 Please be gentle with yourself. I feel bad that the psychiatrist you saw yesterday seemed to be so dismissive. As we go through on our journey in feelings of hopelessness and depression, our emotions are very raw and any little thing can be a trigger. Remember that every day the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. How we choose to address each day is our choice and it never is easy. Like @parus has said, being able to talk to somebody and get your secrets out will help so much. The person you see twice a month needs to understand what you are going through in order for your therapy there to be effective and for them to be able to help you. Please don't shut them out; they can be a very valuable tool for you! We're glad that you're here at Mayo Connect and we certainly will offer support and relate our experiences. What can you tell us [when you're comfortable] about your family/social situation? Do you have family or friends that you can confide in that understand the angst that you must feel going through this? Well I have never done self-harm by cutting I believe there are several forms of self-harm including addictions of all sorts. Getting a grasp on what is the underlying cause to hopelessness and depression is a never-ending challenge for each of us and I challenge each of us to continue the fight!
Ginger

REPLY
@mia001

@lisalucier Thankyou for your reply and for moving my post.

I’m not sure. Sometimes I think the only reason I’m not dead is because I can’t think of a way to end my life painlessly and with 99% chance of success.

There have been times when I’m driving that I’ve pulled over because I was terrified I would deliberately crash. But even though the urge was there and strong, there was still a voice in my head saying “What if you survive? You can’t afford a new car. It would be so embarrassing. What if you ended up disabled?”

I definitely have thoughts of suicide and suicidal urges.

I definitely self harm.

But is it really a suicide attempt when I self harm and it hurts too much for me too cut deeper? When I know the chances are I won’t be able to do it? When part of me is hoping someone will find me? When I’m screaming in my head for some kind of escape from this pain?

This question has been bothering me for a while. Then today I had an appointment with a psychiatrist that my doctor referred me to, for review. I didn’t like the psych as he was quite abrupt and I felt was rude. He said that what I did was not a suicide attempt and I should not use the word suicide. That if I’d really wanted to commit suicide I would have cut my throat or jumped off a bridge.

His instant reaction and reply shocked me, and to be honest, made me feel guilty, humiliated and ashamed.

Jump to this post

@mia001– I can feel your pain screaming through your writing. I don't really think that you want to kill yourself, I think that you are crying out for help, and have been for while. a long time ago my twin sister's daughter came to live with me. She self-harmed too. She told me that it was because physical pain took away the mental pain. She had every reason to be in emotional pain. Thankfully my husband and I found a wonderful therapist. Do you know what has traumatized you for so long? From my own experience it sometimes takes awhile to find therapist who just clicks with you. I believe that you need to find another one. Please seek out new therapist as soon as possible. Please don't give up trying to get help, because no one here will.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.