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I came very close to self-harming last night - so scary(8 Posts)
Brief history - have been depressed on and off for years. I'm in recovery from emotional abuse in my childhood and a violent relationship about 9 years ago. I see a psychotherapist weekly and have done for nearly 3 years. GP diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety and November and have been on ADs (20mg paroxetine) since - have mostly been feeling quite level since then, had terrible panic attacks and overwhelming anger before then.
This week has been hard because of Mother's Day bringing up unpleasant thoughts and because I'm due to visit family next week. It all came to a head last night - I had a panic attack last night and sobbed for hours, felt almost hysterical with grief and emotional pain. I have had thoughts of self-harm in the past, but this time I was actually thinking of which particular knife I would use and where exactly I would cut myself. I kept thinking over and over again 'I don't want to do this any more, I want it to stop'. I could imagine that the act of cutting would help to release some of the anger and pain I was feeling.
I'm 95% sure that I wasn't actually going to go through with it but it has scared me a lot. Today I feel very tired and quite low but I can cope with it and don't feel like I'm in such acute pain. I have taken my pills as usual today. I'm petrified of unravelling completely and ending up in hospital. My DP has been very supportive and I will speak to my therapist about this next week. I guess I just need some hand-holding in the meantime.
Thanks for reading
That does sound really scary and I think you did fantastically to resist and stay safe.
I suppose this might sound bossy but IME self harm is such a slippery slippery slope. It does not fix, or take away or change your problems it adds a whole new mind fuck to an already difficult situation. It is addictive and so damaging. Please please don't start.
You do the right thing to speak to your therapist for support. Did you talk to your DP about your feelings?
They will do everything they can to keep you at home - hospital is a very very very last resort so please don't fear that.
Take each hour/half hour at a time if you need to. Eat chocolate, watch a nice film, read a magazine, be kind to yourself.
Take care x
Thank you for your kind words Fluffy. Last time I spoke to my therapist about these feelings she helped me to think through exactly what would happen if I cut myself - how it would hurt, I would be left with a scar, risk of infection, the guilt and shame for having done it etc And while it might feel like it would be a release, it would only be so temporary and would not change my situation overall.
Like I say, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do it but it's really scary to suddenly find that something so extreme starts to look appealing.
I did talk to my DP and he wasn't horrified as I thought he would be. He said that he can sort of understand (he suffers from depression too) and that he often feels like smashing up some furniture to release his anger. He doesn't and is not violent at all but he could relate to the feeling of needing a release. He's very supportive and gives me time and space to share these awful feelings.
I'm at work now and have to do an appraisal for someone who does my head in. Deep breaths, just get through it!
How are you doing Lotta?
To me, fantasising about how you'd carry out the deed can be a bit of an indicator that you've got to such a point that it seems like the only way of expressing the pain you feel inside, as well as how powerless you feel over changing your situation.
If you've never done it before then it doesn't necessarily mean you're going to do it, but you really have to find another way of letting off the steam that's built up.
Even if cutting yourself helped for a small amount of time, the amount it factors in to making you feel even worse in the long run just isn't worth it. It's not a fair pay off.
Your DP sounds lovely, you need to let him help you more, do you ever try and shield him from how you're really feeling? It's understandable if you do, but you need to let other people in so you're not alone and they can tell you in relative terms how serious mutilating yourself is.
How much of it is the impending family gathering affecting you? And could the ADs have any side effects which make you feel as though you're not coping as well as you'd like?
Could you do something that won't hurt you? Punch a pillow really hard or tear up a piece of paper into tiny pieces?
Definitely speak to your therapist, they'll be able to help you with some strategies
Meantime, you could try gripping an ice cube in your fist til it melts (or the urge passes) or try having an elastic band round your wrist & pinging that
Hope you feel better soon
hi lotta i wanted to post u speaking from experience with self halm its definitely NOT the answer all tho feels like it at the time! your mind gets soo over powerd by thoughts and feelings that u could burst.when you see your psychiatrist ask about DBT it will help change your negitive thoughts into positive an it will help with the way you deal with emotional iusses i self halmed 4 over 12yrs an it starts with the odd cut and turns in 2 a daily activity find support were ever u can 2 get over this hard period self halm is very adictive and leads into self distuct i really hope u get better and find the help you need
Thanks so much for checking how I'm doing! I felt exhausted and very sad all weekend but went out for dinner with my DP and some friends last night and that has lifted my mood. I was wondering how to cope with a week of work but I feel quite good today. I think that I need to accept that I'm going through a grieving process and there will be good days and bad days. I need to learn to lean a bit more heavily on DP and friends when I need to - and to trust that they can take it. My parents and siblings have always made me feel like a hysterical nutcase for needing help and support so I need to trust that I have good people in my life now who really do accept me.
I completely agree with all posters who said that self-harm is never going to be the answer to anything - it will just make everything worse. A friend of mine is a volunteer for the Samaritans and has felt suicidal herself in the past and she told me to call her if ever I feel the urge to self-harm again. I will definitely bear this in mind - it's so good to know that there are safety nets if I ever do get tempted again.
I do have lots of support and I do feel extremely lucky for that. I am going to go ahead with visiting my parents and sister over the weekend - DP will be with me and I'm feeling quite positive about it. And then after that I am going to try to step right back - stop contacting, stop visiting, stop making all the effort and leave it up to them for a change. I think I know how it will go
Thank you again for all your support, it has helped me so much
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