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Old and self harming (poss trigger) am I alone?

(10 Posts)
dangermouseisace Fri 12-Aug-16 21:50:58

I feel too old to self harm (just about 40) and I thought I'd given up but the other day it was that or something more final so I chose my arms. It helped, but I'm not happy about it, I certainly don't want the kids thinking that is how you deal with things. But...I know I'm going to do it again as things are just about impossible just now and I can't think how I can cope otherwise. I'm confused though now. I've got a diagnosis of depression. Does anyone else with 'just' depression self injure? I'm worried that the psych team will go down the borderline route again...which I didn't think applied to me as I don't have frequent mood swings and tend towards diplomacy rather than black and white thinking. But now I'm wondering if I'm kidding myself? I don't feel like I actually know who I am any more....

mostimproved Fri 12-Aug-16 23:08:55

Hey dangermouse,

To answer the title of the post I'm not particularly old and don't currently self harm, but you are definitely not alone and I'm sure someone else will be along to confirm they do the same. I'm sure you've also seen in hospital etc there are loads of patients that self harm as it seems to be a feature of many different diagnoses. Personally I don't understand depression as a diagnosis very well as it manifests in so many ways, and when it becomes severe it feels like there must be something else rather than 'just' depression. However maybe it's better not to focus on a diagnosis but instead look at the symptoms/behaviours - whether your diagnosis is depression or bpd doesn't change the fact you are self harming, and it's this that you need support for along with the other symptoms you're getting.

Sorry maybe not that helpful but I do know that you are definitely not alone flowers

EndodSummerLooming Fri 12-Aug-16 23:14:08

My DD self harms. I'm always relieved when it's cutting and not poisoning. She's done it since she was twelve with some good long gaps.

If the underlying stuff is good, she's ok. Are you getting the help you need for the underlying cause(s).


out4thecount Sat 13-Aug-16 05:26:31

I'm sorry you're feeling so low. I hope I can give a little reassurance. I have recurrent depression and I self injure when depressed but not when well. I have gone many years between depressions feeling well and without injuring myself.

You're right that self injury can be a symptom of borderline personality disorder, but it can be a symptom of other types of mental distress too. Diagnosis of borderline personality is not simply made on whether you self injure, and it sounds from your post that you're aware that there's a lot more to borderline personality than self injury alone.

I too used to worry that I had borderline personality disorder, but now I know more about mental illness (I'm a doctor who has worked in psychiatry, though I don't currently) I'm certain that this isn't the case for me. Interestingly I confided in a friend a few months ago, and she admitted she also hurts herself sometimes. She's in her 40s and I've never seen any signs of BPD in her either. It's probably more common than we think, given it's not something most people would broadcast.

I hope that you're getting the help that you need.

abbsismyhero Sat 13-Aug-16 05:47:48

I have done it when I'm mentally distressed I'm 41 I thought I was past all this but apparently not I'm going to ask my doctors to up my antidepressants

RosieWithTheGoodHair Sat 13-Aug-16 06:06:37

Oh flowers all

I've done it since I was tiny. Was 2 years clean until two weeks ago when I scratched my chest in a pub.

It's the most ludicrous thing, isn't it?

dangermouseisace Sat 13-Aug-16 17:53:06

thanks guys. I just felt like I wanted the ground to open up when I was asked about it by the psychiatrist…shame upon shame as it were…shame at having done it in the past, having done it now, and shame at the age at which I'm doing it. At least I'm not the only one. I hide my arms from everyone, even my kids, even when I don't do anything so I can see how it can be hidden. Rosie I'm so sad you've done it since you were tiny. Yes it is ludicrous. Maybe it is possible that it is just depression. I am getting help but I cannot see any reason why I am depressed at the moment- my general life circumstances have improved greatly so there is no reason why I'm acting like this…which is why I wonder if it is just how I am?

out4thecount Sat 13-Aug-16 21:09:24

There doen't have to be a reason for a depression (endogenous depression). Sometimes that's all the more frustrating and it does make it hard for people who haven't been through it to understand sometimes. I know it is cliche to say, but be gentle with yourself. You have enough in your plate without berating yourself for your choice of coping mechanism. Once your mood has lifted I hope you won't feel the need to hurt yourself and in the long term the aim is to learn less destructive ways if coping. When we're low we sometimes just have to muddle through the best way we know how. And that's OK.

mrsbounceisflat Sat 13-Aug-16 21:41:49

I didn't start self harming until I was 30, I,m now 42 and go through bouts of self harm along with cycles of depression amongst other things. You are definitely not alone and the psychiatrists have seen it all before.

dangermouseisace Sun 14-Aug-16 19:13:30

thank you for your positive messages. I can safely reduce shame upon shame to just plain old shame grin

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