Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
Cutting Myself (adult) need some advice how to stop doing it.(9 Posts)
Hi been on these boards a bit recently. Am going through hell with agitated depression and been cutting myself to help. The reasons behind it are obviously complicated. My CPN said it is unusual for a 51 year old woman to start doing it (no previous history) and I think I might be doing it a lot. Not sure of the frequency as I cant seem to find much info on it, all the stuff on the internet is about teenagers. The cutting is getting more complex with obsessions about how I have to do it, how much blood I get etc, its like I am trying to create the 'perfect' cut and I know I am losing touch with reality. Need to stop but would like advice to know how to do it, read about ice cubes etc but hard when my actual cutting is so specific and its like nothing else will be 'good enough' if that makes sense. Thanks so much.
Hi, I've had urges to cut as an adult too, though generally I manage to make do with scratching, pincing, lip biting. I do get how intense the urges can be. For me its a coping mechanism when I'm under a lot of stress and I've found reducing my stress levels in general reduces the urges. I do know that cutting can become quite addictive though. The other thing someone advised me that helped was to ride the unge like a wave. I will set myself little targets like wait 5 mins, then if I've waited 5 mins I can wait another 5 mins and often the urge will peak and then fall away again. I do understand how intense it can be though when day after day the urges are there all the time. I still find the intensity peaks and troughs within that though.
Thanks NLAC you've been so good about responding to my posts. Yes it feels like an addiction just now, been doing self harm daily for several weeks now the cutting 2 weeks. I started off with just lighty digging my fingernails into my thumbs around Feb time and amazing how quickly it can escalate! My CPN said not to scratch as it can cause more damage than with a blade but I think he was talking about really digging your fingernails into your skin which can cause tissue damage. I hope you aren't doing it that badly. Yes need to keep myself busy but generaly am busy with my slightly manic phases anyway and often trying to sit and relax when it comes over me. I know it sounds like I am making excuses and I am actually which is what addiction is all about! God never realised this would be so hard. Appreciate your input. Am going out to meet my sister soon to externalise myself and talk about family as am sick of talking about myself. Take care.
Hi, i equally get the very strong urges when stressed, panicked or upset. Help your general stress and anxiety levels in a away that suits you. For me it is reducing caffeine, exercise and crochet in the evening.
I think the advice from PP is spot on. You have to take it 5min at a time. I do this, and am much better at "riding" it out.
I hit myself. Once at work i took my office keys and cut myself. That made me see that it wasn't a healthy coping mechanism.
I started at about 30 i think.
Hmm, I'd never really thought about scratching being more damaging than cutting, but I can see your point. I very rarely break the skin, so havent left any perminant damage.
The 5 mins at a time thing is something taught to help combat addiction, DH was taught it for alcohol recovery, thats where I picked it up from.
Another thing that I find helpful if ackniwledging the feeling rather than trying to push it out my mind by keeping busy. Stopping and accepting this is how I feel and thats ok, can really reduce the feeling for me. Its like once it knows its been heard it quietens down where as when I'm distracting myself it just gets louder and louder.
OP I'm a mental health nurse and your right your cutting does sound complex , it's often not as simple as using ice cubes ...
I am concerned that you run the risk of dissociating while your cutting , and this increases the risk of significant harm to yourself.
In all honestly I would really push for a referral to a community psychologist this needs some thorough exploration with a psychologist.
In the meantime please be very mindful of what you use to cut with - you are at risk of developing sepsis so keep your wounds clean & covered all the time - keep an eye out for infection and at the first sign of infection go to see your GP x
Thanks for the responses. Mud its already in progress was referred urgently last week to mental health hospital and seeing CPN and referal to psychaitrist. Going again on Thursday. I just feel I am out of control just now and hard to gauge how serious my health is but your input has helped me. It's like part of me wont accept I am ill.
Hi Eulalua I agree with NoLongerAnxious, I often delay ie if I still want to harm in 10 mins I can, then I go another 10 etc. Usually after that the urge is gone.
I have also been known to beat up cushions.
Also fed up with self-harm being seen as a teenage thing. I'm mid-30s, started at 30.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.