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Trying not to self harm.....

(17 Posts)
cindycat Sun 19-Oct-08 01:05:19

Over the past few weeks the urge to self harm has really hit me again. I have done it in the past but not that badly. I have a few minor scars, that no-one would really notice and no-one has ever questioned (except my husbnd who knows about some of it) but i can't seem to stop looking at them right now and thinking it would make me feel better to do it again. Intellectually I know that it's not a good idea, but I also know it brings me a great deal of relief at the time, I don't hurt myself that much so what's the big deal? This really isn't meant to sound self indulgent, it's a genuine query - if I don't do myself any real harm and it helps me feel better then is it really that bad? When I think about / used to do it, I felt ashamed and fearful that people I know will find out. To be honest it's only really fear of what other people think that stops me. Anyone else out there who knows what I mean????

cthea Sun 19-Oct-08 01:08:09

Cindy, no personal experince but wondered if you would stop at just a few scratches or would you in the future at some point want to go deeper? Sorry if this is a very ignorant thing to say but I'd think it would be better to deal with it differently now if you can.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Sun 19-Oct-08 01:14:31

You are using it as a coping strategy, you need to find other coping strategies. You mustn't reinforce bad coping strategies - doing so will cause more (unseen) harm than physical harm (unless you accidentally slip/become numb to the sensation and so try to go deeper to try to trigger new sensations of release... In which case you could die.). Is there somebody you can call? You need to call somebody.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Sun 19-Oct-08 01:16:23

Whilst you are developing new strategies there is medication available from your GP that can help keep these urges away.

BlackEyedDog Sun 19-Oct-08 01:18:36

cindycat, have you ever seen anyone, a gp, psychologist, about your urge? Please do, love. Don't harm yourself, try to get to the bottom of it. I don't have personal experience but have friends who do.

cindycat Sun 19-Oct-08 01:21:05

cthea - not ignorant at all! I don't think so, but then I can't quite believe that I've ever done it at all. You are right, dealing with it another way would be better but some how that seems much harder. I have had some counselling in the past but it doesn't seem to have helped long term. And going back through that whole process of explaining to doctors etc feels like hard work and failure.

cindycat Sun 19-Oct-08 01:27:04

Have seen people & had anti-depressents in the past following a traumatic event which triggered the self harm, but i don't know why it's come back again so don't feel I can justify myself again.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Sun 19-Oct-08 01:31:35

I don't know a great deal about self harming, so I am trying to tread cautiously, but I have a sisiter who used to and so i can only go on what i remember of then...

For some reason you have developed this reaction to stress, you are not a failure for having developed this way of coping - our human brains are vast and complex and come up with all sorts of wonderful things to help us through life - not all of these wonderful things fit well managing to get through life in full health. Therefore, you are not a failure for this, but but sensible for recognising that this is not the most productive route through life and that you are in need of some advice and support whilst you change it.

Do you have a regular or a friendly GP at your surgery? One that you can talk to easily? It will be easier to to speak to your GP about it before these urges take over, than later when it has all got out of hand.

cthea Sun 19-Oct-08 01:32:48

Cindy,I hope I don;t sound callous but while it means a whole lot for you it will be rather humdrum for your average GP, psychologist, they'll deal with it OK. Look at it as a mutually advantageous situation, where you get the help you need and they get to provide treatment to someone who needs it without actively going out to find them. It's important for you, please let someone help you.

pumpkinscantdancethetango Sun 19-Oct-08 01:39:37

In the mean time theres the electic band thing - pop one round your wrist and ping it if you need to. My friend used to self harm and that helped her to relieve the stress but isnt as dangerous.

If you find a really good dr then they will be the best help.

cindycat Sun 19-Oct-08 01:44:52

Yes, I can see that it is both much more sensible to try and sort it out sooner rather than later and that, whilst it is extraordinary for me, it is quite ordinary for a GP to deal with. It's just that that seems really hard and the other is so easy! Not a grown up response I know. Thank you though for talking it through with me - I won't do it right now and I was going to so thank you.

cthea Sun 19-Oct-08 01:48:03

Take care, Cindy.

IWishIWasMaryPoppins Sun 19-Oct-08 02:26:34

Sleep well Cindy

FallingStar Sun 19-Oct-08 19:52:40

Hi Cindy, I realise that I am answering this a bit late but hope you check in again.
I am a regular poster here on mumsnet but have name changed as I have friends on here who don't know that I self harm.

The first time I self harmed was many years ago and it only happened a few times. Recently I have been suffering with very bad depression, I have been on anti depressants for a month now. In the time since starting the tablets I have started to self harm again. They don't seem to be helping at all.

I just wanted you to know that I know how you are feeling, it is a way to cope with the spells when I get very low or into such a state that I need to feel the pain to calm myself down. I know that to most people this seems strange but nothing else seems to work.

Please, please, please try not to start again. It may help for the brief seconds/minutes that you are doing it but then it will just make you feel worse and you will be left ashamed and have more constant reminders of your bad times and thoughts.

I am so ashamed of my scars, my stomach looks like a road map at the moment and I have scars on my legs too. I have had to hide scratch marks on my arms for nearly a month as they were so deep.

It's not the way to go, Please ask for help when you feel like starting again. I wish I had.

cindycat Mon 20-Oct-08 14:15:33

Hi Star, So sorry things are so bad for you at the moment.

I know exactly what you mean about needing to feel the pain to calm yourself down. It's just the same for me, and to make myself feel something real. I am also extremely ashamed of the scars and ever having done something which, as you say, must appear so odd to most people. Why on earth it helps I have no idea. Re-reading this today makes me ashamed of even having thought it, although at the time it is so unbelievably tempting to feel some relief. But this has made me realise that I really should try and get some help before I do give in. I don't want to be this person any more and I will try. Thank you.

I hope that things get better for you too. You have obviously had the courage to get help but it doesn't sound like it's worked for you so far. I know that is really hard and dispiriting. Is there anyone else you can see? - she says, knowing it's not that easy! Take care.

FallingStar Sun 26-Oct-08 09:02:12

Hi Cindy, sorry it has taken me so long to reply to you. I've been stepping away from mumsnet a bit recently.

I went to the doctors on Wednesday and admitted about the self harming. Only thing is I made it out that I had it under control which though I'm trying it's not easy and perhaps he didn't realise that it was as bad as it was. He didn't ask to see my scars just said that it was common to have these thoughts and that I needed to try and find another coping strategy. He is going to make me a relaxation tape hmm which I am not putting much faith in but I guess it's worth a try. I have also tried the elastic band technique which provides a bit of relief though not quite in the same way.

It's been 7 days now since I last did it and I feel more on a level now than I have done for a while.

It takes a lot to ask for help Cindy so if you can do that before you cross the line then you are already half way there.

Good luck xxxx

cindycat Wed 29-Oct-08 09:08:28

Hi Star,

Thank you. Well done for the 7 days. I do hope the help you are getting works out, but agree with you about the tape hmm. But you never know...

I have been feeling better over the last few days. This has helped a lot as i had felt very isolated. I haven't been to see the dr or anything yet, i guess i'm still a bit sceptical about what they would actually do. In the past i had counselling and confessed but the counsellor seemed to think it wasn't important and never mentioned it again. This made me feel worse as it felt important to me, and i allowed myself to self harm more as it didn't seem important to someone who was should know. But i will try again.

Best of luck & take care of yourself.

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