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Self - harming doc. on BBC2 - anyone else watch it?

(20 Posts)
jumble Thu 04-Jun-09 22:09:02

have just watched this documentary and found it seriously thought provoking. cannot believe self-harm was suggested as a coping mechanism, never thought of it like that before. i worry that at some point a self-harmer may go further than intended and create a life threatening injury, but can see it could be a less harmful day to day release. any other views?

TakeLovingChances Fri 05-Jun-09 16:01:50

You'd never thought of it as a coping mechanism? It is that for many people, plus a way to control, self-punish, anger management.

I've self-harmed since I was 15 years old, due to a variety of reasons in my personal life.

At different stages it has provided a coping mechanism for me, but at the same time in the back of my head I knew it was unhealthy and a vicious circle: you self-harm because you're upset about something, feel bad and guilty after doing it, feel worse about yourself, repeat.

Read up on it, it's an interesting topic.

Lifesigns is a good organisation with lots of info. Check out their website www.firstsigns.org.uk

jumble Fri 05-Jun-09 21:36:52

thanks TLC, I will. Certainly a topic that I feel strongly about. Guess I just want to help in some way, the level of emotional pain must be intense to drive people to self-harm repeatedly. What can you say to someone in this position to help them at the time? Is there any 'solution' or way forward?

TakeLovingChances Fri 05-Jun-09 22:55:04

No one has a 'solution' to fix someone else's emotional pain. Many people do try, but often get it very wrong.

It's good that you want to help, many people just see self-harmers as attention seeking Goths, but that is not true. Another myth is that all self-harmers are trying to kill themselves - many people self-harm to cope with the emotional pain BEFORE it gets to the stage of wanting to kill themselves. But yeah, some people in extreme cases do end up killing themselves :-(

My advice is to read as much as you can about the topic to educate yourself. Be sensitive and alert.

Self-harm is more common than you'd think.

MerlinsBeard Sun 07-Jun-09 19:34:50

Of course its a coping mechanism!
didn't see the doc, when was it on?

jumble Sun 07-Jun-09 23:37:34

Hi mom, it was on at 9pm on thu 4th june on bbc2. see if you can catch it on iplayer. it was really well put together and open. tlc, taken your comments on board, is it fair to compare it to people who drink excessively or do drugs to dull emotional pain? could it be addictive? do you think it can in itself be a liveable, viable, long term way of coping and therefore shouldn't necessarily be discouraged? don't mean to be nosey, don't answer if you don't want to.

knickers0nmahead Sun 07-Jun-09 23:49:19

addictive? Yeah, i think it is. I was a sh from the age of 13. I went two years before i did it again a couple of months ago after suffering a mc. Alot of people believed i was attention seeking, and at some point, i probably was crying for help when i was younger. It initionally, it made me feel so much better, but then id feel shit and it would repeat over and over. It became a habit really. Everytime something bad happened, i would sh. Admitidly, i did hope, sometimes, that i could kill myself, but luckily, i didnt. I still ge the urge, and i dont think that urge will ever go away, but now, i have some self control. The last thme, i was so ashamed of myself, and dissapointed with myself.

knickers0nmahead Sun 07-Jun-09 23:51:24

crap. Nc didnt work blush

Yurtgirl Sun 07-Jun-09 23:51:30

MOM - It will be available on iplayer until wednesday at least

Definitely worth watching

jumble Mon 08-Jun-09 00:06:55

Knicks, do you mean you are ashamed of the self harming, or disappointed that there isn't another way of dealing with something bad, that works for you? is it possible to 'swap' self-harming for any other emotional coping devices? what gave you the 'idea' to self-harm in the first place?

knickers0nmahead Mon 08-Jun-09 00:17:49

tbh, i dont know. Ashamed of using sh to release inner pain i guess. I get completely embarrased if i catch anyone looking at my arms. In my teens, i started drinking, thinking that that would stop me self halming but they ended up going hand in hand and i spiralled out of control really.

TakeLovingChances Mon 08-Jun-09 09:00:32

KOMH I agree with you. I've self-harmed for many years (see my earlier comments to jumble further up the post.

There are many triggers to self-harm, not just a loss or a huge bad event. Drink is is MASSIVE trigger for me! I don't drink now, and my self-harm has died down in a major way!

Tbh, I think some people are just self-harmers. There's just something in them which makes them need to do it at one point or another. My DH doesn't understand it, but I have other friends who understand cuz they've done it, or do it now.

Jumble It is addictive. Most addictive thing I've ever tried. Some health professionals say to swap it for a more healthy coping strategy, but that is much easier said than done. I don't think it's a viable way to cope. Even though I do it (last time was March 09) I know it's very wrong and bad for me.

Jumble my advice is to never try it.

MerlinsBeard Mon 08-Jun-09 14:40:31

Of course it's addictive!! You finally find a way to get a release from all the pain inside-of COURSE you will keep doing it! It then becoimes an outlet for all kinds of things.

I have my belly button pierced and a quite large tattoo on my back as a result of needing to feel that amount of pain.

And that is some peoples safe coping mechanism - if i hadn't done that i would have committed suicide(in fact at one point i did try)

alittlebitshy Mon 08-Jun-09 14:45:09

I didn't see the doc. I wish i had but I also know form experience that things like that plant ideas in my head that are not necessarily good. Even when I'm feeling pretty good, little triggers can remind me and get me thinking...

It is so addictive. And the urges never go away.

jumble Tue 09-Jun-09 23:18:57

please help me. i am on ad's and drinking heavily. hiding it from dh and family, feeling desperate. have never self harmed but never been closer. why am i like this?

jumble Tue 09-Jun-09 23:31:27

is 'the letter' by Macy Gray good or bad? how much sihit can one person deal with? i'm happily married with two kids but my head still fucks my life up. i wish i could get away from my head.

TakeLovingChances Wed 10-Jun-09 09:18:33

Sorry to hear you're feeling low. There's no shame in being on ad, many people have used them.

I don't know you, or your situation, but my advice is to stop drinking. Drinking is a depressant - it will make you feel worse as it brings your mood down even further!

Do not self-harm. Do not self-harm. Do not self-harm. I'm serious, it's really not good!

You're not alone in thinking that way at all.

I don't know that Macy Gray thing you mentioned, sorry.

Focus on the positives - your DH and kids. Please stay safe.

ErikaMaye Sun 14-Jun-09 02:12:21

I thought it was abolsutely brilliant. I've self harmed for 9 years, and have managed to stay clean now (aside from one episode) since the day I found out I was pregnant, coming up for four months ago. I'm very proud of myself.

The documentary itself was done in such a way I thought it was approchable for everyone - I sat and watched it with my mother, who I think was reluctant to watch it at first, but gave me a big hug afterwrads, so I think she gained at least a little from it.

Hoping you're all staying safe and strong.

JodieO Sun 14-Jun-09 03:02:46

I wouldn't say it's anything like doing drugs or drinking. I have scars that I hate seeing from cutting myself and even now if I feel really bad it does cross my mind to cut.

Tbh it's the release you get from it, for me it was the cutting and seeing the blood, sorry for tmi. I have scars up my arm and a pretty bad one from when I was 18 and tried to cut my wrist. It would help for drs etc to take emotions more seriously as when I went after doign that, literally in tears, she didn't give me anything until I showed her my cut wrists.

littlemissnobody Sun 14-Jun-09 04:34:02

I thought it was done very well and I'm grateful to Meera Syal for doing such a thoughtful and compassionate report.

I don't know that it is always a choice... I never wanted to SH but there were times when the urge was so overwhelming, I simply couldn't resist, no matter how hard I tried. And, whilst the initial release was soothing, I always felt desperate again afterwards and angry at myself for doing it. So, it becomes a vicious cycle - you feel shit, you fight the urge to SH, you can't resist anymore, you act upon the urges, feel better for a few minutes or hours and then feel guilty and worse and so it continues.

I suppose, at times, the other option was suicide so, in that respect it was a decision - hurt or die?

It is an incredibly difficult thing to get help for - if you admit to it, you risk being judged, thought of as an attention seeker, a time-waster or a nut case who no-one knows how to deal with but I am hopeful that as people begin to better understand the reasons for such self-destructive behaviour that better help will become available to all.

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