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Anyone else get urges to self destruct?

(13 Posts)
Mybrowneyedgal Thu 04-Jun-20 00:21:52

I spent most of my teenage years and early twenty's on self destruct. Like a form of self harm. I had an eating disorder, was in an abusive relationship for years, took drugs, engaged in casual relationships which I didn't really enjoy to name a few ways.

I've got three DC now and a wonderful partner. I have just recently stopped my eating disorder. But I still have urges to self destruct. Tonight I can't sleep because it's like an itch, I can't explain it. And I won't do anything to self destruct because I love my DC and respect my partner and because at
the moment I have the strength to turn away. But the feeling is very overwhelming.

Why do I feel like this? I can't be the only one? What do others do to cope?

OP’s posts: |
Florist1970 Thu 04-Jun-20 00:49:10

Is it the feeling you must have chaos to feel? Everything is going along okay, your family , partner are ok, but you don't feel okay so want to upset the apple cart as it where?
You have put all your resources into family, and need help yourself so you self harm, drink,drugs etc

Florist1970 Thu 04-Jun-20 00:52:52

I'm not blaming you, not at all, just wanted to say that this feeling of everything being ok in your life on paper and STILL feeling not okay is linked to growing up in a chaotic environment, you crave that chaos because it was why you know x

1235kbm Thu 04-Jun-20 01:04:14

Have you ever had therapy OP? Specialised therapy to explore the origins of the eating disorder?

It sounds like you've been self harming for years and these overwhelming feelings to 'self destruct' or self harm occur when you feel overwhelming pain or anxiety and need a 'release.'

Cutting is used for the same reasons. A person who cuts has overwhelming feelings that a purge, like cutting helps to release, at least for a while.

Have you been assessed by a psychiatrist?

There could be many reasons for these feelings. My guess (bearing in mind that I know nothing about you, and it's a guess) is your family of origin. Perhaps they criticised you a lot or had very high expectations or there was a sense of being out of control because of heavy drinking by a parent. I don't know why, but this is something you can explore in therapy.

You can also learn strategies on how to counteract these urges and this combined with medication, may help you to manage it.

I'm also wondering if you don't feel as though you deserve what you have. That you are somehow defective or 'shameful' which could be due to trauma or again, the way you were brought up.

Some people who are brought up by 'punishing' parents who were critical continue to bully themselves. They surround themselves with people who also criticise them and punish them. They have low self esteem and don't think they deserve kindness or consideration. They can become very isolated and then have a harsh inner critical voice.

Take a few moments now. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Lie down if you are more comfortable doing so and just let your thoughts flow. Can you hear a harsh inner critic? Do they sound like anyone you know like a parent? What are they saying?

Mybrowneyedgal Thu 04-Jun-20 01:04:52

Thank you Florist. it didn't sound like you were blaming me. I think you're onto something. I grew up in a family which looked perfect on the surface, but in reality most of it was pretty horrid to grow up in. It wasn't what I would think of as chaotic though.x

OP’s posts: |
Florist1970 Thu 04-Jun-20 01:15:41

Aww, I know, if it helps my go to when things are great/lovely/ getting on fine is after a bit feel anxious. What if it's all bull, what if my perfectly lovely life, that other people just get on with, is not alright. Then comes the doubt, anxiety, it's definitely linked to how we were brought up and I'm only just now, aged 47 trying to unravel it xxx

Mybrowneyedgal Thu 04-Jun-20 01:29:44

12345 i have never had any kind of therapy. I had bulimia for 20 years (from age of 13) and although it took over my life for many years it never effected my physical health enough to be hospitalised. On the few times I went to the GP they weren't able to offer help. My proudest achievement is getting over it for my children (although it's only been 6 months) I have done that without any help from anyone!!!!!! but maybe I have just replaced it with other feelings.

My parents were critical but more so for my sibling who was scapegoated and suffered far FAR worse than I ever did. Shame has been a theme throughout my life. I am so ashamed of the person I was, to the point where I still can't look at photos of my younger self or even photos from my wedding day because I don't like the person I was or am.

Are these normal feelings or do I need to see someone? I will do anything for my children and I am trying so so hard to be the best person I can be. But I seem to be a failure, I can't just go to bed like everyone else and wake up happy. I can't just be content with what I've got. Instead there is this thing making me feel like I should do something stupid, but I won't let it win.

OP’s posts: |
YerAWizardHarry Thu 04-Jun-20 01:36:16

I get this feeling. I'll nitpick and cause arguments if things are going well in my relationships.

I leave important stuff to the very last minute (so much I lost a job in my early twenties after not completing coursework on time), do the bare minimum to get by with studying/assessments in my classes. I KNOW I'm clever and do better but it's almost like I can't allow myself to be successful and happy

Mybrowneyedgal Thu 04-Jun-20 01:40:13

Yerawizardharry I love that username. I am glad it isn't just me who feels this way. The human mind is so strange!

OP’s posts: |
XDownwiththissortofthingX Thu 04-Jun-20 01:57:44

I've experienced overwhelming self-destructive urges my entire adult life. I've gone on drink/drug benders lasting anything from 24hrs to months and months on end. Most of the time there's no obvious underlying cause for my mental state, but I've realised over time that it's a form of self-harm. I don't cut/thump/starve myself, so I've never been recognised as self-harming, but I knowingly, deliberately poison myself. When it was at it's worst I made a conscious decision to drink myself to death, and only a catastrophic mental health meltdown that left me completely agoraphobic eventually stopped it.

I didn't have an easy or happy childhood, and I've struggled throughout my life with things that seem to be routine for other people, i.e. career etc. I finally got proper assessment from mental health services in my late 30's, and unfortunately they really haven't been of any help at all at any point. I still don't consider myself particularly inhibited or disadvantaged by my poor mental health, so I'm not really certain why I have this self-destructive bent. But it's there, it's compulsive, overwhelming, and causes huge issues as and when it flares up. It's not as if I just self-flagellate because I'm feeling low or want to punish myself for some reason. The self-loathing on the come-downs are horrendous, but it never stops me either. There's always a next time.

1235kbm Thu 04-Jun-20 02:04:18

It sounds like you come from a dysfunctional family OP where these roles are common. If your sibling was the scapegoat perhaps you were the 'golden child' (although there are other roles: lost child for example). In that case, you may have had a lot of pressure on you.

That feeling you have is very low self esteem. Bulimia with the act of 'purging' is similar to cutting in that you want to get something out of you. The feeling builds like a pressure cooker and is referred to as 'dysregulated behaviour'.

If you have money, then take a look at BACP for a therapist. You can make a list and call them, have a chat, see if you gel with any. Your relationship is important. The kind of therapy you want is DBT or dialectical behavioural therapy. If that's not available in your area, then perhaps put in some search terms and see what you can find.

In the meantime there is a website called MoodGym you may find helpful. This is for depression and anxiety. It's good for help with these overwhelming thoughts. There's also an online computer programme you can do which you have to pay for, it's called Beating the Blues and it's a CBT course. It's excellent and if you wait for a bit the price varies, it was £19 last week. In the meantime you could do the free Mind Gym. It depends on your finances.

Other things that can help are a good multivitamin, yoga, mindulness meditation and positive affirmations. Rewire your brain by telling yourself how great you are. Because you are.

KittCat Thu 04-Jun-20 02:05:40

Generally, your brain gets together at about one really wants to hear that...but it's true...😉

AmeliaTaylor Thu 04-Jun-20 02:09:03

Sure. I had a difficult teenagehood. And dealt with it via self harming and drinking.

Now I’m a happily married mum with a career I love, a house, this incredible life I never thought would happen for someone like me. But I still have urges to self harm when things are bad, and I do on average once every few years. I’m hoping I never will again now I’m a parent. But until now I have.

It’s how I make myself feel better, by hurting myself to punish myself. I think I’ll always be self destructive when things get difficult. It’s not uncommon, many people drink to oblivion or smoke themselves silly when they are in a bad place.

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