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Author Topic: Self harm?  (Read 261 times)

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Offline onegirlandherlittledog

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Self harm?
« on: February 14, 2014, 12:51:08 PM »
I have a bad habit that when I am under extreme stress or pressure or my anxiety gets too bad that I will scratch myself until I bleed or will pull my hair out at the root. My boyfriend calls me a psycho when I do it, supportive I know, but I wanted to know for one if anyone else does it and two is it self harm? It NLT started a few years ago and isn't everyday or even every week just when things feel too much.

I've heard before it is considered self harm and it might be and I hate that I do it because I see the destructive nature of it and it has scarred my arms. I don't think it would ever lead to anything more like cutting myself because it's a spur of the moment thing to relieve my stress and angst in the moment not for any other reason so I guess I just don't quite know what to do and sometimes I just feel all alone with this
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2014, 12:56:18 PM »
I've never been depressed or commited self harm... but I know under stressful situations and anxious situations (especially if I have my shirt off) I scratch the HELL out of my back. Makes my back look like I have 50,000 parasites popping out of it. and I can't stop until I calm down. I haven't noticed any bleeding but I know it's not good for the skin, I don't even notice I do it, I'll look in the mirror and my back would just be embossed like it was in some arts and crafts convention.

I'd take a shower and it'd hurt until I rubbed soap on it.
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Sometimes when I'm home alone, I fill my bathtub with tomato sauce and pretend I'm a meatball.

Offline onegirlandherlittledog

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2014, 06:10:12 PM »
That sounds similar to me. I just get stuck like I'm in some kind of loop and I just can't make myself snap out of it. I get so angry and I take it out on myself and it's horrible. I've literally torn clumps of hair out and when I calm down it hurts pretty bad for at least a few days and obviously the scratches look horrible :(

Does it help you calm down? Not that I'm saying you should keep doing it, I just wondered if it calms you down like my scratching sometimes does to me
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2014, 06:29:32 PM »
I think of it as Energy. Your body produces this internal energy. That energy has to go somewhere....

I wouldn't consider this self harm. You're not cutting yourself because you're sad. that's self harm.


I feel that instead of punching a hole through your wall, you're taking it out on your own body. It's common. I used to walk up to a door, grab it, and swing it just as I slam my forehead into it at full force. I felt instantly relieved.

I don't condone that and I would never do that again (had a lump on my forehead for two days and was very dizzy). :angry-smiley-034:

I'd get something like a stress ball... squeeze the life out of it like you want to pop it. or go for a drive... sometimes I'd want to go to the gym to relieve this, but on the drive to the gym and being alone I start to calm down.
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Sometimes when I'm home alone, I fill my bathtub with tomato sauce and pretend I'm a meatball.

Offline brokenbone

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2014, 05:11:30 PM »
That is definitely self-harm. Any damage purposely done to yourself is self-harm. You are mutilating yourself.

Have you thought about why you do it? It could be a form of OCD; Trichotillomania is a disorder of the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum where you feel compelled to pull your hair out. If it is calming, then something should be done about your anxiety. I know from experience that you don't just self-injure when you're sad, it can be a response to anxiety and stress as well. When I feel overwhelmed, I have the biggest urge to self-harm.

I hope this improves for you, I'm sorry you're going through it. Please know that you're not alone. If you ever want to talk, my inbox is open.
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Offline Potatoes

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2014, 06:52:08 PM »
But self harm by definition is Deliberate, That my head-to-door pounding is deliberate, that's self harm.... :angry-smiley-034:

But her scratching herself isn't self harm. I guess it boils down to what the definition of "is" is....
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Sometimes when I'm home alone, I fill my bathtub with tomato sauce and pretend I'm a meatball.

Offline brokenbone

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2014, 09:08:26 PM »
But self harm by definition is Deliberate, That my head-to-door pounding is deliberate, that's self harm.... :angry-smiley-034:

But her scratching herself isn't self harm. I guess it boils down to what the definition of "is" is....
Yeah, but what isn't deliberate about scratching yourself until you bleed or pulling your hair out? Unless it happens accidentally, I don't know how it isn't. You can look up the types of self-harm, and both of those are listed. That is also why I asked if it was a compulsion or not.

Scratching yourself damages tissue just like cutting or burning. I'm not trying to be rude. I just want OP to get proper treatment, that's all.
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Offline onegirlandherlittledog

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2014, 06:11:49 PM »
That is definitely self-harm. Any damage purposely done to yourself is self-harm. You are mutilating yourself.

Have you thought about why you do it? It could be a form of OCD; Trichotillomania is a disorder of the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum where you feel compelled to pull your hair out. If it is calming, then something should be done about your anxiety. I know from experience that you don't just self-injure when you're sad, it can be a response to anxiety and stress as well. When I feel overwhelmed, I have the biggest urge to self-harm.

I hope this improves for you, I'm sorry you're going through it. Please know that you're not alone. If you ever want to talk, my inbox is open.

I do it when I'm stressed and angry so it is certainly deliberate, it feels like when I have no control and it's something that I can control and that gets all the anger out of me. When I'm anxious I shake and feel sick and get overly emotional which just makes the situation seem and feel worse.

Sometimes I feel so alone with all of this because my boyfriend has so many issues of his own and I honestly can't talk to him about this and the way I just feel broken on the inside
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Offline brokenbone

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2014, 06:56:22 PM »
That is definitely self-harm. Any damage purposely done to yourself is self-harm. You are mutilating yourself.

Have you thought about why you do it? It could be a form of OCD; Trichotillomania is a disorder of the Obsessive-Compulsive spectrum where you feel compelled to pull your hair out. If it is calming, then something should be done about your anxiety. I know from experience that you don't just self-injure when you're sad, it can be a response to anxiety and stress as well. When I feel overwhelmed, I have the biggest urge to self-harm.

I hope this improves for you, I'm sorry you're going through it. Please know that you're not alone. If you ever want to talk, my inbox is open.

I do it when I'm stressed and angry so it is certainly deliberate, it feels like when I have no control and it's something that I can control and that gets all the anger out of me. When I'm anxious I shake and feel sick and get overly emotional which just makes the situation seem and feel worse.

Sometimes I feel so alone with all of this because my boyfriend has so many issues of his own and I honestly can't talk to him about this and the way I just feel broken on the inside

Your situation sounds very familiar to me. My boyfriend is actually an active member of the Hypochondria branch of AZ; I often feel like I shouldn't talk about my problems to him when he's already got so many worries of his own.

But your boyfriend, like mine, is with you because he cares about you. He doesn't want you to be alone, and I know he doesn't want you to harm yourself. You should at least consider talking to him, or someone else, for support during this hard time. For me personally, I find it a lot more difficult to hurt myself when I have promised someone I love that I will do my best not to. And if he isn't supportive, he isn't worth your time. What you're going through is not your fault.

There are some things you can do instead of self-harm that still create an interesting bodily sensation! For example, rubbing ice cubes on your skin. Anything that is different temperature wise or gives a slight tingly sensation can accomplish the same purpose that scratching would, just without the tissue damage. Also, there are these things called 'Calm Jars' that are essentially jars filled with glitter than you can shake violently when you're anxious/angry/whatever. Then you watch the glitter fall to the bottom of the jar until you feel calm again. It sounds silly, but it is very beautiful to look at.

Again, if you ever want to talk, you can always private message me. I have a lot of experience with this, have received lots of worksheets from therapy on alternatives to self-harm, and understand that sometimes it can be easier to talk about something this serious with a stranger, before you can gauge the reactions of those you know personally. Just know that the people closest to you want what's best for you. You are not selfish for asking for help. You deserve the kindness and support of everyone, including yourself.
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Offline MeganxPhillips5150

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Re: Self harm?
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2014, 03:49:34 AM »
I can relate 100% to this. Ever since I was a child, I would rub my nose raw, or smack myself. As an adult, it got worse & under extreme anxiety I also pick myself, or scratch myself. Occasionally, but not often, I pull my hair out. I have self-harmed for over 9 years now, but those are other forms of self-harm as well. I try to find some coping mechanisms, so that I don't further harm myself. Maybe there are certain things you can do, to help. Look up the Butterfly Project Self-Harm. It prevents you from self-harming. Or you can do rubberbands on your wrist. My fiance is not very supportive of my behavior at times, either. I think if your not dealing with the stress, or anxiety, you can't understand it.
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