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TRIGGER WARNING - Self Harm

Discussion in 'Help and Support' started by Gift2humanity, Oct 3, 2021.

  1. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    TRIGGER WARNING
    If you are triggered by self-harm discussion, please do not read this post.
    If you feel you can read this post, please scroll down.

















    I am 55 years of age.
    As a child my meltdowns involved me flailing around on the floor, making strange noises voluntarily, pulling my own hair and biting my wrists, but only making a red bite mark, which disappeared quickly.

    Stress triggers them.

    As I have got older they have got worse because of the stress increase.

    My meltdowns involve the following.
    Biting my wrists and arms until they bleed, one arm has lots of scar tissue.
    Hitting my head on hard objects or with hard objects, until it bleeds, in the moment, not caring what it does to me.
    Punching myself in the face until I am black and blue.
    Damaging and breaking my belongings.

    I have certain problems, that feel insurmountable, despite asking for help.
    The help isn't available for these particular problems, I won't go into them as they are not relevant to the topic of self-harm.
    I am NOT suicidal, only because my spiritual beliefs stop me.

    Today, I feared having a meltdown due to a trigger that I won't write about as I want to stay focused on the self harm topic.

    Instead of the meltdown, I thought about experimenting with "controlled cutting", that way, I release pain, I get punished, but it is much less chaotic.

    Before I did it, I did speak to the mental health out of hours people about it, but could not find a more positive course of action like they and me would have preferred.
    I told the mental health people, I will tell my CPN on Friday when I speak to her.

    Luckily, I did not need to "cut" to get the pain, repeated scratches with a sharp knife, and a bit of salt achieved what I was aiming for.

    Going out would just result in me crying, I have cried while I have been out three times this week.
    The only place I feel I can cry is the local arts centre, as they are down with mental illness also, but it's getting there.


    I have borderline personality disorder, but unlike many people with this disorder, cutting, or other forms of less-explosive-but-as-serious self harm, isn't part of my BPD symptoms.

    I only cut myself once to show off in front of a friend who was collects fancy ornate knives. I make him sound horrible, he is actually talented and creative, but has challenges with mental illness.

    I know it is dysfunctional but I felt it was either controlled cutting, or smash the place up/smash my belongings.
    A laptop and a mobile phone have fallen victims to my meltdowns among other things.

    Luckily I did not cut myself severely, I just scratched myself a few times to get the pain, then rubbed salt in it.

    I haven't had the meltdown.
    I have just taken my night dose of medication, I won't be allowed more tonight, but I did it to get through the day.

    Does anyone else have borderline personality disorder?
    Does anyone else use "controlled-self-harm" rather than chaotic meltdowns?

    Thanks for reading.
     
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  2. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I used to do similar ie punch my head, whilst calling myself names ( hated myself to the extreme) and would bash my head against things, but either my head is very hard, or not hitting hard enough, because I never bled.

    I do not do that now, because I have come to respect my body and my faith keeps me balanced.

    Here is a link, that may help you:https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/g201308/teenager-self-injures/

    Ps. I hope that I do not come across as condemning you, because that is not my intention at all.
     
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  3. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I have never self-harmed, but do fly into a rage and smash/hit things. I always regret it afterwards, as it's illogical and solves nothing, doesn't make me feel better. I need to find a coping mechanism for this.
     
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  4. SDRSpark

    SDRSpark Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I have those sort of meltdowns (though not as severe as yours) where punching/hitting my head/pulling my hair is common.

    Biting my index finger is a last ditch effort to avoid a meltdown. I don't draw blood. It's fairly harmless in that regard.

    For years I thought my meltdowns were panic attacks and couldn't figure out why they don't look like everyone else's. They're definitely triggered by overstimulation, mostly sensory, though mental or emotional stress makes it worse. It wasn't until I learned about autism that I said "oh, that makes sense".

    I don't think I had violent meltdowns as a young child. I started having them in my late teens, when the various stresses of life became more than I could cope with, and by then the time for diagnosis and intervention had passed, other things were going on that took precedence.
     
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  5. Mike67

    Mike67 Member

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    Hi, all I want to offer is a maybe. I’m only going off my own insight, experience and understanding off of a few words you wrote on a blank page.

    What stands out for me is you keep using I and what you’ve done to allow yourself to control these negative things in a negative way. This tells me you have control over them to some degree. Figure this out internally as only you can for yourself and train your mind in whatever understanding you have to learn to develop your strength in a positive direction of control. Also how many negative feelings were forced on you because of people not understanding you or from their own pain that you believe? You are strong, prove it to yourself and watch it spread:).

    The control and acceptance of and over the pain in order to gain control and release your fears can be changed to new format that could release all of you forever once it spreads in thought.
     
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  6. watersprite

    watersprite inadvertent vagabond V.I.P Member

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    I’m glad you can describe the process.
    I don’t have BPD. I have HFA. And anxiety, and ADHD.

    I do have meltdowns, much less frequently than when I was a child and young adult. Mainly they’re from stress combined with some sort of over-stimulation. I make a very hasty exit if one starts.

    A very close member of my family used to cut. They’re quite scarred, now, but stopped doing it. They’re on anti-depression medication, which works well for them.
     
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  7. crewlucaa_

    crewlucaa_ ugh idk lol

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    I'm so sorry you struggle with this :cry: I self-injure too and it's really hard to stop.
    I have BPD too and, like you mentioned, I do this instead of allowing myself to have a meltdown. I used to have really bad meltdowns and I used to break/smash things and punch holes in the wall. I felt guilty for doing that so I turned my frustration inward. I know it's not a nice thing to do to myself but I would honestly rather that than hurting someone else inadvertently, or damaging property.
    Does your medication help with this at all? I found that if I take my meds properly throughout the day I don't get as frustrated with things. I also have meltdowns when I'm overwhelmed and some of my meds take the edge off a little bit.
    I've never allowed myself to get as angry at another human being as I do at myself. I don't think I even have it in me if I wanted to, honestly, but I get furious with myself sometimes.
    The thing that has helped me the most is having animals around. They make me calm and pretty fearless. One of my dogs is being trained as a service dog for me and since I started taking her to public places to train her, I have not gotten anywhere near as stressed and overwhelmed in public as I normally would have. She has a natural instinct to put pressure on me and cuddle me. I'm not saying a service dog is a viable solution for everyone, but do you have any animals? Sometimes they're better comfort than people... and petting or cuddling animals helps with blood pressure and actually calms most people down.
    Another thing I find really therapeutic is painting... you mentioned going to a local arts centre. Do they have painting classes or a place where you could paint on your own?
     
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  8. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply to this thread, I didn't quite know what to say, and also life kinda gets in the way.
    Hi Suzanne
    Thanks for the link, While I am not religious, I am not atheist either.
    I guess I know there is a Divine Creator, a general spiritual side of life that makes this three dimensional side look like a speck of dust.

    Sorry to hear you punched your head.

    Yes, our bodies do deserve respect, I hated myself and still get furious with myself, but am now wanting to respect my body mind and soul more.

    Hi Progster
    Yes, some of us have rages without self harm.
    It is illogical and solves nothing, we just lose our temper.
    I was physically abused and physically abused and am just carrying that on, but as an Aspie, I am making allowances and not beating myself up for beating myself up if that makes sense.
    Hi SDRSpark
    Sorry you have meltdowns.
    Mine weren't as severe.
    The severity depends on the level of stress, which is why I had to say "No more damage to belongings, gotta try not to injure myself severely, hence the "controlled cutting" which I haven't felt the need to do since.

    I hear what you say about not making sense of meltdowns before learning about autism, same here.
    At least I can name them correctly now, I used to call them "tantrums"
    I hope right now, you are ok.
    Hi Mike67
    I have started doing physical exercise recently, only a little as I tire, but I intend to do more and more as my body gets fitter.

    I cannot deal with my external problems in the way I was because I lost 6stone in weight, so I have to be more meticulous and in the right headspace.

    I need to learn more acceptance, no matter how scary the outcomes may be, I also need to learn about this from reading or good old personal insights.

    It is my intention not to need to cut to avoid meltdowns in future. Hopefully the physical exercise will help.
    I'm lucky, I have a stairwell, as I live in a flat, my very own gym right here at home and I can exercise the arms etc, in my flat :)
    Hi watersprite
    I think I have ADHD as well, it's so debilitating, the impulsiveness, the hyperactivity, not so much physical, the mental hyperactivity and the urge to talk and interrupt, does my nut in.
    An ADHD nurse thought I had it and invited me to see the specialist ADHD shrink, I was poly-drugging at the time, and I wanted to see the diagnosititican sober, but couldn't face it, postponed, and in the meantime the funding was cut.

    I'm hoping the physical excercises I have started doing will discharge some of the excess energy.
    Hi crewlucaa_
    TRIGGER WARNING
    I hope this post doesn't trigger, please feel free to pm me if it does and I will do my best to talk to you.
    While BPD is not nice, it helps me feel less alone to meet an Aspie with BPD.

    I read self-injury is addictive, hence it being hard to stop.
    While I never cut before, part of me could feel a violent meltdown coming on, and other messed up stuff, like making myself stay in bed, and telling myself my food has to be earned etc, part of me wanted to experiment with cutting rather than risking damaging my stuff and myself.

    I am on valium which I used illicitly to deal with stress.
    Thankfully my shrink took over the prescription and is helping me off them slowly.

    There has been some worsening insomnia that has come of the blue, the worsening, not the insomnia, so I decided to take another pill my shrink prescribed, which gave me a hangover, but I tried it anyway.
    It calmed my anxiety in an artificial way yesterday evening.
    Sleep was still broken, disturbing dreams but there was a drug induced improvement.
    I also take herbs to calm me down.

    As for animals, I had a cat that got ran over before I moved here.
    I fostered homeless cats, but got stopped as it's a breach of lease, they do make a difference, I miss them.

    I would love to be able to foster them again, now that the building owner is allowing cats and small dogs.

    Meanwhile I stop strangers in the street to stroke dogs, strangers permitting and dogs of course.
    I feel honoured on the odd occasion when cats come up to me for a cuddle in the street/outside.
     
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  9. Suzanne

    Suzanne Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi, I should have mentioned that you do not have to have a belief. Just sent it, in the hope it may help you somewhat.

    Our website is open to all faiths and non faiths, so have no fear hehehe
     
  10. Mike67

    Mike67 Member

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    Hi Gift2 humanity,

    I’m very sorry, I hope things settle down for you very soon. For me I know the food/sleep, exercise/staying very busy, and the animals help a lot.

    My cutting/heat were more precise and controlled for in my mind a greater release per my incorrect thinking. Through high school I stayed very busy with track, football and misc smaller others to help control things. After marijuana, alcohol and a lot of work then extra other unrelated work physical and mental. I functioned and lived according to the world as through their eyes but never at peace inside now just trying to be myself.

    For the animals I have four goats, was 20 and three cows:), two miniature ponies, three dogs and a cat that help especially when coming out of a meltdown and daily just knowing their there.

    After a divorce six years ago after 26 years and seven dating, with more things along the way my routine and life were broken along with a source of support in a way lost, leaving a wake of personnel issues. I also similar to you went from 237 pounds to 169 pounds in six or seven months and I knew I had to do something different because I wasn’t able to eat because my brain can’t quit thinking nonstop or able to bounce back up. I’m back to 182 now but still a few pounds back and forth but getting better not sure that helps in any way but possibly making a stand on something might help also? My thoughts are with you.

    Mike
     
  11. Gift2humanity

    Gift2humanity Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Hi Mike

    My BPD is still playing up, it's showing up as needy feelings.
    I do not want to act these out.
    Lack of sleep is an issue for me.
    I wake too soon after falling asleep - tired sometimes, which makes as much sense as a ceiling rug.
    If I fall back to sleep after waking up, I get intrusive thoughts and paranoid feelings.
    The paranoid feelings are also possibly aggravated by lack of sleep.
    I hope I can stay motivated to do the physical exercise I have just started, running up and down our stairwell, I hope I can get fitter and do more.

    I know my needy-paranoid thinking is incorrect, yet part of me tells me it just may be true.
    I have had paranoid feelings before that turned out to be real problems and not just my imagination.

    Sorry to hear you harmed yourself but good you helped yourself.

    I love marijuana, the psychedelic type, mild psychedelics seem to feel stronger for me, but had to give it up, plus opiates as I got fed up of them wearing off and running out.

    As for alcohol, I had a problem with that, not had any for 3 years. I went off it for 5 years once and relapsed, but booze free for 3yrs now.

    I love drugs but they get me down because they wear off and I am back to square one.
    Psychedelics have taught me a lot though and work wonders for creativity but I have to try to create drug free now, except my valium script off my psych.

    I hope you are trying to be yourself now.

    Animals are invaluable - I noticed a difference when I stopped fostering cats as I was in breach of my lease and threatened with court.

    Sorry you had a difficult time with relationships.

    Stress can cause some to eat more, but can kill the appetite and you sound like me.

    I could still do with a little more weight on and never want to go back to being a skeleton again.
    Thanks for your kind post.
     
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  12. Mike67

    Mike67 Member

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    Hi, when I was young I had a lot of nightmares but if I do now I don’t remember them. I’ve never had the mental and physical stress load that I do now and for the last six years. This makes me wonder if this is what helped bring everything forward for me after 54 years? I also had an experience where I realized my very violent alcoholic step dad had lost any power over me and I saw him for what he was. It was like a weight was lift off of my chest and my brain just opened up, my panic attacks went away and other things. The strangest were seeing the colors and my chess game went from playing between 1300 - 1400 the last time I played before this (A year) and now I can play above 2000 beating a senior master 2120 and others I shouldn’t be able to and never studied or read a book? I always just played to help me think before. My paranoid/careful thoughts came from having to know when things were safe with my step dad and groups of other bullies growing up as I was 6ft in the 8th grade. The thing that drives me nuts is I can’t stop hyper focusing on everything and I walk non stop till I can’t go anymore or causing an issue and sometimes having to limp around while thinking like this. I think so much the front of my head feels like it’s overheating or headaches and in the eyes. When I can finally go to sleep it’s 4 to 6 hours and as soon as my eyes open I start thinking again??

    For me I either drink or smoke not together and it just calmed me down a little so I could function. I still smoke some now but it’s habit and not so much a need anymore. I never saw anything from it as you mentioned. You wouldn’t know I had smoked unless I told you and maybe my eyes. That was funny about them wearing off as the only problem:), I haven’t heard that before. I don’t know much about BPD but always suspected my ex wife of having that or something else. She would be happy loud outgoing half the month then a little before and after the full moon she got very depressed, angry and violent. For 33 years I kept her calm and she kept me organized yet with a lot of love also. She’s going to sell her house next year and her things buy a van and travel around the country and do travel nursing when needed.I hope all is well today, and feel free to message me if needed and I could possibly help.
    Mike