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Old 20th Feb 2017, 12:56 PM   #1
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Need of advice for when self harm happens again

Hey there, folks. I wanted to put this thread in Physical & Sexual Health, as I think it does tie in with both of those, and my mental health, but I'll put it there instead. If it's the wrong place, well, feel free to move it, you don't even need to ask me.
I think the mention of trigger warnings at this point is useless, you've guessed it's gonna be bad. It's gonna be long, insane and boring. Have fun.

There's gonna be lots of useless venting and backstory, I'll let the basic elements out of the spoiler fold.

Spoiler


So, here's the situation :
  • Self harming for almost two years
  • Unable to stop, and getting into pretty bad levels of self harm
  • Have had self destructive/self sabotaging/self deprecating tendencies since early childhood
  • Can absolutely not expose the issue to my parents
  • Can absolutely not expose the issue to my school
  • Waiting doesn't work, it only makes me feel worse. I cannot focus on other activities, and that can go on for almost a day before I become violent (withdrawal?).
  • I can enter a terrible rage if I cannot fulfill the urge quickly enough, and will use any mean to hurt myself by then
  • Sleeping it off will only make me moody for about a week before I go downhill again (I tried)

The most important element to me, which makes my case different from most of those I've read about, is that a while before I feel the need to cut, I'll enter a weird mental state in which I not only feel detached from reality, but also my usual thought process. I can anticipate when I'll self harm days before it happens, but I can't do anything about it. I'll be half conscious, and later, mean, rude or offensive even (which is why I have to lock all my accounts when I feel "it" is gonna happen), but craving for an audience to helplessly try to talk me out of it, but by then it's like they're not talking to me, as I slowly feel like I drift away from reality, kind of like falling asleep, but something else that has taken over me and wishes to destroy me and watch people hurt over not being able to help. I'll have no memory, I'll do things without remembering, until I finish cutting. It's weird to explain, and even more when I explain it, I feel insane, but it's what happens, and that is what is the most worrying to me.

I've never read any story like mine. Usually, people who self harm are dealing with depression (which I most likely had at some point in the past three years), or body dysmorphic disorder, but rarely with stuff that weird.

So, what would you do? I do wanna have some input from people who may already have had to deal with, maybe not similar, but cases of self harm in general, before it happens again (in about two weeks I think). I do not necessarily feel like I can ever stop cutting, as it fulfills perfectly the natural tendency I've always had to punish/destroy myself, but I need to stop whatever else is happening that self harm has become a component of.

Thanks for your responses.

PS: My grammar's probably broken, as I tried to cram as much as possible in there and rephrased some stuff in the process. I'll clarify any unclear point in the thread.
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Old 20th Feb 2017, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

If I understand correctly, this is what you are saying in your post:
You go through a cycle of different emotional periods, which ends with a bout of extreme depression during which you "fall asleep" and become nearly to completely unaware of what is going on, and have no memory of it afterwards. You also have the tendency to cut, or self-harm in any other way if you cannot cut.
The first thing you need to do is get a therapist that you can talk to on a weekly basis. You said that your father doesn't want to help you, but are your mother or other relatives more supportive? If so, I would talk to them about getting you to a therapist. They can help you track your mood and offer solutions to your self-harm and your "depressive" phase.
Your symptoms seem to somewhat match up with bipolar disorder. I am completely unqualified to diagnose you with this, or anything else, but this is another reason to see a doctor or therapist- they may be able to diagnose you and offer medication.

When you get the urge to cut, here are a few things you can do to help resist it:
-Snap a rubber band or hair tie against your arm. Snap it hard. It's still self harm but it's not as harmful to you long-term and can satisfy the cutting urge.
-Write something. It doesn't matter what. Write what you're feeling, write about something that happened, write a completely random story. Just start writing.
-Draw something.
-Take a relaxing bath or shower (remove all razors and other sharp objects before you do)
-Read. Make sure it's a relaxing story, nothing too triggering.
-Watch a mindless cartoon (again, nothing triggering)
-Listen to relaxing music (see above)
-Talk to someone. You don't have to talk about what's going on, just interact with someone.

Feel free to leave me a wall message if you ever want to talk. I hope this helps you some!
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 02:15 AM   #3
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

As far as I can tell, your summary of my situation is accurate, even more I'd say than mine.. After all I was the one rambling.
Thanks for you response, I didn't think anyone would believe me, that entire situation feels insane. I did some research myself for a long time (from the end of 2015 to mid-2016 I'd say) and despite being unqualified to diagnose myself I had a few ideas catching my mind, like a dissociative disorder (and definetely something around a depressive disorder at some point), but I never thought of a bipolar disorder.. I think my family has had cases of that (my great-aunt was bipolar, I recall), but I can't ask due to the stigma in my family with mental illness..
Now, yes, there's something going on, and my options are limited. I could find a therapist like you suggested but there are two major problems with that. The first big issue would be that, since I barely have any friends, I can't simply go out from my home and come back without telling my parents where I was and have them check (unless it's school). At the same time, I feel, any sane psychologist would have them informed. The second problem for me is the stupidest one, again, but my poor mind is just a pain : I cannot say it in French. I live in an environment which is exclusively french-speaking, and despite my best efforts, I have never been able to talk honestly to a therapist in French (by wariness, paranoia, mistrust, whatever), and the stigma associated with the few words of French I can gather on the topic is just too intense for me to handle. I could talk to them in all honesty like I am doing with you right now, but they'd probably lock me up in an asylum or have me translate (which I can't, if I do, I'll freak out, like with many things I learnt in English to dodge the strong stigma in my mother language). Thanks regardless for the proposition, but, that is my situation.

Now on the topic of handling : those methods are great, but they're often meant to quench a thirst of endorphins, whereas my "asleep" self, I can feel, and deduce from the evidence I clean up, doesn't really look for a rush of endorphins (like I used to do when I tried to quit) but for a way to punish me and inflinct me pain that I feel I deserve intensely. So I'm not really a "junkie" self harmer who ends up addicted because of the endorphins, I'm more of a "that's my inner instinct to destroy myself" self harmer, and no amount of relaxation/rubber bands has ever helped. If I try to relax, I'll think even more about why I want to punish myself, if I try to draw, I'll think about how much of a failure I am at drawing (that has happened countless times, my poor drawing skills are a repetitive trigger), and how I deserve to destroy my work (again, a form of punishment). If I try to have any low-intensity usage of my brain (reading, watching cartoon), since my mind isn't usually capable of either focusing or relaxing (and has been going at full speed almost constantly for two years at least), then all that's not used to watch/read (which is a lot) will be spamming my mind with dark thoughts. Sometimes I don't even need to reach the end of a cycle, it has happened, although rarely, that something triggered my inner sense of punishment (bad grade, failed drawing, all that jazz). The self harm is usually lower in intensity than when it's cyclical, but it has happened.

Now for talking with someone else, and why I cannot do that, even with you : when "it" happens, and I'm "gone".. I've seen myself insult my friend, torture them with threats, confuse them. I don't want that happening to anyone. I've drowned my texts, and Twitter timeline, with violent messages about punishing myself and asking for an audience to sometimes even participate in my pain (polls have surprising uses; and I have read those messages, since I've had to clean them up, so I know what they said). Since then I have understood that any kind of attention that is given to "asleep" me only fuels the drive to punish and humiliate me. If I talk to you, or anyone, I'll be the rudest idiot ever, and you cannot even fathom the insanity that you'll witness helplessly. Frankly, there's a reason why I try to lock all my accounts when I feel myself drifting : when I'm "asleep", nobody can help me, all I can do is getting hurt and having others hurt as well, until I'm done and wake up covered in blood. That won't lead anywhere. My personal solutions so far was to let "asleep" me do whatever they want, while locking every outlet I have, but that only made the self harm more intense and desperate.
On the short-term, I need something to control my self harm when I'm unaware and stop me from hurting others. I can't ask to be "cured" of self harm, since, I said earlier, hurting myself as a punishment has been something I've been doing since my early childhood, psychologically, and sometimes, physically. I'm not sure I'll stop, although I want to, and I don't hurt myself outside of those phases, so, stopping the cycle seems to be my only option to end that nightmare.

It's just insane, that's the only way I can characterize it. I feel like I should be locked up somewhere and forgotten by all but yet I'm here feeling perfectly fine until the next wave comes. And for what?.. I remember wishing as a kid that I never fall in love, well, considering the chaos it led me to the first time, I think I was right wishing that.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 04:25 AM   #4
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

If you have a job with enough money to do so, or if you can get support from another family member, you can try to get an online therapist. That would allow you to get an English-speaking therapist and it would be easier to hide from your parents. The therapist would also be able to help you figure out what's going on.
Next time you want to punish yourself, try taking a few minutes beforehand to think. If you're going to do it anyways, what's a few minutes wait? During these few minutes, think about if you really deserve this. Is your art really that bad? Many artists think that their own art is terrible (I have that problem too), but try to view it from someone else's perspective. Would someone else think it's bad? And besides that, is art really a basis to punish yourself on? Who cares if your art is bad or good, no one even has to see it! Try to take five minutes to think about if you really want to do this, if you really deserve to be punished for what ever you are punishing yourself for. I don't know if it will help, but it might be worth a try.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 04:55 AM   #5
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

I went and check because I wasn't sure it was visible : I'm only almost 16 (although with the cognitive maturity of an 18 years old, and the emotional maturity of a 13 years old, according to the last psychologist I saw), high school student, with no job, no outside activity. Any kind of psychologist would have to inform my parents. I considered running away (for multiple reasons) but I may simply end up showing them what happens while I'm "asleep" (which would be catastrophic but well, "asleep" me has been dramatically creative recently..).
On the topic of drawing : I generally avoid any word from the "art" family and use those of "draw" instead. I feel comparing my work with other people's by using the same term is quite derogatory and rude (like saying my coding is like the programming of a professional; different words for different levels), but anyways. I usually don't care about that, but sometimes it's the straw that breaks the camel's back and it triggers my downhill fall. I don't care, but my mind speaks to me constantly about how miserable my work is, and I can't shut that voice up. Everyone else's opinion is theirs and theirs alone, and I respect them, but I don't share my work a lot, or believe it too much when people say they like it (when I receive feedback).
But drawing is only one example. I've actually been "triggered" way more often by school, or general loneliness, than my abilities at drawing.

If I am already "gone", or drifting, then yes, I could try and step back to look at it and think. There are two issues with that though. First, the need to punish myself is only really present when I'm gone, I can feel it in the messages I read when I wake up. When I'm drifting, it's mostly extremely depressive or suicidal thoughts. The need to hurt myself as a result doesn't seem to arise until I'm too far gone. But even when drifting, I know what I'm gonna do, I recognize the pattern, but things are just too much for me to handle.
And "asleep" me is just the worst. If you ask me if I wants to do it, then I'll say yes (I saw that happen already), I'll come up with whatever reasoning, and when faced with contradictions, I just brush it off and do the deed, changing the topic. I can't be brought back to reason in that state until I leave it after hurting myself, and it's generally too late when I start entering it.
Thanks for the tips though, I could try that next time, but the chances it works are slim at best, and it may only delay the thing to a few days later, like it does for sleeping.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 05:30 AM   #6
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

If you have regular visits to a doctor, you should talk to them about it in private- if you explain to the doctor about your parents' stigma about mental health, they would still be obliged to tell them but they may do a better job of explaining what's happening and that you do need help. Having a professional such as a doctor or therapist tell your parents may increase the chance that you can get professional help. Other than that I don't know how to help you, good luck and I hope you can figure this out.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 10:21 AM   #7
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

This sounds very troubling for you and I fear you will not get through it without professional help. If the idea of seeking professional help is out of the question, you should definitely try to find some alternatives to cutting, because it's so destructive. Even though it releases the pressure, cutting leaves you with lasting scars that you may come to hate, so perpetuating the cycle of distress. Anything short of cutting is a better option.

This thread touched on the issue of self harm and you may find it useful: How to resist self harm urges?

Most importantly, don't bottle up your feelings. Even if you can't talk to a professional about your feelings you may be able to talk to a crisis line in confidence to release the stress.
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Old 21st Feb 2017, 11:35 AM   #8
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickUK View Post
you should definitely try to find some alternatives to cutting, because it's so destructive.
Well I recall one time where I strangled myself until I woke up, but by then I had trouble breathing. It was effective but hurt badly.. But not really destructive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickUK View Post
Cutting leaves you with lasting scars that you may come to hate
I don't actually feel that too much, since it's too late, my skin is scarred now, I can't help it. When I look at my scars, I see them as a reminder of how I must be better than that, or when I'm down, of how crappy things can be. I'm more worried about how other people will see them. As an example, the longest time I went without self harm was during my last relationship (with some reasoning as "I need to preserve myself for him", which turned into "who cares about what I do with my body" when our relationship ended, hurray).

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickUK View Post
This thread touched on the issue of self harm and you may find it useful: How to resist self harm urges?
OK. Most of those methods are impossible to use actually (for reasons detailed above : I can't be with other people, I can't distract myself, I can't relax, and I can't be done just with endorphins/going to sleep), and for those that may work, I can't guarantee they won't simply delay things for a day or two. Thanks regardless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickUK View Post
Most importantly, don't bottle up your feelings.
I don't feel like I'm bottling up. I don't think of all the darkness when I'm feeling good-ish, it just appears and crushes me when the time comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickUK View Post
Even if you can't talk to a professional about your feelings you may be able to talk to a crisis line in confidence to release the stress.
That'd probably collide with two of my issues : the cultural and linguistic problem (i.e. there is no such thing as a crisis helpline for self harm in my country since self harm is still widely unknown or dismissed as stupid attention seeking from suicidal teenage girls, and even if there was one, then talking to them in my mother language would either mortify me or freak me out), and the problem of volountary alienation or abrasion (which basically means that even when talking english, when I'm gone, it's a waste of time to try to talk me to reason, I'll just insult you or dismiss you, at best). There's also the fact that helplines are usually by phone, and not only do I hate talking (I hate my voice) but I can't be sure I'll have the opportunity to use any helpline since I usually cut late at night. Plus, I am not sure by the time I'm about to cut I'll want help.

I agree I may not get through that without professional help but I don't think I'll receive any unless I happen to hurt myself badly, or my insane self is confronted with my parents (which would be the apocalypse, or maybe my dad punching me in the face would wake me up, either one).
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 12:55 PM   #9
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

(OK I have no clue what the rules of double-posting are here but I'll bump this thread regardless)

It's happening. I didn't anticipate it would come that soon. I have no blade. Just wires, and heavy objects. My behaviour for the past ~48h corresponds to an end of cycle and I feel myself drifting. I'll be on lock down from now on until maximum 18 hours in the future. I shouldn't be able to damage myself a lot but I know what I need to do.
I need pain. Somehow, that's what I feel that I need. Maybe as a punishment, maybe as a reward, maybe to match with psychological pain, or whatever BS is causing me this. I just want physical pain, because it feels like a liberation, it feels right. You can not understand how good it feels, not until you have tried, or maybe not until you are nuts like me. I cannot feel anything better.
I'll not try any anti self-harm tip, they'd most likely work anyway. I don't know why I would have sought advices, there is no advice to be given. I am doomed to follow the cycle, and monthly, step into the house of madness, until one day, maybe today, maybe next time, maybe in a few years, I am killed by the physical instance of my own insanity.
I'll try to make it as quick as possible by accelerating things, that way I'll limit the damage. Sorry for wasting your time. Sorry for the attention-grabbing thread. You can mark this one as finished, or however you sort things over here, because there is no exit for me, there is no reason to be worried, there is nothing to do. I just have to follow the flow of things. There is, however, a lesson to learn for others : never start harming yourself, like I did. And by all the gods of mount Olympus, being angry at myself for never telling my first crush how I felt when I could seems like the stupidest reason I'd hurt myself.
I'll be back in a few hours, hopefully. Until then, have a nice day.

PS: If I post before editing this post and saying I'm back.. then I'm not awake yet. Ignore it.
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 05:44 PM   #10
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Re: Need of advice for when self harm happens again

I hate that I have to triple post, but things are done. I am fine, everything's OK (although I couldn't edit).
(Could someone lock this thread by the way? It's useless now..)
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