Skip to main content
Forums Home
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Something’s not right

Highlighted
Senior Contributor

self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

Things are going really well at present. However, I’m worried because my mother reckons we should go on a diet together, and I really do see her point in this - I have gained a lot of weight since being on my medications, but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to lose it. I have explained this to her and she seemed to understand it on the level of 'the words strung together made sense', but I don't know if she 'got it'.

 

Also, I keep having these vivid images of self-harm pop into my brain now and then, with a strong but brief impulse to act on it. Historically, I have self harmed in small ways, nothing like the images my brain keeps generating. I currently breathe through the impulses and that stops me from acting on them, which is what really counts (or so I tell myself). I’m worried that this is part of living in recovery - that nothing will stop these impulses before they happen. I’m worried that with embarking on the diet, these impulses will become more difficult to control.

 

Does anyone have any experience in stopping/minimising self harm impulses?

6 REPLIES 6
Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

Hey @Gwynn , I'm so sorry to hear that you're having these strong thoughts.

 

I haven't SH myself, however I do often get thoughts of that, and worse. I know how hard it is not to do it, trust me.

 

I have heard, and I know it's different for everyone, that the following things may help:

 

  • Mindfulness/grounding.
  • Drawing on yourself where you want to SH with a texta or something.
  • Drawing a butterfly or something nice on yourself where you want to SH, and the objective is to not hurt it and yourself of course.
  • Holding ice where you want to SH.
  • Snapping a rubber band gently against your wrist.

I hope these help.

Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

Hi @musicfanatic_x - thank you for hearing me and responding. Just knowing I'm not alone in fighting this fight helps. At the moment my long-term psych is on holidays and I don't want to make another psych panic - because I really do think that I just need some help in taming/slaying these impulses, rather than having any immediate danger of acting on them.
Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

@Gwynn  I have struggled with self harm, I have found talking to someone helpful, but someone who understands. I get very strong urges when under stress, so maybe the diet is causing some underlying stress.

 

All the things @musicfanatic_x  has mentioned are really good. I think the deep breathing you are doing is grounding and helpful.

 

You can call SANE helplines  for help if things get to tough.

 

Take care

Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

@Gwynn I'm sorry to hear that. When my Psychiatrist was overseas over Christmas last year, I felt really bad. I do like Christmas but it's always a hard time of year for me since it's just my parents & I, & has been since I was born, with the occassional visit from my Grandparents (we lived in Tassie then), but they passed away years ago. So it's always been difficult. I was suicidal around that time and I felt like I ruined his holiday.

 

You can try Lifeline, they're usually pretty good and quick, I always use the webchat.

 

@Maggie thank you, and hello

Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

Hey @Gwynn a couple of things are jumping out from your post at me. And I have to apologise in advance if this isn't helpful, but I'm going to try.

 

Look, what you've said about how your Mum heard you, but you don't think she really understood. That's not a small thing. When we try to share something with someone we care about, we want to be understood, we want their support, to be comforted, and not to be judged. If it's possible, do you think you can (in your head) go back to the conversation you had with your mother here, and really think about how her response made you feel. Ask yourself how you wish she would have responded. Just take a moment and think about it.

When we share something painful with someone we care about, if we don't get that validation, if we don't feel they "get it", it can be really damaging.

 

I have had experience with SH, and it's something I used to lean on a lot when I was younger. Now that I'm a little older, I'm aware that my impulse to SH is a response to me feeling overwhelmed with emotions that I'm not capable of processing. In my case SH is a safety response for me to shut off the emotions so I don't have to deal with the emotional pain I'm experiencing.

 

I don't know, but I'm wondering if maybe there is a connection between your impulse in wanting to SH and the lack of support you've received from your mother?

 

I personally can't bring myself to see "her point". The only thing she should be doing--in my opinion--is offering support, not judgement. That's all I can say there without spilling over into being unkind towards your Mother.

 

I hope this has been OK to say. Please take care of yourself. Our bodies are not the sum of who we are.

 

On a side note, I don't know about the medication you're taking, but is there any side affects that could have an impact on your mental health? 

Highlighted

Re: self-harm impulses - should I be worried?

I think this is her way of trying to be supportive. I've talked with my MH OT and she is stoked that I am breathing through my impulses rather than acting on them. She thinks it could either be a cry for sensation or a sense that things are going too good for me right now so quick let's self-sabotage! I think I'm going to go on a version of the diet and see how that goes. Thanks everyone for your support - it means a lot to me that I can come here and ask a question without it automatically being a red flag.
Illustration of people sitting and standing

New here?

Chat with other people who 'Get it'

with health professionals in the background to make sure everything is safe and supportive.

Register

Have an account?
Login

For urgent assistance: