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I self harm.

M

Mr_Normal

New member
Joined
Aug 11, 2016
Messages
2
Location
West Midlands, UK.
Hi everyone

I'm a 41-year-old male and a late bloomer in life. I worked hard to get over shyness, I now have a great social life. However, I'm always stressed at work and I haven't got a wife and kids like most men my age. (In fact, I'm so happy and gregarious in the pub and so incredibly single that some people think I'm gay. Ah well.)

Anyway, ever since childhood, I've had a reflex reaction to frustration, which is to self harm. It's been triggered by losing at computer games, falling out with school-friends, or arguing with family. Nowadays, in my early forties, it's triggered by encountering ignorant people on the Internet, arguments with family, work (I self-harm in the toilets), people not responding to direct questions when I e-mail and text them, and even missing the bus (I do it after checking that no-one's around in the street.)

I'm sure self harming caused my epilepsy, which is now controlled and I haven't had a fit since 1995 - but I now suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome thanks to self harming, where I get pins and needles in my left hand more often than I should and I need to wear a splint in bed and have a special keyboard. For epilepsy, I blamed stress when telling future employers on Occupational Health forms, and for carpal tunnel, I just blamed spending too much time on my computer and posture - but I know the truth only too well. I'd dearly love to stop this but don't want to have to declare it on Occupational Health forms so don't feel I can see my doctor about it.

Does anyone know any hints on how to stop these habits? I'm starting to feel I could do with an extended period off work sick so I can sort this out, but for that I'd need to tell my doctor.

What do people think?
 
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BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
17,161
Hi everyone

I'm a 41-year-old male and a late bloomer in life. I worked hard to get over shyness, I now have a great social life. However, I'm always stressed at work and I haven't got a wife and kids like most men my age. (In fact, I'm so happy and gregarious in the pub and so incredibly single that some people think I'm gay. Ah well.)

Anyway, ever since childhood, I've had a reflex reaction to frustration, which is to self harm. It's been triggered by losing at computer games, falling out with school-friends, or arguing with family. Nowadays, in my early forties, it's triggered by encountering ignorant people on the Internet, arguments with family, work (I self-harm in the toilets), people not responding to direct questions when I e-mail and text them, and even missing the bus (I do it after checking that no-one's around in the street.)

I'm sure self harming caused my epilepsy, which is now controlled and I haven't had a fit since 1995 - but I now suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome thanks to self harming, where I get pins and needles in my left hand more often than I should and I need to wear a splint in bed and have a special keyboard. For epilepsy, I blamed stress when telling future employers on Occupational Health forms, and for carpal tunnel, I just blamed spending too much time on my computer and posture - but I know the truth only too well. I'd dearly love to stop this but don't want to have to declare it on Occupational Health forms so don't feel I can see my doctor about it.

Does anyone know any hints on how to stop these habits? I'm starting to feel I could do with an extended period off work sick so I can sort this out, but for that I'd need to tell my doctor.

What do people think?
you have to tell your doctor.

don't be ashamed, its very common.

you can do this. But you cannot most likely do it alone.

Best
BDU
 
F

fidget

Guest
:welcome: to the forum Mr Normal!

I think even if you tell your doctor about your self harm, you don't have to declare it on any occupational health forms. Your doctor would understand this, it's none of an employers business and may be met with prejudice/misunderstanding.

Maybe CBT would be helpful in learning alternative coping strategies? The advice i've been given in the past as an alternative to a different form of self harm is to either hold ice or have rubber bands round your wrist so you can ping them. The idea being you have the sensation to focus on but none of the serious damage. It helps sometimes but coping mechanisms are very hard to change.

Hopefully someone will be along soon with some better advice for you. Have a read about the forums as well, there are lots of old threads with some good tips hidden about the place
 
BorderlineDownunder

BorderlineDownunder

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Joined
Nov 23, 2015
Messages
17,161
just wanted to say it sounds like its a huge step even posting here so Well Done.
 
Amanda84

Amanda84

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
17
Location
Sweden
As a psychologist I personally do not agree with CBT; however, talking about this with anybody (doctor nurse, therapist of some kind) is necessary. I hope you can find/afford a good psychologist who is willing to help you understand how you developed this behaviour and the pain that underlies it.
 
Bell394

Bell394

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2016
Messages
10
Location
Westeros
Hello Mr Normal,

Self harm is incredibly addictive and to be honest, almost impossible to stop without support from a mental health professional. It sounds like you could benefit from a talking therapy, something to help you find coping methods suited to you.

Taking time off work could be helpful, perhaps a week to get things sorted, go to the doctor to find a therapist etc. Or it could be a bad idea on the other hand, and start causing avoidance and make you withdraw which is a whole other problem that is also difficult to deal with. Just have a good think about it but bear that in mind.

Take care
 
T

tomghanini2

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 13, 2015
Messages
1,596
Location
England
If you're self harming as a reaction to something specific that has just happened maybe you just need to get through the initial/immediate :curseyou: phase.

Why not try (and I'm thinking off doing this myself) getting an 5 min egg timer or, well I guess a watch would do, and give yourself 5 mins before doing anything. Maybe you'll feel just as bad after those 5 mins, but maybe you'll feel a little less :curseyou: and won't feel the need to self harm. :)

I haven't tried this with self-harm, but have recognized with myself how whenever something :eek2: happens I can't think straight for a while right afterwards. I'm unable to see a way out, unable to make plans, everything is hopeless, I've finally failed. But after ~5 mins, I've calmed down a little to a point where ways out / solutions come to mind and I can start making plans and I realise my day of failure is not that day. :)
 
I

IWILLOBTAINMENTALHEALTH

Guest
:welcome: Mr_Normal
You need to see a therapist and join s support group. My therapist told me today to replace self harming bahaviours with healthy behaviours. Instead of self harming do a healthy hobby like exercise, read, write, do music, meditate, etc.. Compliment yourself, write down all your good qualities and why you feel you deserve to get better! Take a relaxing vacation! I love my therapist. Too bad my mom can't be like her! Hope that helps! :hug:
 
L

linus

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2019
Messages
1,722
Location
Eastern Europe
As a psychologist I personally do not agree with CBT; however, talking about this with anybody (doctor nurse, therapist of some kind) is necessary. I hope you can find/afford a good psychologist who is willing to help you understand how you developed this behaviour and the pain that underlies it.
Can you share a bit more on your CBT opinion?
 
Amanda84

Amanda84

Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2016
Messages
17
Location
Sweden
Can you share a bit more on your CBT opinion?

Hi Linus. As a therapist I work mostly with psychodynamic interventions that focus on recognizing feelings and understanding relationships. Some CBT therapists and interventions are very good for managing difficult symtoms and moments of crisis; however, for long lasting effects and a better understanding of the self I find it necessary to get deeper insight into the inner dynamics (unconscious fears and fantasies) underlying ones behaviours and relationships. So I usually recommend people to seek therapists with a more diverse training: either psychodynamic or a mix of CBT and other schools of thought.
 
LearntheEssentials

LearntheEssentials

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
56
Location
Germany
First of all: Thank you for sharing.
Talking about it is a giant step and trying to find help or ways to deal with it is a even bigger step.

hi LearntheEssentials

the Mind guide is considered good

Might want to check that out. Personally, im trying to delay the Self Harm.

Also:
Your doctor has propably seen worse.
Its not like in the movies.
I went and all the stereotypes i had of Psyciatrists went away.
I can only recommend seeking professional help. Dont be afraid to say you dont feel confortable.
It took my friend a few trys to find the correct Psyciatrist.

Stay strong :hug:
 
B

Bipolarkoalabear

New member
Joined
Jun 1, 2021
Messages
2
Location
G511LY
Hi there buddy. Sorry to here you're having the same struggles as I face. It's such an isolated incident that I should imagine the biggest fear is lack of understanding from others...

Well a tiny bit about me, I'm 23nand I have self harmed since I was 11. All of which I made a priority to hide from the world. Its a short term relief for a short term problem or maybe even a bigger problem.

Besides seeking professional help I decided that when I felt the urge to self harm I really tried my best to aim my focus on how not to do this.

Its almost like deciding what I should and shouldn't do in that very moment and I recognised when I feel like this its brought on by intense emotions. As we both know emotions come and go. For example when we are happy we laugh. When we are sad we cry and unfortunately some people self harm to cope with these feelings.

The hardest part for me being 23 and being a healthy lad. I was hiding myself (my scars) from the world and I started to notice that became a bigger issue than what initially made me want to self harm in the first place because the scars left behind are a daily reminder of the stress, pain or upset we once felt. What follows can be worse because we start to blame ourselves for this and we feel ashamed of ourselves and less favourable than others, when we are not.

I now talk openly about my scars if someone sees them. I see them as apart of me and I noticed when I acted not arsed, others weren't arsed and I began to accept this was a symptom of my mind.

Now, reverting to how it made me feel in the long run, the long sleeve shirts on hot days, the scars, the odd looks we got, the feeling of not feeling as worthy. I asked myself? Can this be an addiction and is it really helping. Like any addiction that can cause us harm. I took the time to analyse with pen and paper why? What? When? Where? How? And maybe who?

It seems a little open minded but it really did help suppress the urge to do so. When you want to do it. Fight it. Say NO. Just like i would to a beer if I was struggling drink problems.

This is a mindset and it's all to do with how we intervine in the first place and looking at the long term effects in a very short space of time.

I hope this helps. I understand and its okay. Just remember, doctors, therapists are helpful but they can't be around every day, so coping mechanisms are important.

You are too good to hurt yourself? Noone deserves to feel like that is even an option to solving something that can be managed in many other ways.

Finally, don't use other coping mechanisms to replace this. This is about you taking totally controlled of what it truly is you deserve in this one life.

And I believe anyone who is already struggling. Doesn't deserve more pain. Especially by yourself.

I hope this helped buddy.

Stay strong x
 
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