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Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

How do people deal with feelings post self harm? Does anyone have any suggestions....

For me, I get so annoyed with myself, that I need to punish myself for self harming, that I end up self harming again. I get so upset and tell myself I'm in this pain because it's my fault for self harming. 

 

Yes I know the easy solution is to not self harm, but it's not that easy when self harm can sometimes be impulsive.

I've been told not to blame myself for self harming, but to think of it as the mental illness having it's impact. Kind of like seperating myself from it.

 

Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

Hi there @loves netball, it sounds like you have being going through a pretty tough time. 

 

Based on your post in the other thread, is any medical attention required for your self harm?

 

I think that you definitely shouldn't feel guilty (although much easier said then done, hey) and like you have been told - to view it as your mental illness.

You say that you get annoyed at yourself and self-harm again. Is it possible that next time you could try squeezing an icecube, snapping a band on your wrist or something similar that provides the same sensations, but are less destructive?

 

Perhaps thinking about your future self when you are recovered and better, this could help convince you to hold off on self-harming behaviour. Thinnking that you won't want scars etc. later in life.

Maybe something to try?

 

Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

@Alison5 I don't not need medical attention I think, well nothing urgent.

 

The other less destructive stuff - well I haven't really managed to get myself doing those things consistently. 

 

I think it's too late to start to thinking about scars. I have some horrible ones that almost prevent me from swimming because people will seem them. I get so upset with these scars because I don't see a future. And if any wounds get infected I feel even worse for needing antiobiotics just because of my self inflicted injuries.

Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

I understand @loves netball, but it's never too late to stop. You will find that the longer you hold off, the easier it gets to distract yourself.
Maybe have another try at those less destructive methods and perhaps make an agreement with yourself to at least try them before you actually self-harm.

Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

Hey loves netball,
Sorry to hear your going through a crappy time at the moment. I understand the guilt can be overwhelming after self harming. have you tried to instead replace this guilt with self love practices? instead of thinking things like 'i'm so hopeless for self harming' think of it like any other injury. clean it, dress it and take care of yourself. have a walk, watch your favourite tv show and cuddle your pet.
take care of yourself, i'm thinking of yohu tonight and sending love your way

Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

@loves netball I can really relate to this post. I used to self-harm and I found that my mental well-being would be impacted for quite a while afterwards because of the subsequent guilt/shame I felt.

 

There were a few things I'd do to try and make it easier. Renee Yohe (who also used to self-harm) gave a great explanation of her shame and how she overcame it, and I'd often listen to that over and over as a reminder. The video is here if you're interested.

 

If I felt comfortable, I'd confide in someone I trusted, usually my aunty, and confessing to something that was causing me so much turmoil and being loved anyway, as she reassured me I was, really helped. Is there someone you could talk to?

 

I've also discussed this with my psychologist, and her reassurance that relapse is part of recovery has been helpful. 

// Spiral outward, keep going. //
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Re: Dealing with feelings (especially guilt) post self harm

@loves netball in regards to the scars, have you tried applying Bio-Oil? I've used it and found it helpful. I don't think it's very expensive, either. Smiley Happy

 

Also I think time is the most effective thing in regards to their visibility, cliched as it sounds. For example, my scars have mostly faded now... 

// Spiral outward, keep going. //