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Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Ok, so I was shaving my legs in the shower before and had a very very minor accident (put a bandaid on and it's totally fine). BUT whenever little mishaps like this happen it triggers my self-harming urges even more than usual. It's like, "I've accidentally hurt myself so what's there to lose - I might as well just purposely keep going and make it worse?" I can be safe tonight, but am still at a loss as to how to deal with it as it's annoying as fuck

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Hey @lokifish, it sounds like you're frustrated that these minor accidents are triggering something that you don't want happening. Is that right? What strategies in the past that you've tried that have helped deal with your self-harm urges? Do you think they could work in these instances too?

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Yeah, it's definitely frustrating. The usual strategies work in terms of keeping me safe but they don't help the frustration from not understanding why it's happening in the first place. It's like an alcoholic accidentally having a sip of some alcohol and then wanting to just spiral out of control again. It's also bringing up all the "am I borderline?" worries again because this is exactly the sort of thing that started the BPD discussion with my treating team a year ago.

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

@lokifish That's such a good analogy, really helps to understand what it must be like to manage SH urges. Have you tried squeezing ice cubes at all? I know it's a standard go-to but can be a good one. And really intense stretches.

 

In terms of the BPD thoughts, do you feel it's necessary you're diagnosed? Or are you just finding parallels with some of the symptoms? We're here to support you either way.

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

@Bree-RO ice cubes sometimes help but the problem is that they obviously melt, and then I become frustrated at the water going everywhere haha. Stretches/squats/whatever are generally more reliable and it'd probably be good to do them more.

 

I have conflicting feelings about it. At this point I think I almost do want a diagnosis, just so I can  have a label for all of it. It's obvious to everyone now that this is more than your typical depression/anxiety and those labels don't do all of it justice. I want something to be able to explain why I still struggle so damn much to get better compared to other people, without resorting to the conclusion that it must be because I'm a stupid, defective person. There is the worry that professionals won't be able to look past the label though. I've had enough experience in the field to know that cluster B disorders aren't seen too favourably by many clinicians Smiley Tongue

 

I'm gonna try and settle myself down so I can get to sleep. Just going to focus on that - all the other awful scary stressful frustrating parts of life can wait until the morning

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Hey @lokifish I hear you, yes some practitioners do struggle with Cluster B's. I think the training is becoming more and more proficient - there's some good therapists out there I promise you Heart

 

For now settling down to sleep sounds nice, I hope you get a really good rest. Please remember your supports if the urges are too much on your own. 

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Turns out I really did need the sleep Smiley Tongue I tend to be fine in the mornings so when I look back at how I was thinking/feeling in the evenings I feel ridiculous. The fact that I had such a reaction to a little thing last night makes me feel like I'm stupid and pathetic, and now that is making me want to self-harm again (I won't though - I'll have breakfast and will try and engage myself in something else instead). It's an endless cycle... I think I need to re-frame those 'stupid' thoughts if I'm going to try and break it, at least in the short-term

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish
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Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

@lokifish can I just say I am in awe of how connected you are with your thoughts and emotions. You know what helps and you are using the tools you have, which can be really tough to do when your brain is circling around a harmful thought. Identifying the urge, reaching out for support here, channeling your focus into other activities, re-framing thoughts - man, this is impressive stuff! I don't say this to put pressure on you not to self-harm, but just to acknowledge how far you've come and how sophisticated your management techniques are. I hope you can take a moment to really appreciate that and pat yourself on the back. 

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

I've heard that from others too but I find it really hard to see sometimes - I still feel like I'm pathetic at managing my emotions (and sometimes I am, but sometimes I can do a good job Smiley Happy)

 

I'm meant to be catching up with friends tonight and while part of me is looking forward to it, the other part of me wants to hide in my bed and cry and sleep forever until I die. Or run away and hurt myself. That's just my brain being stupid though. I can rest for a bit now and then go and have a good time and be a step closer to having a more meaningful life, rather than one that revolves around self-destructive tendencies. I'm not stupid - these thoughts and feelings are stupid, but they don't make me stupid. I wish they'd fuck off and I still feel like they shouldn't be there, but the fact is that they are there and so I'm just going to have to deal with them.

 

(I needed to write that out in order to refer back to later when I'm inevitably feeling the same way again)

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Minor accidents triggering more self-harm?

Hey @lokifish, it can certainly be hard to recognise when we're doing well at certain things if we're not feeling particularly well overall - but you are doing very well at recognising your triggers and how you feel about them.

 

I'm seriously impressed with your recognition that your thoughts are not who you are, and even though they are stupid, you aren't (seriously you seem incredibly intelligent and self-aware). I'm also impressed that you don't let these thoughts of self-harm get in the way of having a good time, and that you recognise when you need to rest.  Those are things that some people never learn to do, and yet here you are putting them into practice - and then sharing the wisdom so others here can learn from your experience.

 

Hard as it may feel, please give yourself some credit for all of that.