Avoidance of SI

Discussion in 'Suicidal Thoughts and Feelings' started by Striking, Jan 11, 2016.

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  1. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    Do you avoid passive suicidal ideation contemplation in order to prevent yourself from becoming more suicidal?

    I find myself getting much more emotional when I dwell on these thoughts which leads to the begining of me making plans.

    This is an issue I need to address in order to overcome these thoughts but I am not sure I am strong enough. I have avoided this subject for awhile now. I lost my therapist of two years and the new one, while insightful and intelligent, is still too new for me to trust. Later this week I will see her for only the second time.
     
  2. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    You have learn an important skill. While there are many things we cannot control, we can control what we fixate on intentionally or choose to change what we are doing when we find ourselves fixating on suicide/suicidal thoughts or thinking about self harm.

    When you find yourself fixating:

    1. Changing the type of music or turning it off it is what you play when feeling down helps enormously - while many say that is "what gets them through" the fact is they play the same half dozen songs or groups whenever they feel very down and theyn the moind associates that music with being down and makes it worse usually.
    2. Change your location from whereever it is you go when feeling sad and alone. Instead of being a refuge it becomes a wall keeping you in the sad and dark place rather than making you feel protected as it once did before things got so bad. Go ffor a walk, sit with other peopeol if that is a reasonable option, sit in another room, get online and come to chat here or perhaps on some place that talks about something completely the opposite of feeling down and crappy if that is possible.
    3. Avoid the fantasizing/daydreaming that starts most episodes of deep depression and instances of self harm. When it starts, pick up a book and read to occupy your mind with other thoughts, work on homework even if it is just very simple stuff because you are having a hard time focusing or concentrating, or engage yourself in some hobby or something as simple as playing solitaire.

    It is possible to not fixate and spiral out of control by simply changing what you are doing. People do not because it is comforting at first and it is easy to do nothing and let it perpetuate and people are always attracted by easier or less effort, but it is a choice. This is what other people mean when they say "just get over it" or "stop fixating and you will be fine" even though they do nto explain it what "just stop thinking like that" means. It means exercising your free will to make personal decisions that improve your mood instead iof feeding into the dark thoughts and letting them spiral. It is not necessarily the easiest thing to do - but it is in fact a choice you can choose to make.
     
  3. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    While I agree that changes to the environment can help alleviate thoughts of SI or SH but it is temporary. Without addressing the source of the fever, the fever will return again.

    I feel most people use those phrases you mentioned out of frustration and fear of not knowing what to say and the consequences of action.

    No one is even sure what causes depression. I have found myself interested in neurotransmitters, hormones and the need for physical human contact to reach some understanding of it all.
     
  4. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Very often the real source of the fever in this case is in fact the fever. While there is absolutely need to address depression and any other mental health issues, there are millions that suffer from these without committing suicide or self harming , and millions more that never even consider either of those despite mental health issues along with depression.

    Your question as I read it was simply do you find yourself fixating and the fact that when you do you become more suicidal. My response was on ways to stop the fixation that work for many people. While it is undoubtedly far easier and faster for the vast majority to treat depression with professional help, what many find is even when no longer chronically depressed and medications are fully effective at ending the horrible depression and darkness they still fixate on suicide and fight urges of self harm. That is because the are learned practiced habits and responses to any stress and just like any other learned habit they need to be addressed just as much as the underlying physical changes depression can cause that are addressed by medication , and the thought processes that sometimes lead to depression caused by past life events that might be dealt with by a therapist.

    While suicidal thoughts are a result of feeling despair and hopeless, self harm is simply a coping technique that is learned through practice and suicidal ideation is a thought process learned as a conditioned response to any unknown or challenging situation- a place to seek comfort of the familiar. Those need to be addressed like any habit that you want to break- by changing the behaviors and response to times or situations surrounding their implementation. Perhaps the most common issues I see here after years of talking to hundreds of people about their recovery is why if treatment went well and all is okay now do the self harm urges and suicidal thoughts continue. That is what I was addressing, however they can be addressed equally if not more effectively by most as part of a recovery rather than as the last thing to be dealt with as a recovery.
     
  5. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    The question is why does one person do these things where another does not? The brain develops from birth onwards based upon a number of factors. This leads, I suppose to how pleasure and pain centers work for that person. This is one of the reasons why I think mental illness can be hereditary but may not impact every family member the same way, if at all.

    How is the brain affected by trauma? If you are predisposed to depression, how is that a factor in recovery?

    I consider these things because people react differently, no one knows the reason, and why saying "snap out of it" is the wrong thing to say because of it.

    Yes I understood your point. Refocusing, however you do it is important. Your stress level leading to your self harm thoughts may decrease. But this is temporary unless you can figure out and address the cause.
     
  6. Freya

    Freya Loves SF Staff Member ADMIN

    Addressing the cause is important as you have said, but the cause is different for different people. Sometimes it is an external life factor that is causing the issue, sometimes it is faulty "wiring" in the brain for want of a better description. One doctor explained it to me that a lot of people don't get medical help because they believe that the "reason" they feel crappy is that this or that thing in their life is bad and "drugs can't fix that" - but that in actual fact being depressed because of something in your life being bad can cause the parts of your brain that deal with serotonin to get faulty because they have been trying so long to compensate for your life being crappy - so what starts as a "life" problem becomes a "medical" problem and people don't even realise.

    I think that is why a combination of therapy and medication yield the best results for most people - meds to treat the bits of the brain that are on the fritz and therapy to figure out how to fix the parts of your life that may be causing your brain to fritz.
     
  7. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I do not believe anybody is genetically inclined to self harm from birth- and no tonly does every person react different but each individual react different to each kind of trauma. When it comes to negative coping methods however you can in learn to not use them because they are absolutely a learned practice behavior and learning to avoid these behaviors are in fact part of the recovery process just as much as is the dealing with whatever "trauma" is initially. You are not destined to either self harm or return to self harm based on any metabolic or neural impulse, and believing one will always self harm until a specific thing is "cured" is a fallacy in my opinion as I have known far too many people that self harmed at one point and stopped simply by adjusting coping skills to something healthier/ There is no such thing as a "cure" for trauma, simply adapting our reaction to it to a more healthy one - nothing makes the original trauma disappear and factually the greatest "cure" to trauma is time providing that time is not spent fixating (which is what the original post was - how to end the fixation that perpetuates negative thoughts and feelings). Further, there are very very very few people that have either suicidal idealization or self harm without being able to rattle off a litany of "causes" or reasons - so I do not actually think the "cause" is often in question- simply the reason that issue was more traumatic to them then perhaps it may have been to another and that is personality and history based.
     
  8. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    Striking, I completely relate and want the same thing -- to get to the bottom of WHY I want to obsess on these things or cut on myself....and my counselor has repeatedly pushed me back to working on the here and now of how I am reacting to the obsessive thoughts and SH. He feels that once I have resources to deal with the anxiety and depression (with medication as well as therapy) that I can then begin to unpack the other 'stuff'. I think I am almost there with him and it terrifies me because I am not even sure what THE problem is rather than just a pile of problems. Anyways -- my point is I feel the same way you described -- this pull towards SI and SH that is addictive, intense, and potentially lethal.
     
  9. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    The bottom reason of why most obsess is simple - it is because it it is a learned habit- a place of retreat they can control or feel they have control. The obsession is in fact intended and continued with purpose- by playing the same music each time or genre of music or placing self in the same situation out of habit and just like people get addicted to a alcohol because it is a depressant people become addicted to the intense feelings of depression and so while they "hate feeling that way" they also yearn for those intense feelings and perpetuate them quite intentionally if unknowingly. Looking for the cause the is not a secret or difficult, understanding and realizing that is in fact the case is a much larger step to take....It requires assuming responsibility ofr both our feelings and our reactions and it is far easier and more comfortable to place the blame elsewhere. Surely without doubt all have plenty of triggers or instances that give them ample cause to feel bad and hurt and betray, but ultimately what is done with those feelings is habit and experience and pattern - my opinion and a very widely held belief that I happen to agree with.
     
  10. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    True -- but you HAVE to unpack all that pain, anger, hurt, etc that rests behind the obsessive thinking or the cutting or whatever. Or do you think you just dismiss that and say "oh too bad I was hurt but my problem now" with no acknowledgement of the past??
     
  11. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    In the end I suspect you will find that the acknowledgement of the past to be found is that it is in fact the past- it just takes some time to get there.... and while getting there learning more healthy and safer coping skills is the point of that journey and the deep delving of why is in fact the counselors point in making you see on your own that there is in fact no "why" .. it is a course of time and realization and not something easily or readily accepted. That is why most do not come to the realization without the help of a professional continually forcing them to question and re-evaluate the motives. None of which make it less true in the end. The anger and all that do not come from an event or happening- they come from within ourselves and that is the big "epiphany" being sought.
     
  12. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    "there is in fact no 'why'.."?
    you lost me there
     
  13. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    The issue is not the why but the ineffective coping methods that have failed you.
     
  14. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    You can be certain but I leave myself open to the idea that genetics and social introduction may play a part in the predisposition to SI or SH.
     
  15. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Social introduction as in the fact that SH became a huge social thing in the last 5-10 years or so certainly plays a huge part of it. To be honest were it not for the social spotlight and extra attention given to it by pop music icons 80% of youth self harmers would never have heard of nor ever "tried". They may not have gotten the idea directly from that person, but that is when it suddenly became talked about and common topic in social media. One issue with sites on the internet even like this one is that people that never had thought of it hear about it and hear people claiming it helps them so they "try it". There are now songs galore about it.

    The entire concept of cutting as a negative coping method was practically non existent 25 years ago. So I absolutely agree social plays a huge part in it. While self harm as a concept existed for certain , it was not the common place cutting that is now practically just a pass the time issue for many - and causes even further issues and distress to those that it becomes real for because all the others that "tried it" understand even less.
     
  16. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    And you believe this to be true in all cases? That a person need never discuss or delve into what caused a person to seek those failed coping methods?
     
  17. sofie

    sofie Banned Member

    I did not realize this -- how do you know this to be true? I first cut at age 12, which was 26 years ago. My peak cutting period was 19 years ago and no one treating me acted as if it were unusual.
     
  18. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Because I am 47 years old, aside from the fact look at when the terms were introduced into the DSM which is only DSM 4 and 5. I have no doubt that there was cutting 5000 years ago, but it is in only in the last generation where it is seen common place. There is a huge difference between the people treating you 25 years ago and the general population 25 years ago.
     
  19. NYJmpMaster

    NYJmpMaster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I am certain no real progress will be made into recovery until one addresses what is causing them to continue to feel pain/anger/depression/etc. but the fact is "issues" and "past trauma" are not where the pain and anger come from- those are our reactions to things that happened to us and that is why every person that suffers some form of trauma does not develop the same issues. It is the reactions to trauma which are individual to each person that are ultimately addressed and it is the reactions to the trauma that are in fact the "disorder" (which I believe to be a bs term- if a reaction occurs completely normally it is not a "disorder" and does not mean there is something inherently "wrong" or "broken" , those are nice negative words that are used that further erode confidence and esteem in my opinion to describe something that is perfectly natural to occur in people and has been occurring in people for as long as people existed).

    The entire purpose of "delving into the issues" is for the person to put the issues into perspective, either of severity or of time/space/distance and to adjust their reactions based on the fact that it is the reaction causing them issues in their current life, not the event of the past. Nearly all modern counseling methods that prove effective in long term studies are moving away from the issues and focusing on reaction (CBT, DBT, ACT, CAT , etc) and adjusting behaviors. There is very little psychoanalytical therapy (the Jungian or Freudian style therapies) anymore which is why psychiatrists do very little "talking" anymore and it has all gone to the realm of counselors and therapists.

    While understanding how certain psyches may have developed is interesting, ultimately it has little to do with treating then effectively to the point that daily life is affected in a positive way. 99% of all counseling is therapist/counselors not psychologists/psychiatrist which now stick to diagnostics for the purpose of either recommending a behavioral therapy that will be more effective and pharmacology for drug support to reduce presence of symptoms. This has also come about by the realization that since these events are triggering, talking about them causes unneeded pain in many and causing people to "relive experiences" while popular on TV shows is just like most TV- fiction and actual counter productive rather than helpful for many people.
    Talking a hundred years about the past still never changes the past, so it will in fact always boil down to changing the reaction to find relief. If talking about it makes it easier to adjust those issues then certainly by all means it should be done, but the only change affected is behaviors and not the past. If it were as simple as talking about the issue then counseling could be a one and done thing, not take weeks, months, and years. The weeks months and years is for the person to realize that the past will never change and the only thing that can change is the future and their reactions and then to learn the coping skills or behaviors that do in fact cause positive change.
     
  20. Striking

    Striking Well-Known Member

    I do believe in discussing whatever ails your mind and spirit for as long as you have questions. I found great relief in finding "answers" as to why I have felt and behaved as I did. However I was not healed. And so at some point I moved on to try and heal myself, something that I still struggle with.
     
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