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Intrusive images

Arun

Well-Known Member
#1
Intrusive images about specific methods are coming into my head.

Let me start off by being clear - I won't be acting on them, I am 100% safe, lying in bed. But I need to talk about this.

This evening, if I am not actively distracting myself then I get these waves of pain and hopelessness. Then directly after, I get these images in my head of (specific method). I feel that method on my body. Along with that, feel sick to my stomach, literally ill, from the images.

I have never actually tried to take my life, so why is it so vivid?!

This has happened before, years ago when I was much more unwell. These days I'm positively thriving in comparison, tho yes there have been a number of rough things going on recently. Before I would get these images daily / hourly. They were just as vivid but with more varied methods.

I wish the answer to be no, but has anyone else had this happen??
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#4
Intrusive images about specific methods are coming into my head.

Let me start off by being clear - I won't be acting on them, I am 100% safe, lying in bed. But I need to talk about this.

This evening, if I am not actively distracting myself then I get these waves of pain and hopelessness. Then directly after, I get these images in my head of (specific method). I feel that method on my body. Along with that, feel sick to my stomach, literally ill, from the images.

I have never actually tried to take my life, so why is it so vivid?!

This has happened before, years ago when I was much more unwell. These days I'm positively thriving in comparison, tho yes there have been a number of rough things going on recently. Before I would get these images daily / hourly. They were just as vivid but with more varied methods.

I wish the answer to be no, but has anyone else had this happen??
my thoughts/questions on this:
• i have had images of self harm and in my experience it was not good in any way. i have also had positive images which were good.
• are you in therapy?
• are you on meds?
• imagery can be therapeutic or dangerous so i would suggest therapy, meds if nothing else seems to diminish the negative imagery and it troubles you as you are indicating.
• imagery can be a substitute for the real thing or it could be a facilitator - an impetus. that is why i suggest seeking/alerting professional help.
• imagery for me has been generally not a good thing. i think you can try prompting positivity through thinking repetitively - something like affirmations, but how that will work for you i really don’t know. I am not a mental health professional. i just know my own experience and what has gone on in my mind both negative and positive.
• but once again, if this is causing you worry, fear, distress or any kind of negativity, (even if you feel you are safe), i would suggest seeking professional help. i hope this is helpful and if you have further questions on how i am trying to make imagery a positive thing for myself in this respect, please feel free to reply to this and ask. i am ok with trying to explain my own self help attempts.
 
Last edited:
#5
When I'm seriously contemplating suicide it's almost like I can see a method in front of me - it's like it's in front of my eyes even though I know I'm only imagining it. I'm still 100% concious of where I am and what I am doing, but it's like the method just stays there at the front of my brain. I also have waves of suicidal thoughts and feelings of despair. This is a very strange phenomenon and I would be interested to hear if anyone else experiences this. Stay safe @Arun. Sending hugs *sadhug*hug10.
 

Wispiwill

Well-Known Member
#6
I don't get anything like that. What I get is ideas. I'll be fine, just doing something normal like cooking the dinner, see a knife and it hits me - all the things I could do with it - and for a moment it's like I'm frozen, just looking and thinking about it - and then I sort of pull myself together and get on with whatever I was doing in the first place. Only now I feel guilty and afraid because a) I had those thoughts and b) I could have been noticed.

Not sure if that helps or not.
 
#7
I describe it as my unconscious brain constantly looking for a way out. I’m the same in that I can be cooking in the kitchen, or boiling the kettle or crossing a road, just normal day to day things and my head notices and points out the possibilities. I have also recently started to dream about my chosen methods. These have been very vivid. I think about it a lot during the day, particularly when I’m not focused on something, it’s my baseline resting thought and I suppose it is now coming through when I’m asleep as well. Stay safe.
 

Arun

Well-Known Member
#8
my thoughts/questions on this:
• i have had images of self harm and in my experience it was not good in any way. i have also had positive images which were good.
• are you in therapy?
• are you on meds?
• imagery can be therapeutic or dangerous so i would suggest therapy, meds if nothing else seems to diminish the negative imagery and it troubles you as you are indicating.
• imagery can be a substitute for the real thing or it could be a facilitator - an impetus. that is why i suggest seeking/alerting professional help.
• imagery for me has been generally not a good thing. i think you can try prompting positivity through thinking repetitively - something like affirmations, but how that will work for you i really don’t know. I am not a mental health professional. i just know my own experience and what has gone on in my mind both negative and positive.
• but once again, if this is causing you worry, fear, distress or any kind of negativity, (even if you feel you are safe), i would suggest seeking professional help. i hope this is helpful and if you have further questions on how i am trying to make imagery a positive thing for myself in this respect, please feel free to reply to this and ask. i am ok with trying to explain my own self help attempts.
Thank you for your reply.

I have been in and out of therapy for the last 6 years and I'm currently seeing someone intermittently. Yes I'm on meds.

I have never really done any imagery work on myself before. You raise a good point, if I'm brave I might ask my current therapist to do this with me. How do you do positive imagery?
 

Arun

Well-Known Member
#9
When I'm seriously contemplating suicide it's almost like I can see a method in front of me - it's like it's in front of my eyes even though I know I'm only imagining it. I'm still 100% concious of where I am and what I am doing, but it's like the method just stays there at the front of my brain. I also have waves of suicidal thoughts and feelings of despair. This is a very strange phenomenon and I would be interested to hear if anyone else experiences this. Stay safe @Arun. Sending hugs *sadhug*hug10.
Thank you friend.

Yeah, I'm fully conscious where I am but I experienced the image at the same time. I don't know why it gets soo vivid :( sorry you experience that too. Hope you're in a different space now
 

extraterrestrialone

can’t toast bread without burning it
SF Supporter
#10
Thank you for your reply.

I have been in and out of therapy for the last 6 years and I'm currently seeing someone intermittently. Yes I'm on meds.

I have never really done any imagery work on myself before. You raise a good point, if I'm brave I might ask my current therapist to do this with me. How do you do positive imagery?
Well, simply put I have been hiding someone who is actually me inside. I envision that person as being real (because I've dissociated that person out of existence) and with the imagery of this real person, I say empowering truthfully accurate words to become real again. I don't know if it's really doing anything. Maybe I'm just fooling myself, but i do think it is working because I feel different and free and happy at times which is very unusual for me.
 

Arun

Well-Known Member
#11
I don't get anything like that. What I get is ideas. I'll be fine, just doing something normal like cooking the dinner, see a knife and it hits me - all the things I could do with it - and for a moment it's like I'm frozen, just looking and thinking about it - and then I sort of pull myself together and get on with whatever I was doing in the first place. Only now I feel guilty and afraid because a) I had those thoughts and b) I could have been noticed.

Not sure if that helps or not.
Hey I used to get that too. Particularly when in the kitchen. If nothing else, know it's not to feel guilty about. If someone called me out on my sudden pause I would just say "oh I got distracted" or "I just thought of something, nevermind.". Honestly, I don't know why brains do this but you're certainly not alone in that. *hug
 

Arun

Well-Known Member
#12
I describe it as my unconscious brain constantly looking for a way out. I’m the same in that I can be cooking in the kitchen, or boiling the kettle or crossing a road, just normal day to day things and my head notices and points out the possibilities. I have also recently started to dream about my chosen methods. These have been very vivid. I think about it a lot during the day, particularly when I’m not focused on something, it’s my baseline resting thought and I suppose it is now coming through when I’m asleep as well. Stay safe.
Thank you, you stay safe too.

It merging into dreams is intense. Glad to know I'm not the only one *hug it's concerning that it's coming up again for me even though my life is "fine".
 

Arun

Well-Known Member
#13
Well, simply put I have been hiding someone who is actually me inside. I envision that person as being real (because I've dissociated that person out of existence) and with the imagery of this real person, I say empowering truthfully accurate words to become real again. I don't know if it's really doing anything. Maybe I'm just fooling myself, but i do think it is working because I feel different and free and happy at times which is very unusual for me.
You know, I've heard of that kind of work / therapy called Internal Family Systems. It makes a lot of sense tbh. I am really glad it seems to be helping!
 

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