Is punching walls considered self-harm?

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Fern17, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. Fern17

    Fern17 Well-Known Member

    I'm in a very bad "place" tonight. And for the past few hours, I've been overcome with urges to punch walls. Hard. I only ever punch anything--or get the urge to punch anything--when I'm struggling with severe depression and feeling suicidal. I've been struggling with depression since October. And it's getting worse.

    I've been put on new meds and I have very little pressure on me these days. But I'm still getting worse.

    Is punching walls a form of self-harm? I'm not sure I'm actually trying to hurt myself--I just feel overwhelmed with the urge to punch something hard. As soon as I do it, I realize how much if fucking hurts. But a half hour later I do it again! It's so screwed up!

  2. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Sounds like frustration, plain and simple.
  3. the fleet asleep

    the fleet asleep Well-Known Member

    hmm, im not entirely sure if its self harm, but it is harmful. i used to destroy things on a constant basis to make myself feel better, and it did. only temporarily though, as i always ended up more angry at the giant pile of crap i had created.

    if you feel the need to break stuff, do something constructive with it. my family had a wood stove, and id spend many-a pissed off hours with a maul, splitting logs. one time, i built a city out of a few thousand popscicle sticks, and godzillad the god out of it. its all about finding a way to satisfy that urge without the guilt that might follow it. hell, i even worked renovations just to satisfy my need to wreck the insides of old office buildings.

    if you still end up feeling the need to punch a wall, remember that theres a 1 inch stud every 16 inches. figuring the average fist is about 4 inches across, theres a 1 in 4 chance that youre going to hit one. take it from me, a few broken fingers teaches you why punching a wall is a bad idea more than anything else can. stay safe :)
  4. Dave_N

    Dave_N Guest

    I think self harm is any action that one does to intentionally harm one's self. And I guess punching a hole in a wall would be considered self harm. Maybe you could try punching something else that won't hurt so much after? Like a box or a couch or something?
  5. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    Depends why are you doing it. If you want to feel pain, than it is self harm.
  6. Fern17

    Fern17 Well-Known Member

    Wow, you guys are fast with the responses!

    I live in an old farmhouse...I've been punching barnboard that's on one of the walls...hard to break and it's rough. I thought maybe if I hurt my hand enough, the desire to punch it would go away. I know, sounds ridiculous. I almost find it funny, if my head wasn't feeling so twisted at the moment.

    I've been giving it some thought. I don't think the urge to punch is coming from a desire to feel pain--but more out of anger. Anger at what? I'm not sure. At myself, maybe, for finding myself in this place of confusion and mental instability again. Anger at feeling trapped at the moment.

    I haven't punched a wall in over an's possible it passed.

    I love the idea of splitting wood. I do have a woodstove and a wood furnace. I have some cedar logs downstairs that I could split. So the next time I get the urge to punch, I'll go whack some wood and see if that helps.

    Thanks, guys. I'll keep you posted.

  7. Hurted

    Hurted Well-Known Member

    If you are doing it because of anger, then it isnt self harm.

    This can be a good way of coping, of course only if you would punch something softer without injuring your arm.
  8. Lovecraft

    Lovecraft Well-Known Member

    Self-harm: Intentionally creating the sensation of pain.
  9. gentlelady

    gentlelady Staff Alumni

    It is a form of self harm Fern.
  10. Petal

    Petal SF dreamer Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    I would say yes:unsure:
  11. aoeu

    aoeu Well-Known Member

    Hot sauce? Sadomasochism? That's not a sufficient definition.
  12. Bigman2232

    Bigman2232 Well-Known Member

    i've punched walls before, but it's been out of pure frustration and not the want to hurt myself. I've put dents in some walls and broken through some softer walls and I've also broken my hand when I punched a door I thought was wood and turned out to be steel. So I would recommend making sure it is safe. Otherwise I completely understand the need to break something sometimes.
  13. HappyAZaClaM

    HappyAZaClaM Guest

    just be careful. don't break your hand or hit any nails. maybe take a
    hammer out in a field and pound the shit out of the ground with it.
    or..if ya really wanna hit walls, palm strike em instead of punching.
    you may have more building repairs that way, but you'll have less
    fucked up knuckles too.
  14. Clockwork Reality

    Clockwork Reality Well-Known Member

    I've been punching walls for several years, and I think it's borne of both the desire to feel pain and frustration.

    Of course, having to pay the renovation fee after I punched through my closet door in my old apartment wasn't very fun.

    Now I have a lovely brick wall. Smacked that thing the other night and my hand still hurts. Grazed the skin off the knuckles, too.
  15. xXWhateverItTakesXx

    xXWhateverItTakesXx Forum Buddy

    If you do it wanting to hurt yourself, then yes I would say it is SH

    But if you just do it out of anger, I'm not so sure. I do it out of anger, but sometimes just to feel pain. It's not as notciable as other ways and it still a good source of release :unsure:
  16. Jeremiah

    Jeremiah Active Member

    I wouldn't really think if it as self harm, since it's more about inflicting damage on something besides yourself... It's still just as dangerous, though. The bones in your hands are more delicate and fragile than you'd think.

    I hardly ever get angry, but I've punched my share of walls, usually without putting any thought into what I was doing. It's never really a good idea.
    You can hurt yourself really badly doing that though. Once at school I punched a stone wall and the place between two of my fingers was bruised and swollen for a week and I could barely move them. I don't think it ever completely healed.
  17. SpencerA

    SpencerA Well-Known Member

    i think so, although i'd say i used to self harm in order to feel something after feeling really numb for a long time, whereas i suppose you're looking to get rid of pent up frustration. then again you are still harming yourself, if you've only recently been put on new medication then that could be why things are possibly getting harder to deal with? i found that for a while, the doctors kept switching my medicationh around, and everytime they did so i became increasingly unhappy and to an extent suicidal. this might sound like a ridiculous suggestion but i found when i was really angry screaming into a pillow at the top of my voice helped, because i was getting rid of my anger and the pillow smothered the sound so nobody could hear. i used to trash my room all the time when i was angry, but i wouldn't suggest it, a lot of cleaning up to do afterwards! xx
  18. Fern17

    Fern17 Well-Known Member

    It's now Sunday mroning where I am and my anger and rage has cooled considerably. I am alone for the day (thank God) and my son returns from his father's later today or this evening. I must make it clear that I have never had the urge to punch him or anyone else. Just walls. And not often at all! Last night as I felt the urge to punch walls (and therefore followed through a few times), it's been almost 3 years since the last time I even had the urge,let alone actually did it.

    After reading everyone's responses, I do think I'm doing it out of anger and not self-harm. I'm not trying to feel pain...after punching a wall and giving it my all, I am always surprised at how much it actually hurts. It sounds stupid, but it's the truth. I am not quite in my "right mind" at the moment.

    And yes, maybe it really does have to do with the new meds. I'm being weaned off of one and onto another at the same time.

    I see my shrink in another 2 weeks. As long as I don't dip toooo far down, I can make it ok. I know I can.

    Thank you everyone!!!!
  19. Yash

    Yash Member

    I never thought of it as SH but.. i guess it is...

    I do it.. ALOT, my knuckles are misshapen and my fingers are wonkey. When i punch things i aim to break my hand and pop my knuckles open.
    I did it last night.. i got.. so angry and frustrated i laced the poor wall, ive tore my knuckles to shreads and its brused and puffy and ozzing puss...

    I dont have much controle over my temper and i lash out at everything, My older brothers currently suffering from broken ribs then he stood on my foot and u kicked him over used the coffee table to jam him agaisnt the sofa and i kicked him in the ribs, till my 18yr old brother dragged me off...

    and that was all over Ray standing on my toe, and hes not even that heavy. my moods are quite bad too and im always looking for something to hit punch or rip to shreds...

    BUT!!! ive found something good!!! kitchen roll.... sit and rip it into tiny squares and put it in a bowl.. no idea why but it fully distracts me and keeps me calm. as strange as that sounds
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