Question *possible triggers*

Discussion in 'Self Harm & Substance Abuse' started by Tara, May 21, 2007.

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  1. Tara

    Tara Guest

    Okay, i dont know if i will be allowed to post this question. If im not please (mods) delete it.

    Its just i was talking to my doctor t'other week and she mentioned that you may do things that you dont consider to be self harm.

    For instance, when im stressed my scalp gets really dry (im stressed alot too!) and i just love to scratch it and make myself bleed, then i pick the cuts, i cant help it.
    Plus on your head no1 can see them, cause you're hair covers the cuts. (unless you're having ur hair cut, then i have to stop to give them time to heal)

    But anyway, i was just wondering is that really self harm? i see it as being a habit i cant stop.

    And it makes me afraid that there could be other things im doing that they could consider as being self harm. (i cant think of any atm)

    I know i cant ask you what you do thats not the norm (though id like to) because it triggers and is not allowed.

    So my question to you is, do you think im self harming by doing that :unsure:
  2. Tara

    Tara Guest

    now i feel like a freak for asking
  3. resistance

    resistance Staff Alumni

    Self harm is deliberately hurting yourself and I'd personally consider it self harm. You're actively making your scalp bleed and it's an alternative for your regular self harm. Not a good alternative really as you still get the blood and pain etc and it isn't solving anything, only making your head painful, I'd imagine.

    There are other alternatives to self harm, safer alternatives. Have you tried food dye to be a substitute for the blood? Or maybe using a red marker. You've probably heard about it but if you 'enjoy' the pain you could try elastic bands.

    Then there's distractions. When you get an urge to self harm maybe go for a walk or listen to music.

    Have you considered asking your doctor about counseling or therapy for your self harm/what's causing you to self harm, stress etc?

    Don't feel like a freak, you're not a freak. :hug:
  4. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Am I right in thinking you don't consider yourself a self-harmer? Do you self-harm in any more obvious "textbook" ways?

    Whether or not this is self harm depends on why you do it and what you get out of it. Can you tell me?

  5. Tara

    Tara Guest

    i dont know why i do it thats the thing.

    ive not "cut" myself or anything before. im too much of a wimp to do anything. sometimes i just need to do it but i get it there and its like no i cant do it. my scissors is always in my pocket, them being there give me comfort though i dont do anything with them. does that make any sense?

    Yes Nobody (i hate calling you that!) you are right. ive never considered myself to be a self harmer.

    i dont know why or what i get out of doing it =\ im trying to think, cause ive not actually thought about it before. id say its more of a habit, cause i cant stop myself from doing it. Mum see's me and tells me to stop it, but that makes me do it all the more.

    im confused!
  6. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Don't call yourself a wimp for not cutting or anything! That's great! It's such a hard coping method to replace with something more healthy. If you can avoid ever starting then please do, it's the easiest way.

    If you feel like it's a habit, then it probably is exactly that, rather than self harm :hug:. However if you feel you do it because you are angry with yourself, or because you think you deserve the pain, or if doing it calms you down dramatically when you are wound up, then it sounds more like self-harming behaviour.

    It can be quite confusing lots of the time. For example, for some people nail-biting is a form of self harm, because they do it to hurt themselves, but for most people nail-biting is just a habit done for completely different reasons - or no reason at all! And I do self harm, I cut, burn, punch walls, punch myself, hit my head against the wall... and I do all of these things to calm myself down, to hurt myself, to punish myself, or to stay in touch with reality. However I also pick any scabs I have. Sometimes this is self harm, because sometimes I interfere with wounds I have made with the intention of preventing them healing and making sure they stay painful for as long as possible. But I have picked scabs my whole life. If I get a cut or a graze just innocently then I will still pick at it when the scab dries up. It's just a habit. A manky habit, but a habit nonetheless :tongue:.

    So I guess what I'm trying to say is, that it's the reasons you do something that decide whether it is self harm or not, rather than what you do.

    Did that make sense? :blink:
  7. Tara

    Tara Guest

    my eyes were going funny trying to read that ;) lol think i need a break from the computer (though i was just in the bath for like an hour lol)

    Yes it did make perfect sense. thank you. I guess it depends, i mean sometimes i get annoyed and pick at my scalp, other times i dont realise i am doing it. i also dig my nails into myself when im angry or get really upset, u know like when you clench your hands? i know it hurts and thats why i do i guess im some aspects i really do self harm :(
    That explains it better, what you said, it does calm me down.

    i always get really bad gums too, not bad as in bleeding but as in painful. my whole mouth starts to hurt really bad, the doctor said it was tension. i guess cause im trying to keep everything to myself it comes out in other ways in my body.
    specially now ive not got my tablets things seem to be 100 times worse. i know their not but i react so badly, i shout at my brothers when they ask a simple question like "Is nana home" i'll go mad and shout "how the hell do i know" and get angry...its a simple question! why am i getting mad? i hate myself for it.

    and i do consider myself so utterly ridiculously wimpish for not even been able to actually cut myself. scrape? yeh, cut? no. why not? i know its stupid and i shouldnt do it, but ive got it into my head that it will help (not from this site, no 1 think that!)

    y'know, i hadnt considered this to be self harm but thinking about it :S. My dog tries to hump me and stuff and when he does he scratches all my leg (got all marks from a month ago lol). anyway my point is sometimes i like the fact he scratches me. it hurts and it feels good you know. (not trying to hump me lol, i stop him doing that) but when he jumps up for a cwtch or what ever then he scratches me like hell.
    Last edited: May 21, 2007
  8. ~Nobody~

    ~Nobody~ Well-Known Member

    Well then, I don't know about the scalp-picking thing but I would say that you do engage in some self-harming behaviours. Particularly the thing about clenching your fists so your nails dig into your hands. I do that too. I think that one is actually very common, so much so that most people who aren't depressed or whatever would never consider it self harm (but there's so much stigma attached to self harm anyway.... *stops ranting before I really start*).

    Like, I didn't ever consider myself a 'self-harmer' until I started cutting myself last summer. But as I learnt more about self harm I had to recoognise that I'd been self-harming in other ways since I was really young. When my parents argued I'd hit my head against the wall again and again as a distraction, even when I was very young. And when I got to about 11 I started punching walls when I got angry. I'm a very angry person *sigh* even before the abuse and everything I think but since then it's hit the roof :unsure: (it's the Celt in me, you see :wink:). But anyway I used to punch brick walls and metal radiators when I was angry (especially with myself) and I actually broke my fingers repeatedly. It wasn't until recently that it even occurred to me that that was self-harm too.

    You are NOT wimpish for not cutting. I really hope you don't start. Sure, it does help temporarily (otherwise why would people do it?) but if you can cope in other ways it's so much better. Aside from anything else the scars will never leave you. I feel awful with summer coming up. I can't change in front of anyone or wear shorts that stop above my knees. It's no good, honestly hon :sad:.

    I understand about the short temper thing. It's a common symptom of depression (and a common symptom of being a Celt :laugh:) and it's a very common symptom of not taking your meds properly *tut tut*. Sort it out, love :tongue:.

    Have you tried keeping a journal or something? I remember you saying something about LJ but it can be really cathartic to actually physically write stuff out by hand.

    The other thing is to keep using this site if it helps you :smile:.

    Here if you want to talk more,


    x x
  9. unbearable

    unbearable Well-Known Member

    Your not alone there, I do exactly the same thing, its getting a bit better now but the back of my head gets raw, the problem is it gets infected though.
    Ive never really thought of it as self harm until you raised it but maybe it is a habit like some people like to pick scabs, or some peoples si habits can be related to a bit of ocd i think. If you are doing it on perpous though to hurt yourself than i think that is considered as self harm.
  10. Tara

    Tara Guest

    thanks body and unbearable :hug::arms:

    Sorry to hear what youve gone through :hug:

    the doctor has given me many books to read and one suggested keeping a diary of how im feeling and things. i did start but then i stopped because i didnt want anyone to find it.
    Thats why i use LJ and why im glad i found this site. they both need passwords! so people i dont want to know wont know!

    y'know im so glad i found this site, because it helps so much. its nice to know you're not alone!

    And i thought i was weird in doing that, but knowing that you (unbearable) do it too, makes me feel less freakish! hmm ive never got an infection, sounds horrible :( :hug:
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