Posted by: Natasja | 2008/06/06


I was diagnosed with bipolar 3 a couple of ears ago.

for as long as i can remember i've been cutting myself, it started when i first went ti high school. i've been able to hide it from family and friends well for nearly 10years.

my famile know that i 'use to' do it, and if they would walk in on me while i was getting dressed or in the shower, they would always tell me to 'stop my sh%t'.

i have on numerous occasions 'decided' that i was going to stop, but this normally only lasts a few weeks or months, sometimes only a couple of days.

it is like no one really understands how i am feeling and what i am going through! i've been on a thousand different medications and none of them seem to work. i am currently on Camcolit and Abilify, but its just getting worse!

i feel like my world is tumbling in around me! there is not one night i go to sleep not wanting to do it, neither a morning i wake up not craving cutting myself!

this has always been a very difficult situation in every relationship i've had, and it is starting to bugger my current relationship up.

is there anyone else with the same problem as me? could i have been mis-diognosed? and maybe on the wrong medication??

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I studied selfcuting for many years, and wrote several major articles and book chapters on the subject. And have commented in some detail before ( check the archives of this forum for self-cutting and cutting ).
It is NOT part of Bipolar Disorder, and occurs in many people with personality problems but no other major psychiatric disorder. It does NOT respond to treatment with mere drugs, but need help from proper psychotherapy. It is a bad habit, and as you have found, though it may bring brief relief to bad feelings, the relief never lasts, so it is never a solution to any problem, and one needs to learn to stop it and to stay stopped. Discuss this in detail with the shrink treating your Bipolar Disorder, and ask for referral to a skilled local psychotherapist. There is no reason to suspect that you have been misdiagnosed or that the treatment is wrong --- but cutting is a different problem from Bipolar Disorder.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: anon | 2008/06/08

Hi, this situation sounds so similar to me, and no one knows. I started cutting when my life spun out of control a few years ago and havent been able to stop. I honestly think most of it is habit, but it does temporarily relieve what ever emotion i am feeling.

Medication does not help for this, although I am on medication i was diagnosed with MDD so that is the reason. Sometimes people who have no real psychiatric problem hurt themselves and have to work through it some other way. I really do suggest therapy like CS said so that you can figure out perhaps why you are doing this to yourself and how to manage without it. I dont want to sound like a hypocrite because i have been seeing a psychologist for going on four years and i dont even think she knows i still do it. But that is my demon, if you want to stop and work things out then dont be afraid to ask for help.

So you're not alone, although i cant say i know how you feel i probably understand more than others.

Good luck, i hope things get better for you and that you can work things out. Take care of yourself.

Reply to anon
Posted by: almost mad | 2008/06/06

i am not bipolar, but i used to cut myself everyday for a long time. The marks used to be so bad i used to get scared that they would never go away. i was so ashamed whn my family found out. I would stop for a while and then start again. I eventually went to therapy and forced myself to stop. i guess i was lucky that i could stop. Maybe you need to learn to deal with your problems in another way. or release your energy, anger, emotions, cravings, in another way, eg. go for a jog. (i hate to exercise, its just a suggestion) PS...i know its not easy and i have no clue what it is like to be bipolar. goodluck.

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