Posted by: T | 2007/03/05

Self injury

I have been a victim of self injury since the age of 13 (I am now 24). It has come to the stage where I have gone beyond cutting just my forearms, and I am now mutilating my entire body. My cuts are getting much much deeper and I am starting to worry about them. I have been hospitalized for my condition in a specialised clicic twice, and have been in intensive therapy for two years now. But I feel that my behaviour is becoming more and more secretive. I don't want my mom to know about it because I know what it does to her, and I have found that I have stopped telling my psychologist about it too. I don't go to the doctor anymore for stitches, I just sew myself up now (no, there is no pain...actually no feeling at all). I have been on all sorts of medications for this and I can undersatand why people are giving up on me, I think thats partly why I don't see the point in mentioning it anymore. the reason I'm here is because I don't know where to go anymore, or which way to turn. I feel like I'm completely alone. I would also like to know if I'm taking my actions too seriously and I'm worrying about nothing. Maybe I'm just getting into a big flap over nothing.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

If you check out the archives of this forum, you'll find how often we have discussed this topic. A sensible, CBT style therapist could help you explore other ways to respond to the situations in which you cut, other than cutting. And no therapist can help you if you keep secrets from them. Actually, experiencing no pain at the time is fairly typical and common, though it astonishes other people. But even if the act brings you any relief at all, the relief is very temporary, and better solutions must be found.
It must feel scary to feel so alone --- but in a way you have ceated that situation, and can change it if you want to. This self-cutting IS something to worry about and to continue to work hard to abolish, as it unnecessarily limits your freedom to enjoy life properly. Share all the details with your therapist and disuss alternate ways of responding to the situations in which you currently cut. It may sound tiny or silly, but many of the cutters I have worked with have found that either putting a strong large elastic band round their wrist and snapping it to give themselves a short sharp slap, or producing a lurid slash mark across their arm with a washable red felt-tip pen, can actually become an effective substitute while one works on still more safe and fruitful ways of responding.

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: Joy | 2007/03/05

Your condition sounds serious, and obviously you've been through alot. Its imperitive that you share what you're going through with your therapist though, if you have any desire to get better. Deal with the underlying problems and begin the healing process. I know its easier said than done, but i figure with you sharing this with us, you're concerned about yourself and seek help. You only have one life to live..dont do this to yourself man..! It's reassuring knowing that you are seeking professional make use of it! There are so many people who need help but cant afford it. Dont throw away your chance at life and living it abundantly! I'm 25 i really can relate to you and want you to get better! Take care!

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