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dispelling the myths...help needed

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I am a mature student and recovered self harmer and as such I am compiling a report for my psychology course on the subject of self harm. I hope to be able to dispel some of the myths surrounding this subject and hope that some people on this board may be able to help me by sharing some of their experiences with me. Confidentiality and empathy guaranteed, answers to the following is the type of information that would be useful to me, many thanks.
SELF - HARM.

1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?

2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?

3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?

4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?

5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?

6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?

7/ Have you sought help from others?

8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?

9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?

10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour?
If so what type and has it helped?


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Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    i used to self harm, but a quick question: have you spoken to the mods about posting your questionaire?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I've moved this to the We Need You Forum because we don't want loads of r4equests and surveys clogging up the real discussions.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? 13/14 I think

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm? Immense rage

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)? cutting

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? No

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? It tended to be a release, I could focus on handling the pain, and then clearing up the mess

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? I was depressed (duh)

    7/ Have you sought help from others? No, but someone I thought I could trust told my school

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? Semi-secretive

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? Some dismissed me as an attention seeker, some were worried

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? Yeah
    If so what type and has it helped? I had councilling through my school, made bugger all difference, in the end I said what she wanted to hear so I could go.

    In the end I sorted myself out at 16. Except for once, when i deliberatly threw myself from my mountain bike after a messy breakup. But I was maybe 17 then, just.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?

    Properly on my 18th birthday, but I'd been picking or scratching for a long time before.

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?

    Complete and utter loneliness and worthlessness, and blind rage at life for leaving me lonely and worthless.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?

    Cutting, though I did sometimes burn myself with wax.

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?

    No. I used the same pair of scissors at first, but only because it was easier to hide it that way.

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?

    As I cut I felt angry, and I felt pleased I was giving myself the kicking I deserved. Watching the blood trickle out of my arms and chest made me feel relaxed, like my pain was flowing with the blood, and then afterwards I'd feel guilty and stupid.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?

    Partly to hurt myself like I deserved, and partly for the feeling of release when I was bleeding.

    7/ Have you sought help from others?

    Yes, I saw a psychotherapist three times a week for three years. I am a lot better, I don't cut anymore, and I have now left treatment because I am so much better.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?

    From my family it was, but I never did a very good job of hiding it. I never hid it from my gf, but I never did it in front of her.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?

    Close friends know, and they act with compassion I think, though its hard to tell because I haven't done it for ages. Others don't know, and I intend to keep it that way.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? If so what type and has it helped?

    Yes. See above.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yes i have and it has been okayed and moved to We need your help forum. Many thanks to those of you that have replied xxxxx
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    if you want more detail, just ask.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?
    I first self harmed when i was 15

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?
    i felt like i was in dispair and that there was nothing else to turn to apart from hurting myself,I felt i needed to punish myself for messing things up

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?
    I would cut myself.I also believe however that by using drugs i was also self harming in a roundabout way

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?
    I would use a razor blade which i would have to dismantle from a disposable razor

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?
    I felt nothing when i would cut myself.Afterwards i would feel pain and sigust for what i had done vowing i would enver do it again

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?
    I engaged in self harm because my coping mechanisms associated with my depression were poor

    7/ Have you sought help from others?
    I sought the advice of my doctor who referred me to a clinical psycologist.I was also on anti depressents on and off for 4 years

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?
    It was very much a secret act as i felt ashamed by it.I would not parade my cuts and even now i am utterly ashamed by the scars i have.and will do my utmost to cover them up

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?
    My best friend knew but she continued to support me.The doctor obviously discourage me

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour?
    Yes

    If so what type and has it helped?
    Cognitive therapy,sessions with psycologists and councillors.I dont know if they helped as i feel that i overcame my self harming behaviour by my own strong will to do so.I have recently been offered the chance to attend a slef hamr survivor group which i declined.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?

    When I was 13.

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?

    Being totally overwhelmed by negative emotions...despair, anger, loneliness, sadness etc

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?

    Cutting and sometimes scratching and also overdosing

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?

    No....well always with a razor blade

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?

    Calm, like I'm watching all the negativity flow out. Afterwards, mostly panicky about how I will hide it etc and angry at myself for giving in again.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?

    To calm myself down and sometimes it was to have a sense of control

    7/ Have you sought help from others?

    Yes, from various people over the years

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?

    Yes to the extent that I would never do it in front of anyone and would to my best to hide it for years, but no because now everyone knows about it so it's no secret.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?

    Friends don't really ever mention it or behave any differently but I know they worry. Parents worry no end and don't really ever know what to say.


    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? If so what type and has it helped?

    Medical in the way of stitches/nights in hospital for overdoses (even though always minor and self harm not suicide attempts). Psychiatric in the way of sessions with liaison nurses and psychotherapy for a bit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    [
    SELF - HARM.

    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? i was 11 or 12

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?
    it was likely to be something my step-dad said, iwas stupid,lazy,waste of space etc
    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?
    cutting with a razor blade
    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?
    in my bedroom,only place i had privacy, disposable razor blade with the plastic safety bit broken
    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?
    better and relieved.then later on bad for doing it.
    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?
    it helped with the emotional pain from hating myself so much
    7/ Have you sought help from others?
    after about 10 years i went to gp
    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?
    yes
    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?
    yes - ignored it. i dont think they knew how to deal with it tbh.
    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? anti depressents
    If so what type and has it helped?


    fluoxetine.it has helped.for now. i haven't SH for two years. i binge eat now instead.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Self harm
    emmab wrote:
    SELF - HARM.

    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?

    7/ Have you sought help from others?

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour?
    If so what type and has it helped?

    .

    1)when I was about 13 but I stopped then about 2 years ago I started again (I was 15)

    2)I'd fallen out with my mum and dad (this was bad because normally I only fall out with my mum)

    3)I started off by scratching until it bled than I used nail scissiors in the same way and most recently I've started buring myself

    4)I alsways did it in my room sitting on my bed but there wasn't really a ritual

    5)during I just feel numb, which is better than feeling so down I feel the same straight after but the next day a feel really ashamed

    6)because I cause so many problems for my family. They all seem to get on well and then I come in and cause loads of problems

    7)I went to my GP. I probably wouldn't have if my mum hadn't made the appointment though. She found out when I was trying on a swimming costume

    8)very. the rest of my family think that I've stopped. It's mainly so secerative because I don't want to worry them

    9)my mum and sister found out (as mentioned above) and my mum told my dad. At first they were supportive but sometimes they used to make fun of me, it was meant to be a joke but I didn't find it funny. My sister has been horrible ever since.

    10) I'v had medical help for depression but I've only been once and I havn't told him about it so no.
  • littlemissylittlemissy knit chick Posts: 9,972
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? I think it is something I have done most of my life subconsciously however, I first actively engaged in it aged 18ish.

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm? I had a major argument with a friend which completely knocked my confidence and that is when I started.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)? Cutting mainly. However, I would also punch walls which caused bruising. I never broke anything which shocks me, even to this day.

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? Yes. I would always use a new razor blade. I would take apart the razors with the same knife and would use the same cloth to mop up the blood. I would always do it in the same room too. When I moved house then the cutting would ocurr in the shower. The wall punching would occur if I didn't have a razor to hand or if I felt like I needed to self harm whenever I was out.

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? I can't really remember what I felt *during* the act. However, I always felt relief after. I felt alive and I actually felt feelings again.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? I engaged in self harm mainly when I was feeling quite detatched and not real. I would need to remind myself that I did actually exist and would use the self harm to "feel" again.

    7/ Have you sought help from others? I did, yes. I had a very supportive doctor, a not so supportive counsellor and a wonderful psychiatrist.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? It was very secretive. Only one person knew about it at the time and he was my current boyfriend. I only feel comfortable talking about self harm now that I have come through the other side.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? No-one knew about it at the time. Now that they know about it now they don't treat me any differently as I am still me. I haven't really changed that much to them as I continued a "front" which has now become the real me. If that makes any sense.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? If so what type and has it helped? I was on fluoxetine for quite a period and that helped. I also saw a psychiatrist for a while which also helped. He also helped give me more insight for the reasons I self harmed. Which helped me crack it all.

    Hope this helps some :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? 14

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm? I liked this guy, but he liked someone else, and he'd tell me about his feelings for this other girl and how he thought they might be getting somewhere - and i secretly liked him and i felt frustrated cause the chances of us being together seemed near to nothing so basically i was jealous, i only did it twice because of this (i actually ended up going out with him in the end though lol)
    Though its for different reasons now.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)? Scratching

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? On my bed alone in my room with the sharp point of the same compass

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? During - i guess i felt frustrated and needed to let my anger out on something. After - like i'd just let some of my anger go but i could still feel like some was there waiting till next time.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? I do it occasionally when i'm feeling very frustrated and down. Mainly when i get treated unfairly or when everything seems to go wrong.

    7/ Have you sought help from others? I'm currently having councelling for depression and anxiety but i havent told her about this yet.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? Ive only told 1 person that ive done it once or twice but they dont know ive recently been doing it again.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? They were indifferent towards me when i first told them.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? No.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? about three years ago

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm? my dad had just been fired from his job

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)? you name it I've probably done it. Pretty much everything except breaking bones or cutting anything off.

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? Always in my bathroom, and always with my razor blade.

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? Relieved, cleansed.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? I feel like there's not other way to relieve my stress/depresion

    7/ Have you sought help from others? a few close friends.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? yes

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? I made the bad mistake of telling a couple of my "friends", and they refuse to talk to me anymore.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? No, I have not. I asked my parents if I could see a shrink, but they said it wouldn't help.
    If so what type and has it helped?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? Last year wheni was 20.

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?
    Just lying in bed one night and saw a knife on my window sill.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?
    Cutting, hitting myself, small overdoses

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? No

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? Relieved, pleased, sometimes after im proud others stupid and pathetic.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? When i cant cope and need to releive some pressure, or when i cant stand myself.

    7/ Have you sought help from others? GP

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? yes, except i told my bf, and it became obvious in work.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? Work collegues saw it. They never asked me directly about it. They talk about it amongst themselves but didnt treat me different.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? Yes, but it more for the depression.

    If so what type and has it helped? Anti-depressants, psychotherapy both have helped. Psychiatrist-useless.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm? When I was 12. So just under 8 years ago

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm? Lonliness. My mum had cancer and my family were keeping me shut out and I felt totally alone and unable to share my families grief properly.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)? I mostly cut with razor blades, scissors, compasses but on the odd occasion I'd use cigarette butts and once lit a lighter for a few minutes and put the metal on my arm

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place? Usually in the bathroom, never any particular tool

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after? Guilty but also relieved. It was like a game. How to dress my arms so that nobody would notice but not enough to be suspicious.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm? I don't know, I'd never seen it on television or in magazines. It just seemed ...natural to do it. I just felt so frustrated all the time and depressed and I had no way of expressing it to anybody without revealing my true nature or the things I was ashamed of. It was a self damaging, self preservation tactic I suppose

    7/ Have you sought help from others? I have never sought help. I was forced help a number of times.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act? Yes. Nobody had a clue I did it until one day when I was in a real state and I let my guard down.

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you? Nobody knew until the incident that stopped it. When everybody found out people avoided me like I was a leper, that what I was doing to myself would rub off on them or I'd do it to them. Only a few people stood by me and never mentioned a thing.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? Yes, a few psychologist and psychiatric assesments and meetings. But I was able to worm my way out of it as I understood how they worked on some level. It took a couple of years of learning empathy and a big outing of my secret to stop me. And I still get the urge but I know how to control it now.

    If so what type and has it helped? see before
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    1/ When did you first engage in self - harm?
    I was about 8 or 9 when I first self harmed the reason I wanted to do it was because I wanted a scar like everyone else...until that point I actually had perfect skin...but I wanted to fit in. From that point onwards I have self harmed.

    2/ Do you recall the event or emotion that prompted you to engage in self - harm?
    The initial self harming happened due to wanting to fit in but subsequently was my deep unhappiness with my life and the life around me and my internalised anger and upset about external factors in my life.

    3/ What method of self - harm do/did you use ( cutting, burning, etc)?
    My self harm has mostly been cutting, but has also involved burning, scratching, using objects to hit against me, but also when I was younger(ie 8 or 9) I used to put a plastic bag over my head before I fell asleep in the hope that I wouldn't wake up (I don't know if that counts as self harming but I think its relevant).

    4/ Do/did you have a “ritual” for your self - harm, i.e: a particular tool, time or place?
    There was never a particular time or place where my self harm would take place, a razor blade was the usual tool but not always.

    5/ How does the act of self - harm make you feel, during and after?
    Calm, gave me a focus to stop thinking about everything else.

    6/ Why do/did you engage in self - harm?
    I have no idea helps me deal with my problems.

    7/ Have you sought help from others?
    Saw a councelor once for about 6 weeks but she didn't really deal with my self harm problem.

    8/ Is/ was your self -harm a secretive act?
    Yes

    9/ Do/did others know about your self - harming? If so how do/did they behave towards you?
    They didn't for a long time now some poeple know. They don't talk about it.

    10/ Have you had any medical/psychiatric treatment for your self - harming behaviour? If so what type and has it helped?
    No
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