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SI & Obsessive thoughts? **Trigger warning**


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I haven't bee online for a while as my computer is in the shop and I did not want to log on to this site from a shared computer (fears of the site being traced to me.) But, something has me so concerned right now, I felt I had to take the risk.

I am an ocassional cutter. By ocassional, I mean I usually only cut when my emotions are so out of control I can't cope or when I need an alternative to lashing out at others.

A couple of weeks ago, something happened that really really sent me over the edge. Mentally, I was on a rampage screaming at myself, pulling my hair, throwing things, etc. As my rage intensified, I knew I would do something I regretted horribly in front of my kids, so I sent them outside where family was, locked myself in the bathroom and slashed myself pretty good. It was TRULY the only thing I could think of to snap myself back to reality and stop the raging. I guess my emotions were so out of control that I could not feel a thing and did not realize how badly I cut myself until sometime later. Of course, I could not go to the ER since I would have to say what happened. So, I treated it at home.

But, now, I find myself obsessing about it. Constantly rubbing the wound. It should be healed by now, but I find myself subconsciously picking it open again and again. When I get extremely anxious and need an escape, I reach inside my shirt sleeve and make it bleed again. Feeling it bleed seems to have a calming effect for some reason. Sometimes, at home, I even cut back across it to open it again. I think about it ALL OF THE TIME!

Today, I was at DS's bball game and was crawling out of my skin with anxiety. I reached inside my sleeve and began pulling the scab off, again, but then was overcome with the the desire to go home and start cutting again. I could not even concentrate on the rest of the game- I was absolutely obsessed with the thought of getting home to cut again.

I am in therapy for OCD and obsessive thoughts as part of therapy for MDD, GAD and Panic Disorder but have never shared my SI history with my T. So, I really am not sure how to handle this. Is this an obsessive behavior problem or an SI/coping problem?

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Yours is the question I am trying to answer within myself. Yes, I am prone to obsessive thinking and yes I am prone to certain obsessive behaviors but cutting has never been one of them.

I have never thought about cutting until the very moment I felt driven to act so having these constant thoughts about it is all new to me.

And, since I have not discussed it with T I am not sure where I should lump this in my mind as far as therapy goes.

Cutting has almost always been an impulsive behavior for me. One which I usually regret within minutes or hours. But, in this case, I do not regret it.

Maybe its the fact that it gave me such a complete release from the emotional pain I was feeling at the time? Perhaps because it was worse than prior injuries which affirmed my belief that when I am emotionally dead, I feel physically dead, as well. I felt no pain whatsoever. I was numb emotionally and physically to the very core. Maybe I revisit the injury and, sometimes, the act, because I long for that emotional release? Maybe I am gauging myself- i.e. if I feel the pain, I am still ok- not emotionally or physically dead, yet; but if I don't feel the pain, I am dead.

But, what I still don't understand is whether I am revisiting the wound or even the act because I am prone to obsessions and this has become an obsession or is it because it was successful as a coping mechanism and have now adopted it as a "go-to" coping mechanism rather than as a last resort?

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From what I understand self-injury can often develop an obsessive compulsive quality to it and interfering with wound healing is not uncommon. As someone who also self-injures I can tell you that I often experience repetitive unpleasant thoughts (though never about self-injury) that play in my head over and over again so I know how difficult it can be. Please don’t let SI become your “go-to coping mechanism” because it will only get worse over time and leave you feeling more empty and alone. Perhaps you should discuss this with your T.

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Hi Proverbs

I guess my thoughts on this is that maybe you have taken it up a bit from where it was, maybe it used to be that it was just impulsive and now because of this paticular event you are getting stuck in a obsessive spin surronding it. I found I had this trouble, I obsess over past events one moment mostly I have tryed to figure out why and the best I've come up with is that the si event released alot of my traped emotions and made me feel strong/powerful/in control/out of control/ --free-- I still can't let go of this event and I think way too much of it but I desided to take the risk and talk about it with a T and see if this will help and I think it is I think just letting someone else in on it all like ALL of the bit of info will help me to understand the why's. Anyway I think it would be good for you to try and talk it out with a T. I think it is both of what you say you are obsessing and you found it to help you cope, either one I think you have lowered the bar and are more at risk, so you should get some help with this. You can rewind and get to a point again that you cope better without hurting yourself the disire to may still be there but you can be strong and not let yourself give in. Like a addiction you will think and feel like you need more and more so you have to stop the cycle of this, your T can really help you. just my thoughts on this,

Please take care

Edited by nightfalls
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Hi Proverbs,

I just saw this thread, and feel bad that you are struggling right now with SI and obsessive thoughts.

Since Self injury is something that I am all to familiar with I felt like I could share with you my thoughts. Yes, SI can take control of ones thoughts! For me, it can be all too consuming until the act is performed. Yes, their is a release one feels afterwards.. However that feeling only lasts temporarily, then the thoughts are back again, and won't let go. I find that this is how SI is bad , it traps you. The more a person engages in SI the easier it can become, and the more obsessive it is. Does that make sense to you?

I hate it at times, because it becomes a "monster" Sometimes not letting me go until it finally happens, and then all it leaves it unpleasant, ugly scars. I see that you have kids too, and what I found out to be true is that it is extra, extra difficult to cope and control those feelings when you are a parent, and even have more responsibiltes.

SI to me, is a way of coping, and is a far better alternative then the latter... I've SI'ed very severely several times, and it is acceptable more, then suicide attempts.. I hope I don;t get into trouble for writing that! It STILL is not a good way to cope, or a healthy alternative. not promoting SI! But, I think you understand what I am referring to.

PLease take care of your wounds, and be careful not to let anything become infected. Anther thing is that the more You engage in SI the more likely it will be that someone will find out, and start asking you about it.

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