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Is SI ever okay?


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If it is the lesser of two evils, is it okay?

I do not normally have "hallucinations" but think I have had some lately. My only past experience with hallucinations have been auditory hallucinations caused by sleep deprived psychosis, hallucinations of pain while trialing Zyprexa, and a sensation of being apart from my body after having a psycotic reaction to a medication. What I am experiencing lately seems similar.

I have been seeing black "spots" kinda like "floaters" but they are coming toward me. As they get closer, the spots turn into faces. Very angry, demon-like faces. The edges are not definied: they are just a blurry spot with a face- upturned angry eyes and a mouth full of growling teeth. They do not speak but something about them makes me think they want me to harm myself. Yesterday, they were bad. Really bad. I was seeing these spots for several hours, off and on, and nothing I did would get rid of them.

Today, it happened again. Again, I felt like they want me to harm myself. Specifically, I feel like they want me dead. I don't know why I get that feeling from them but I do. So, I now wonder if SI would be enough for them? Would they leave me alone if I drew blood for them? If so, then would it be okay to cut if it rids me of this?

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Unfortunately, the answer is probably what you don't want to hear: No, it's not okay to cut. Cutting is an unhelpful and potentially harmful coping skill. You need to expand your set of coping skills to allow you to respond to stress without cutting. That being said, your hallucinations sound TERRIFYING and I don't blame you for wanting something to make them go away immediately. Have you checked with your physician- could be a medication reaction?

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From what you describe, it does sound like you're experiencing a psychotic problem in the "paranoid" style (e.g., persecutory hallucinations with a command componant). This is something that should be discussed with your psychiatrist at the earliest possible moment, if only becuase he/she will be in the best situation to do something positive about it. Psychotherapies can help people come to feel more comfortable with hallucinations (which is a significant and good thing) but they can't reduce their intensity, which is what is desired.

I don't think it is about whether SI is acceptable or not, becuase people are going to do it regardless, when they feel they need to do it. It's not a safe thing (people do go too far from time to time and end up dead), and it scars you up, and it leaves people feeling like freaks and ashamed and for all those reasons and more SI is not a desirable coping style. There are better, more life-affirming, health benefiting sorts of coping methods which can be learned about and practiced.

The thing to keep in mind about hallucinations that command you to hurt yourself is that it is an illusion that these commands are coming from external to yourself. There is no one out there, no malevolent demon that is actually going to feel temporarily asuaged by your blood sacrifice. It's just you and whatever you've learned based on experience and whatever is happening inside your brain and body to be producing the demon image. Since there is no one really demanding the blood but yourself, you (hopefully, theoretically) have the power to refuse on the basis that you are actually feeling ambivalent about harming yourself. There is what the demon images "want" and then there is what you want for yourself which is different than that. Since it's all you, you can say no.

The other reason to not give in is that bullies generally aren't satisfied by appeasments. When you give in to them, they start wanting more and more from you. Better to assert yourself early than to be led around by bullies.

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