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An unstoppable addiction [SI]


lmyoung3s
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Hello

I had a cutting addiction for 6 years. Ive tried to quit twice but rebounded and ended up badly. Im sorta better now, havent cut myself in 5 months. But I still have bad flashbacks that make me have the urge and want to do it again. It all started back in 7th grade after my parents split, they both abused me and i was losing friends fast because of it. Throughout high school it was hard, i started out almost flunking out of school freshman year but started to do better as i got help from twloha websites and other websites. Over the summer I started denying that I had a problem and that I didnt know if I really wanted help with my addiction, all I could think about was how I was going to be put into the hospital if I told anybody. I didnt want that at all. During my sophmore year in high school I tried seeing a school councelor about it and all she did was tell my mother, all my mother said was to not do it again. Some friends asked why I had marks on me and I just blamed my cat. Ive got so many scars that bring back these memories its hard not to go back to those painful days. Im a freshman in college now and pressure is being put on me. Im failing two classes, my parents are fighting with me about their issues at home with work and other family members. A few of my friends are sad and I always try to make them feel better, but I guess I always put other people first instead of myself and maybe thats why I go so deep into this mess.

I didnt [sI] to get noticed by people. I did it because I felt numb, felt nothing but depression, i was stuck in a hole. So i decided to feel pain, to get feeling again. Eventually it became an addiction, I started getting creative and trying other things that will hurt me like burning myself, bruising my arms and legs, putting things under my skin, til 5 months ago when I decided I needed to try harder to stop. How do I get these flashbacks, these memories, and urges go away? :confused: Im terrified to rebound again, and I believe it will be as worse as the last time. I cant tell my friends., I dont want to put this on them. I havent tried talking to the councelors here at college because im afraid they might have to tell someone who will make me go into the hospital or something.:eek:

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Imyoung,

I strongly recomment that you speak to a school therapist. No, you will not be hospitalized for self cutting but you might be put on anti depressant medication and, or, asked to enter psychotherapy. People with this addiction hide it because they feel ashamed. However, help is available and you should try to get that help. The only time people are hospitalized is if they are suicidal or homicidal.

Please, keep talking with us. Talking helps. Also and in addition to this, please get help for yourself.

Allan

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Hi Imyoung,

I'm sorry you're going through this. I have a similar but much less severe problem. The one I did over a month ago however is the first one that has left scarring. So I moved where people won't see it and tried to be a little more superficial (ie: less damaging). I ended up having to cover a bigger area to get the same relief but nevertheless I did get relief. Not leaving scars is helpful because scars leave a permanent reminder.

I think the key is not to get hung up on it yourself. The more you obsess about it, the more you do it. My GP says "be careful who you tell". He is absolutely right. It shocks people who don't understand and they run around thinking you're trying to kill yourself. When I feel I need to tell somebody about it, I print off the thread, a few down from yours in this SI Forum entitled: "How to help a person who self harms" and make them read it. I thought it was a fabulous description of the problem.

I think you really need to understand WHY you do it. Personally, I am going through Psychoanalysis, an intense form of Psychotherapy. I think it will eventually result in me stopping because it gets you to verbalize deep feelings so you can deal with them rationally, instead of doing something impulsive and irrational. My cutting happens when I'm under extreme anxiety, not when I'm depressed. It is ALWAYS a result of other people doing something to hurt me, over which I have no control. No wonder that the only drug that had much of an effect was Mirtazapine, which made me such a zombie that I didn't have any energy to bother. NOT any way to live a life however. If you wake up in the middle of the night to do it, and if you can feel it coming on, then I find a mild tranquilizer like Lorazepam or Ativan helps me sleep then I don't wake up at midnight and feel the urge.

It sounds like OTHER PEOPLE are also causing your problem, at least your reaction to them. Perhaps you should suggest your PARENTs and FRIENDs get professional help, then you can still feel good about trying to help them without personally being burdened. Try hanging out with people who make you feel good, who are more balanced. And try to start filling your head with more positive stuff. Inspirational books, music, biographies. Try to do something for yourself each day. If you don't already, try getting some exercise every day. I do weights, postural exercises and cardio (running or dynamic stretching). The weights and postural exercises are to help me stand up straight because when I'm exhausted and depressed, I hunch over and my back and neck start hurting which makes me even more exhausted and depressed. The running helps me think more clearly and boosts my mood.

What do you think?

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Im not sure why I do it. I guess I am really depressed and I looked at some ratings of depression and it says that I have major depression. Ive denied it for the longest time. Didnt really want to know the real problems that I have.

I have been sleeping more and more lately, not wanting to get out of bed or do anything. Ive tried hanging with my friends to fill my thoughts with positive thoughts, to distract me, but when I go back to my dorm, the bad thoughts and images always come back to me. Ive never considered medication before. Im so weak that i cant lift anything heavy like weights so I give up easily. Ive been eating less and less as the week goes by. I didnt realize it until yesterday that the only meal I eat now is dinner, but today., I could barely eat dinner. I just dont feel like eating anymore. I drink dr pepper like its alcohol and I guess it fills me up, because water is gross in my mind.

It is very hard to tell people what Im going through because they either joke about it like im kidding around or they think im suicidal. I use to cut to leave scars, I was obsessed with making myself feel terrible, make myself down and depressed. The scars are a reminder of all the pain ive been through and who to not trust anymore because I have written names, markings that will remind me, little doodles in my spare time as well.

I started drawing on my arms with pens and markers instead :(

I like your ideas to see the school therapist and maybe see about psychotherapy.. I might start working out again with my friend. It might help me get motivated and out again.

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Hi there,

I also have been through some hurrourdes self harming eposoides, very serious. I think ALlen is right on the money. Get yourself into seeing a counselor and possible therapy. Working out sounds like a great idea to get out a lot of unspent energy out and take your mind off SI. Good luck to you, there is a way out of this SI mess, try and try , try some more :)

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Imyoung,

I read somewhere about blood sugar levels affecting mood tremendously (Dr. Mercola's website I think). The Dr. Pepper you are drinking is probably REALLY messing up your mood. Makes you feel good for a while then you crash and need more. Eating three balanced meals a day would probably help you a lot. I felt incredibly weak a year ago and couldn't roll over without waking up from back pain, so I started swimming. After a few months my shoulder started hurting so I tried spinning. Then I was worried what that static position would do to my chronic back pain, plus my weakness was in my arms, so I looked for a kinesiologist who is also recommended for pain relief. Turns out a lot of personal trainers are kinesiologists. That's how I ended up working out. You probably have some in your gym at (I think you said you were in college). I told them my goals - 1)pain relief, 2)mood improvement and 3)cardio so I would have more energy. They've done a great job with 1 and 3. Although I'm not where I need to be on 2 yet, my various external crises have got worse over the past year, so I'd probably be dead by now if I didn't do all this self-care. I try to keep the protein intake up, especially when I'm not eating well, that way I won't burn off muscles. If you don't feel like eating try drinking Ensure or a protein shake or something like that. Try to stay healthy until you can nail your depression, or you'll have one more problem to deal with.

Sorry if this sounds "preachy", it's just what I do, based on reading a lot of stuff and trying to listen to my body and it does seem to be helping.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you.

I tried working out the other day, lifted weights, ran and used some weight machines. It helped a bit, it helped that I was with some friends. But i was sore the next day so I had to stay in bed because my body hurt a lot. :o

Ive been trying to cut back on soda as well.. but thats not going so well. xD

Holidays are here., its reminding me of the past bad memories. But im trying not to let them ruin anything this season.

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For the past week since I have been home, I cannot stop crying. I cry everytime I walk to my friends and my boyfriend. I cry at night, in the morning, I have been crying all the time. I think one thought I cry, someone say one thing, I cry. I dont know whats wrong with me.. I wish it would go away because I try to not do it when im near my mom, I dont want her to know and bug me about what might or might not be wrong. When truly, I dont know whats wrong.. All im asking myself is whats wrong with me and why is this happening to me? Ive been cold but hot a lot lately, cant stop shaking. I dont feel suicidel. I feel like I have no heart. I cant even write down my feelings on paper because I cant see when im crying. I seem to never get my feelings out to anybody that im close to., like my boyfriend knows something wrong but I cant tell him somethings wrong when I dont even know whats wrong.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Imyoung,

I think there is an excellent chance that you are right about depression. It means that you need to do two things to help yourself if you can:

1. See a therapist so you can begin dealing with the depression. That can help a lot as many of our community members will agree with because they did it or are doing it.

2. You may need to start medication for your depression. A good way to start is to see your primary care physician who can decide if you need this or not. Also, you doctor can refer you to a psychiatrist, if necessary.

By the way, you may or may not have major depression. There are many types of depression and thats important to know. You need your doctor or psychiatrist or therapist or both to diagnose you.

Finally, Yoga is a wonderful way to start helping yourself, and you can start doing that even before seeing your doctor.

We are here for you. You are in a lot of pain and I hope you get professional help, along with us, here and with Yoga. Please continue to post here so we can support you.

Allan

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Doesnt therapists cost? Would a councilor be ok instead? I have no money for a therapist and cant find a close one. A part of me is afraid of going to the counselor, like the person wont be helpful, he/she will know everything about me, or recommend me to medication.. Im not good with asking for help.

Ive been able to stop crying so much. Its just not im shaking twice as bad.. i dont like this feeling but a part of me wants to stay this way, miserable, like thats how i should be. If i would have known before i started cutting for the first time that this would be with me for the rest of my life then I wouldnt have made these scars. But maybe its not the scars doing this to me, maybe its the past dwelling in my mind when im here, at home. Every flash back could be making me this way and I feel there is no way to stop it. I feel if I go see a counselor or a therapist that I will have to relive that part of my life, is that to solve the problem, to face it once and for all with some help from a proffesional? This has been going on for over 6 or 7 years now and im finally reaching out for help, but it worries me a lot. And I dont want to get scared so much that I will quit wanting help and go back to the way I was.

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