The Fabulous Self-Mutilation Megathread

Discussion in 'Brainbent' started by Vast Derp, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. rje

    rje here comes the sun

    Why do you do it?
    Most times to stop an impending breakdown, or calm one that's starting - the pain just hits the breaks, calms me down, mostly. Also the pain will for some reason stop the suicidal ideations when it's really bad. A second smaller reason is wanting scars so it feels like the bad stuff is real, since most times I have to push it down and just go about my day pretending everything is ok. But it's not okay and yet outwardly not a hair out of place. But if I have angry red bleeding lines down my arms it proves Something Is Wrong.

    Have you stopped, and if so, what made you stop?
    I've stopped lots of times, usually it's only when it's really bad that I do it and it's not like that all the time. What made me stop was honestly, probably guilt, not wanting to upset significant others or friends. And medication helped...but also causes it, when the times i have to stop taking it for an extended period, then start back up. Like right now, body's getting used to Wellbutrin again and I had some major self harm desires tonight. They haven't even let me go back on the Effexor either, so I'm looking forward to dealing with the brainmess of going back on that after I tell them 'hey this one med isn't enough, like I already told you months ago'

    Do you regret it?
    Sometimes. Not the scars or anything, but upsetting or possibly upsetting people I care about if they see it/find out. I don't hide them, but I've lied about them (having cats makes it easier)

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    Not really, but it happens so rarely anymore (used to happen a LOT more when I wasn't on medication) that I don't really worry about it...but probably finding a different way to calm/cope with an impending breakdown would be beneficial

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
    I would like to get to a point where I never do it again, yes, but I don't know if I need help to get there. Or if getting on all my proper meds and getting back into therapy would be enough.

    Decided to fill this out when I was feelin I needed this thread, tonight...
  2. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    relapsing kinda hard rn. don't know how to feel about it. :/

    on the one hand... smarter now, better at balancing overall damage vs emotional effect. on the other hand... :/ :/ :/
  3. absolutely not

    absolutely not New Member

    i want to do that non-self harm thing where you take a bottle of red nail polish and use it to draw lines on yourself.

    the only red nail polish that i know i have is a very expensive limited edition that i actually like and is no longer commercially available.
  4. paladinkit

    paladinkit brave little paladin

    would markers or pen work for you? i prefer those for the tactile sensation in pressing, but i know some people need the visual/tactile drip effects.
  5. absolutely not

    absolutely not New Member

    i found two others i'd totally forgot i'd bought, one is matte and one is patent/super shiny

    i'm also going to paint my for real nails because if i can't type maybe i'll feel less like talking about it
    • Like x 1
  6. Dragon Drop

    Dragon Drop New Member

    Why do you do it?
    I do painful but short-term damage to reset my brain when I start feeling really numb. A handful of times in my life I have given myself serious burns that have left permanent scars. This latter type of self-harm is a weird symbolic thing that I've held onto from my teens - I do it in times of emotional catastrophe, generally when faced with a really bad break up, and I look at the scar so that I can watch it heal and know that time is passing and that I'm getting better just like the burn gets better.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    Not really. Both things have been going on-and-off since I was like 12

    Do you regret it?
    I regret type 2. It serves a genuinely useful function, but it's not worth the scars.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I'd like to stop the serious burns, but the urge to do them is so rare that when it comes up I haven't figured out alternative, and I just end up doing it. The most recent time, I did it right after being super proud of myself for not doing it this time.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
    I wish I had a better way of coping with these things. I don't want to have to punch and prick and scratch myself to make myself feel better about things, and I don't want to need a 2nd degree burn inflamed and slowly healing on my arm to remind me that I have the capacity to get better.
  7. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    As a teenager, I hacked my nails and toenails to the quick, sometimes (a lot of the time, I think) until they bled; I'd even try to cut away the quick where I could. I'd also pick at my acne (to the point of leaving scars on my chest for a while), and pluck hairs on my face and my groin.

    Why do you do it?

    When I started, I was probably deeply depressed; all I really know is that I just felt numb - I didn't feel happy, I didn't feel sad a lot of the time, I was just numb and tired. And then the thought "what if you forgot how to feel anything" crossed my mind and...well, pain isn't the same thing as happiness at all, but it's at least something. It was proof that I could still feel, right? And if I didn't feel happy, then maybe it was because I wasn't happy and not because I was broken.
    These days...I don't even know, really. At least one part of it is that my jaw's grown just enough hair that if I were a teenage boy, I'd probably be really damn proud about my not-a-beard. But...well, I'm not a teenage boy (or at least, I don't identify as male often enough to want facial hair and I'm definitely not a teenager) and the stubble's an irritating texture. So on days when I'm feeling really feminine, I feel like I can't go out of the house at all without having tweezed out all the hairs, and having it there makes it unpleasant to touch my own face.

    And sometimes the acne's just - either distressingly big, or ends up placed in ways that make it uncomfortable (I tend to end up with acne just about everywhere but my face, even on The Pill) and I need to make it go away.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    Kinda-sorta, but not really. I don't cut my nails to the quick any more. I still tweeze and I still pick at my acne. I also pick at my face, if I haven't been careful about washing it; it gets sort of scaley-flakey without being washed and moisturized every day, and I end up picking and scraping at it if I'm not careful. (I also suspect I might be doing it in my sleep a bit, from how I end up with stuff under my nails every morning, even when I went to bed without that. But I don't really know how to test for that, or how to make it stop if I am.)
    I also still pick at my nails, if I'm anxious and they're not painted. I usually end up going about a month or two, I think, between having longish nails and them being picked back to being really short and needing to be trimmed a little and cleaned up so that they don't look ragged.

    Do you regret it?
    I sorta regret hacking at my toenails, I'm pretty sure it's resulted in several ingrown nails. Asides from that, I don't really know if I feel regret.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I' to be able to stop, I guess? Not really sure how to achieve it, though, since it'd sort of rely on being able to get my body to stop producing acne at all and hair in places which are distressing. Like, logic says "a better acne care regime and electrolysis", but at least one half of that requires me consistently having enough spoons to do the self-care involved in using acne scrubs and the other half requires me actually scheduling and showing up to electrolysis appointments.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?
    I'm not entirely sure I need help, since I'm generally not leaving scars or really doing anything that actually feels like it's fucking me up? But I would like to stop, since it's a spoons-drain to deal with it.
  8. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    Augh. I don't know why (stress would be my first guess), but my face and back are just - scaly-itchy lately. I'm trying really hard not to claw, to just wash normally instead. I think I'm mostly succeeding? But it feels like even really quickly after scrubbing and moisturising, my face is already getting scaly and dry again.
  9. me, apparently: man, you know what my shoulders need? more large, hard to explain scars
  10. kmoss

    kmoss whoops


    there's this little skin imperfection on my shoulder and last night i tried to dig it out with a knife. i'd like to say it disqualifies from self-harm because said imperfection was actually painful under the skin and I used alcohol & antiseptics, but then i got sick of it bleeding and fucking cauterized it. being "smart" about reducing long term inury of self harm doesn't make it not-self harm.

    ugh i was doing so well.

    things that are important to remember: self-recrimination over relapsing often leads to more relapsing. don't beat yourself up over this, and take care of yourself the next few days.

    good points: it isn't painful today, so i must have gotten whatever was fucking it up out?
  11. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    fucked up mystery skin condition continues to be fucked up and mysterious, got some conflicting (or maybe just confusing?) info from the dermatologist, but the topical antibiotics seem to have taken care of the worst of it (the worst of it being the ones that feel deep and sore and would take ages to go away on their own, I get way less now)

    tonight, though, I picked at a dry blemish, the contents popped out easy, no blood, and left a satisfyingly empty looking little hole. good, I think, and then the skin around it puffs up because I guess my skin is being sensitive right now. really, body, was that really necessary?!
  12. OtherCat

    OtherCat a being of mysterious happenstance

    Past self harm: Scratching the backs of my hands and arms raw. Biting myself. Edit: @kmoss post reminded me that I also tried to remove the mole behind my right ear. With uh, my finger nails in grade school. Thing that doesn't possibly doesn't count: I used nail clippers to deliberately chip one of my teeth. I am so lucky I didn't break the damn tooth, also in grade school.

    Current self harm: "Picking" or popping out the pores on my arms/breasts/face. The indentations are deep enough to cause scabbing, and sometimes, there's blood. I have done this enough that my arms are covered in scabs, and the nerves in my arms are very unhappy with me when I try to do it.

    Why do you do it

    The scratching seemed to happen because I wanted to see what would happen? I'd kind of just be fascinated by how many layers of skin there actually were, because I wasn't really doing anything that was causing bleeding. I think I also wanted to see if you could hit a vein just using your nails, and or cause scarring. Anxiety may or may not have been a factor. I'm generally low level anxious when I start popping/picking.

    The biting was usually because I was angry/overwhelmed and the biting seemed to calm me down.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?

    I managed to make myself stop scratching, because I was threatened by a teacher, who said they'd tell my parents. (My parents thought it was a rash. In their semi-defense when I was very, very small I'd get horrific cold sores/blisters that would cover half my face and then scab over horribly. I still get blisters, but they don't tend to cover my entire face.) The threat was semi-successful even though I doubt my parents efforts to make me stop would have been any more successful than their efforts to get me to stop sucking my thumb. Now I am suddenly terrified that they might have tried covering my arms in Tabasco sauce the way they did my thumb. Holy shit. (Actually I think they probably would have spanked me or something every time they caught me doing it. Because that would be super effective.) I was gradually able to stop scratching.

    The process of stopping was pretty gradual, and mostly involved me trying to find ways so I wouldn't get caught.

    I'm currently attempting to make myself stop popping out pores, but my horrified fascination with how much pus/sebum I'm getting out of the pores is pretty strong. Therapist has recommended I snap rubber bands, but the rubber band snapping is not something that will handle the gross fascination part of the thought process. Also, I really hate rubber band snapping in general.

    I have not gotten into a distressed enough state that biting myself seemed like a good idea in a long while. Yay for meds!

    Do you regret it?

    Not really. I am more relieved that I've never gotten a major infection.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?

    I would kind of like to stop. The nerves on my arms really, really don't like me right now when I try to pop.

    What advice helped you stop? links welcome.

    I am not sure I ever sought advice on the subject. I can give you advice that won't help, because I actually told my mom that the scabs on my arms were not a rash back when I was living with my parents in 2012-2013 and she told me "just stop." Then said I needed to stop in order to be presentable/find a job. (Which is why she mentioned the "rash" on my arms in the first place.)

    On the other hand, the only reason I told her they weren't a rash because I was worried about whatever "natural remedy" lotion or salve she'd recommend.

    Do you want to stop? Do you feel like you need help?

    Yes. Currently seeking help, I've mentioned it to my therapist. (I think I grossed her out. I certainly grossed myself out talking about it.) I am mostly looking to find a way to replace it with something. (I am wondering if I should treat it as a stim, and try to replace it with a different stim. Because I think I started with the popping after mostly stopping with sucking my thumb. And I may or may not have started scratching because of my parents efforts to make me stop sucking my thumb.)
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    • Like x 1
  13. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    (@OtherCat i made a bfrb thread a few weeks ago if youd like a link, theres some helpful tips in there)
  14. OtherCat

    OtherCat a being of mysterious happenstance

    "bfrb" stands for what? Yes I'd like a link.
  15. rats

    rats 21 Bright Forge Shatters The Void

    bfrb stands for "body focused repetitive behaviors"! basically picking and shit, heres a link
  16. Panda

    Panda Fuzzy critter

    A little backstory: I started self harming "officially" at age 14 and stopped in January 2015, which means I've been self harming for just short of half my life. Now I don't do intentional self harm anymore.

    Why do you do it?

    Wanting to punish myself (Guilt, general feelings of... not being good enough), grounding myself when I got dysphoric or overly anxious, as a sort of... tool to feel like I was allowed to practice self care and let others help me. That last one is pretty complicated.
    And cutting was kind of a stim at one point for me, but I only figured out I'm autistic like... last year so of course I didn't know that.

    Have you stopped if so, what made you stop?
    Well... I've stopped cutting myself but I do still scratch at my skin sometimes. That's not on purpose and a pure anxiety reaction though.

    Do you regret it?
    This is also complicated. I do regret it in a way and don't think self harm solves problems but being in the situation I was in (being emotionally abused on a number of fronts, dysphoric as hell and traumatized) it was the best tool I had at my disposal during that time.
    Now that I'm in a way better position I at least know that I have other options and while the impulse to self harm is still there I can usually get over it in a day or two.

    What is your goal regarding self-harm? Do you know how to achieve it?
    I don't really have a goal regarding self harm at the moment. I still have (idk how to properly say this in English) these automatic impulses but I know they get weaker when I take decent care of myself and don't bottle my feelings up.

    former self-harmers: What advice helped you stop? links welcome.
    Drawing on myself helped. It's not the healthiest for the skin but it beats self harming. Just some sort of design doodled onto the skin helped me a lot.

    I also liked that method of delaying self harming for 15 minutes at a time. Thinking back I thought it sounded extremely stupid at first tbh but it helps give you time to think of different ways of dealing with an emotional trigger or to try to break out of whatever guilt/anger/self hatred spiral one is in.

    And honestly, having cats is also very helpful. Mine notice when I'm not doing well (I guess the sudden change in behaviour tips them off) and won't leave my side. Then I've got something to cuddle, a reminder that even if I feel like no one cares my cats care and it also just feels plain wrong to self harm with a cat around.
  17. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    so, question....
    do other people ever get a....physical sensation along with the urge to self-harm? like, pain or itching under your skin, or something like that.
  18. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    yeah I get an itching or prickling feeling. a lot of times I feel like uncomfortably hot, or like my skin is somehow too tight
  19. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    do you have any suggestions for dealing with that? (besides just giving in and self-harming, because while it totally works, it's not what I want to be a thing.)
  20. Birdy

    Birdy so long

    for me, it's cold water on my hands and arms, sometimes on my face, and then trying to distract myself with something not destructive

    (apparently if you're in really extreme distress, you can try ducking your whole head in cold water to activate the dive reflex. I've never done it myself but I learned about it in dbt)

    If I'm somewhere where I can't get to the bathroom or find a good distraction, I usually focus on breathing and counting on the inhale and exhale, in 2 3 4, out 2 3 4. If I really think about breathing, like how I can feel my chest filling, ribs opening up, etc., the urge sensations will fade cause I'm not paying attention
    • Like x 1
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