I am new here, I don't know how often anyone comes here there doesn't seem to be a lot of activity but I need somewhere to talk to someone so I will try this.
I am a cutter I guess, yes, I am unsure because I really don't know what quantifies if someone is or if it is a symptom of something else. I have fought depression since my early teens. I have been on and off meds most of my adult life but have never spent any real time in therapy and have never discussed my depression the only therapy that I have done was when my marriage broke up.
I have in the last couple of years struggled worse than before, was afraid to leave town because all I could think of was driving head first in to traffic. I weaned myself of the meds I was on at the time because I could link the worsening suicidal ideation to the meds (they weren't AD's). The thing is that in the last 6 months my life has been falling apart and I started cutting which was something that I had considered and half heartedly attempted in the past but had never actually broke the skin til this 6 month period.
I suffer from chronic migraines and my doctor caught me by surprise in the ER when I was there for a recent migraine and saw my arms. He didn't push me but told me he was there if I ever wanted to talk, see we are also friends outside of the dr/patient relationship. He knows I recently attempted therapy as he referred me but I wasn't comfortable with the therapist and he has given me other referrals but to be honest I am too scared to call one of the others let alone actually see one. The thing is that cutting is helping me, I know that sounds crazy but I have had migraines that made it difficult to work and after a few simple cuts I felt better, the headache receded and I was surprised how good it felt. I want to stop because I am afraid that if I don't my doctor will decide that I need help without my consent but I don't want to quit because it helps and on my worst days I can feel the cuts in my sleeves and it helps when things get really bad and I cant cut because I am at work.
I am sorry this is so long but I guess I just don't know what I was hoping to get from this post.
The following user gives a hug of support to tearsnfears: flamesabers (01-08-2012)
I think wanting to have relief from chronic migraines and stress is very normal and not crazy at all. I think a question to ask yourself is whether you would like to search for a healthier alternative for coping with the physical and mental pain you are confronted with.
I haven't directly sought treatment for cutting but I've found going into therapy and taking medication for my depression and anxiety has helped a lot in minimizing the urge to cut. In the past I've talked to a psychiatrist about cutting and he said some of the dangers with cutting is it's addictive and becomes more dangerous as cutters cuts deeper in order to get the feel-good endorphins.
I don't know if I want help. I don't know what I want, the idea of talking to anyone about how I feel and what I think terrifies me. I have read a lot of things on the internet that's how I found this site so I have heard about the possibility that it could be addictive I worry about that, I also know that I would have to drive at least an hour if I chose to enter in to therapy which makes it that much tougher, I am a single parent I work two jobs and when I think about what a therapist would think if he knew the real me not the facade I show the world I just become paralyzed from action.
A part of me wants to talk to my doctor but I don't want him to really know what goes on inside my head for now he has only scratched the surface with what he does know.
As far as talking to your doctor about this, I think another way to look at is the more you tell him the better able he is to help you. If you feel you can trust your doctor I think he'll try to help you rather than judge you.
When I first started therapy I also worried about showing the real me to my therapist, but at the same time I felt a lot of relief knowing I was finally getting help. When sharing certain things I sometimes find it easier to write down my thoughts beforehand and then show it to him. That way, I don't have to worry about getting paralyzed by anxiety and stumbling over what to say. Quite often I find his reactions to what I write to be different from what I anticipated.
I think any good therapist will listen to you and try to help you rather than condemn you for seeking help. You may discover you're setting a higher standard for yourself than what anybody else may expect of you. And a therapist may be able to help you work through your indecisiveness of whether you want help.
When sharing certain things I sometimes find it easier to write down my thoughts beforehand and then show it to him. That way, I don't have to worry about getting paralyzed by anxiety and stumbling over what to say. Quite often I find his reactions to what I write to be different from what I anticipated.
Flame, when you write your thoughts down how do you do it as a letter, an essay, I guess I just figure that I write everything in a journal and have since I was in my teens but I just can't for the life of me imagine sharing that journal with anyone. My ex husband found it once and took my journal to punish me for something he read in there and ever since I keep it really under lock and key.
I write down my thoughts as an essay. Usually I write about what's on my mind or what I'm struggling with. For example, a few months ago I made the decision to share my suicidal ideation with my therapist. I wanted him to know what was going through my mind. I figured I wouldn't have the courage to bring up the topic with him so I just wrote it down ahead of time. After reading what I wrote I think he gained a better understanding of where I was at that point in time. Other times I may write about why I feel I'm stuck in life or why I think the way that I think.
I would like to add that I didn't start writing down my thoughts for him until I felt I could trust him and that he understood me.
The Following User Says Thank You to flamesabers For This Useful Post: tearsnfears (01-09-2012)
So really the key is to find someone to talk to and that you trust because whether you write it down or actually verbalize it if trust doesn't exist it is going to be difficult at best. Trust is something that I don't do well so I feel stuck in this catch-22. How do I know I can trust the person but at the same time if I don't start somewhere and trust someone I will continue this cycle.
When I started therapy I wasn't thinking of whether I could trust my therapist or not so much as whether he would be able to help me or not. I was very depressed when I first started therapy so I think that made me much more willing to accept the risk of asking for help and putting my trust in someone.
If you do decide to go into therapy I suggest starting small like saying your life has been falling apart and you would like to change that. You could even tell him or her upfront that you have difficulty with trusting people. I think a good therapist will respect you and not push you when you feel uncomfortable with talking about something. Depending on how the conversation goes I think you can gauge whether the therapist is compatible with you and whether you would like to see him or her for another session.
I went to two sessions with a therapist a couple of months ago, the first one was hard and I wasn't really comfortable with him but I thought is was because of me, I really trust the dr that refered me and when he mentioned this guy I was ready to try even though at the time my dr didn't know why I was asking for the referral. My second visit was difficult and when I would try to schedule a third appt I would have a panic attack, at that point I knew I couldn't go back. My dr has given me a list of 5 additional names but I just look at it, I google the names, I try to find out what I can about them find a picture but I know that cant help me decide so for almost 2 months I have stared at the list each day telling myself that I am going to call one of the names and yet getting to the end of each week without doing so. I was recently off work for 4 weeks after a surgery, home alone all day and I still couldn't get myself to call. I am afraid that I will be judged, the only person in my life I have ever told that I dealt with suicidal ideation on a regular basis went so balisitic on me because a friend had lost a son to suicide that I am afraid of loosing any other friends or relationships. With my dr it is double hard in that he is a friend, my dr and in a part of our lives my boss, not that I think he sees himself that way but I have too. I could live with losing a friend, I have lost more friends in this life than I care to admit because of my depression. I could always find another dr even in my small town we have 16 medical practitioners. What I can't risk is if I trust him, if I ask for help, if I tell him even a 1/3 of the things that go on in side my mind and what causes/caused them will he be able to handle my continuing to work in my current position. Right now work is the only thing that I have that keeps me going other than my kids. One will be leaving for college soon, the other has been considering leaving to live with his dad. If I lose all three I might as well cease to exist.
Sorry this is so long again evening really get to me as they tend to be times of quiet and thought. I actually have made it through most of the day without cutting, but this morning at work a took a friends police baton he thought as a joke and when he was otherwise occupied used the opportunity to beat on myself. I only left a couple of bruises but it felt good, like maybe a door had opened for a new opportunity. Maybe I really am insane. This can't be normal.
The following user gives a hug of support to tearsnfears: flamesabers (01-10-2012)
I don't think you're insane. I think you're very aware of the problems you're facing and the difficulties with resolving them. You care about your job and your kids are a very important part of your life. That doesn't seem crazy to me at all.
It sounds like you're in a lot pain right now.
Could you call an anonymous helpline when you need to talk to someone and maybe get a referral for a therapist who is experienced with working with patients who self-harm? Or maybe it would be easier to talk to your doctor about what's going on when you know he is already aware that you cut yourself? Perhaps your doctor could help you with setting up an appointment with a therapist?
I am pretty sure that my doc would listen maybe even help me to set up an appt with someone else to get additional help but I struggle, I keep putting up these walls that create a great divide between where I am and what it would take to be able to tell him. Time - when, how much time, if it is sch as an appt what to I give as the reason for the visit so they know to give us more than the allotted 10 min period. How do I tell him, do I write it down, do I just tell him, do I read him portions of the journal that I alread write. again paralyzed by fear.I feel as though I know what needs to be done I just can't seem to make the steps happen.
Hi my name is Kat, and well I'm just gonna jump in here as you get to know me you'll see that's what I do. I'm 42, been cutting since I was 13....great coping tool for when your dad likes to have sex with you when your a kid!
First off your not a cutter...it doesn't define you as a person, it's not the only thing you are in life, your a woman who cuts, big difference. In one of your posts you mentioned that you read that cutting "can" be addictive...umm...not "can"..."IS"....major big freaking "IS". You do get addicted, just like a drug, or alcohol, or anything else that causes your body to release adrenaline, and you will do it more and more, unless you learn other ways to cope with your pain and stop. And honestly, this is not something you want to be doing for 30 plus years, I can promise you that. I have so many scars...I couldn't count them all if I wanted to....I don't even use fresh cutsites anymore because I can't, I have to use old scars...I'm out of room....not pretty. I've caused myself so much damage by allowing my brain to use this as a coping mechanism, that I now cut in my sleep, I have tactile amnesic nightmares....last one netted me 47 stitches in my right arm....it's a little freaky when you wake up in a pool of blood and have no recollection of how you got that way, except for the knife or scissors or pen sticking out of your arm or leg.....See, our bodies and minds get used to whatever we train them to....we teach ourselves how to deal with stress, fear, anger, pain....and that's what the mind goes with....then it takes over and does it all by itself.
Your MD sounds like a great doc....but he's not a psychiatrist and not trained to deal with the intracacies of this disease...he can be compassionate and caring...but that's not going to help you.....and honestly, I'm not sure you would have come here if you didn't want help on some level. Being scared of seing a pdoc (pschiatrist) is a totally normal thing....they get a bad rap, we think they're going to go traipsing around in our minds, pulling out every lil scrap of emotion and information whether we want them to or not....*smile* it's really not like that. A good pdoc, and yes, sometimes it takes a time or two to find the right fit....will guide you into helping yourself heal, bringing out the things that are causing you pain, the things inside that need to be addressed and healed so that you can be better. They don't just run you over like a steamroller and tell you what to do and what meds to take, they work with you, and help you heal. The cutting seems like a great thing now, and it works and it fixes the pain, but you'll just have to do it more and more as time goes on...it's like everything else, your body and mind adjust...tolerance builds up....enough is never enough......
Journaling is an awesome idea, and it doesn't matter how you do it. It's different for every person. Just grab a journal and a pen and throw down whatever comes to mind, as you go, the way you want it to look and sound will come through. A Board like this one is a great tool, because you can talk to "normies" all day long, but in the end they dont' get it, they can't....they've never been where we are, they don't understand why we do what we do and they never will....so talking to others who feel the same way you do is one of the best support systems you can find.
I like you suffer from migraines, mine are actually cluster migraines which last up to 13 days accompanied by grand mal seizures....I take meds for them, very effective meds that work, there are also psych meds that curb the urges that make you want to cut or self harm....something to think of. This really is not the "fix all" that your looking for.....there are so many much better ways to manage your pain than scarring up your body and causing yourself more pain....no matter how well you think you "hide" it, people will start noticing the cuts...and that just brings more pain, along with shame, anger, humiliation....just tons more crap to deal with....it's just a big cycle of crap that your bringing down on yourself, that you could honestly do without....just think about it.
As for your Dr. forcing you to get help for self harm.....don't mix self harm with suicidal intentions...they are 2 totally different animals...and it's very hard for a Dr. to force a 72 on a patient for self harm....if that were the case, then all these Goth's who like to scar, gauge, and burn themselves would be great candidates for psych stays.
I'm around if you want to talk....just give me a yell
The Following User Says Thank You to katlin09 For This Useful Post: tearsnfears (01-11-2012)
Do I want help, yes but, yeah another roadblock you mention going to a psychiatrist. I have thought about that a lot over the years and maybe it is just where I live the city in my signature is just the closest large city as I didn't want to risk anyone figuring out who I am as I live in a small rural community. Even on the list my pcp gave me there is not a single psychiatrist. There is one psychologist with a PH.d but the rest are simply licensed counselors. Even then they are all an hour drive away. The local mental health organization is not an option for me as more than once I have heard information from people in passing about clients there that should not be public knowledge. I won't put myself in that position which my pcp knows and why he suggested the ones an hour away. The thing is he has no idea how deep the pain is nor any idea of the causes. I don't want to lose him but I am aftraid that if I did go to him for help it would be because I want to prove I don't deserve his friendship and compassion so I would be very blunt and off putting in an attempt to drive him away which is what I normally do the minute I think I might start to trust someone. I make them prove their friendship and set them up to fail.
I made it through last night without any new cuts inspite of getting a crap load of bad news about my second job but that is probably only because I have a small cut on my arm that hasn't scabbed over and if I play with it I can make it bleed. I don't want to do this but it feels as though I need to make myself as ugly on the outside as I feel inside as repulsive as possible. Yeah a lot of self-loathing going on here.
Lemme give you some unasked for advice regarding your Dr. who's also your friend and you confiding all your troubles in him....that is a sticky situation that you don't want to get in to. You psychiatrist is not supposed to be your friend, it's just that simple, that's how they stay impartial, it's how they retain the ability to help you. See, when someone knows you, cares about you, already has a friendship with you, no matter what they say, they can't be impartial about a situation like this...because all they want to do is "fix" you from the big, bad, cutting problem......well it ain't there problem to fix.
You need to drop this idea of using your dr. friend as a shrink thing..it won't work, and the odds are that whole relationship is gonna get ruined in the process...trust me, been there done that. Drive the hour, find a good pdoc in the city and get treatment. I've lived in small towns where I had to do the same thing, it's not that big a deal. I'm fortunate enough now, that the town I live in, although small, is the most liberal, PC, "mental health" conscience place in the world...lol..so if your a little nuts, it's the place to be.
If I am honest the when I first read you last post I was ******. How dare you tell me exactly what I already knew which was if I talked to my dr friend it would ruin everything, friendship, professional relationship, dr/patient relationship because he isn't trained for that which is why he gave me the other names. So I took the plunge. After four failed attempts because I chickened out I finally got ahold of the office manager at the practice for the only pdoc on the list I was given. Of course because my luck is just phenomenol he isn't working today but she would be happy to pass my information on to him. Now I just have to make sure that I don't chicken out and not answer if he calls me back. Then I just have to make sure that I go see him if an appointment is made. I won't lie and say just that phone call was enough to send me into a panic attack but I have to do something because right now my life isn't working. I think part of the reason I was trying to rely on my dr. friend was that he is one of the most caring people I know and I just wanted for a little while to be one of the people he cared about, to have someone take care of me rather than always be the caretaker, the one that holds everything together.