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Self-injury


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#1
Landers Bisson

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I've had this problem since as long in my childhood as I can remember. I thought it would finally make me feel better if I talked about it. Self-injury.

My first real problem was with hair. As a baby, I would play with my mother's hair (twist it around my fingers and other stuff like that). Then as I grew up, I would play with my own hair almost all the time, constantly twisting it, replacing it, and, later, literally tearing it off. Throughout my whole life I teared my hair off my head to the point that it is now a habit and not painful at all. To tell the truth, I must have touched my hair a least 15 times while writing this. About one month ago I looked at the wheels of the chair in front of my computer; there were huge balls of dead and dry hair all around the wheels, to the point that it was scary. I must say that I am doing it less now. Nevertheless, it is like an addiction, and it might come back in full strength in a month or two. Maybe should I just turn bald :whistling:.

Another form of self-injury I perform regularly is chewing my lips and ripping the skin off them to the point it sometimes bleed.

I know I should not do these things. I know it is bad for my health, but I cannot really help it. I just feel pleasure when doing it, and if not, at least immense relief.

I am not the only one out there who has self-harm problems. I just want to hear what you think about it, regardless if you do it or not. Please, feel free to comment and share your opinions, it would be immensely appreciated.
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#2
jaxisland

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Well Landers, I would like to welcome you to the Obessive Compulsive Disorder club. Thats all it is, just OCD which there are pills for becuase OCD can lead to depression. I myself am a master of OCD.

I used to do things because I felt safe and they made me feel good, but now its different.

Now I do things because I feel that if I dont serious harm will come to me or my son. Things like, if I dont shut light switches off multiple times, or if there are two switches per light they have to both be up for on, and down for off, I feel like it will catch fire and I will kill my son or myself from a fire in the middle of the night.

I turn headlights on and off so many times I just bought a vehicle with automatic lights that come on so I dont have to touch it.

Lock and close the doors to my apartment multiple times before being able to sleep.

Heck, I have to get dressed in the same procedure everytime or I have to undress and start again.

I mean I have a procedure for everything I do, and the steps have to be completed in a certein order each time or I have to start again.

It seems like there is alot there but its all part of my routine, my routine makes me feel good, I dont hurt anyone with my routine, and as far as I see it, life is good.

So ya know what I say, if it makes you feel comfortable, do it. I have taken medication for OCD and it dulls you out so bad that you basically have to feel nothing for it to go away. So if I take an additional 15 mins a day to do my compulsions, but I get to feel everything and experience life then I say its worth it.

Keep On :whistling:

Edited by jaxisland, 05 January 2007 - 01:17 PM.

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#3
Johanna

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Landers Bisson,
You need to tell someone you trust about your feelings...a parent, teacher, doctor, clergy person so that you can get some help. There are medicines and support groups to help you feel in control without hurting yourself, and I urge you to seek them out just in case the problem becomes bigger than you can handle alone. There are lots of caring people who can help you get a balance, but you need to let someone in your real life know what's going on. Be honest with a person you respect, and get some help. There is no shame in asking for help- actually, it takes a lot of courage. Recognizing that you have a problem is the biggest challenge, and you've already done that. Now, love yourself enough to protect your body, and heal your troubled mind. If you want to talk, let me know, and I'll be available for you.
Johanna
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#4
Facedown98

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Hi Landers Bisson.

Well, this is a difficult situation. As said above, you need to see someone. We can offer as much support as we want up here, but someone who you can actually see and feel would help you so much more. It's suprising, I mean you won't believe me when I say it, but I've seen quite a few people in similar conditions before. (The amazing part is that this is all high-school) I've helped a few people out in similar situations, all with their own reasoning.

The first thing you need to think about is why. Why do you think you do this? Perhaps something traumatic happened long ago? Are you nervous?

Second, once you figure out what's bothering you, find what takes your mind off the situation to numb the pain. For example, many people find that exercise keeps their mind off many things. You need to keep busy, don't ever let yourself get bored and have nothing to do. That will make it worse.

Now, I'm obviously not a psychologist, so this is all I can tell you, but I know for sure what a doctor would say to you...

The third, and most important fact... YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
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#5
Landers Bisson

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First of all, I wish to thank you all for your input. It is seriously a big help for me.

So ya know what I say, if it makes you feel comfortable, do it. I have taken medication for OCD and it dulls you out so bad that you basically have to feel nothing for it to go away. So if I take an additional 15 mins a day to do my compulsions, but I get to feel everything and experience life then I say its worth it.

Keep On :whistling:

Thanks for sharing with us. In my case, I think medication would be overkill; my situation is not extreme compared to some other cases, that's for sure.

Landers Bisson,
You need to tell someone you trust about your feelings...a parent, teacher, doctor, clergy person so that you can get some help. There are medicines and support groups to help you feel in control without hurting yourself, and I urge you to seek them out just in case the problem becomes bigger than you can handle alone. There are lots of caring people who can help you get a balance, but you need to let someone in your real life know what's going on. Be honest with a person you respect, and get some help. There is no shame in asking for help- actually, it takes a lot of courage. Recognizing that you have a problem is the biggest challenge, and you've already done that. Now, love yourself enough to protect your body, and heal your troubled mind. If you want to talk, let me know, and I'll be available for you.
Johanna

Hi Landers Bisson.

Well, this is a difficult situation. As said above, you need to see someone. We can offer as much support as we want up here, but someone who you can actually see and feel would help you so much more. It's suprising, I mean you won't believe me when I say it, but I've seen quite a few people in similar conditions before. (The amazing part is that this is all high-school) I've helped a few people out in similar situations, all with their own reasoning.

My parents and a few family members know about my problems. However, we never really talked about it seriously, it did never appear to be that important.

The first thing you need to think about is why. Why do you think you do this? Perhaps something traumatic happened long ago? Are you nervous?

Second, once you figure out what's bothering you, find what takes your mind off the situation to numb the pain. For example, many people find that exercise keeps their mind off many things. You need to keep busy, don't ever let yourself get bored and have nothing to do. That will make it worse.

My hair problem seems to be amplified when I am stressed, like when I am doing exams. I think it is also related to self-esteem. I have no difficulty admitting it, I'm not the sex symbol every girl would fall for. I almost never like my hair, how they're placed; I always seem to find defaults to my person.

As for the lip chewing frenzy, I can't really think of anything which would cause me to do it, other than, maybe, the fact that I'm a perfectionist and I like everything to be in the right place. So, I guess that when I run my tongue over my bottom lip and feel some irregularities, just ripping them off tells my brain that everything is all right. But it is not; the more I chew them, the more irregularities appear. A pretty vicious circle :blink:...

Edited by Landers Bisson, 05 January 2007 - 10:15 PM.

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#6
silencedmessage

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Hi Landers Bisson,

I used to do the same exact things you did. I have OCD, Anxiety issues, and I am bi-polar. I used to be on medication for it, but found a way to deal with it myself. I would like to point one thing out to you right now though...

In my case, I think medication would be overkill; my situation is not extreme compared to some other cases, that's for sure.

Just because some people may have it worse than others does not mean that you should not get help if you want it. :whistling:

Whenever I start to get a little out of control with different things (chewing my lip, scratching the side of my neck, trying to crack my knuckles over and over... etc) I normally end up just picking up the phone and calling a friend. It is often times all that I need. Another thing that helps me is that I play music, and it kinda distracts me from everything that is going on around me. I am sure there is something that you ABSOLUTELY love doing, and maybe if you find a way to do that something a little more often you would not be as stressed?

I hope you do consider talking to someone, getting a hug, or something of that nature. I mean this in the most sincere of ways. I can not promise it will work for you, but it has helped many others before.

-Silenced Message
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#7
coachwife6

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Hi LB: I work at a facility that helps people with your situation. I really think Johanna's advice is dead-on, so I won't repeat it, but you do need to seek help: your family physician would be a good first step. Is there a local agency where you live where you can call a hotline? There are many in place that provide assistance for you.

I think you would best be helped by a medical professional. Let me know how else I can assist you.

Be blessed.
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#8
Kat

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Thanks for sharing with us. In my case, I think medication would be overkill; my situation is not extreme compared to some other cases, that's for sure.


Sorry to be replying so late, but this is a big point to make. Your situation may not be extreme now, but getting help at this stage will ensure that it will NOT become that extreme in the future.

Good luck to you, and know we are all here for you. :whistling:
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#9
Dexter101

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Hi LB!

just wanted to let you know like those who replied before that talking about it is the first big step.
I hope your family friends will come around to talking openly about it rather than considering as ''normal''.

My best friend went through the same thing: she would tear her lips too until they bleed and even then she wouldn't stop and she said she liked it too. But we talked about it, got some help and got through.

It's great that you have decided to open up about it. I hope you continue on this path and like coachwife 6 said help is here.
You are not alone. :whistling:
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#10
sari

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It seems like there is alot there but its all part of my routine, my routine makes me feel good, I dont hurt anyone with my routine, and as far as I see it, life is good.


Jaxisland,

You say you don't hurt anyone with your routine, but you have a child. At some point, your child will become aware of your obsessions, and I'm sure it will make an impression on him, and probably not a good one. I don't think it's fair to your child to inflict your OCD on them like this. If the drugs you took dulled you out, then you should really try working with your doctor to find something that will help you without having that side effect. While your life may seem normal to you, do you want that to seem normal to your son? And what would happen if there was an emergency, in which you had to leave the house with your son immediately, such as getting emergency medical treatment? If you felt you had to complete your 15 minute routine before you could leave, it could have serious implications. Please seriously consider discussing this with your doctor again, for your son's sake.

Good luck. :whistling:
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#11
dsenette

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You say you don't hurt anyone with your routine, but you have a child.

agreed...and i'd like to add that you (or anyone with OCD) may not be physically hurting anyone (i.e. you've got a compulsion to punch people in the face)...but you could be hurting yourself...to my understanding of the "condition" ocd doesn't get better by itself...it only gets worse...adding "routines" and "rituals" to the daily repetoir...eventually you have no way to get out of the cycle....there are OCD treatments that aren't based on medication as well
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#12
Tonja

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Landers,
Not only is it an obsessive compulsive disorder, it is a disorder in a field of its own, I can not remember the name of the disorder but I can check with my sister. She is a psychiatrist. There are medications to control some obsessive compulsive habits and there are specific clinics dedicated to this disorder. Tell you what, I will ask my sister the name of this disorder and if you would like I will private message it to you. It make take a couple of days for me to get ahold of her, I do not like calling her at her office and sometimes she is on rounds till late at night, but as soon as I do I will let you know if you like. I will not do it unless you post your permission, that would be a bit too presumptious of me
Tonja :whistling:
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#13
friendlyfox

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Hi Landers...

This problem that you are having is most likely the same as a family member of mine had...Here is what it is called and the website that you can look up the full information about it...I do so hope that you get the attention that you need if you haven't already... :whistling:

I know that this thread is from January but i feel compelled to post here just in case you are still having the problem...Some might not agree with me posting this but i am a newcomer here and yours was the first post that i saw...I am familiar with proper forum etiquette and since you brought this topic out into the open i feel that it is best for me to post this for you...Here is the information that you might consider thinking about and getting the help you need...I did not see you reply to the person who said that he/she would pm you the information that they had for you so i will post it and pray that you get the help that is out there...Like a previous poster had replied "you are not alone"...
Here is some information along with the link to the Mayo Clinic so you can read further about this disorder...I just pray it will help you in finding some way to deal with your issue...Here is a direct quote from this link....

http://www.mayoclini...lomania/DS00895

Trichotillomania (trik-o-til-o-MAY-ne-uh) is sometimes called hair-pulling disorder, trich or pulling. Although trichotillomania may seem like an obsession or compulsion, it's actually classified as a type of impulse control disorder — a disorder in which you can't resist a temptation or drive to perform an act that's harmful to you or someone else. Behavior therapy can help you gain awareness about your hair-pulling habits and learn techniques to avoid pulling.



I wish you all the luck in the world and pray that you get the help that you need...My family member, who was 9 years old when she started this,has over come the problem...I just pray that you see this and get the help that is out there for you...You will be in my prayers...Take care

Edited by friendlyfox, 24 March 2007 - 02:43 AM.

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