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Self Harm If you or someone you know is struggling with self harm and needs advice or alternatives, we're here to help.

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Heathen Online
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I need to stop while I still can - November 8th 2017, 02:07 AM

This thread has been labeled as triggering, particularly on the subject of self harm, by the original poster or by a Moderator. The contents of this thread might therefore not be suitable for certain sensitive users. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

Hey all.

Recently I started self-harming again after being self-harm free for a few months. I have Bipolar Disorder and my medication regimen hasn't been effective for about six weeks now. When I'm feeling manic everything is great, but when I'm depressed I turn towards self-harm. The self-harm I was doing was relatively minor in comparison to the damage I've done in the past up until about a week ago. I won't go into detail about methods/tools, but I found a new way to hurt myself that gives me a high that no other method has done, at least not as quickly.

I've known I'm an addict to self-harm for many years now. I tried 12-Step meetings for a while but it wasn't for me. I basically dealt with it by telling myself I had to abstain or else I'd probably end up inadvertently killing myself. I haven't felt this high in ages, though, and it lifts me up out of the depression I'm feeling, if only for a while. It's enough to make me think it's worth it, though. Even though I know it's not I can't trick my brain into thinking it's not because my brain clings to the endorphin rush.

My partner asked me today how we're going to keep me safe and the answer is that I don't know. I could go back to the hospital, but it would be rather pointless, for various reasons. This doesn't really warrant residential treatment, and besides, I've been to residential twice this year; I don't need to go anymore. I'm currently in IOP. Basically this leaves just "trying to be better" but that usually fails when I try it, so how do I ensure it doesn't? I have alternatives that work but how do I motivate myself to use them when it's so much easier to just give in to my urges?

Any help is appreciated. Thank you.

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Re: I need to stop while I still can - November 8th 2017, 12:25 PM

That endorphin rush that your brain gets when you harm yourself can be really difficult to battle with. Sometimes it gets to a point where your body even wants the rush and a physical dependence can develop and it’s hard to work with either one.

One thing to think about is maybe trying to use at least one alternative before you harm yourself. That way you’re in the habit of using at least one before you self-harm. You can also try the fifteen minute game where you tell yourself you can hurt yourself in fifteen minutes but you keep adding alternatives. Would it help you if you told yourself that? That way it seemed like self-harming was still available to you?

You could also try listening to affirmations or making some of your own if you’d like. They don’t work immediately but they do make a difference if said or listened to daily for a few weeks. It might slowly help you believe positive things about yourself and about protecting your body instead of harming it.

Another thing you could try is to have people hold you accountable. You could have your partner ask you what alternatives you’ve used or are planning on using during each day. Perhaps you could let your partner hold your tools or you could let them know when you’re feeling badly. Having them aware during that moment might decrease your self-harm.

Wishing you the best of luck.

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