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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
Heathen Offline
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In crisis - September 14th 2018, 11:15 PM

This thread has been labeled as triggering by the original poster or by a Moderator. Please take this into consideration before continuing to read.

For the past several weeks I've been struggling a lot. I have Bipolar Disorder, among other things, and a few weeks ago I took a dip in mood. I started feeling depressed and tearful. I told my psychiatrist this and she put me on an SSRI we hadn't tried before, at the lowest dose. It wasn't working at the lowest dose, so she said I could increase it. It made me manic. At the same time, I started having disturbing thoughts again. I was having suicide and self-harm thoughts, which I expected, but my thoughts of injuring others greatly increased in frequency.

I was surprised, since one of my medications is supposed to curb those thoughts, and has up until now. I find these thoughts incredibly distressing. Upon research, it seems possible I have a form of "Harm OCD." My partner and I have looked into therapy for it and we found ERP, exposure and response prevention therapy, which is a form of CBT (cognitive behavior therapy). I have my first appointment with a specialist on Monday, which I am excited for, but having these thoughts at all stresses me SO much. They make me feel like a monster or a psychopath. I'm on the max dose of that medication, even going a bit over, and I still think about harming others. I worry it's just a part of my personality that was never discovered until recently, that I'm some terrible psychotic person. I have never acted on the thoughts, but it still makes me feel that way. It got to the point where I felt MORE suicidal because I was having them.

We took me off the SSRI and put me back on Doxepin, a tricyclic antidepressant, which is the type that's safer for me. The first couple of days were rough, full of agitation, but now I'm just depressed again, only now it's different than it was a few weeks ago. Instead of being teary I just feel like everything's slow and takes so much effort, and I can't focus. My partner says I'm speaking and acting slow, too. I hate this so much, AND I'm still having self harm thoughts/violent thoughts. My partner says the medication is just evening out, but what if she's wrong? What if I'm still depressed in a week? What if I'm still having the violent thoughts all week? I see my psychiatrist a week from tomorrow, thankfully, but it's still hard.

I haven't self-harm in over three months, which I'm really proud of, and I'm not going to attempt suicide or hurt anyone, but having all these thoughts is exhausting. Any advice on how to cope? I already made a commitment to my partner that if it's not better by the middle of next week I will go to the hospital, so I have that as a plan. We just wanted to see if the meds would even out before sending me inpatient. What can I do in the meantime? Any ways I can make this less hard on myself?

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  (#2 (permalink)) Old
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Re: In crisis - September 17th 2018, 02:31 PM

Apologies for the late reply. I have had a busy few days and haven't been able to come online too much.

I want to let you know that I have similar thoughts to you. They stem from my trauma and the things said to me by my perpetrators but it is OCD. They are really difficult to deal with and they can hurt the way you see yourself as well. They are also easily triggered which is unfortunate.

You're not a monster. Those thoughts don't define you. That's all they are: thoughts. Just inside your head. They aren't on the outside. I wanted you to know that you're not alone in this.

It is good that you have an appointment. You'll have to update on how it goes. The only thing that truly ended them for me was medication, but I left it and returned to the medication and it didn't help anymore. Something else that helped was guided imagery/meditation for trauma/OCD. That takes time and repetition, though, and it can be hard to keep up with it but it is definitely something worth looking into.

I've read mixed things about coping with the thoughts themselves. Some people have said to rationalize them, while others let them slip from their minds because rationalizing them gives the thoughts too much attention and power. You may be able to try both and see which one works better.

Good luck with your appointment. I am around if you want to talk about anything.

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  (#3 (permalink)) Old
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Re: In crisis - September 18th 2018, 07:55 PM

I'm sorry to hear that you have been struggling.

I don't really have anything to add other than repeating what's been said above. You aren't a terrible person and having these thoughts don't make you a terrible person either. As horrible as they must be for you, they are just thoughts. They aren't a part of your personality and don't reflect on you as a person at all.

I do agree that meditation/mindfulness might be a bit helpful and/or rationalizing the thoughts.

I briefly looked up ERP and it looks good. I really hope that it helps you

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Re: In crisis - September 19th 2018, 02:24 AM


I saw this when you posted this but have been struggling with words and I kept meaning to come back. I know you've been struggling a lot with these thoughts and one thing I want to say is that I don't think you are a monster or a psychopath; the reason I say this is because these thoughts are bothering you so much. I've met a few people who weren't that great and their actions didn't bother them let alone their thoughts.

I think that going to the ERP will be good because they can help you identify if it's a form of OCD and help you figure out how best to proceed. Please know that I am here if you need anything. I am never too busy to talk to you.

I apologize if this isn't that helpful. I'm struggling with words but wanted you to know my thoughts on some of this.

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  (#5 (permalink)) Old
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Re: In crisis - September 21st 2018, 06:24 AM

I have bipolar disorder as well and I've learned SSRIs can cause some pretty significant damage to you if you take them by themselves without a mood stabilizer or anything of the sort. I'm not a professional or a doctor, but I've experienced it myself and I've been in and out of psych wards watching the same things happen to other people. I'm on an SSRI right now, but I also take it with an anti-psychotic that helps with bipolar disorder.

But also keep in mind finding the right medication can be a trial and error process.

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