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  1. #1

    Trouble Stopping

    I posted here back in November/early December, seeking help with depression.. I didn't stick around, for various external reasons, but since then things have been quite rough. I've started and stopped and started and stopped cutting (my psychiatrist says it was serious.. it didn't seem so bad to me), I missed three weeks of school, suicide talk.. etc. I'm doing a lot better now, being on Lexapro and Wellbutrin, and meeting with my psychologist (who I really, really trust) once a week.

    Over the past few weeks, though, things have felt a lot worse again. I started picking at my wrist again- though not cutting, since all the sharps are still put away- and a friend who is aware of my problems noticed. We had a long talk, and I promised him that I would stop hurting myself. At the time, I really wanted to. I felt so desperate and trapped- both by my emotions, and by the act of harming myself- that it seemed a wonderful chance.

    Now, two or three days later, I find myself desperately needing to cut. I've thought about it almost all day, even though I've been both social and in a relatively good mood. I catch myself touching scars and scabs constantly, since I promised not to make more. I also find myself beginning to think that I neither needed nor wanted to stop. My parents, of course, disapprove of my cutting- it worries them, and they tell me that it hurts them to think that I would do something "like that" to myself. My friends say similar things. I still feel a -need- to cut, though. Sometimes I find myself desperate, trapped, and unable to cry or write or even talk to express what I need to. At those times, I cut because it provides an outlet, like digging your fingernails into your forehead to distract yourself from a headache. At other times, I feel horribly numb, like none of what I'm doing or anyone's doing matters in any way, or ever has. Then, I cut because it brings me back to myself- it seems real.

    Now, though, I don't have self-harm as an outlet in either of those situations. I said I'd try to write or talk or draw to express it, but I find I can't even pick up a pencil. I just -need- to hurt myself. Really, desperately need it. I've thought about it all day, despite the fact that I've been in a decently good mood- I don't want to think about how strong the urge will be on a day when I'm really depressed.

    So, my question. Am I really ready to stop? If I'm not, is it ok to continue, since I feel so strongly that I need it? If I am, how do I overcome these urges? Online conversation isn't real enough, and I usually can't put words together to call someone. I can't seem to write, because whenever I come back to what I've written a day or two later, it seems foolish and worthless, which only makes me feel worse. I did dismantle a teddy bear at one point during the school year, since I was having trouble with picking constantly during class, but it only worked as something to occupy my hands, rather than a real distractor for my mind. I'm having trouble with ideas.

    I'm really sorry for coming back after all this time, never having helped anyone, to whine and beg for help again. I know I'm too worthless to deserve the sort of help this forum usually gives.. I am just so afraid of falling back into the state I was in this past winter. I should be happy- I'm going to a wonderful college, my parents love me, I have special trips to go on for various activities over the summer, I have friends I love to spend time with.. None of it seems to matter, though. I still want to hurt myself, and I know I would deserve all of the punishment I'd get from it, and none of the relief, though it's the relief I really want. I'm so sorry to bother you. I just feel like I'm at the end of my rope again.


  2. #2

    Trouble Stopping

    No need to apologize, Kate -- and you're not whining at all.

    Does your psychologist know about this? You indicated that you really trust her/him... whay does s/he think about this? What advice does s/he have for ways to cope or why these urges are coming back again?

  3. #3

    Trouble Stopping

    She does know that I have a lot of trouble with keeping myself from this, but the issue of having promised to stop and then still having the urge to hurt didn't come up until after our weekly appointment. I really don't enjoy phone communication, and I'm very awkward at it, so I'm loath to call her, even though I do trust her.

    She thinks it very important that I stop, as do my parents. Granted, I value her opinion more than my parents' on this issue, at least, since my parents never understood why I started in the first place. Though on some levels I do want to stop- I always feel really guilty the next day, when there's a scab that I know will turn into a scar that I'll never get rid of, or when someone notices and asks about it- when I feel the urge to harm myself, it takes all the willpower I have not to. I still fail sometimes. On occasion, I'm happier with myself after failing than succeeding. Should I try to stop, if I'm not quite sure I want to?

    In the past, my psychologist has had me unravel cloth or, in one case, completely dismantle a teddy bear (down to unwoven string and fur fragments..) to control myself. The problem with those, however, is that it gives my hands something else to do, but not my mind. To control -that- part of it, she tried to have me visualize myself as a baby. While that did work for a while, I've started to feel since that I would still want to hurt myself if I were a baby, because I still deserve every bit of that pain. I can't change the image to someone else as a baby, because then it's all too intentionally designed to stop myself, and winds up not working anyway.

    In the most recent few days, I have been able to control myself- probably mostly because I've been in a good mood overall, just also thinking about cutting. But I am really worried that it's going to get worse- I don't want to break my promise, even if I don't really feel ready to stop. Thinking about it constantly like this makes it very difficult not to hurt myself, and I want to, very much. I made a promise, though, and so I shouldn't.

    So the psychologist knows, but her advice doesn't seem to be helping any more, and I'm very much at a loss for what to do. I want to hurt myself, and feel like I shouldn't. I know that I'll regret it if I do, but once it reaches the point where it seems worth that regret, I don't think I'll be able to stop myself.


  4. #4

    Trouble Stopping

    Are you (or have you ever been) on any medication? If so, what and what was the dosage?

    Also, are you 18 or older?

  5. #5

    Trouble Stopping

    I'm 17. I started Lexapro in February, and moved up from 10 mg/day to a current dosage of 30mg/day. I started Wellbutrin about a week and a day ago, and am on the standard 100mg/day pill.


  6. #6

    Trouble Stopping

    What else is going on in your life right now? Any special stressors? Worries? Events? You started Wellbutrin very recently -- what was the reason for that?

  7. #7

    Trouble Stopping

    I just graduated from high school, so everything -should- be fine, it just hasn't been. There aren't any more stressors than usual, plus I don't have school to worry about (except for reading the Illiad for one of my classes next year at Reed). Nothing in particular has happened- I've even been slightly more social than usual. I'm not really all that worried about college, even given the distance from Ohio to Oregon..

    I started Wellbutrin because my mood was deteriorating very rapidly again. My parents mentioned it to my psychologist, I felt horrible, she noticed, and we saw the psychiatrist a day or two later, at which time I started Wellbutrin (Thursday the 16th). I started feeling better mood-wise again this Tuesday, but the urge to cut or otherwise self-harm never went away. Instead, it just feels like it's gotten stronger.

    I leave early tomorrow morning for a trip to Florida to study ecology/geology with the museum I work at.. while I think it'll help keep my mood up (having a structured day at least prevents me from curling up with a blanket over my head and crying all the time :-/ ), I'm also worried that I'll take advantage of the fact that nobody will be watching for selfharm. It would be quite easy for me to purchase scissors or a knife there, which would negate everything my parents have done to force me to keep safe here at home. I don't know how I'll keep myself from just the temptation of buying a tool, let alone using it.

    *sigh* I guess I'll just hope. In some ways, I'd much rather cut than keep my promise. On the other hand, I don't want to hurt anyone else, just myself. It seems worth it sometimes, though.


  8. #8

    Trouble Stopping

    Could it be that these feelings/urges have resurfaced because of change and/or having more time on your hands and/or wondering/worrying about the future and what comes next in your life? Or the fact that you seem to be getting ready to leave your current psychlologist and psychiatrist behind?



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