BPD and Self Harm


I am sure most people know what self-harm is, but here are just a few lines of what it is, just incase.

Self-harm is a way of expressing very deep distress. Often, people don’t know why they self-harm. It’s a means of communicating what can’t be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, some people may feel better able to cope with life again, for a while. It can be referred to as self harm (SH), self injury(SI), deliberable self harm (DSH).

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So now my whole idea of this post was linking BPD and self harm, as one of the common and distressing symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is Self harm. (SH)

There are many methods of self harm, which I don’t want to go into too much detail, but commons methods involve, cutting, scratching, burning and over dosing (without suicidal intent ). When constantly overwhelmed by emotional pain or anxiety, the act of cutting may seem like a welcome distraction. Additionally, self-harm can result in the release of endorphins into the body, which act as natural pain killers. Oddly, then, causing oneself pain can be seen to help relieve it; in reality, of course, much more harm is done than good.

There are some ways of trying to reduce or stop self harming,  by:

Thinking things through – when you are aware that you are feeling the impulse to hurt yourself, take time to reflect on the reasons why, and to think about what will actually come about as a result.

– Putting self-harm off – instead of diving straight into an act that will cause you harm, make a concerted effort to spend five minutes debating the idea first. The next time you find yourself in the same situation, you could try to wait ten minutes, and so on. Over time, you might find that this period of self-reflection helps distract you from what would usually be an impulsive and immediate decision.

Doing something else instead – everyone has perfectly harmless activities that they enjoy doing, and so instead of harming yourself, perhaps try going for a walk or watching a film instead. You may find that this – much safer – activity gives you positive feelings that self-harm wouldn’t have provided.

These are just some of the techniques that might help to overcome.

www.samaritans.org.uk

www.nshn.co.uk

www.bpdworld.org

www.scar-tissue.net

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People with BPD often act very impulsively – be it through alcohol or drug abuse, gambling and over-spending, or promiscuous behaviour – and self-harm is one of the most excruciating expressions of this need for instant gratification. To those untroubled by mental complexities such as BPD, the idea of self-harm might seem excruciating, bizarre or even pointless; however, to many who feel overwhelmed it can seem like a logical and effective way to momentarily relieve the pain that they feel inside. In reality, however, self-harm only adds to and deepens existing problems; unfortunately, the need to deal with the immediate physical threat posed by self-harming behaviour can distract from the complex problems behind it.

I wish that I could give more advice on self harm,  but I am not in a good place and haven’t been for a long time. I have self harmed since 2004, and I got diagnosed with BPD about a month ago. I don’t blame that I self harm because I have BPD, but for me the reasons why I self harm, it used to be to cope, but for a while it’s been to feel. Because I constantly feel empty, so I SH to feel, but the only feeling I get out of it is pain. But I also like my scars.

I am not promoting Self Harm in any way and I am not going to say,’ make sure you clean your wounds and sterile equipment,’ because I know if someone says that to me, I don’t like it, but just take care!!

I use this website, http://www.scar-tissue.net/forum/index.php, you may or may not find it helpful but it is a support forum for people who suffer with Self Harm.

I hope you many find this helpful in some way

xox

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8 Responses

  1. Wonderfully written post.
    I struggle with some of the suggested techniques, but have discovered that when I’ve bandaged after a bad and deep cutting moment, that I then ‘can’t’ cut. This due to being I choose my left forearm only. I don’t cut anywhere else, so if bandaged I don’t have access to that area. Obviously you can’t keep the bandage on forever, but it buys me some time before the next SH moment. I’ve read about using ice cubes, elastic bands etc., but the other thing that works for me is writing in red felt tip on my arm…Hope that helps others to try and use different techniques also.
    MM x

  2. […] leave a comment » “Self-harm is a way of expressing very deep distress. Often, people don’t know why they self-harm. It’s a means of communicating what can’t be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, some people may feel better able to cope with life again, for a while. It can be referred to as self harm (SH), self injury(SI), deliberable self harm (DSH) — On The Borderline’s Blog ” […]

  3. I always find it interesting when folks say they SH to feel something. I’ve always done it to *stop* feeling the intense emotional pain.

  4. […] Justice, on the blog My Clerical Errors. Two blog posts together, but I will count them as one; BPD and Self Harm, and then BPD Triggers: What Are Triggers and How Can You Manage Them?, on the blog On The […]

  5. thank you for posting.

  6. This is a beatifully written post. It helped me get through a lot but I just cant stop self harming. Any other tips???

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