• Welcome to the Anxiety Community Forum, a friendly space for discussion, help and support with mental health issues. Please register to post and use the extra features available to members. Click here to register.Everyone is welcome!

The desire to hurt yourself

Azelma

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
87
Reaction score
17
First of all, sorry if this is on the wrong sub-forum, I just couldn't decide what's the best place for it and I couldn't find any topics on this with the search function. Move it if necessary.


But yes, how many here sometimes get the overwhelming desire (or need) to hurt yourself?


I do, a lot. Often when fighting with the SO and feeling like I'm pushed into a corner, or just simply something he says makes me feel like a bad (worse) person. I really don't like much anything about myself and I somehow feel I deserve the punishment for being so stupid, fat, ugly, sick, moronic, asinine, and so on and so forth. I never cut myself, usually I pound my head or legs with my fists or create shallow, semi-deep or sometimes rather accidentally very deep cuts with my nails (usually on my legs).


I know it's wrong and no one should ever do it for any reason, but I just get this feeling that I must punish myself. It somehow makes me feel better, transforming the mental pain into a physical form that's easier to concentrate on. Or something, I don't know. I was just wondering if there are any others like me and how you guys deal with it.
 

CeliVega

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 29, 2016
Messages
35
Reaction score
6
I feel like there's a reason for any behavior that we displayed. I have phone phobia because I used to be harassed for an extended period of time from someone who enjoyed calling me at midnight and I can't block him because it's a home phone without a block function (this was quite some time ago), and I received some really, really bad news before on the phone. I believe subconsciously there's a seed, a message planted in me, which from my bad experience, twisted a simple gesture like hearing a phone call into "something that bring bad news and people you hate" , which developed into nervousness and faster heartbeat whenever I heard a phone call these days.


I have seen people who gave themselves a light slap in the face, or knocked their own head lightly when they feel like they did something wrong. That's their way of "punishing themselves" and a reminder that they must not do it again.


What about you? From what you described, you gave yourself some punishment when you feel like you are not yourself or you are giving the others a bad time too, except it's a lot more extreme. Maybe you have some bad experiences in the past? Some verbal abuse maybe? Or a feeling or inferiority or worthlessness because you grew up in a competitive environment? Maybe something from the past planted a seed, a message inside you, that sprouted into some sort of message or negativity that implies you deserve to be punished?


I think in a way, we are afraid of something, or keep doing some self destructive action because we can't let go of something in the past. It is hard, but we must all face our own emotional trauma and confronted it, make peace with it, accept that it had already happened in the past, and we should learn from the experience and prevent the same thing from ever happening again. Slowly, of course.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Azelma

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
87
Reaction score
17
What about you? From what you described, you gave yourself some punishment when you feel like you are not yourself or you are giving the others a bad time too, except it's a lot more extreme. Maybe you have some bad experiences in the past? Some verbal abuse maybe? Or a feeling or inferiority or worthlessness because you grew up in a competitive environment? Maybe something from the past planted a seed, a message inside you, that sprouted into some sort of message or negativity that implies you deserve to be punished?
The funny thing is that I had a great childhood. Loving parents, lots of friends, I did well in school, all that jazz. I think the feelings of inferiority started in my early teens or so. Ever since then, I remember feeling depressed, different, worse at everything than others... (the self hurt didn't start then, I tried cutting a couple of times when I was a teenager but never continued it. The current situation is a much more recent development and it seems to be getting worse all the time.) But this, and this:

I think in a way' date=' we are afraid of something, or keep doing some self destructive action because we can't let go of something in the past. It is hard, but we must all face our own emotional trauma and confronted it, make peace with it, accept that it had already happened in the past, and we should learn from the experience and prevent the same thing from ever happening again. Slowly, of course.[/quote']
...is exactly what I need to be talking to my therapist about next, so we can start unfurling this mess inside my head. She's been on vacation and then on sick leave, so it's been hard for the past couple of months with no one to talk to (but at least I found this forum :) ), but I hope we'll get back to our usual rhythm now.


Thanks for the reply, btw.
 

kgord

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
437
Reaction score
40
I don't have the desire to physically hurt myself, but I self harm in other ways, over eating, smoking, etc. I think a lot of times we are just looking for something to take the pain away and it could be any number of tthings. Different people have different things they use to make sure that they feel better about themselves and their life. It is just one of the things that you do if feeling stressed and under the gun.
 

lexinonomous

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
195
Reaction score
24
I have this issue frequently. One of my biggest issues is getting upset and feeling the need to punish myself for being upset. When I feel this way, I usually hide out in my bathroom and punch myself in the leg. It's not something that I like to admit, but it's the reality of my anger issues. I haven't done this in a long, long time because I found a few ways to cope with the situation. One of my main ways of coping is punching pillows. I also find comfort in coloring adult coloring books. I would suggest finding out the root of why you're feeling this way and then going from there.
 

Dybbuk Jones

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Messages
23
Reaction score
4
I never admit that I want to hurt myself when I am hurting myself. I think that I want passion and that I can only date women who are a little bit exciting. I never understand at the time that I am dating women who will hurt me. I am chasing after women who will reject me. I don't physically hurt myself but when I review my life and my dating choices, I think about the ways that I have always been tearing myself down. I am outsourcing my pain.
 

fuzyon

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
363
Reaction score
34
I've heard of something like this before but I personally haven't experienced it yet, I imagine it's something really terrifying and I understand where you're coming from. Your brain tells you that you're doing something wrong and you want to punish yourself for that, it usually derives from depression which is scary. Have you tried talking to a therapist about this? They're usually good at solving anger issues.
 

kelden

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2016
Messages
375
Reaction score
40
Self-destructive behaviors can be regarded as a way to communicate one’s misery. You say that you do it due to feeling the need of punish yourself. How do you feel after conveying your guilt like that? Do you want others to notice you deserve the punishment?
 

HappyKoi

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
252
Reaction score
43
First of all, sorry if this is on the wrong sub-forum, I just couldn't decide what's the best place for it and I couldn't find any topics on this with the search function. Move it if necessary.
But yes, how many here sometimes get the overwhelming desire (or need) to hurt yourself?


I do, a lot. Often when fighting with the SO and feeling like I'm pushed into a corner, or just simply something he says makes me feel like a bad (worse) person. I really don't like much anything about myself and I somehow feel I deserve the punishment for being so stupid, fat, ugly, sick, moronic, asinine, and so on and so forth. I never cut myself, usually I pound my head or legs with my fists or create shallow, semi-deep or sometimes rather accidentally very deep cuts with my nails (usually on my legs).


I know it's wrong and no one should ever do it for any reason, but I just get this feeling that I must punish myself. It somehow makes me feel better, transforming the mental pain into a physical form that's easier to concentrate on. Or something, I don't know. I was just wondering if there are any others like me and how you guys deal with it.
I feel that way quite often. It's getting better as I do more work on myself, but the urge is still there, especially if I feel ashamed.


One therapist helped me make a safety plan, and that helps with the difficult times. It's good to have something like that in place, including people you can call or text. Often, if you wait it out for awhile, the urge goes away. I read somewhere that self-harm is communication, not necessarily to another person. It can be a way of communicating to ourselves that we're stressed, or angry, or upset and pushed past our limits. When I feel the urge, I try to ask myself what the feeling is behind it and deal with the feeling itself- where it came from, what triggered it, what is a better way to handle that feeling. One of my therapists said that feelings aren't actions, that we can choose what actions to do to express our feelings. And sometimes I just tell myself that it's not nice to hit people and call people names, and that includes myself
 

John Snort

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
262
Reaction score
36
@Azelma,negative self talk creates a negative feedback loop. That's why punishing yourself will not make you feel better. There is no easy way to rewire your brain so you can embrace happiness and positivity but you can do it if you want it badly. It takes proactive action on your part. Think of yourself as your very best friend. What would you do for your best friend? Would you forgive your best friend for some wrong they did? If you can, then you have to forgive yourself first. Then start learning how to love yourself. Reward yourself for things you've done right, get yourself a treat from time to time, etc. Slowly the negative thoughts will start dissipating.
 

Alex

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 1, 2016
Messages
779
Reaction score
210
Self-harming is a very delicate topic and very hard to explain to people who have never experienced it. It can happen not just to 'punish' yourself, but also to take away that inner pain that is invisible and you don't know how else to deal with. Often it's subconscious too and I recall talking to my brother once and I was 'hurting' myself and he told me to stop, but I didn't even know I was doing it at the time as it had become a habit. When it occurs out of habit, you don't always notice the action or pain.


Now to how to deal with it. There is no one way, or simple way, but you have to be aware of your actions and distract yourself so you are not left alone with those thoughts or in a place where you can harm yourself. Talking to someone online or the phone can help, or to do something like baking (for me) that makes me use my hands so I cannot do anything else. If you are aware of things you do have the power to stop them, or to avoid them.
 

chanelskii

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2016
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
I know how you feel. I have thought and felt it over and over again. I also inflict harm on myself by pounding on my legs, till bruises appear sometimes, though I never cut too. I guess mostly because it's how people treats us or how they see us and what they say to us. The way I dealt with it is by cutting off the toxic people in my life, some 'friends' who always tell negative things about me. I also started talking to my family, especially my mom about it, and the thought of hurting myself lessen. Though it still occurs when I fail or I do something wrong, at least there are now people who would tell me it's okay and would distract me so that I wouldn't harm myself.


Slowly we can get over this, and I do hope that you'd be okay too.
 

jaden11218

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
40
Reaction score
8
I used to feel this way. I self-harmed all through high school and I empathize with anyone who has ever felt the way I did. For me, I got to a point where I wanted to stop doing it, but I had been doing it so long that it had become an addiction. Fighting any addiction is hard, but on one of my good days I finally threw out all the razors and anytime I felt the urge to do it, I would distract myself. I'd play with my dog, ride a bike, go for a walk, anything to take my mind off it. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I was determined though, and after months of fighting it I no longer felt a need or desire to do it again.
 

Prisaneify

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2016
Messages
17
Reaction score
0
I'm a self harmer, and unfortunately, I do cut. Mostly my left arm (scars are totally visible). I use it as a form of intense relief. Normally my urges come around when it has to deal with dating issues. I've been clean since Feb and have survived some strong feelings. It is a long road and I don't know if I will ever fully recover from it. My pain is too deep to be solved my massages and or shopping/chocolate/whatever.


Dealing isn't even what I'd call it. It is definitely survival. I usually reach out to someone, anyone, stranger or not to get me through the moments of the most pain. A drawing journal also helps me. I can take that opportunity to scratch and scribble fiercely without harming myself. I know coloring on yourself wouldn't be applicable but I use that as well. Also, carrying around something that has your favorite scent could help for those times. I'm more than willing to provide my number as support if anyone here is interested. I understand how important talking to people can be.
 

Aree Wongwanlee

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2016
Messages
361
Reaction score
43
I haven't had this urge to hurt myself physically because I like my body and I like it in good shape. However, I have often hurt myself in other ways. One very common way is to make a mess of my relationships. Somehow, I could never make any relationship last. Somewhere along the way, I will do something stupid which will bring the relationship to an end. Maybe it's self-destructive. I don't know, really. All I know is that now I live alone.
 

CT422

Junior Member
Joined
Sep 12, 2016
Messages
114
Reaction score
11
This is going to be kind of a wall of text but I swear it's relevant.


My anxiety was at its worst when I was at Navy RTC (boot camp, which was also where I was diagnosed), and it was the only time since I was a teenager that I felt like harming myself. We had these beds that would lift up to reveal storage space, and when they closed it was with over 100 pounds of pressure (so they said). On my bad days, when it seemed like I couldn't seem to do anything right or basically felt like I was in a constant anxiety attack, every time I opened the bed up I thought "If I close my hand in this, it will all be over, I'll be able to go home.". Now, I had joined the Navy with every intention of making it a lifelong career, I wanted to be at RTC, I wanted to graduate, I wanted to be a sailor, but every day I was in training, I felt worthless and small, and I thought that injuring myself was a viable way to not feel that way anymore.


For me, this just goes to show how severe my anxiety was at the time. I have had some thoughts of self-harm since I returned home, but nowhere near as severe, and nowhere near as often, and I haven't felt like I would do it since I was in training. Thankfully, I asked to speak to a psychiatrist before I actually hurt myself, but I'm certain that if I had tried to continue training without saying or doing anything about my anxiety, I would have harmed myself. At the time, I honestly thought that it would have helped me in the long run and that it was something completely reasonable.
 

Azelma

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2016
Messages
87
Reaction score
17
Thanks to everyone for sharing so much :) And it’s good to read that there are other people, more or less like me, still struggling with this after teenage years (I sort of thought it would stop there, it’s not like adults behave so immaturely…) But it seems we do, and I’m not sure I’d call it immature anymore. It’s a way of coping, a very bad way, but a survival method all the same. We (or at least some of us) just need to learn how to control it better when the urge comes.
 

Jasmin Cottontail

Active Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2016
Messages
140
Reaction score
31
Yes I do experience this at some point when I'm hurt emotionally and would like to alter this pain into physical pain. I tried some cuts but never deep and I sometimes regret doing it right after. I don't do it most of the time though, only when the pain that I feel really succumbs me that I have no choice but to alter it by hurting myself physically. Good thing I never felt this way again for the past few weeks.
 

Natasha0717

Active Member
Joined
Oct 29, 2016
Messages
156
Reaction score
45
First of all, sorry if this is on the wrong sub-forum, I just couldn't decide what's the best place for it and I couldn't find any topics on this with the search function. Move it if necessary.


But yes, how many here sometimes get the overwhelming desire (or need) to hurt yourself?


I do, a lot. Often when fighting with the SO and feeling like I'm pushed into a corner, or just simply something he says makes me feel like a bad (worse) person. I really don't like much anything about myself and I somehow feel I deserve the punishment for being so stupid, fat, ugly, sick, moronic, asinine, and so on and so forth. I never cut myself, usually I pound my head or legs with my fists or create shallow, semi-deep or sometimes rather accidentally very deep cuts with my nails (usually on my legs).


I know it's wrong and no one should ever do it for any reason, but I just get this feeling that I must punish myself. It somehow makes me feel better, transforming the mental pain into a physical form that's easier to concentrate on. Or something, I don't know. I was just wondering if there are any others like me and how you guys deal with it.
When my brother passed away (unexpectedly) - I found strange relief in running a toothpick up and down my arm. It never caused it to actually bleed, but it did get red, like I had a red line where I would repeatedly keep running the toothpick up and down in the same spot. I was, in a way, punishing myself too. It wasn't my fault that he passed away, yet it felt better to hurt myself for it. So I do know what you mean, yet it's very hard to express in words.

To me, pain has always felt a little "good". It's hard to explain, but I like it when my little nephew takes this plastic bat and hits me on the head as hard as he can with it (while laughing the whole time) :joyful:...it hurts and feels good at the same time, I don't know why. I also extracted my own wisdom tooth once, and I don't remember it actually "hurting"....it was more of a good type of pain. If that makes any sense.

But then again, I broke my toe once....and that REALLY HURT, and I didn't enjoy that type of pain at all. But that was an accident.
I think intentional pain can be more controlled, which makes us feel more in control. o_O
 

Alexandoy

Pending
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
113
Reaction score
29
I am far from doing this thing of hurting myself but I used to have a friend who was like that. He was actually my classmate in college. When he fails an exam, I would notice some bruises on his arms or maybe a black eye. He had done that to himself because he said that his dead father will not like his mistakes so he is punishing himself in behalf of his father. Take note that the guy is normal except for that volutary punishment. Maybe he has a fixation for his father or maybe he loves his father so much that he wanted to relive his memory even in his mistakes.
 
Top