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Sometimes I'm Afraid I Will Hurt Myself

Discussion in 'Discussion' started by Moonshadow, Jan 8, 2009.

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  1. Moonshadow

    Moonshadow Active Member

    No, I'm not suicidal. No, I don't want to hurt myself. But sometimes I see me hurting myself with a knife, or slamming my head on the pavement. I'm afraid to take pain relievers, as I see myself swallowing the whole bottle.

    I don't want to do any of these things. I want to live and feel good.
    I feel numb and lost and cold and Hopeless. I'm dizzy and nauseous. I can't sleep or think. I just stare at nothing, lost in my own darkness.

    I'm afraid to share these thoughts with anyone around me, as I don't want them to see how deep my pain is. I'm also terrified of being hospitalized.

    And I was doing so well for awhile there.
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  3. Luthien

    Luthien Well-Known Member

    I sometimes get visions like this. They can be very unnerving. One I still get very frequently is of me diving facefirst off of something high. I don't know what causes it, but I usually explain it to myself as a type of paranoia.

    I think that it is common for this type of thoughts to happen to people though, I have talked to several people about it, not in relation to PTSD, because they didn't have it, but just as a general chat topic, and all of them have experienced the same sorts of thoughts out of nowhere.

    Sorry I don't have an explanation for you.
  4. fairandcold

    fairandcold New Member

    I know you're scared. I was too a couple of weeks ago when I was having the same thoughts...that's why I went to the ER to find out that I have PTSD.

    We have a lot of anger that has to come out someway and sometimes it manifests itself like that. Scary, but I have been there before if it makes you feel any better.
  5. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Me too. When I have them I know I'm not going to do anything about it, but they are still there. It's a mystery to me what they'e about and why they keep coming up. I wish I knew more about this stuff, but haven't had enough time since learning I have PTSD to have read very much. Maybe somebody out there can enlighten us, or suggest a reference.
  6. Seeking_Nirvana

    Seeking_Nirvana I'm a VIP

    I believe these are called "intrusive thoughtsand visions". This is common in everyone but most common in people with OCD and PTSD.

    I used to get them real bad when I would mix two of my medications. Now I rarely get them. There are some methods one can do to learn how to eliminate these or at least slow down the process in which they occur.

    Just type in intrusive thoughts in google and you can find some coping methods.

  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tammy. I will do that very thing
  8. She Cat

    She Cat I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Tammy is right....The intrusive thoughts are a pain in the butt. They can be so damn hard to handle at times. But by working on your trauma, and having more positive thoughts, you can lower them a great deal, or actually have them go away......
  9. cragger65

    cragger65 I'm a VIP

    It got me curious, so I did a search. This quote popped out at me from one article:

    "Starting with the understanding that efforts to suppress intrusions will be likely to backfire, alternatives (such as responding mindfully) would be expected to reduce the impact of the intrusions and contribute to the reduction in relapse. This is the explanation for the reduced relapse rate seen in people exposed to mindfulness-based cognitive therapy."

  10. Kunoichi

    Kunoichi Well-Known Member

    I get these thoughts. I don't want to do it and I don't think I ever would. I am going to google intrusive thoughts to find some coping methods so ty for posting that. But one thing i do when i get those thoughts, is I put everything sharp away from me, grab my stuff penguin and play a vid game or something....just my own coping method.
  11. Leda

    Leda Active Member

    I also get these thoughts quite frequently, and for years my method was to use the mantra: "stay safe". It worked, bud did not decrease the thoughts. By the way, in my teens I did selfharm frequently, but gave it up at 17.

    Lately, mostly due to a good trauma therapist, I am managing a new approach to this. I have come to realise that within me there still is an angry and shameful child. And SHE needs not only to be controlled, but also cared for. When these thoughts bother me now, I try to meet them with as much empaty and love as I can find within me.

    And the grown up me says things like: I understand that you are angry and hurt - It´s all right. I´ll take care of it.

    I hope this makes sense to someone - it´s really hard to explain.
  12. cragger65

    cragger65 I'm a VIP

    Leda, that was an excellent explanation/description. I relate to this HUGELY. Thanks.
  13. Moonshadow

    Moonshadow Active Member

    Thanks for your responses, everyone. I think the first step in fighting these thoughts is understanding them. I'm also making a connection between how being triggered makes these thoughts worse, and harder to control.

    When I first posted about this, it was at the end of a really hard day. I had had 3 panic attacks, and was totally lost in my dark thoughts. I feel like I'm still recovering from it today, 2 days later.
  14. Dylan

    Dylan Well-Known Member

    I still get these at times. Especially during difficult times, they can get almost obsessively repetitive.

    For me, I think it's about knowing there's a way out, an escape hatch, if you will.

    I'm not suicidal; I want to live. When I begin to feel trapped and not up to the challenge or difficulty of life, it's as though my brain knows that it'll take some pressure off if I have a way out, even if I wouldn't use it.

    I don't know if this is what anyone else's mind is doing with generating these thoughts, but I figured I'd throw it out here. For myself, it's my mind trying to make me feel less trapped, less like my back is against a wall. Sometimes now I'm able to realize, "Oh! There's one of those...I must be feeling really trapped and overwhelmed." and I can then take action to reduce the stress and/or get more support. Sometimes I can.... sometimes they just carry on talking to themselves and then fade away when the difficulty eases. :rolleyes:

  15. cragger65

    cragger65 I'm a VIP

    Just another snippet from

    "As an example, an intrusive impulse to throw a child across the room might be interpreted in a number of different ways. If it is seen as an indication of being tired and stressed it may be passed off as an understandable but unimportant thought. If the same impulse is experienced as a precursor to an unwanted action and the individual attempts to suppress it, then the urge may develop into an obsession."

    This says a lot to me. A lot of my Guilt is generated by my, shall we say "uncharitable" thoughts. For a long time, I had obsessive thoughts about killing my insurance adjuster and case manager. I was such a "horrible person" and was afraid that maybe, just maybe if they got me mad enough, I might do it.

    The article goes on to talk about meta-cognitions - how we think about these thoughts, what "spin" we put on them, or what we THINK they say about us.

    Sorry if I've wandered a bit off topic, this just seems like good info to know to avert someone from going down the same path I did with the intrusive thoughts issue.
  16. catjudo

    catjudo I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Cragger--if you find this interesting and relevant to your circumstances, you may want to do a search on DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy). It deals a lot with mindfulness techniques. DBT was originally developed for use with people with Borderline Personality Disorder but has since found other applications. It has been used very successfully with people who self-injure as well as helping patients with other distressing and intrusive thoughts.
  17. cragger65

    cragger65 I'm a VIP

    Thanks Cat,

    I did do a search for DBT about a month ago, but it was more to try to understand someone else at the time. Maybe worth another look.
  18. Yumeko-chan

    Yumeko-chan Active Member

    Ah, these were my thoughts two days ago (read my diary for the details). I kept seeing myself slitting my wrists, not to kill myself, but just to get some of this pain out of me, just to get some sort of relief. I hadn't had thoughts like that in ten years though, so while I knew I would probably feel better later, at that moment I really just wanted it to stop.
  19. SammyKline

    SammyKline Active Member

    one thing that helps dissipate the pent up emotions and anger is exorcise. in any way you can. even brisk walking will help as long as you work up a sweat. as for the intrusive thoughts, it's a natural response to what you have experienced - your body is dealing with the result of an abnormal dose of stress that zapped your system. Without PTSD I imagine we would loose or minds , stop functioning or get physically ill. Somehow ptsd is helping us survive, isn't it?

    a punching bag also works wonders IMO.
  20. Esther

    Esther Member

    Wow it's good to know i'm not the only one.

    I found antidepressants made things a lot worse for me, i'm about to start remeron and hoping I will have more luck with that than ssris.

    Mindfulness has been helpful for me, and reminding myself that they are just thoughts. My therapist said that most people have thoughts like that at some time, but i'm just having a lot more.
  21. 2notbedefeated

    2notbedefeated Well-Known Member

    I try to forget I have these, but I read others struggling with it and I felt I needed to admit that I have them too. Why is it that we get these intrusive thoughts? Where does it come from? It's scary.

    Once I actually acted on it when I was around 20 years old. There was a train coming down the tracks and it was open rural farm country there were no other cars around but mine and that train. I was out in the "boonies" you could say.

    I tried to time myself in order to reach the intersection at the same time as the train so that it would hit me. I felt nothing really. I felt numb like something had taken over and made me do this when I didn't really what to do that. Like I was a remote control robot or something like that.

    Well, My attempt was not successful, and I was alittle upset about it. I got there just a few seconds quicker that the train did. The train past behind me, but it was only a couple of feet from the bumper of my car. Whoa, when I came out of that I was feeling werid about myself and didn't know what to think or do, it freak me out so badly.

    I get these from time to time and it scares me too. I could be driving down a highway in my car and get this thought or urge to drive over into the other lane so I can be hit. Sometimes when I am the passenger in a car I get the urge to open the car door and jump out of it when it is still going. Or I think about running the car into a house or brick wall, or into the ocean. Sometimes if I'm walking I will get these urges of wanting to jump right out into the street were there is fast moving cars. so I can be hit. Hmmmm I wonder why I am alive today.

    Man that stuff is scary, why do I think about doing such things. The feelings are impulsive and its scary. Once I also swallow a bunch of pills on impulse, it wasn't thought about ahead of time, something triggered me and "boom" I went for the bottles of meds and was swallowing them by the handful. I had not had any prior thoughts or intents to commit Suicide. It was totally an impulsive act.

    I ended up in the hospital and then on the psych ward for about 3 weeks. This was in 2002. My therapist and other caring professional were so nasty to me, because I had not indicated to them that I wanted to kill myself. Well, I didn't tell them because it was NOT something I was planning on doing. It was totally impulsive.

    I've never shared that with anyone before about my impulsive thoughts and actions. This happens alot too when I go into a "fit" of burning myself over and over with matches. I feel like a robot set in motion. I'm saying, what am I doing this for, why am I doing it, but I can't seem to stop myself. Am I just not exercising will power like I should? I certainly don't want to do these things. I don't know maybe I'm making up excuses for my careless actions.

    Some times I do self-injure and then don't remember doing it. It's scary and what is even scary, is that others do not know how to handle this, (i don't either though) but they would rush me off to the padded cell and straight jacket real quick if I did anything. I don't want that, ugh!

    Does anyone know why I do that? Do others act on them like that? Scary.
  22. Junebug

    Junebug I'm a VIP
    Premium Member

    Dear 2,

    I'm glad you said it.

    Yes, I have to guard against "impulsive self-destruction". I think for me it follows however lousy thoughts and presents itself as almost "opportunistic".
    I think the more I can guard against those despairing thoughts/ Depression/ hopelessness/ despair in the other moments, the less of a temptation it is. When I am in a healthier frame of mind- even a little bit of hope/ acceptance/ self- acceptance, it doesn't even cross my mind.

    One thing I know from reading posts is that it's certainly not uncommon.

    Hang in there, just "one baby step at a time" and you will feel so much better.
  23. cragger65

    cragger65 I'm a VIP


    At my extreme I tried to kill myself twice - once by hanging, once through overdose. I felt exactly the same way, something had taken over my body, and was directing me to do these things, regardless of how hard I fought to survive in the first place.

    I do not think this is you not excercising will. I think it is the hurt/scared part of you temporarily overwhelming the part that functions day-to-day. Don't beat yourself up for being hurt.

    I'm glad you can talk about it freely. I hope it helps to realize you're not alone in this.
  24. 2notbedefeated

    2notbedefeated Well-Known Member

    Whew, I'm not alone in that? Relieved (not glad that others struggle with it), just relieved that others know what I''m talking about. I have never told anyone about these impulsive thoughts because I'm afraid those "other" people will think I'm insane.

    I don't think I'm insane, but I''m scared that someone will think I am. Those psych wards are not pleasant in some places. I worked in one for a year and to see things that would happen in those closed units. OMG, scary, I couldn't handle it and quit the job for that reason.

    Thanks guys and gals for sharing your own difficult issues and struggles so we can encourage each other that we are not insane, just challlenged and struggling. I hope noone takes this the wrong way. I'm not trying label anyone, or stereotype, etc. I'm just trying to normalize myself, if you know what I mean. I'm just so thankful for everyone here.
  25. ugly

    ugly New Member

    WOW, I didn't think I'd ever be able to talk about this, but I too suffer from these type of thoughts. For the last several months they come very often. I will google it as well, because it scares me and it would be great to develope some tools to help me through them.

    Thanks for having the courage to share.
  26. Moonshadow

    Moonshadow Active Member

    I don't think these health problems are psychosomatic. Psychosomatic is like when you believe so much that you have something, you start to feel the symptoms.

    I think these are somatic problems. They are PTSD-related health issues, exacerbated by everyday stress. They are NOT in your mind. They are real illnesses, triggered by the constant struggle that is PTSD.
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