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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Instead of harming myself I now........(list three of four dot points)

Topic: Instead of harming myself I now........(list three of four dot points)

  1. Aaronsis
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    20 March 2020

    Hi lovely people

    I just wanted to start this thread as "self harm" seems to be an increasing topic that I have noticed lately.

    Firstly there is some wonderful information at this link:

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/suicide-prevention/feeling-suicidal/self-harm-and-self-injury

    Some of the discussion I have been involved in I am hearing that the "techniques" that are suggested to people to do or use instead of hurting themselves is "silly", "don't work", "well if it was that easy I wouldn't be here". So I want to reach out to anyone and everyone to perhaps put down three or four or as many as you feel comfortable to, tips that DO WORK for you.

    I have suggested smashing plates, in a controlled space of course and not your mum's best plates either! Do you think this would work?

    I think knowledge is power and the more we share knowledge we can use it to help others and to make a difference, a real difference in someone else's healing.

    I also understand this is a sensitive topic but if you feel comfortable to share what works for you or what you need in that time that stops you from hurting yourself that would be so helpful.

    Please be mindful this is a sensitive topic so just dot point the things you do instead of hurting yourself.

    Huge hugs to you all.

    Sarah xxx

    9 people found this helpful
  2. Doolhof
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Hi Sarah,

    Thanks for a sensitive look at what can be a very confusing time for people.

    One of my issues when I don't understand what is going on in my mind is that the emotional pain becomes too much and I get angry. Instead of harming I have been able to reduce this by:

    Vigorous activity like gardening, going for a fast walk, vacuuming with gusto!

    If I can't get outside I may write out all I am experiencing, draw a picture, rip up paper, scream into a pillow.

    Later I try to work out why I was so triggered so next time I don't escalate so quickly.

    Cheers to you and all from Dools

    5 people found this helpful
  3. Missing user
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    20 March 2020

    Hi Sarah, thank you for this thread, what a nice idea. You're right, I've been seeing a lot of posts about self harming and it breaks my heart, that and the fact that I'm really thinking of doing it myself too lately although I haven't and never have but it's quite hard for me to fight the urges.

    Like Doolhof, I like walking, colouring in, going on the forums and colouring in. Not much I know but it's something I suppose.

    My Psychiatrist suggested, which most people probably know and have tried, is to get a rubber band on your wrist and GENTLY snap it, or clap. You can also draw a butterfly or multiple butterflies where you want to harm yourself and the aim is to not hurt the butterfly, and of course yourself. Or you can put ice on you.

    Take care everyone, please don't hurt yourself. I'm sorry you're all struggling. I'm always here for everyone.

    Tayla

    2 people found this helpful
  4. Matchy69
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    20 March 2020
    Hi Sarah thanks for the great new post.I know all about self harm i have done it my self and have known others that have.
  5. Missing user
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    I'm so sorry to hear that Mark, how are you doing now?

    Tayla

  6. Matchy69
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Missing user

    Hi Tayla thank you for caring.I am not real good at the moment.I havent told anyone on this site but i have step twins who are 25 that were my ex wifes that i loved like my own.One of my step twins has left me out of everything like not inviting me to her wedding and graduation and every bog occasion in her life.It has made me feel like total crap and i have told her how i just told her how i really feel and now i feel like crap as she is pregnant but i know i will be left out of my grandsons life.I shouldnt have said anything to her as she is pregnant and she is due on the 3rd May.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Missing user
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hi Mark. Wow I'm so sorry to hear that, that's awful. I'm always here as you know.

    That's terrible, makes me sad and sympathetic for you. Some "people" are so toxic, huh?

    Tayla

  8. Aaronsis
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Doolhof

    Thank you so much for your comments, it is really great to understand and to be able to share.

    Thank you Dools: They are some really great tips and I think the ripping up paper would let off the same steam that the plate smashing would..do you think?

    Great suggestions Tayla and thank you for sharing too, it is so great to hear that you have been able to keep the urges to harm at bay and I am hoping that some of the things we can raise here will be useful to people and maybe even to you, although I pray you dont need them x

    I am grateful for your support Mark and I am so very sorry things are tough for you at the moment. Can you think of some of the things that you did to help you when you did feel so very low and like you needed to hurt yourself? Please only answer if you feel comfortable to.

    I feel so privileged to be able to share such personal information with you all and it is for the greater good to be able to actually support others with some "distractions" that have not necessarily been suggested to them before.

    Thank you xxxx

    2 people found this helpful
  9. Matchy69
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    20 March 2020 in reply to Missing user
    Hi Tayla thank you fot caring.I havent heard back from my step daughter after i told her how i really feel about being left out of everything.We were so close and she use to tell me everything including her first sexual experince when she was 13 but i wasnt good enough to be invited to her wedding and things.It really hurts me.
    1 person found this helpful
  10. OceanWhispers
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    23 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Hi Sarah and everyone,

    Thank you for this post as so far I haven't been very good at stopping myself so will try some of the ideas mentioned.

    The main thing that has worked for me is sleep. When I've been at that point it's usually night time and I'm usually mentally and physically exhausted. I just have to tell myself if I can fall asleep then it will be a new day. Doesn't always work but worth a try.

    Take care everyone x
    3 people found this helpful
  11. Aaronsis
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    24 March 2020 in reply to OceanWhispers

    Good Morning OW

    Thank you so much for sharing that even when you do try so hard it is not always achievable. That is a really brave thing to be able to admit. I really do hope some of the suggestions do work for you, that is my hope with this thread that there will be some "things" that are outside the box that people come to share that others have never thought of but essentially turn out to be..well..life savers.

    Stay strong my friends xx

    Sarah xxx

    2 people found this helpful
  12. Missing user
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    24 March 2020
    Hi all, sorry that you're all struggling. Thanks to Sarah for this thread, it's interesting. Thanks for the kind words too, I'm still struggling day by day. Take care all
    1 person found this helpful
  13. OceanWhispers
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    24 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    This evening I used the text Lifeline service. Whilst I wasn't thinking of self harm then it did help me to talk through what was on my mind and would've been a distraction so that's always an option too.
    Now that I'm in bed and very depressed self harm is on my mind and seeing sleep won't help tonight I'm going to try a few other things like playing some games on my phone first
    3 people found this helpful
  14. alasdayr
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    24 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Diversion/delaying tactics:
    - Walking / exercise
    - Mindfulness exercises (focus on activities that take all your attention)
    - In depth research on topics of interest
    - Finding some I trust to talk to

    I find my urge to self harm comes in waves. If I can ride out the current wave I can usually get back to a safe mindset.

    While in the grip of an urge it's hard to be nice to yourself. This is why I focus on diversion / delay instead of self kindness to come out the other side. It takes more than what I have during a wave to be kind. At those time, self-kindness is what I feel LEAST like doing (or deserving).


    Alasdayr.

    5 people found this helpful
  15. Aaronsis
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    25 March 2020 in reply to OceanWhispers

    Hey OW

    I know how hard things are for you at the moment and I am so inspired by your strength, even if it is just to get through the next hour, you do it and you are so very strong, even though strength I am sure is nothing what you are feeling now.

    Thanks you for sharing what is such a personal thing but I am hoping together we can find some new ways to really help others.

    Well done for reaching out to LifeLine, your life matters xx

  16. Aaronsis
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    25 March 2020 in reply to alasdayr

    Hi Alasdayr

    Thank you so much for sharing, I absolutely love the idea of researching a topic that you are very interested in, that is a brilliant idea and will certainly create a good distraction for some time.

    I really appreciate your post and once again, thanks for sharing what is a really personal and painful topic.

    Huge hugs

    Sarah xx

  17. Missing user
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    25 March 2020

    Hi all, I have a question. I'm not saying I will harm myself but the thoughts are so strong.

    Anyway, if I did harm myself and have a plan and told my Psychiatrist this, I'm worried he'd admit me, or do they just do that with your consent and by law? I don't feel like a risk to others, maybe myself. I haven't done anything. I'm scared and I don't want to be admitted. He's adamant I should go the triage although they were all extremely rude and refused to help me, to me it feels like he's pushing me away and it's hurtful.

    1 person found this helpful
  18. Aaronsis
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    25 March 2020 in reply to Missing user

    Hey Tayla

    I hear that you are really struggling, I think you are so very strong and you have so much support here, please don't give in to the urges. Please try and listen hard to the advice you give to others in asking them to stay strong, to not hurt themselves, take this for you too sweet girl.

    Alasdayr had a great suggestion of researching something that you are really interested in..perhaps that might work for you??? You could try researching how to move out of home and what things and support you might need, look at some of the share house options...just and idea.

    Please stay safe, we care so much about you.

    HUgs

    Sarah xx

    2 people found this helpful
  19. Missing user
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    25 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Thanks Sarah but I can't fight the urges. My Psych probably hates me, keeps trying to send me to triage and to me thats hurtful and like he's pushing me away. I'll speak to him about this when I see him on Monday
  20. alasdayr
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    25 March 2020 in reply to Missing user
    Tayla,

    I really feel for how strong harmful thoughts can be. I too have experienced them first hand. Sometimes I can resist, some times I am not as strong as I would like to be. The challenge at those times is to put as much distance (physical or mental) between you and action for as long as possible.

    On the topic of psych triage, I have found the whole admittance process quite confronting. Having someone trusted and in a calm state to try assist you at those times helps enormously. I have had to go through it with my daughter (she was mentally in a really bad way). She has been admitted to juvenile care for just over a week in the past. We are currently seeking a second admission to more adult care to help her out.

    Mental triage can be confronting. Especially when you are in an agitated or fragile state (this is why have help if possible). The primary goal of triage is to determine a level of urgency so the most dire get attention from limited resources first. Your evaluation of urgency of your own situation, when in a heightened state, can quite often not match the opinion of the triage personnel. At those times triage may genuinely seem rude and unwilling to help.

    You are unlikely to be admitted for self harm that is not thought to be precursor to a real attempt to take your own life. This is mainly because facilities and capacity are in such short supply.

    Your psychiatrist is the best person to make a judgement on any "involuntary" admission. This is usually only in circumstances that there is a genuine fear for your, or others, imminent safety. This sort of decision is never taken lightly.

    Most facilities are geared towards helping as much as possible in a safe environment. The purpose is primarily to help those who are in there care develop the ability to lead a life that is as happy, normal and productive as possible (and as fast a possible). That ability for life may be medication, mental skills/strategies or a combination of both.

    Stay safe Tayla.

    Alasdayr.
    1 person found this helpful
  21. Matchy69
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    26 March 2020
    Hi all on this thread especially Tayla and Sarah.I was seven years old when i first self harmed my self.I was feeling very lonely and depressed at the time.I ended spending a few weeks in hospital and that included christmas day.I saw really sweet old lady who was child psychologist there.I use to do a lot of work with her.I did change schools when i was nine and then self harmed again when i was 11 y.o and ended up in hospital at easter.I got to work with the same psychologist which helped.I didnt self harm again to i was an adult.
    2 people found this helpful
  22. Aaronsis
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    26 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Hey Mark

    Thank you so much for sharing what is a very personal and painful history of your self harming.

    Seven is so very young, and to even have the awareness to do this to one's self is really frightening too.

    How do you manage now to keep those urges away? Do they come back from time to time and what do you do to stop? Only share if you feel comfortable to .

    Thank you Mark for your support here.

    Hugs

    Sarah xx

  23. alasdayr
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    26 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Matchy69, Thank you for sharing.

    I'll share a little of my story too.

    I was in my early 20's the first time I self harmed. This was after coming out of a bout of anorexia (unusual, but not unknown for men). My girlfriend at the time was horrified and I promised her I would never again. That girlfriend became my wife and we are still married after 30 years.

    I have only broken that actual promise only once. I was away at that time and in a highly emotional situation. I feel the need to break the promise again almost daily. I sort of sidestep the promise by not being kind to myself and it is a constant battle to never go further.

    The dangers with self harm are twofold. First is that it can unintentionally go too far and cause more serious damage than intended. Second is that it can become more severe if you become accustomed to it (like building a tolerance to alcohol or caffeine).

    Developing strategies to control the urge and let it pass unfulfilled is crucial. If you are feeling these types of urges it is important to seek help. Managing on your own is really hard no matter how strong you feel you may be.

    Another suggestion for deferral/delay of harmful urges is:
    - Cleaning.
    I also find this therapeutic as I can focus on something that has been neglected for a while and produce a visible result. Focus on jobs that are not done all the time (like oven, splashbacks, sweeping deck/patio/walkway, mopping floors, de-icing freezer, cleaning in hard to get at places).

    Take care Matchy69. You are worthwhile and needed. Hugs.


    Alasdayr.

    5 people found this helpful
  24. Aaronsis
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    26 March 2020 in reply to alasdayr

    Hey Alasdayr

    I really cannot thank you enough for your contribution to this thread, I am learning so much about distraction, what that can mean and things to do that might actually help a person to be able to distract.

    The whole point of this thread was exactly what is happening and I am so very grateful to be able to learn about why people might harm themselves but also ways that work and are trusted to be able to help prevent the harming.

    I find your input here so invaluable Alasdayr....THANK YOU.....I am just sorry that your experience is such that you do have these tools....I am so grateful for "the promise" you have made, and that you have kept it.

    Hugs

    Sarah

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Matchy69
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    26 March 2020 in reply to Aaronsis
    Hi Sarah I am not sure if i knew exactly what i was doing when i was seven,I didnt know i would end up in hospital.I was being teased at school,didnt have any friends and didnt like my self.When i was eleven i knew what i was doing and wanted to end up in hospital.I was being teased at my new school and the same thing was happening as it did in my old school.I have done it on and off in my adult life.I havent for ages,i think its my kids that i dont do it anymore.Its the thought of not seeing my kids.I went through a lot to get to be able to see my kids and get joint custody.
    1 person found this helpful
  26. alasdayr
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    26 March 2020 in reply to Matchy69

    Matchy69,

    I can understand and wanting to end up in hospital when being teased/bullied at school. I am convinced that part of my "unhealthy desires" are due to school bullying and the mental coping strategies I developed to avoid further trauma. Good you have joint custody of your kids.

    In a way, you have highlighted another strategy for delay/deferal:
    - Taking time to focus on those important to you.

    I have a safety plan. This reminds me of why I should stay safe. It includes photos and songs that help me feel better.

    My phone's cover screen is a photo of my wife and daughter. It is there to remind me of what is worth holding on to. The BeyondNow app with my safety plan is also easily accessible. As too is the "Virtual Hope Box" app.


    Alasdayr.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. Aaronsis
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    1 April 2020

    Hi everyone

    I just wanted to jump in and see how you are all doing and to also to see how you are going in these times of change with how we are living our lives during COVID-19. These are really strange times and some of the things that we do or things we have in our safety plans may not be possible, I just wanted to reach out and see what you are doing and how you are coping when some of the ways to connect are not realistic at the moment.

    It is a really great time to update, and if you haven't already got on to the Beyond Now Safety App, to have a look and make some changes so that they are current and reflect the changes that are in place with physical distancing as well as isolation. What can you do instead of seeing your best friend for a coffee and a hug? Using things like face time or house party or the apps that you can see your friend and have a "virtual coffee" and a "virtual hug".

    Here is the link to the information about the Beyond Now app:

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/beyondnow-suicide-safety-planning

    One of the really awesome things is that you can get some assistance in completing your plan with some help from the Suicide Call-back Service (1300 659 467) or Lifeline (131114) with one of their counselors over the phone if you do need some extra support or some relevant ideas during this time.

    I would really love to know, if you feel comfortable sharing that is, what you are doing to stay focused on your reasons to live and to stay safe, how you are staying connected with your loved ones and the community, it might even be you have joined new groups or even chatting here on the forums.

    Step 5 in the Beyond Now app is People and places I can connect with, so it would be really great to know how you are staying connected with those who support you through your time of need and what changes you are making during this time of isolation and physical distancing..what is working for you now?

    I appreciate so very much the sharing and knowing about the ways you do stay safe, the way you do reach out to keep safe and to stay alive, just know that you are helping so many others too, that read these threads and may not have the courage to post. You are so valuable and I appreciate you.

    Stay safe everyone and huge hugs to you all

    Sarah xx

  28. Croix
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Aaronsis

    Dear Sarah~

    I'm glad you brought up the free Safety App BeyondNow, thank you, it's something I've had for a long time now.

    The fact you are talking about updating the App due to the virus does remind me of a couple of things I thought I'd mention.

    The first is that - as many here would know - it is very hard to tell someone else you are self-harming or thinking of taking your life, so hard in fact many don't ever say (I never did for years). Not a good thing.

    BeyondNow really does need two people to help fill it in the most effective way. Some thngs are easy, such as Section 7 about who to contact in an emergency (Professional Links) , however others like Section 5 are harder.

    I found when I was down I could not think of anything I enjoyed or anyone I wanted to talk with. My partner - who knew me very well - was able to make all sorts of suggestions, and I found she was right and they were good ideas.

    So asking someone who knows you to help you fill BeyondNow in not only makes BeyondNow more effective but is a very good way of starting off a conversation where you can explain how you have been feeling. It also gives the person you are telling a feeling they are helping and contributing. (They might well have been worrying anyway and this could come as a relief)

    The other thing is BeyondNow is not a static thing, it needs to have the contents change as you do. If you start to dislike a song, you replace it, if a friend is no longer available then you might want to put someone else in, things like that.

    My partner knows what helps, and filling in the App while discussing things with me helped us both.

    Croix

    1 person found this helpful
  29. Aaronsis
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    1 April 2020 in reply to Croix

    Hey Croix

    Thank you for sharing and you are certainly right in that mostly those who are considering suicide or who are hurting themselves are not talking to others, I think that is why the BeyondNow app is so wonderful, for a few reasons, 1. It can create the conversation with another person. That by reaching out to another person to help put some safety nets into their app, it does also create the connection with a real person to create security and also support. 2. It is as you said a fluid tool in that as your needs change so would the need to update the app and the things that you need in your darkest times.

    I am so very privileged that people are on here sharing some of the most sensitive and personal times in their lives, that they can open up and share what works and also just as importantly what does not work, which is why I wanted to start this thread. I want to learn and to be able to offer help, from the help and ideas of others so that together we can support each other.

    You are so very lucky to have the support of your partner who knows you so very very well to be able to call on hand the tools she needs to help you, I wish everyone had someone so wonderful in their lives.

    Hugs

    Sarah xx

  30. Aaronsis
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    3 April 2020

    Hey everyone

    I just wanted to jump on this thread as I have learnt something over the past few days.....so thought it could help here and even prove to be something people could update their BeyondNow apps with or keep in your bag of tricks for when times are so very dark.

    See my daughter spends her life it seems on this app called Tik Tok, and while I never understood and I saw no sense in it....COVID-19 had introduced me to new ways to entertain myself...so I got the app.

    I am sure you are familiar with it but if not....I can hand on heart say I am addicted. I noticed while I was scrolling through people dancing and people doing lip syncs and people making their pets do funny things, that I had no concept of time, I was totally consumed and there was NOTHING else taking up my thoughts....I thought that this could be a wonderful distraction for people in their time of need and when they are feeling so very bad.

    Interestingly enough I also came across some people posting their anxiety attacks while trying to dance through it, while crying or shaking and sharing this very personal time. Not only did I think of them as so very courageous to be sharing such a personal and painful time, but the fact that it did help and also mostly....I could see it in real life. I am learning what anxiety can actually look like, so the way these people are actually helping me, to help others and give some tangible and useful advice is actually priceless...so thank you to those Tik Toker's....

    Hug hugs all and stay well and mostly stay safe...

    Love to hear if you have any new ideas for your safety though this time.

    Sarah xxxx

    1 person found this helpful

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