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is this self harm?

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is this self harm?

Postby clg » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:54 am

to make a long story short, I've had a somewhat rough few months mentally and I don't really know whether I have a mental illness or not. I'm seeing a counselor at school about it.

one of the things she asked me made me think. It's a routine question - "Do you self-harm?" and I said I didn't. but now I'm second-guessing myself because I've done some things before and I've developed a few new habits recently that may or may not count as self-harm, but I don't know if they're serious enough to be considered self-harming.

tw for possible self harm below?

I've kind of always had a habit of hitting myself when I was frustrated or angry at myself? like hitting my leg when I don't play a piece of music right, or sitting on my fists to make my fingers hurt in order to punish myself for not playing the piano right.

more recently, now whenever I have an intrusive thought, I dig my fingernails into my palms. sometimes the pain helps bring me back or at least remind myself that I don't want to do the things my intrusive thoughts are saying. I've been doing this more or less constantly throughout the day for about a month, maybe more? sometimes I pinch or hit myself for the same reason.

these behaviours of mine don't, like, break skin or leave bruises, usually only fingernail marks at most that go away pretty quickly. it's never left lasting damage which is why I've never really considered that it may be self-harm. but I don't really know anymore. I'm worried about bringing it up with the school counselor because I'm afraid she'll think I'll hurt myself and my parents will end up knowing about this whole thing, which I'd rather avoid. I feel really silly for asking this and I'm so sorry if I'm just being overdramatic about this whole thing but I'd really appreciate some advice on this. is this considered self-injury and should I bring it up with someone?
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Re: is this self harm?

Postby Snaga » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:11 am


It seems mild, it seems harmless. It seems, in the face of some of the posters here, posing, to be blunt.

I say that, because that's how I feel about my own self-harm. self-harm, it is, nevertheless. Even if I don't cut or do something spectacular.

It may not be very damaging on the surface (thought I can't see how sitting on your fists will be good for your fingers!) but it seems as if it's self harm to me, hon. It's doing something that causes pain, isn't it? To either self-punish, or deal with anxiety, no? To me that's the basic qualifications for something to be self-harm.

Does it sometimes feel as if it's not enough? That more is needed, required, of you? Again, that sounds like the essence of self-harm, to me.

It's not always about the severity. It's what you do to yourself and why.

Life is short- make of it what you can, while you can.

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Re: is this self harm?

Postby whispershadow » Sun Apr 01, 2018 10:13 am

Hitting yourself does count as self harm *hugs*

I'm not sure about the fingernails thing but what I'd say is if it feels to you like self harm then it will be.
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Re: is this self harm?

Postby Wally58 » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:22 pm

Both of my parents were music teachers and I played piano for 7 years. Toward the end, it got very frustrating and I used to weep as I was made to practice while my friends were outside playing.
You can't read music very well when your eyes are full of tears. :cry:
I gave up. My parents were disappointed, but being forced to practice destroyed any fun of playing an instrument after that.
One good thing that piano playing did for me was to build incredibly strong hands. I could twist the lids off jars that no one else could. I became an auto mechanic later and my hands were my best tools. Don't hurt your hands.
I would tell your counselor about this. I don't think that she would see this as being 'excessive' self-harm, mostly just an incredible feeling of frustration.
I think that you could also ask her to keep this information confidential (between you and her). She should respect you enough to do that for you.
Best of luck to you. :D
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Re: is this self harm?

Postby shock_the_monkey » Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:01 pm

i have a dodgy right hip. when i was young, it used to cause transmitted pain to my knee. sometimes i'd get so fed up with this that i'd hit my leg. i guess it was just frustration. i never thought of that as self-harm, though i now imagine others certainly would.
something knocked me out' the trees
now i'm on my knees
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

there is one thing you must be sure of
i can't take any more
... don't you know you're gonna shock the monkey

don't like it but i guess i'm learning

... shock the monkey to life
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