Mental Health Support

Panicking; Self Harm

Sorry to take up so much space on this group, I feel like I post here way too often, but I'm not having a great night.

Usually I'd self harm, but the knife I use to cut has gone missing. I don't know whether my housemates have hidden it (I don't know how they'd know what knife to hide though), whether its just missing and I can't see it or whether whoevers watching me has taken it, but I can't find it anywhere.

Not self harming isn't an option for me tonight, I need to do it. None of our other knives are sharp enough to work properly.

I don't know what to do, I'm feeling really uncomfortable about this.

45 Replies

I have never had this problem so don't really know how to help.

I would suggest taking very deep breaths if you are able and switch your thoughts. Maybe the TV or book or music.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Julie xx


Firstly, there are no rules about how often you can or can't post! It's always lovely to hear from you. I wonder if there's another way you could find relief without self harming tonight? What about some exercise, or a bath? X

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check out this link, dozens of alternatives to selfharm, esp the second section that lists using ice or leg wax etc as an alternative.

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Hi how are you. Sorry your feeling like this. Lily if you keep this way of behaving up

Your housemates might tell you to leave. I am sympathetic and I will share

This little thing with you. I had problems with obsessive thoughts and my Psychiatrist wrote this on a Post It For me. Three words. STOP. NO. DISTRACT .

You say Stop to yourself and then you do something and Say No and then Distract

( which you have done by coming online). Distract for me could be taking a

Shower, phoning someone. Going online. Painting if I can. Drawing or brushing my

Cat. The distract Lily helps you to stop that loop of thoughts.

I do try and do this and it does help me a bit. That switch takes me from that dangerous

Place. Lily this might be useless for you but maybe do a post it for yourself.

I agree with Gambit about accepting you feel bad or you feel paranoid or you

Feel like self harming. Accept this and move on as it were.

Love and hugs

Hannah xx


Oh god, they can't ask me to leave because of our housing contract. I'm so so so worried about what they think of me as it is. They probably think I'm crazy, or worry about me too much, I'm a burden to them now, no fun, someone to be avoided, careful around, I'm not their friend anymore am I, just an awkward thing they have to deal with.

I'm not behaving up, I keep wondering sometimes whether this is all my fault and I'm making it all up, if I am I'm pretty twisted, just completely wrong. I'm not acting up am I? I wish I could not do these things, I honestly do. Little kids act up, if you think I'm acting up then I must be so immature, or mentally retarded, I just don't know Oh god. If this is just acting up, then why can't I cope with it? I must be so so weak. Why can't I deal with life like everyone else? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

I'm trying to distract. I'm trying to do other things. Nothing comes close to calming me down, or making me feel atisfied than cutting. Its so immature. I'm overreacting. Why can't I act normal, or function normally? Maybe I can, and I'm just stopping myself, in that case, WHY?



Lilly, it's not immature at all. It's a perfectly understandable way of dealing with how you feel; the problem is that it's not doing you long term, it's a way of dealing with the immediate feelings. It's not your fault, and all those things that you're thinking are just that: thoughts. I know how real they feel. But that doesn't make them right. You're not stopping yourself, you genuinely can't function normally, this is what depression does, and it does it very well. You're not weak, you have an illness, and a very common one at that!

You are not an awkward thing that anyone has to deal with. Look at this site. Nobody makes us come on here and reply. We could choose not to if we wanted. But we do reply, because we care about you, and we don't think you're crazy. Think about, that is the only possible reason for us to reply. Like I say nobody can make us if we didn't want to. So the only reason we can possibly be replying to you is because we want to talk to you. Just on the basis of you being you, and nothing else.

What is about the cutting that helps? Try and work that out. Anything that works is fulfilling a need that you have in some way. From what you've posted I would guess that you feel like you deserve to be in pain? And it temporarily sates that feeling?


I actually feel like I'm going crazy. I'm second guessing everything I do, doubting my doubts, just everything. I'm not sure about the fabric of my being even, if that makes sense. The only consistent and dominant thought I have is that I am wrong.

I appreciate everyone replying so much, and I'm grateful for the support I get on here, I really am. But I do feel like I've ruined my friendships with my housemates at Uni now. They most probably think I'm weak, awkward to be around, miserable and just generally a problem.

I'm not too sure what about it helps. It helps doing damage to myself I think. It feels right, in my head. And it brings me back to earth, as in, it makes me feel something real. I guess it physicalizes the pain I feel in my mind.

The only bad thing I guess is that I'm worried about scarring. I can't go near boys at the moment, mainly due to self confidence issues (I'm just not a naturally attractive person, both looks wise and personality wise), but I now know that any boy who see's these scars will run a mile because of the issues I've had. Its just ugly.


I get you completely - been there, done that, had the therapy sessions ;)

You're not wrong. You feel like you are. Different thing. It's a long, long road to change ways that you feel which are so ingrained they are like instinct or second nature, but it can be done, believe me - I used to have similar patterns of thought to you and they are slowly getting better.

Aw, I really hope you didn't think I was suggesting you weren't being grateful! I was just meaning to point out that here is evidence that people do want to talk to you, that they don't find you annoying, or weak, or crazy :) It's a CBT technique.

As it happens I was at a CBT session today and something we talked about struck me reading your reply - fact vs opinion. How many times did you use words like feel, thought, probably, or try to second guess people? They're all opinions, they're not facts. There's no reason to assume they're true. We do assume they're true, because we have depression which creates such an intensity of emotional feeling that we think all these things must be true, except they aren't.

Have you ever had CBT? It sounds like it would help you from what you're saying. As would counselling I think, from what you've said in your other posts. Can you go to your doctor and get yourself referred for them?

Long term you need to break that feeling that you need to be damaged, or that it's right for you to be hurt. And you might not believe it now, but I'm going to say it anyway - the one and only thing you deserve is to be valued and loved for exactly who you are. I know that, and there will be one day in the future when you know that.

Short term - I guess you need to find a way of dealing with those feelings other than self-harming - find a healthier expression for them. Can't really say what, that's something only you can work out.

As for any boy running a mile at the sight of scars and depression - I can categorically say that isn't true, because I wouldn't ;)


You made it! Brilliant! I can think of someone who'll be so pleased! ;)


I've heard of CBT, yes. I don't think the treatment team want me to do any type of therapy at the moment in case it triggers/makes things worse for me, which I don't really agree with because I feel a bit stuck, and would prefer to have CBT and try and move things forwards. I think their logic is that I need to wait for my medication to work before we do anything else.

You say "the one and only thing you deserve is to be valued and loved for exactly who you are"; but who I am isn't a good person, so that doesn't really apply to me :l

"Short term - I guess you need to find a way of dealing with those feelings other than self-harming - find a healthier expression for them. Can't really say what, that's something only you can work out. " I'm working on that. I haven't found anything so far.

"As for any boy running a mile at the sight of scars and depression - I can categorically say that isn't true"; how? how can you know that? If I was a guy, I'd run a mile. I just think everything's taken on aesthetics nowadays, and as soon as someone see's my scars then I wouldn't stand a chance.


Hmmm, I can kind of see their reasoning - talking therapy can sometimes initially make you feel worse after the session because you've talking through painful feelings and memories. But I know when I was hanging around waiting for the meds to work I felt exactly the same as you, stuck. Therapy does feel like you're addressing the problems.

I have some resources from my session yesterday to use for practicing some of the CBT things we went through which I'm going to scan in at work tomorrow for myself to use - I can send them over to you and explain how they work if you'd like? One of them in particular is about challenging negative thought cycles, that might be helpful.

It does apply to you - though I do understand how certain that feeling that you're inherently a bad person is. Does the "logical" part of you know that it doesn't make sense to write yourself off as an awful person? Even if it's being shouted down at the moment.

Easy. I know that because I'm a guy, I'm 26, and I wouldn't run a mile. My best friend is married to a lady who has depression and used to self-harm a lot. I can see why you think that about aesthetics - that big nebulous entity we call "society" certainly seems to make a big thing of appearance. But have a bit of faith in the Y-chromosome massive, there are those of us around that don't think that way.


I don't really know. I suppose I don't really think logic applies to it. Its like a fact. I am a girl. You don't really need to apply logic to work that out, I just am. I am wrong. Again, logic doesn't come into it, because its just a fundamental part of me. I think that's why I'm suicidal, or part of it. I feel like I'd be doing everyone a favour by dying.

Well, I respect you for not running a mile. In my case though, these issues are just part of a whole lot of unattractiveness, so I'm a no hoper :')

Even those who don't make a big thing of appearance, its still the first thing that someone notices.

I'm also concerned that if I ever had kids, how would I explain the cuts to them? I hate it.


Aw Lilly. I really wish I could stop you feeling like that about yourself! All I can really do is tell you you're not fundamentally bad, and the world would be much worse off without you. I know you might not be in a frame of mind to believe that, but it is true.

What do you think would help? Obviously you want to feel differently to how you do now, but if you could wake up tomorrow and change anything, what specifically would you change?


Hello BOB here

Why must you do this ???

Do your friends not worry what you may do??

In the past I knew someone who did this, it is Generally a young person. She had blood poison, it took an age to be put right ??.

Why are you doing this are you after attention?? So sorry how you feel.



Attention? Are you kidding me? I cut the tops of my thighs. I wear jeans. No one can see the cuts at all. The only people who know about them are the home treatment team/psychotherapist who saw me at the hospital, and now my housemates know because of times when I've ran out of space on my legs and cut the tops of my arms which I can easily cover with cap sleeve tops or jumpers, and they saw me going from the bathroom to my bedroom in a towel. If I wanted attention I'm sure there are much better ways of going about it.

I don't know 'why I must do this'. If I did, I'd try to stop it. I feel immature and stupid doing it, trust me. I can't work it out. I'm usually a logical person, so this stupidity is really painful.


if you feel you can't overcome the need for pain, try holding ice cubes, they can help.

have you contacted any helplines? they might be able to talk to you and help you settle your thoughts.




Lilly I know exactly how you feel. My thighs are cut like ribbons and I run about in jeans. I just can't seem to stop myself from reaching out to that razor. Wish I knew why I do this as I'm starting to think I'm crazy!!! :(


Hi Bev,

I've actually been in contact with my GP already for a while now. I started Sertraline or whatever just over a week ago. I've had two suicide attempts in the past month which ended up in hospitalisation, so I'm known to the medical services basically. I just feel a bit stuck. If they know about my issues and the issues still aren't getting better, I don'tsee much of a way I can improve in the future...


Hi there. I don't want to question wwhy u do this. I can read ur pain and how much u are struggling tonight. The only thing that I can add is that sometimes elastic bands pinged against ur skin can be an alternative method to get that quick relief. Ice cubes too. But elastic u can ping at different tensions. Take care. Stay safe. Love k. Xx


I did try snapping a hairband against my wrist while I was in hospital as I didn't have any other means of self harm. It just gave me a bad bruise on my wrist! Thanks for your thoughts x


Self harming, cutting tops of legs or arms is far from attention seeking. It is ironically a method of stress relief . While our physical body is dealing with the cuts the hurt in our heads subsides. It is an extreme form of anxiety and topples the misery we are feeling inside. I suspect you are under a lot of pressure at the moment, too many to cope with. I don't always feel doctors always truly understand this behaviour but you need some sort of stress release. Talking about your fears and some sort of mild medication will help I have first hand experience on this awful spiral that you're in.


That's exactly how I feel, thanks for your thoughts


You're welcome, my daughter did exactly the same and only by hours of talking and talking did she realise she was exchanging physical pain for her deep rooted mental anxieties , she still has her panics and stresses but can talk about it now and has become emotionally a lot stronger - she is now aged 22 but channels her stress into talking and exercise - she is a wise young owl but has been there and I understand now why it happened xxx Glenne


Hi Lilly,

Please don't feel you're taking up everyone's time. We want to help and support you through this crisis, that is what we're here for and who knows at some point you could be supporting any one of us. It's the nature of the issues we deal with unfortunately. I for one am just really pleased to see you posting :)

As for the knife ... I'm a cutter too and I'd be frantic if I couldn't find my blade. The urge to cut coupled with the panic at not being able to must be awful for you.

I'm glad you came on here to post. Hopefully it's distracting you a little. The urges do come in waves so it will ease off again. I understand completely that the SI is all that's holding you together at the momentand truthfully I've never found an effective alternative. However enough of the little distractions strung together will get you through the night.

It's not ideal Lilly, it's just living moment to moment but sometimes that's the best we can hope for.

Be safe.



I still can't find it. I really hope I just didn't look right, and I'll find it in the morning. I really hope the housemates haven't hidden it. That would be stressful both because I need the knife, and because they're hiding things from me and talking about me behind my back. I know it would mean they're just concerned, but it really puts me on edge. I just need some space with this I think.

I can always buy a similar blade tomorrow I guess, if I can't find it. But at the moment, replies on this forum are distracting me a little.

Thanks for your thoughts,



While I can understand why they might hide the knife it seems a silly thing to do as it will only increase yr level of distress and agitation. However please remember they are scared for you and maybe doing the only thing they can think of to keep you safe.

If you do decide to buy a new blade please be careful with it. Remember it is likely to be much sharper than the one you've been using. In the meantime please explore as many distraction techniques as you can find. Maybe one of them will stick. I know it's not easy - I fight with the urges every day but it is possible to gain ground. You will get through this.xx


I found the knife. It wasn't hidden, so tonight should be a lot easier. Thanks for your thoughts (:


Lilly I am really glad some other people have joined this discussion who have had experience of cutting and understand cutting. I have never done that myself but I completely understand that it is not an attention seeking or an immature thing and that is a means of trying to alleviate the desperate stress you are experiencing. I think the really good thing about this forum is that there are people who have been through the same thing and they can relate to you and you to them. I really hope that all these people can carry on supporting you.

I'm sure you already know this but when I was really desperate recently I e-mailed the Samaritans every day. You do not have to be suicidal to do it you can just want to express in confidence all the thoughts you are having. They will reply within 12 hours and they always did with me.

E-mail is Telephone number for Samaritans is 08457 90 90 90.

Lilly I know how desperate all of this is for you. You said you think that therapy may help you. You haven't mentioned having a psychiatrist, but I do know that it is possible to get therapy in Birmingham for this kind of thing. There are groups that work with severely distressed individuals. First you will have to get a referral from a pychiatrist. I know there is a group based at Callum Lodge so maybe you could ask about that but cannot guarantee of course that you would get a referral to that particular group. Ask about dialectical behaviour therapy or DBT rather than cbt as I think this could help you more. It is possible to get quick referrals to these groups but I think you probably need to get to the stage where you are a little more stable first and you have reduced your cutting. Now is the time to be asking home treatment if they can refer to a psychiatrist. You have pinpointed one thing that can help you so that is the way to go.

Also don't know if you know this but you could admit yourself voluntarily to a pychiatric hospital if you think you are still at risk. They will not section you if you go voluntarily and you do not have to get in any worse a state to go in; infact it will help if you are as lucid possible and a bit better than you are currently, as you can ask while you are there to get referred to group therapy and people are usually referred quite quickly. Maybe discuss this with home treatment.

I am out for the day. Hope I haven't broken any community guidelines by printing the name of somewhere. I hope not. I'm sure if I have you will inform me and the post will be deleted (or could you just miss out the name of the place rather than me having to write it all over again.)

Gemmalouise xx


I have actually been referred to a psychiatrist, but they won't see me until I'm released from home treatment. I really REALLY don't want to go to a psych hospital. I saw my mum in one when I was very young, and associate really bad memories with it, and just think it would make me more panicky.

What is dialectical behaviour therapy or DBT?


Hi Lilly I never did self harming myself and I know

You are doing it for release from pain. I have a friend from

Paris. And when i got to known her, she showed me all

The terrible scars on her arms. I know y,ou are not doing

It for attention

My French friend rarely does it now but wished the scars were

Gone. She is an artist and is much happier now.

Keep posting on here Lilly and I wish I could help you moe.

Hannah. Xxxx


Hi Lilly.

Hope that you have managed to calm down a little without having to resort to self-harm. I know that it does give you a release and is obviously one of your coping strategies but it's quite obvious that the coping strategies you have learnt to date aren't doing the job you need them to do. Learning new ones is going to be really hard but you sound like an intelligent and determined person and you will get through this.

I think Glennebright and Faded Lizard are spot on with the self-harming - it gives you a short term release - though I think there are also some other chemical reactions going on as the body produces chemicals when it is harmed to allow us to have the energy to get through and away from a dangerous situation which actually mean that we don't necessarily feel any of the pain at the time and I think there is probably a bit of that going on. However, I'm not a self harmer and do find it difficult to understand. I'd really love for you not to be doing it but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up on you or think you are a bad person because you do it - just someone that needs a lot of help and support right now.

We all have an inner child - we all need an inner child - that's where our playfulness comes from and our joy and without that child we are lost. I think that your life has been really difficult though and, unfortunately that inner child has had to behave like an adult for so long that it is totally lost. That isn't saying that you are emotionally immature because you obviously aren't - just that you need a lot help and support whilst you find some more healthy coping strategies - and that inner child really needs some time to heal and rediscover it's playfulness and joy.

There were over 100 responses in your post on hospitalisation - I've been on this site for a few months now and I don't remember anything like that - people do care - people don't think you are wasting their time - no matter how much the voices in your head are telling you that you are. Please hold on to that fact and start pushing back against the negativity - use it like a torch.

One thing that really makes me feel calm - though it isn't actually something I do in moments of stress though may be I should - is massaging some foot-cream into my feet - it's one of those really beautiful peaceful moments I get each morning after getting out of the shower and putting on my shoes - hope you can find a moment like that.


Hi, I didn't self harm last night because I couldn't find the blade in the end, but it meant that I barely slept. I think I got about an hour- 2 hours sleep last night. It was a rough night.

I hope I can find something else, I really do; but at the moment self harm is the only thing that comes close to releasing my anxiety/making me feel better and less suicidal.


Hi Lilly thank goodness you got through last night. I am not

Feeling great myself as I have a bad cold. I am not sure what

To say. W e care about you a lot and you look like a very pretty young girl. I know beauty is only skin deep but you are a beautiful

Person too. So hold on to that thought today. Llillyjones is

A beautiful person.

What will you do today?

Talk to you later



I am probably the least beautiful person possible, inside and out. But I'm at least glad there are people here who have been through similar experiences and seem to want to help.

Today I managed to go into the city, but didn't last very long. It was very claustrophobic and busy, and made me feel really sick.

Thanks for your thoughts (:


hi lilly congratulations for getting out into town in spite of feeling anxious while you were out. Count each small step forwards.

I can understand that the team are cautious about starting therapy, I know for myself that when i am feeling rubbish trying to work on understanding difficult emotions just sends me in to a tailspin.

I guess right now any self help you can do aimed at getting down the anxiety /panic will help though. Check through 'you tube' for easy to grasp techniques. I'm sure people on this site have their favourite techniques.

Don't worry too much about whether you cut or not next week. As you said yourself it is the main semi-safe way you have right now of dealing with your feelings.

Try and approach it in the same way as someone using nicotine gum to come off smoking. Sure get the main hit of a cut, then instead of topping up the relief of cutting with more cuttings, have a go at using some of the alternatives to physical self harm .

Like weaning yourself off any kind of habit it is going to take time, and going cold turkey is not easy. But the first step always begins with a decision to change, one step at a time, like today you have gone into town, and spent time in the communal area, next week you will continue to make more small steps, so long as you decide to do so.

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I know that you are probably still feeling really anxious and tired and suicidal but I'm still glad that you didn't manage to self-harm and you did get through the night.

I know short term it's a real difficulty and you have a few difficult weeks ahead waiting for meds to kick in but your thoughts really are all over the place at the moment and you probably do need them to get you to a place where your thoughts are less all over the place ... and unfortunately you may go through a phase when the meds actually make you feel worse. Please make sure you are honest with the medics and tell them what is going on. Talking to your housemates is probably going to be too much but is there some way that you could at least spend a bit of time with them - may be watching some telly - rather than being alone with your thoughts. Even ringing the Samaritans - talk about anything - talk about nothing in particular - just try to avoid being on your own with your thoughts.

I find puzzles - crossword and sudoku etc can help me when I'm feeling really distressed - take me to a place in my brain that's logic rather than emotion.


I did get through the night, I had about 2 hours sleep and lots of panic episodes, but I'm still here. I found the blade, so tonight should be significantly easier at least. I spent the whole day thinking about it, and trying to find it. A pretty stressful day.

I am being honest with the medics; I've been in hospital twice now from overdose, and it doesn't get much worse than that, so what do I have to hide?

I'm trying to spend as much time as possible in the communal room at the moment, around my housemates. At least then I feel watched, ad less likely to harm myself.

I can't really concentrate on puzzles or work at the moment, even making a cup of tea is so much effort. But I'm just waiting for it all to pass...


Hope that you can manage to get through the night without actually needing to use the knife.

Really glad that you are spending time with the housemates.

Know concentration is going to be difficult and it really depends on what sort of a person you are - I just find logic is a comfortable place to escape to - but that is part of my coping strategy and will be different for everyone.

Have you told the people who are visiting you at home about the self-harm - or at least the desire to self-harm as a way of getting release from the anxiety?


Hi Gambit I am glad you got to see Boyfriend this weekend.. How is he

Progressing? Are your cats in good form ? Luna my furry monster is great.

I think rubbing cream in feet is lovely too and very soothing. I have

A cold myself but am over the worst.

I started reading a big fat book by Donna Tartt. The Goldfinch and it's

Great to get stuck in and enjoy the read.

Hannah xx


Hello BOB here

So pleased you managed to get through the night, many people here are showing concern regarding your problem.

There is little we can do when people are going to hurt themselves.

In the past I have only known one person with your complaint and they had a great deal of support from a Day Centre that comforted and supported people who had depression. It was a completely different environment that we find ourselves in here

All the very best



Hi Lilly, below a couple of links about dialectical behaviour therapy. If the links don't work just try typing it into a Google search and these sites will comes up as options. :

Briefly it is like a series of group workshops (stretching over several months, 2 and a half hours a week ) to teach you how to control or reduce the very intense negative feelings you have and to teach as well about emotions, as sometimes you need to relearn about things in a more healthy way from the way you were brought up. Other groups available in your area may run on slightly different lines (they could be based on something called psychodynamic therapy ) but they can all be useful ;so if DBT is not available to you do not despair as sometimes other things can work just as well. They will vary in their timing. Some for a couple of hours, some more intensive from 1 to 3 days a week.

I can understand you not wanting to go into psychiatric hospital.

When you do see the psychiatrist bear in mind psychiatrists are experts in providing drugs but have only limited knowledge regarding psychology. You will very probably have to ask to be referred to psychology; it will not happen automatically and you may have to be persistent about asking for this.

If it is possible try not to show the psychiatrist your distress but talk about when you are distressed. This may sound strange but my experience of over 40 years has taught me that things go better with them when I am calm and rational and not actually exhibiting any of the symptoms I am telling them about at the time. So my advice would be don't go in distressed if you can help it. Try and control it and just have your goal in mind. Do of course defer to the psychiatrist over drugs. The hallucinations you mention are common when very distressed; do mention them and the psychiatrist will probably prescribe a low dose of a drug called olanzapine which I have heard does control this quite well.

Hope my advice is not too complicated or overwhelming for you. The last thing I want to happen to you is for you feel further misunderstood. Sometimes other people create that situation unwittingly through their own fear of our distress and so it is up to us to adapt and present ourselves in a way that they understand so we can get the help we need. Hope this makes sense??

Gemmalouise x


By the way I meant to add that the technique of squeezing the ice cubes to try and control the cutting is an idea that came out of dialectical behaviour therapy.

I know you're in a bad state at the moment but just to say you can get books on DBT from Amazon to start you off or if you're not able to get into a group. It isn't quite the same as being in a group but gives you some ideas.

You are certainly not alone in having the experiences you are having are they are very real and very frightening, so well done for coping as well as you are.

Gemmalouise x



I'm quite new to this site. I know what it's like to self-harm, the overwhelming pain you have deep inside of you that turns into anger on yourself, and the only way to release it is to just cut away at it. I know it is far from an ideal situation but if self-harming prevents you from doing anything worse (i.e. serious overdosing in my case) then please take care. I use a clean razor blade each time and make sure that I clean and cover the cuts afterwards. I'm sorry I can't be more help but, I do understand what its like, I've been there myself.


you can also hold the ice cubes on recent scars, I had a friend who used this as an alternative to cutting.

hope it helps to know she n longer cuts, met the most lovely man and is a loving mum of two - she is nothing like her drunken abusive parent and never was.

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I do not cut or self harm but I do understand why people do it. Just looked up the link gardengnome put on earlier. As this is quite a long thread and may have been missed by some here is the link again as I think it is excellent in giving ideas of how to use alternatives and just managing the extreme feelings you are having.


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