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i have been cutting and burning reguarly for the last three years i am 25. i have been doing it since i was 14 but not to the extent i have been the last three years.

im dx bipolar 1 and boarderline personality disorder. im at the point now where i just want to cut for no reason. its not like i am really sad, i dont want to show pain, i dont want to stop feeling numb, i dont care what others thing if they see it.

im not even in an emotional state when i want to do it anymore. i dont really have any triggers and i just dont seem to care.

i just look at my body and see a part of it that i think would look much better with a cut or burn on it. actually its not even that i think it will look better, its just like i see a spot and i am not satisfied until there is some kind of mark there.

once i have a mark be it a burn or a cut i am usually content until the scab heals, then i must find a new one.

i get so excited when i find new bruises or scratches that i didnt do to myself

its crazy, seriously, i know this crazyboards so u guys and girls are used to it. im not saying i like this behaviour or this is good behaviour i just dont feel either way for it, i just want it. the same way i want food, water, sex etc etc

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Hi Iona - I found that cutting was highly addictive to me. When I was in my late teens (I was in a pretty bad place) it was part of my daily routine: get up, take shower, get dressed, cut arms, eat breakfast, go to school. Then, when I started to get better, the pain and anger and everything went away, but I still wanted to cut - like you, for no apparent reason. The only thing I could think was that I had become addicted to the behaviour itself. I can't offer any ground-breaking advice on how to deal with it: I think I just forced myself not to, reminded myself how much it upset my parents etc. and eventually the urges began to subside. I still get random urges to cut for no apparent reason now from time to time, but only very occasionally, and can generally ignore them until they subside.

I don't know if any of that is at all helpful, but I do sympathise with you.

xx

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i kept thinking about this post after i wrote it. i know the behaviour is so unacceptable and i know so many good reasons to stop, and in the past i have stopped for long periods of time.

its just like i want to though. i want to hurt myself. its almost like it has grown legs and detached itself from my illnesses and has a life of its own. i know that may sound like im trying not to take responsibility for it.

i know deep down i have to stop, but i dont want too. i almost feel like a teenager rebelling against a rule. the rule being obviously "dont cut" but the strange thing is it is only me who is making this rule. im fighting myself, im like a silly puppy chasing my tail round and round. and like the silly dog i never seeem to get it, i never catch my tail, i just keep on doing it over and over. like the dog i never realise you cant keep doing it.

oh i dont know.... i dont expect anyone out there to know

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I think that this seems to be a habit that you have lived with for a long time, and it's gradually become so insiduous that you no longer need a huge emotional trigger or thought, you are just aware of the compulsion. It did occur to me that you could carry a small notebook and write in it when you feel the urge to cut, what you were doing, and what you were thinking, to see if maybe certain things are triggering you, or certain times leave you more vulnerable to cutting. It might force you to be more mindful and give you a 'gap' between the thought 'I want to cut' and the act of doing it, because what has helped me is having that gap and being able to reason with myself in it (I don't want to cut because...) You could also set up a reward system for not cutting, every time you resist cutting you could do something nice that you enjoy. You could try to do things that are caring for your body, such as exercise, putting on body lotion, using nice shower gel, eating well (though I am not sure if you have ED issues and a bad tummy right now) things that are nurturing your body, because you seem to have this idea that damaging your body is necessary, so some work to counter that may lessen the urges. You could have a list of small tasks and jobs to do, and when the urge comes, run to the list and get stuck into tidying out a drawer or painting your nails or realphabetizing your CD collection or calling your best friend, etc etc.

One last thing that I would say, is that with recovery (especially from BPD) it is slow. You have coped the way you have for a long time, because in the short term, it works. It would be unrealistic and mad to expect you to suddenly change entirely. It's possible to acknowledge that something like cutting is unhelpful, without saying that cutting is a horrible, bad thing to do, it's forbidden, you have to stop immediately, etc etc. Do you see how much pressure you put on yourself by demanding that of yourself? I don't want to encourage or enable you to cut in any way. But I know in my recovery from self harm (and I did it daily for years) it's got to odd incidents every few months, and I haven't completely stopped yet. But that is okay, because I am doing my best. That is all I need to do. It's about progress, not perfection.

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