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Tea & Sympathy

Intrusive thought of self harm images

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Not sure if this is the right thread but it seemed the best one for this post.

For a long time I've been experiencing intrusive thoughts in the form of quite graphic images of self harm, I'm not going into more detail due to being triggering but needless to say it can get pretty upsetting.

I feel like its different from actual urges, its not a desire to do it, its literally just intrusive images. Yes sometimes they are triggered by an upsetting event but some of the time they just occur randomly.

Has anyone experienced anything like this? Where the urge to do it isn't really there but the images are?
If so, do you do anything that helps?

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I have experienced this only once or twice. Maybe. Mostly though my intrusive thoughts and images are about what I actually want to do.

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I used to get them a fair bit - sometimes really bizarre, grotesque ones.  I get bizarre intrusive images about other stuff sometimes too.

 

TBH, how I cope with it is just to let them be in my head.  "Okay, so what?"

 

They're distressing, but I see them as essentially meaningless.  The more I push them away, the more they pop back in.  So I just say "Okay, hi.  There you are again" and move on.

 

Sometimes I try really hard to think about it as hard and as vividly as I can.  Sort of reverse psychology.  Sometimes that helps.

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Thanks for replying guys.

 

Think I need to just work on ways to deal with them when the happen, doubt there's a way to prevent them really.

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For myself the most helpful thing is to not judge the thought even if they are intrusive. It means I take note of the thought and the image. I don't focus on it and give it more attention than I need. I just let it be there with no judgement and then suddenly it's gone. I have recently started numerous projects which helps with distractions. I might be experiencing these thoughts and so I pick up the paintbrush or my knitting and because that requires focus I am no longer solely focused on the intrustive image and am instead engaged elsewhere without judgement to the thoughts

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I experience similar thoughts. Sometimes they're triggering; sometimes I can distract myself long enough to get through the day and then I'm usually fine the next day. Usually my images are far more violent than any SH I've ever done, so I can definitely understand that they're upsetting. The only thing I've found that works is distraction, as mentioned above, and Ive found it has to be things that make you feel better in general; cleaning doesn't seem to be a good enough one, but my apartment does appreciate it :)

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Thank you everyone,

I need better distractions then it seems, I'm hopefully getting a dog soon which would be the perfect distraction I think as they're generally happy creatures & need a lot of focus on them :)

 

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Thank you everyone,

I need better distractions then it seems, I'm hopefully getting a dog soon which would be the perfect distraction I think as they're generally happy creatures & need a lot of focus on them :)

 

Tea, everyone who has been on my treatment team (and several other people besides) credits my being alive to my dog. 

 

...which is not to say that's everyone's experience. But. They can be good distractions and give you meaning when you feel like there isn't any.

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My OCD is what causes this for me, so my go-to way of getting rid of them is to act out a compulsion. I've been trying to not rely on compulsions, so I just distract myself any way I can. Talk, sing, rock back and forth and make a high pitched squeal. 

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Thank you everyone,

I need better distractions then it seems, I'm hopefully getting a dog soon which would be the perfect distraction I think as they're generally happy creatures & need a lot of focus on them :)

 

Tea, everyone who has been on my treatment team (and several other people besides) credits my being alive to my dog. 

 

...which is not to say that's everyone's experience. But. They can be good distractions and give you meaning when you feel like there isn't any.

 

 

I love animals anyway but I'm also really interested in the psychological benefits animals can have, my family dog use to be wonderful so I imagine having my own now would help a lot too :)

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I get these sometimes, horrible images that seem to never leave my mind. You're not alone.

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I also get something similar to that.. I will experience some unpleasant day-dream and then be unable to get rid of the memory for a while.

 

An example that occurred a few years back but that I can still remember clearly : I was crossing the street when I got hit by a car, I flew a meter or so before hitting the road. Suddenly I wasn't lying on the street anymore, I was back crossing the street. I never got hit but in the duration of a step or so, I had that vivid dream of getting hit and even as I walked away I could feel the pain in my side and scratches from the asphalt and the taste of blood in my mouth. It took a while before the thoughts left but I still remember it clearly today.

 

This wasn't self-harm images but something similar in a way.. The mind can be disturbing at times.. I just roll with the punches you know? I think a good way to deal with that kind of experience is to not focus on it, don't give it power over you by focusing on it. I think that it could be easy to obsess about something like that because of its disturbing nature and then feel strong negative emotions that may just make it worse.

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I had a lot of self-harm or SI intrusive thoughts last year when I was very depressed. Medication helped me through. Animals are a great way to help too. Hope you find something that works for you.

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