Tim, and all:
Actually, cutting is common in many disorders, not just OCD (although, it might
be the case in this instance). Cutting is common in people with BPD,
Depression, and phobias as well, to ease anxiety.
I'm not a medical professional, but I WAS a cutter - (it is commonly called
"self harm" for those who are afflicted)- I had BPD comorbid with depression -
I ditched the cutting, but the depression still gets to me sometimes,
especially in the winter.
The first and foremost issue to resolve in a BPD patient is to stop the
cutting. This can be hard, as it's a coping mechanism - and, it has been shown
that cutting releases endorphins into the blood - "feel good" chemicals that
encourage one to cut...again, and again, and again. It might seem strange, but
it may not even be painful to her.
It is also common in BPD patients to use cutting as leverage for "guilting"
those around them into staying and giving them more attention. (I know, I was
one of them. Shameful, but true.) If she does this to you, try your best not to
encourage the behavior by giving her more attention - it only reinforces the
idea that 'self harm = more attention for me'. (Don't threaten to leave, or cut
attention off completely, though, if she's BPD - it might trigger another
self-harm episode, or even a suicide attempt)
It sounds like this woman needs to see a psychiatric professional - post haste.
(this can be a problem, too - many people who cut don't see it as a "problem",
and don't think they need psychiatric treatment. I self-harmed for 8 years
before I realized the need for medical intervention)
She'll be more likely to find treatment if you continue to explain - calmly -
that you think she needs help. Getting some information (brochures from the
hospital, maybe) and leaving it at her place, or visible at your place (if she
visits you) would be a good idea. If she senses the least bit of opposition,
it'll turn into the "you vs. me" situation. If she's been self-harming this
long, she might view it as part of her - and any attack - or perceived attack-
on her self-harming activities will be met with a negative reaction.
Have strength, hope, and patience. I've been continuously amazed at how
effective the human body - and mind - is at healing itself.
--- In Zen_Forum@yahoogroups.com, Kristy McClain <healthypl...@...> wrote:
> Greetings Tim, and all..
> I tend to agree with Vince on this, though such situations are indeed
> complex. As there are a number of licensed psychologists and medical
> professionals here, they mayÂ have opinions as well.
> My own training is in health care--wellness/ fitness/ preventativeÂ health,
> but I am not a clinical professional.
> I have a "friend"Â that I met some time ago who seemed to be devoted to
> caring for others and to social justice. Always the volunteer in crisis
> situations. Trained in counseling and fire-fighting as well as law
> enforcement, he seemed outwardly dedicated to humanity.
> Yet he is obsessed with his own body and health-- he sees a medical provider
> of one type or anothe,Â aboutÂ once or twice a dayÂ or more on average. In
> my opinion, he suffers from a psychological malady wherein he gets his
> intimacy needs met this way.Â He is quick to anger, and his whole life is
> committed to some kind of drama.Â Most recently, he is working withÂ the
> fire-station and search & rescue to find a wandering alzheimer's patient,
> searchingÂ until the wee hours, he says.Â He asked to be part of this
> search as a volunteer, though he tells me he cannot hear without a hearing
> aid, and it is being replaced by the VA--which is caught up in bureaucratic
> channels for a week, or so he says.Â He also says he Â is seeing an
> orthopedic specialist because of his knee pains--but then the next day, he is
> backÂ at the doctor's office to be treated for insect bites sustained in his
> heroicÂ search.
> He claims a childhood history of physical abuse by his mother and being raped
> by a stepfather. Claims to have anal bleeding from the scars now that act up
> every couple of months, requiring him to wear a "pad".Â Yet he hasÂ a
> close-enough bond with her Â now to play dominos with her for hours--work
> with her on insurance and legal matters. He claims he was tortured in the
> army as a POW.Â He claims that he lost his wife and child in a terrorist
> attack.Â He claims he tried to hang himself.Â He claims to be suffering
> fromÂ heart and liver diseases that will ultimatelyÂ take his life. He is
> completely self-aborbed--and focused on his daily dramas.Â He has said that
> I am the only person he is living for.Â I am a saintÂ sent by God to be
> with him.Â When heÂ saw his liver specialist two weeks ago, heÂ told me
> that he is no longer on the national transplant list because his liver has
> miraculously healed...Â
> But without me--life is not worth living..
> Okay~~ I am a tough-sell when it comes to compassion. I am a skeptic by
> nature.Â I have a family chock-full of attorneys, so needÂ I say more on
> that?Â This man actually really gotÂ to me, and I believed himÂ for a long
> time.Â I posted on him not long ago about how deeply he humbles me by his
> compassion for others despite his own personal misfortunes.Â
> I have learned in the intervening time that he is the one I need to find
> compassion for, instead of being justifiablyÂ angry at him for playing with
> my empathy andÂ wasting my time. I'm sure pieces of his storyÂ mightÂ be
> true.Â But the majority of it is just aÂ drama he has created to erect a
> persona that allows him to getÂ his needs met, (no matter how
> Back to Tim's situation..Â We all find a way to survive within ourselves.
> Yes--suicide does happen far too often. But sometimes, the drama may have
> become her habitual way of living. She may not give that up withoutÂ having
> something similar to replace it with.Â That is not likely to be "happy" ,
> "feel-good" acts or activities.Â Often,Â I recommend peopleÂ get the focus
> off themselves by getting busy working for others.Â But as you see
> above,Â my friend Â has turned service to others into his own egotistic
> reward. This is tricky.
> She may simply be addicted to the pain, and withoutÂ knowing any of the
> details, perhaps seeking out a professional trained in this kind of
> counseling or medical intervention is the only answer.Â Seek outÂ someone
> who has worked with "cutters" , for example.Â (Cutters are people who
> intentially cut and scar themselves. Its a form of OCD, I think). Continuing
> to do as you are only reinforces her behavior..Â Moreover, harsh as it
> reads, you mayÂ be caught up in doing thisÂ to makeÂ Â Â your opening
> statement true for you. So-- IÂ guess I'm saying that giving is a razor-edge
> experience. Our ego is rarelyÂ absentÂ from it, and there is a place in life
> and service for "tough love", to include ourselves.
> EnjoyÂ the weekend..
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