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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5820
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Just thought I'd let you know that the new meds helped

Resolved Question:

Hey Kate. Just thought I'd let you know that the new meds helped and I slept much better last night. I didn't even have any nightmares, which was pretty cool. I am feeling better about the whole situation, really. I still feel super-emotional, but I believe you, my therapist and my psychologist when you say this needs to happen. So I can deal with it, if I know it is temporary, normal, and will result in something better.
Before that conversation with the psychologist a few weeks ago, I had felt like I was about to burst anyway. I was so angry at myself I felt like I was going to explode. I told my therapist that for some reason, I had a strong feeling that if I just sliced or stabbed myself a little, it would give me some relief. I have never done that before, and frankly, did not understand people that did that at all (I think I assumed that it was an attention-seekng thing, which was unfair of me), and didn't know why I was all of the sudden getting that compulsion, like I KNEW it would give me a release. She said that this is why people cut - for relief/release. I asked her later if it works, and she said it gives a second of relief, but then makes it worse, and creates a mess. I also read online that it is really addictive - like if you do it once, you won't be able to stop. Is that true? I mean, I won't do it. But why this compulsion? It is weird. It feels like just a little hole would release all this pent-up pressure and emotion. But I am guessing this is not true?
Also - yesterday, when my therapst was telling me what her director and colleagues thought, it upset me that they commented on how "brutal" or "traumatic" the incident was. That makes me feel like it was not an ordinary kind of thing, and maybe I won't get better. My therapist acts like this was like the worst thing. And the comments about getting through that and living were upsetting. I am not satisfied with that. I want more. I want to be completely normal. On the other hand, my psychiatrist and my minister/friend both told me that I would be shocked about some of the things that happen to people and that people tell them. My psychiatrist even shared some of the things. That upsets me, too. I feel like what happened was not as big of a deal as I am currently making it out in my head to be, and I have no right to have the issues I'm having. Do you know what I mean?
I think I may have raised this issue before, but yesterday when we were on the phone with my psychiatrist, my therapist was telling her that I still had major issues with guilt over the choices I made. My psychiatrist said "As I told S, I don't think she had a choice. We all like to think we have choices, but the fact is she didn't. The only other choice was to die." So -- I have been thinking before and more now. If I have no choice in some things, then it is scary how random the world is. That means something like this could happen again. What would I do if it did?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.


I am glad the meds worked and you are feeling better! A good night's rest can make a big difference in your emotional well being.

Cutting is something people do when they feel so emotionally overwhelmed they do not know how to cope. It does have some self hatred/ self blame components along with it so when you feel like you are angry at yourself, it may seem appealing to hurt yourself. But if your feeling is fleeting, then there is nothing to be concerned about. It's good you brought it up with your therapist so she knows about it. And what she told you is exactly right. It would relieve your pain for a minute then it would be right back, along with the regret that you cut yourself.

Cutting isn't necessarily addictive as much as it becomes a go to option for people who are in pain emotionally. They feel they have no other means to help themselves and relieve the pain so they choose cutting as their first option. The appeal of the immediate temporary pain relief may make it the best option they can choose at the moment.

It sounds like you have conflicting feelings about how to view what happened to you. On one hand, you feel it may not be an ordinary kind of incident and you will not get better because of that. On the other hand, you feel that you have no right to be upset because you are not out of the ordinary with what happened to you. It sounds like you are trying to figure out what are appropriate feelings in response to what you went through. It's very normal to feel that way. Trauma is not usually an every day occurrence. And not everyone reacts the same way to it. It very much depends on your background, your personality and the supports you have in place in your life. There is no appropriate response to something like this. It is all about how you feel. What the others have to say about it is just opinion and some experience speaking. But they have never gone through what you did nor do they know anyone who has had the same experience you did. This is your trauma and your life. As long as you are having some reaction to it and are not burying it, you are doing just fine.

If this ever did happen again, which is so unlikely it can almost be considered impossible, you would handle it. For one, you are older now which means you are experienced with people and circumstances. You learned from what you went through which makes you aware and more alert than you were then. The chances that you would react the same way are not possible either. Your eyes have been opened to what could happen.


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