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Suzanne
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
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I am in a day treatment program and am not supposed to cut.

Customer Question

I am in a day treatment program and am not supposed to cut. I had made it almost a year without cutting and I started again this past week and I am terrified to stop. I went back to cutting because I had started touching myself as a way to hurt myself and that was much much worse. It was like I couldn't make myself stop and creeps me out a lot. Cutting, on the other hand, is at least more socially acceptable. I told someone (about the cutting) and now they want to take the knife away from me but I really really really really don't want to go back to raping myself. I am too scared to tell why I won't give up the knife, so now the therapists in day treatment just think I am attached to it because I used to sleep with it under my pillow when I lived at home. I don't want to lose control again when I give up the cutting but I really don't want people to think I am not trying to get better and get kicked out of the program. I do want to get better and I am trying: I am choosing the lesser of the two evils. I am still scared though. What should I do?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find an Expert to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

No one has answered me yet.

Expert:  Camille-Mod replied 5 years ago.

Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly:-)

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for bringing your question to JustAnswer.

Can you explain why you consider touching yourself to be worse than cutting?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Because I am intentionally hurting myself while touching myself. Its basically me repetatively re-sexually abusing myself. That means that then I am dissociated and terrified for at least the next 24 hours. Cutting does not have that effect.

Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for the clarification. Are you receiving treatment specifically for your history of being abused? If the day treatment is not addressing this topic, it would be good to see someone who specializes in treatment of survivors of abuse. Abuse changes the way we feel about ourselves in a way that virtually nothing else does, and addressing that specific part of your history is a good way to work toward learning to feel good about yourself again. I'm not suggesting stopping day treatment--I'm suggesting adding treatment for the sexual trauma.

There is also an excellent workbook for people who cut and act out against themselves:

http://www.amazon.com/Out---Control-Cognitive-Behavioral-drug-bipolar-borderline/dp/0615392768/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1329402403&sr=1-6

And this one specifically addresses dissociation: http://www.amazon.com/Coping-Trauma-Related-Dissociation-Training-Therapists/dp/039370646X/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8&coliid=I2KARKDWPH6WW2&colid=36JBEFEIXY7I2

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The day treatment group I am in is for depression/anxiety. In order to be in it I am required to have an individual therapist though. I am just trying to figure out how to solve this without having to tell anyone because I feel like an absolute pervert.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.
There isn't some easy formula to 'solve' this. But this is something I would bring to your individual therapist rather than deal with in group. Not talking about it at all will just push it "underground", not fix it. This isn't a perversion...it is, as you said, a re-enactment of earlier abuse. If you don't feel comfortable enough with your individual therapist to discuss this, it may be time to think about finding someone you're at ease with. Any skilled therapist will see this as another form of self-harm, not a perversion.
Suzanne, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience: LCSW, RN. Mental Health, Relationship & Parenting issues.EMDR, Hypnosis.
Suzanne and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok. Thanks.
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.
I hope the resources are helpful. No need to reply to this email...I'm just trying to clear it off the list since it's completed.