RN's and self-mutilation - page 3

by seewhiterabbit

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    Back when we had a psych unit at our hospital I often took care of a young man who had been terribly abused as a child. He had terrible memories overtake him and cause him great distress and panic, one of his dx was post traumatic stress disorder along with borderline personality disorder. We had to suture him up on many occassions. I asked why he kept doing this and his explanation was this. He had "forgotten how to cry" and he had all of these emotions that needed to come out, so he would cut himself to let them come out. He said you just couldnt imagine how much better he felt after cutting himself. He drifted off into a sea of dilaudid and alcohol addiction and finally did himself in. Sometimes I thinksome people are just too damaged to live anymore, that it just hurts too much. This guy was about 33 when he died and I had taken care of him off and on for 10-12 years. He was sexually abused by his own father, his mother did nothing to help because she lived in fear of the father who beat her almost every day. He was taken from his parents and placed in foster care, ended up living with relatives for awhile and finally went to his grandparents to live. He had a very sad life. I always felt so bad for him and didn't know how to help. All I could do was listen when I could get him to talk, which wasn't very often. He is one of the patients that will stick with me forever.
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    Originally posted by LilgirlRN
    Back when we had a psych unit at our hospital I often took care of a young man who had been terribly abused as a child. He had terrible memories overtake him and cause him great distress and panic, one of his dx was post traumatic stress disorder along with borderline personality disorder. We had to suture him up on many occassions. I asked why he kept doing this and his explanation was this. He had "forgotten how to cry" and he had all of these emotions that needed to come out, so he would cut himself to let them come out. He said you just couldnt imagine how much better he felt after cutting himself. He drifted off into a sea of dilaudid and alcohol addiction and finally did himself in. Sometimes I thinksome people are just too damaged to live anymore, that it just hurts too much. This guy was about 33 when he died and I had taken care of him off and on for 10-12 years. He was sexually abused by his own father, his mother did nothing to help because she lived in fear of the father who beat her almost every day. He was taken from his parents and placed in foster care, ended up living with relatives for awhile and finally went to his grandparents to live. He had a very sad life. I always felt so bad for him and didn't know how to help. All I could do was listen when I could get him to talk, which wasn't very often. He is one of the patients that will stick with me forever.
    That is such a sad sad story. Our children who are hurt is one of my worst heartaches in this field of work. I'm glad you were there for him and I understand the wish to have been more help.

    I cared for several abused children early in my career and I still think of them. One of the reasons I cannot do peds is I am too tenderhearted with the kids. But...like you, I occasionally take care of an adult who was severely abused as a child, so we really never get away from it do we? We see the results....

    :stone
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    it's a terrible cycle, hurt people hurt people. a hard cycle to break. even when the cycle is broken the damage is already done. sadly, this occurs all too often. it's a bad time of year.
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    You are right - it seems like an endless cycle particulary when you live it.

    Sphinx - I hadn't come back to this post to see your reply! It's interesting what you say about children. I just found out my daughter [15 yrs] had inquired of her father and my mom [her dad and I have not been married for some time now] about self mutilization/cutting because of her friends and wanted to know about me. Well, christmas eve we sat down and talked about how she could help her two friends and about me. Then to my fear she said that she had done it once. I was so alarmed knowing that she might be following in my footsteps and that she too may possibly be bi-polar just watching her moods even from a distance. It is very scarey for a parent!

    I have a friend who 90% of his family [his children, and his grandchildren] are bipolar. It appears to run on his dad's side who was to the farthest limits.... and when you add the self mutilization to this it gets more and more scary.
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    Originally posted by TigRN
    Y I was so alarmed knowing that she might be following in my footsteps and that she too may possibly be bi-polar just watching her moods even from a distance. It is very scarey for a parent!

    We believe my son is likely also bipolar too...or at least depressed, but bipolar seems more likely (and also likely that he was misdiagnosed with ADD-twice-when it's really bipolar dx). Several years ago he was coping by biting his arms. I was very freaked out by this! When he was in 5th grade was when it was bad...before that he may have done it, maybe once, I'm not sure (could have been another kid bit him, he never said for sure). He saw a therapist for quite some time then. He's seeing a therapist again now.......not self harming that I am aware of, but definitely self destructive in many ways. Very sad to see this, frustrating as all get out too. I really do get very afraid sometimes, knowing the statistics for teen suicide. His therapist thinks he should go on an antidepressant, at least for now (or a mood stabalizer, would be my choice, if there's a possibility he's bipolar, but who am I?!)....but he flat out refuses. He's 15 in a week, I can't shove a pill in his mouth. *sigh*
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    a good friend of mine is a guidance counsellor in a highschool...she tells me that it is a massive problem with teenage girls..huge, huge issue. her belief is that self mutilation is a focus on physical pain, a diversion from the emotional pain being felt...best of luck....it is possible to stop, just take it one day at a time..
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    ......
    Last edit by seewhiterabbit on Dec 2, '07
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    Boy can I relate with the child. My ex and I are thinking about putting my daughter into therapy as well. She unfortunately is just like her mom in many things [the bad ones ] It's hard - I was listening to a show where they were saying that children and antidepressants is basically running wild and that it is so very common..... I often wonder what is going on.. I would rather see a child in counseling as having pills stuffed down their throught unless there was a real need like in mine and Sphynix' situations
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    Have just found out that 13 year old family member has been DX as depressed, with suicidial tendency, ie, self mutilation. Am scared to death that she will not receive the help she needs and the support from family. Zoloft has been started and counseling. Hope this is a good start. Thanks for this interesting posting.
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    BFL -
    Hopefully she has a "good" Psych doctor..... I bounced around for more years than I want to admit and lost a large part of my teen years and adulthood because they thought I was just "depressed". They knew about my suicidal ideations and my self mutilization -- I always got some "new" antidepressant out there that worked for a time and then I felt I didn't need it anymore. I finally asked one if I could be Bipolar - and could I try Lithium. I think to apease me he prescribed it but didn't take it very seriously so never got me to a therapuetic dose. That was 10 years ago Now I have a fabulous doctor who has me diagnosed, explained why and how and for the most part have felt the best I ever have.

    I wish and your family the best of luck -- prayers and blessings


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