advertisement

Blogs

This article discusses splitting in borderline personality disorder (BPD). (This is also known as black-and-white thinking.) For me, splitting leads to paranoid thoughts, which are usually based on something to do with abandonment. When I become aware that I may not be seeing reality clearly, I start dissociating. Then, I get into a space where I don’t feel like I exist. That’s the bit I’d like to get into in this article: how splitting leads to dissociation and how I overcome it.
After years of coping with anxiety and trying to understand it, I've learned that one of the things that affect how I feel is how others feel. In other words, I've found myself quite empathic towards the feelings of others. For me, empathy and anxiety occur together.
Having schizophrenia can be very difficult when it comes to dealing with grief. We'll reexamine the stages of grief here, continuing from the last post with stage two.
As a victim of verbal abuse, I know how challenging it can be to maintain a continuous fight, flight, or freeze mode daily. Consequently, even after leaving an abusive situation, my brain and body remained in that familiar state. Therefore, as I moved through therapy, one of the methods presented to me was to take a break from absolutely everything. Thankfully, with intensive therapy and the support of friends and loved ones, I found that taking these periodic breaks from my daily routine was beneficial for my healing. 
Individually, hating yourself and hurting yourself are difficult things to cope with. Simultaneously, though, self-harm and self-hate create a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break—but doing so is vital for healing and growth.
My history with therapy has been, to put it mildly, spotty. I’ve seen a number of therapists since I was a child, but I haven’t had good experiences with most of them – this was due to any number of factors ranging from some being incompatible with my personality to others literally causing me to cry after the session ended. Because of that, my desire to continue with any new therapist has not been strong. But because my mental health has been so unstable for a while now, I decided I needed to make a change. As of the end of last month, I decided to restart therapy, so this post will focus on that.
I have a few tattoos that symbolize the path I walked to heal from an eating disorder (ED). Some are more recognizable than others, but all of them are meaningful to me. However, with that being said, I've recently started to think twice before I discuss these ED recovery tattoos with acquaintances—or even friends—who ask about them.
Therapy can be grueling sometimes. Anybody who tells you differently is either lying or trying to soften the blow. Regardless, they've done you a disservice, in my opinion. In order to reap the benefits of therapy, a commitment to work hard in partnership with your therapist is required. I've engaged in trauma therapy to help with my anxiety. My experience with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) trauma therapy is hard work that's paying off.
I'm a person on the Internet, which means large corporations like Google and Facebook have likely collected enough data on me to recreate me as a Metaverse AI. The benefit of this is that my social media feeds are finely tuned to align with my interests, and Instagram recommends me products that I can't afford but definitely want. That said, I sometimes worry that the algorithms know me too well, especially when TikTok started showing me video after video of people discussing their attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Before I recovered from binge eating disorder (BED), I would not have identified myself as a creative person. My identity at the time revolved around sports, athleticism, and my appearance as a student-athlete. This image I held onto kept me in an awful cycle of restricting and binge eating. I felt like I had to keep up an athletic appearance. After I graduated high school, I knew I'd outgrown my old identity, but I did not know where to begin outside of that structured model.

Follow Us

advertisement

Most Popular

Comments

Kim Berkley
Hi Lexie,

Thanks for your comment. First, I would urge your friend to consider coming out to her parents about her self-harm if that's at all possible—I know for many people, this can help alleviate an otherwise pretty heavy secret to bear. However, I do understand that in some cases, this may do more harm than good—I will have to leave that up to your friend's judgment.

If disclosure is not an option, could your friend perhaps try arm bands? I've seen some quite pretty ones made to be worn on your upper arm—looking for adjustable ones might help to ensure they fit well and don't slide down during the day. Many of the ones I've seen are plastic or metal, but elastic armbands are also possibly an option. Temporary tattoos or body art to cover the area might also work, depending on whether she can wear anything like that at all on her skin.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to leave a comment here or elsewhere on the blog. I'll be reading.


Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hello,

Thank you for your comment. Know that it's not unusual to feel this way—I've seen many comments (since I started writing here) about fading scars triggering urges to self-harm again, even long after the recovery period has begun. I'm glad that you're trying to keep from going back to self-harming—and that you decided to reach out for some support in doing so.

Before I suggest anything, a reminder: I am not a therapist or mental health professional. I would strongly urge you to connect with one if you feel able to—I think that kind of dedicated support would help you not only with your current predicament, but any other complications that might arise during the healing process.

That being said, there are two things that I personally think are worth considering:

1) Do you think covering your scars completely would help, or make the urges worse? It's possible that if your eye isn't drawn to them in the first place, they might be less triggering for you. If you're not already doing so, be sure to take good care of the skin in that area and think about whether wearing simple coverup makeup, super-lightweight tights/leggings, or even just slightly longer shorts (depending on where your scars are) might help reduce the effect your scars are having on you. If you try this, keep tabs on how you're feeling—if it makes your urges worse in any way, stop right away.

2) The other, more sustainable option (in fact, I would urge you to consider this even if you also try covering them up) is to work on managing your stress and managing your response to this trigger. Since you can't completely avoid your scars (or the fact that they've faded), the main thing is to work through your feelings about this and find ways to cope when the urges come on. I've written a few articles about this, hopefully you will find something useful in them:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/2/using-self-harm-urge-surfing-for-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/10/emotional-regulation-and-self-harm-recovery
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/5/alternatives-to-using-self-harm-to-regulate-emotions
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/self-harm-recovery-coping-skills-to-help-you-heal


I hope that helps. Feel free to reply here or comment elsewhere on the blog if you have more questions, concerns, etc. Take care.


Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Amara,

Thank you for your comment. I'm glad to hear you're getting professional support to help you through this, although I'm sorry you're still hurting. I understand about not wanting to disclose the truth about your scars, to your parents or to anyone else—although I do hope you and your doctor have discussed, and keep discussing, the topic of talking with your parents, because if you are ever able to, it might be more helpful (for you AND for them) than you think. That depends, of course, on your unique family situation, which I obviously don't know much about.

In the meantime, I'm not sure I can think of many options I haven't outlined in this post. I think makeup is still your best bet—it might take some practice, but there are lots of tutorials on YouTube and the internet that can help you get better at using it. Or temporary tattoos—I know it might sound random, but it could be a beautiful way to cover up if you think it would work in your situation. If your bracelets keep falling, maybe try arm cuffs or elastic armbands, for me those always stayed put better than regular bracelets.

I hope that helps. If you have more questions/concerns, I'm here.

Sincerely,
Kim
Kim Berkley
Hi Francesca,

Thank you for your comment. I wish I could give you a concrete answer to your question, but I am not a doctor, and everyone's body is different—I can't give you an exact timeline for when, or even if, your scars will heal and fade completely. If they are recent and shallow, it is likelier that they will heal and fade soon, possibly entirely. The longer you've had them, the lower the chance that they will completely go away on their own. The best thing you can do is to take good care of the skin in the affected area. Keep it clean, maybe use aloe gel or a lotion containing vitamin E, to encourage healing (just be sure you use a product that's safe for your skin type, and don't go overboard). Otherwise, it's somewhat up to nature whether they will fade or not.

You do have options for removing them in the future if you deem it necessary. In the meantime, if they don't fade in time, I've written a few pieces about hiding scars in the summer:

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2022/3/hiding-self-harm-scars-in-swimsuit-season
https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/speakingoutaboutselfinjury/2021/9/self-harm-scars-in-the-summer

I hope those articles help, and I hope you and your scars begin healing soon. Let me know if you have any other questions/concerns/comments/etc. Take care.

Sincerely,
Kim
Lexie
My friends got self harm scars on her upper arm and wants to hide them from her family she can't wear sleeves or use any makeup any recommendations would really help