Self-injury update….

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. i wrote in a few days ago about cutting myself too deeply. i appreciate your advice and your response to my letter. thank you. i did go into an urgent care that night. the physician refused to stitch the wound, saying i need eval. at a hospital. i refused to go to the hospital until my husband found the wound that night on my arm. i then was forced by him to go to the e.r. i drove myself. at the e.r. the nurse practitioner refused to stitch it up as well, saying it had been too long (less than 8 hours, and being a nurse, i know you can stitch a laceration up 12 hours after the occurence). she was annoyed with me, which i completely understand. so, they butterflied it and and a psych. assessment. they let me go home!!!!!! and i was able to start my new job. This job feels like a great fit and believe it will help keep me busy much of the time, helping me keep from cutting. so, that’s that. i really scared myself, i can’t believe i cut as deep as i did. and, even though i scared myself, i still want to cut more…why do i constantly have to fight those thoughts? i don’t know, it feels hopeless. happy memories are so far gone. you think it can get better? how do you know? i’ve thought about this, probably too much, but – if we truly believe mental illness is an illness, can’t some of it be terminal? like cancer is…and can’t it be okay to say, i am quitting the fight – and let yourself die, like people say no to chemo? just a thought. i hope i haven’t taken too much of your time. i do really appreciate your response and what you do makes a difference in lives. thank you.

A. What you need to realize is that you can achieve happiness and contentment. You need to recognize the truth that you can find great joy in just “waking up in the morning.” I have worked with many depressed people and they have grown weary of the fight. They give up the belief that they can reach the “promised land.” Eventually they come to believe that there is no promised land for them. Nothing could be further from the truth. Suicide is the ultimate act of ego. Is your ego that big? Are you sure that you understand why you are here, how you came to be here and what life is about? Are you really sure? Most of the great minds of humanity have struggled to gain insight into these areas. If you are sure that you have found the answers that have eluded the great minds of the past then you are a greater intellect than were those minds. Are you sure you are brighter than Einstein and Plato, Descartes and Jung? If not, if there is any doubt at all in your mind then you must accept a more humble position, a position that you may not understand the nature or meaning of life and thus have no authority to end the life whose very existence is becomes the basis of the deepest mystery.

Please find a good therapist. If they don’t help you, find another. Hang in there. You will find happiness; you simply need to commit to the search.

Don’t quit. Find your road. With love, Kristina.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Apr 2006

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2006). Self-injury update….. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2006/04/14/self-injury-update/