Home » Ask the Therapist » Seeing Really Painful Images

Seeing Really Painful Images

Asked by on with 1 answer:

why? and how do i make it stop? So for a really long time this has been happening but now more than ever. I keep seeing things in my head, im like imagining them. They make me flinch and it feels like its happening to me when i think about it. The things i think of the most are: that cut my wrist and then there is ductape on it and someone rips it off, and the whole face of my arm rips off.

another is that im clipping my toe nails and the clipper wont cut it and my whole nail just rips off.

one more is that im walking and my knee goes in and my bone shoots through the back. and its like i can feel these things happening, and i cant get the thoughts out of my head. They just repeat and it happens everyday.

Im not sure what other info to provide you with so ill tell you the biggest issues in my past.

I have had alot of drug and alcohol problems i dont know if this is relevant. Ive been caught many times drunk and iwas grounded for about a year. About 3 or 4 years ago i started cuttin myself and it ended in 8th grade when my mom saw it & i was too scared to ever do it again. But after that i went to a therapist, which i only went to about 5 times and no i never see her anymmore. For 8 months i was in a relationship with a guy who was bipolar, he would always cry to me and cut him self while he was on the phone. He always called me names. Really bad ones. And we were together for about 8 months, and i broke up with him about 5 months ago, because we were cheating on each other alot, but he calls me everyday and tells me hes still in love with me and he says hes going to rape me, because i wont have sex with him, bcuz im currently in a relationship right now. When i get really frustrated i hit my self in the head or the face usually, and this allways relates to him. And he allways pressures me into having phonesex which he is doing up to now. When i did have a therapist shes said i might have add also depression. but none of this covers these thoughtds.

And now since im talking about it, they are just overwhelming and im seeing it over and over right now.

Seeing Really Painful Images

Answered by on -


When you notice yourself beginning to focus on your distressing visions, try to distract yourself. Focusing on them makes the visions worse. As you said in your letter, writing them down was an overwhelming task. To the best of your ability, try to stop yourself from thinking about them. Make a conscious and directed effort to stop the thoughts when they occur.

I am concerned about your overall well-being. Not only are you experiencing distressing thoughts, you are struggling with drug and alcohol problems, cutting and a very concerning situation regarding your ex-boyfriend. If you are using drugs and alcohol, this may be contributing to your visions as well as to the self-injury. Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, one is unable to think clearly and logically. Individuals may make foolish decisions that they may not have made while sober. Drug and alcohol use can also permanently alter one’s brain chemistry. This is one of the many dangers of experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

The fact that your ex-boyfriend is threatening to rape you is very disturbing. Based on your description of him, he seems emotionally unstable. During your relationship, he was emotionally abusive to you. This may indicate that he has a tendency toward abuse. His threats should be taken seriously. You should be very careful in his presence. He may not be able to control his behavior. I would strongly advise you to limit your contact with him and to never be alone in his presence. Do not hesitate to call the police if necessary.

You were in therapy for a short time but were only able to attend five sessions. I am wondering why you stopped. I would strongly advise returning to therapy. It is imperative that you learn healthier coping skills. The coping skills you are currently utilizing, including drug and alcohol use and self-injury, are ineffective and dangerous. Your therapist suggested that you may have depression. This may be a possibility. I also suspect that you may be struggling with low self-esteem and a lack of guidance, among other issues.

Please speak to your parents about returning to therapy. It is also recommended that you be evaluated by a medical professional regarding the visions you discussed in your letter. It is important to rule out any medical problems. Click on the find help tab at the top of this page to locate a therapist in your community. I wish you well. Please take care.

Seeing Really Painful Images

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). Seeing Really Painful Images. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.