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Self-Harming Black Outs

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Sometimes, especially when something traumatic has or is about to happen, I have these sort of black outs. It hurts like I am being pushed aside. I call them black outs, but I remember a small bit of what happened, how I couldn’t really control what I did. They like causing me pain, and laugh at me when I try to fight it. I don’t remember quite what happens, only how much it hurts and how funny they think it is for me to do so. The last time this happened I was texting my fiancé, and I started having an episode. When they took over, They told him that I should get a new nickname, Patches. Then continued to say that they would leave a scar to remind him. I woke back up holding the phone to my ear and my fiancé telling me to wake up. There is a small patch carved into my leg along with a few eraser burns. And all I can think about now, is the name, and how much they enjoyed the pain, and how, in a sick twisted way I do too. I have become reclusive, and I am afraid of my own shadow. The only person I can really talk to now is my fiancé. I am afraid that one day I am going to hurt someone, but I don’t want to get put away cause I am normal on the outside, suggestions?

Self-Harming Black Outs

Answered by on -

A.

It’s important that your blackouts are investigated. It is especially concerning that your self-injuring during these episodes. These are unusual occurrences.

What may be happening is that you are disassociating from what you anticipate to be an emotionally painful experience. It doesn’t seem as though this is happening consciously but you may be unconsciously influencing these episodes.

Discuss these symptoms with your primary care physician. He or she will likely conduct an evaluation. If further evaluation is necessary, you will likely be referred to a mental health professional. Hypnosis might be a useful tool in uncovering the nature of these blackouts, but you will have to discuss this and other potential options with your treating professionals.

In the meantime, you should be documenting each of these episodes. Include information such as: What happened prior to your blacking out? What were you doing? How were you feeling? What were you thinking? What were you doing when you regained consciousness? How long did it last?

You might even consider videotaping the event, if possible. Virtually every smart phone has a videotape function. Understandably, the footage may be difficult to watch but having such documentation might be invaluable in learning the cause and nature of your blackouts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Self-Harming Black Outs

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). Self-Harming Black Outs. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 19, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/08/01/self-harming-black-outs/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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