A Safe Place for Cutters Blog


Managing Urges Part 6: Spirituality
June 30, 2009, 22:10
Filed under: Uncategorized

SpiritualityHaving a belief in a higher power helps us to transcend ourselves by pulling us upward in ways we could never have managed to do on our own.

My dissertation, Anton Boisen, Pioneer on the Study of Mental Disorder and Religious Experience: A Critical Review of the Literature, highlighted the research Boisen did with schizophrenics on mental disorder and religious experience in the 1930s. He found that schizophrenics who believed in God statistically had a more successful outcome in that they were able to leave the state hospital and live on their own in the community. Those who did not believe in God were more likely to deteriorate in their illness and become chronically mentally ill and unable to return to live independently on the outside.

This leads us to spirituality as another tool that Paige S. * suggests for managing urges. She says,

“Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry
Method: A Little Faith
Description: Whether you’re religious or spiritual person, many of you out there have some sort of belief. Turn to it. Whether it’s through prayer or contemplation, take comfort in your faith.”

Next: Face the Problem

To A Life Worth Living,
Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,”  please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!



Managing Urges Part 5 Change the Moment
June 26, 2009, 07:00
Filed under: Coping Skills, self-harm, Tools | Tags: , ,

Change the MomentAnother way to manage urges to self-injure as suggested by group* member Paige S. is to change the moment. This is akin to channelling emotion only the difference is that you are not creating an outlet that you can develop such as writing music or poetry but rather doing something different in the moment that can impact your mood in a positive way

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Time Out
Description: Before you react to a situation, take a few minutes to calm down. Go to a quiet room or spot and sit down. Deep breaths, clear your mind, and think about the problem.

Feeling: Upset, Depressed, Frustrated
Method: Steam
Description: Feel like a bath or shower? Then hope into the tub and turn the hot water on. No, not enough to scald your skin, but just enough to be relaxing. Focus on the water and let everything else go.

Feeling: Angry, Frustrated, Upset, Aggressive
Method: Sweat it out!
Description: Let’s exercise! Turn up your music and work it out. Have a punching bag? Treadmill? Other exercise equipment? Then use it! If not, then head outside and jog, walk or run. Push-ups, Sit-ups, weight lifting–anything to work up a sweat.

Feeling: Upset, Depressed, Angry, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Harder than you Think
Description: This method is similar to the Body Art method. Only this time, write out something significant. Try putting your friend’s and family member’s names across your arms. In order to cut, you’ll have to cut through their name. It’s a lot harder than you think. Or write the number of days you’ve been SI-free. Remind yourself just what you’ll be losing if you slip.

Feeling: Upset, Angry, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Hair Tie
Description: Keep a hair tie wrapped around your wrist. Whenever you feel the need to self-injure or do something destructive, give it a tug and let it go. Remember, this is supposed to be used sparingly. Flipping yourself too hard or too often can cause bruising and excess pain. Use it with caution.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Creative
Method: Make Me Up
Description: Let’s get pretty! Pour out all your make-up and experiment. Do the funky colors or crazy blush you’ve never used before. Then take some pictures! Keep them on your computer so you’ll have something to giggle at the next time you feel the urge to do something negative.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Angry, Creative
Method: Goodie Box
Description: This is a way to combine a lot of the methods into one. Put everything you need to feel better into one box. Coloring books, construction paper, glitter, some candy and chocolate, CD’s, DVD’s, pictures of your friends, notes, etc… Then when you feel an urge or you’re feeling low, pull it out. Go through everything in there until you’re feeling better!

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry
Method: Man’s Best Friend
Description: I have three dogs at home and I love them dearly. And I have to admit that I often vent to Infiny. She always listens and has a kiss for me in the end. So if you have pets, spend some time with them. Play fetch or tug or just snuggle up on the couch together.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Rewards
Description: You’ve been working hard. You reached one month SI-free, made an A on that term paper, resisted the urge to smack your sister up side the head… You deserve a treat. So reward yourself! Whether it be a night of ice cream and cheesy movies or splurging on your next trip to the mall. You have to take care of yourself, too.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Pampering
Description: You’ve been working hard and you deserve a little me-time. So take a hot bubble bath and turn your music up. Eat that bowl of rocky road and watch a cheesy movie. Paint your nails, do your hair, enjoy yourself.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry
Method: Teddy-Darling
Description: So we’ve beaten up and abused the poor teddy, let’s do something a little different this time. We all have something from our childhood that means a lot to us. A pillow, blanket or stuffed animal. Pull yours out of it’s hiding place and curl up in bed with it. Try to remember what it meant to you as a child, and take comfort in having it there with you now.

Next: Spirituality

To A Life Worth Living,
Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “The Safe Place for Cutters,”  please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!



Managing Urges Part 4 Channeling Emotion
June 24, 2009, 07:00
Filed under: Coping Skills, self-harm, Tools | Tags: , ,

Channelling Emotion

Today’s methods for curbing urges to self-injure by group* member Paige S. have to do with taking your potentially destructive emotions and channeling them into positive endeavors:

Feeling: Depressed, Upset, Lonely, Creative
Method: Expression
Description: Are you an artist, writer or musician? Then use your talents to your advantage! Create something and allow it to be the channel for your emotions.

Feeling: Lonely, Depressed, Upset
Method: Friends
Description: We all know how important friendship can be, so call up your best friend and vent to them for a while.

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Vent
Description: We have a vent thread* right here! Use it whenever you need to and as many times as you need to!

Feeling: Sad, Lonely, Upset, Depressed
Method: Scrap booking
Description: Need something to do with that box of pictures you have lying around? Then it’s time to use them! Whip them out and start making a scrapbook! You don’t have to have a formal kit to do this. Just a few supplies, a little glitter and some creativity will work! Take the time to remember what was happening in those pictures.

Feeling: Upset, Depressed, Angry, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Body Art
Description: Another great way to avoid self-harm. Get out your pens and markers and draw… on yourself! Anything you want, just be creative!

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Creative
Method: Web Design
Description: Have some HTML or CSS skills? Then show them off! Redo your facebook or Myspace profile! It can be a great stress reliever as well!

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry, Aggressive
Method: Belt it Out
Description: Let’s work those vocal chords! Put on some music that gets you hyped and sing along!

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry, Creative
Method: Spoken Word
Description: Free verse or spoken word poetry can be a lot of fun. And no, you don’t need to be a poet or a writer to do this. Anyone can! Just go to a quiet place, like your room, and relax. Sit down for a minute and concentrate on how you’re feeling. Now, talk about it. Work on finding a rhythm and cadence to your words. If you have a tape recorder, record your sessions to look back on later when you need some inspiration.

Next: Changing the Moment

To A Life Worth Living,
Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “A Safe Place for Cutters” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!



Managing Urges Part 3 Releasing Anger
June 21, 2009, 21:31
Filed under: self-harm, Tools | Tags: , ,

AngerContinuing with my series on methods for overcoming urges to self-harm here are some ways for releasing anger by Paige S.: 

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Pillow Punching
Description: Grab a pillow and lay down the law. 

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Scream!
Description: Have a quiet place? Perhaps somewhere outside? Or just your room when you’re home alone? Then scream! At the top of your lungs, ’til the next door neighbors can hear you, heh. 

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Shred It!
Description: Take some old newspapers and rip them so you have 2 parts. And then, take the parts and rip them by half too. And then again. And again. And again. More newspapers. And again.. etc. After a while when you concentrate on the ripping, you’ll get calm.

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: Car
Description: This is a bit of a combination of the pillow and scream method. Have a car of your own? Or your parents? Then sit down, buckle up, and shut that door. Scream, pound the steering wheel (don’t break your hand), say whatever you need to. Your own little private chamber. 

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive, Depressed
Method: Stage Blood
Description: This method works especially well for urges to self-harm. Have some red food coloring or a red marker? Use it to make the illusion of blood. If you feel like you need to cut, do this instead. Make “slashes” across your arms with the marker and pour the food coloring on there, too. It might trick your mind into having the same effect that SI does.

Feeling: Sad, Upset, Angry, Depressed
Method: Cry It Out
Description: Everyone needs a good cry once and a wile, and sometimes its the only way to get it all out. So go ahead, grab a pillow or stuffy to huggle and cry it out. 

Feeling:Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Angry, Creative
Method: Dolly Dearest
Description: Buy a doll from Wal-Mart (or any other store) or make your own out of cloth–just something simple. Now, whenever you feel like self-harm or some other negative behavior, take out the doll. Cut it. Tear the poor things arm off if you have to. Now, here’s the important part. Sew it back up. Focus on the stitches, on making sure that Dolly will hold together. Keep doing this until the urge passes.

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive
Method: One Dead Bear
Description: Have an old teddy bear laying around that needs a little tough love? Then grab him/her and throw them in the floor. Punch them around. Throw a book, a pencil, a family member (haha) at them until you feel better. Then maybe give the poor guy a little kiss.

Next: Channelling Emotion

 To A Life Worth Living, 

 

Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D. 

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “A Safe Place for Cutters” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. facebook.com/foresteen.forbes



Managing Urges Part 2 Distraction
June 10, 2009, 22:18
Filed under: Coping Skills, Tools | Tags: , ,

Distraction Continuing with P. S.’s  List of Methods Used to Overcome an Urge to Self Injure today’s theme will be  the use of Distraction. Distraction is any method that you can use to take your mind off of cutting. The following are some examples.

Feeling: Angry, Depressed, Upset, Frustrated
Method: Nature
Description: If you live in an area that has parks, mountains, or hiking trails–use them! Grab a buddy or just go by yourself (if it’s safe) and spend a little time outdoors.

Feeling: Angry, Upset, Frustrated, Aggressive, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Music
Description: Head to your room or car, put in your favorite CD and close your eyes. Focus on the lyrics, the music, and sing at the top of your lungs.

Feeling: Upset, Angry, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Nervous
Method: The Poster Project
Description: A lot of us have band posters painting the walls of our room. Or some old posters that we haven’t quite gotten around to putting up yet. There’s no time like the present! So put them up! Focus on how they will look on your wall, how you can arrange them, etc… If you don’t have new ones, talk the old ones down and rearrange them. You don’t want them getting bored on the wall.

Feeling: Upset, Angry, Frustrated, Aggressive, Depressed
Method: Wash It Off
Description: Take a cold shower! Feel the water against your skin–let the cold serve as a distraction. Spend a couple minutes there and then warm up.

Feeling: Upset, Depressed, Lonely, Creative
Method: Culinary Genius
Description: Have a cookbook lying around gathering dust? Then whip it out and start turning those pages! Find a recipe you can’t resist and start working. No cookbook? Then let Betty Crocker do most of the work for you! Get some cake, cookie, cupcake or other mix and get started! And remember to lick the bowl :]

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Giggles
Description: Sometimes you have to laugh or cry. So why not cheer yourself up? Pull out your favorite funny movie and watch it! Read some comics or old MSN conversations between you and your friends. Go on, laugh a little!

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Game On
Description: Any gamers out there? Then prove it! Play your favorite video game! Online games count, too! Or, if you’re like me, break out the Super Nintendo and do it old school.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Picture Perfect
Description: I have to admit it, I love to take pictures. Not just of myself, but of the things around me. So grab your camera and find something beautiful! Strike a pose or go outside. Even take some abstract pictures of everyday objects.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry, Aggressive
Method: Bitter Sweet
Description: If you’re trying to cope with an urge and you like spicy or tangy foods, go to your kitchen and find something. A lemon wedge, barbeque sauce. Something to really clench your jaws. Take a bite. That’s right. This works especially well if you like the physical pain or jolt that SI gives.

Feeling: Bored, Angry, Embarassed
Method: The Panty Dance
Description: Strip off those tight pants, put on some Hardcore(Or whatever makes you happy) music, turn it up, and dance. You can do anything from the twist, to moshing with your sofa; Get creative! And don’t forget to take some time, and feel the breeze ;D

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Another World
Description: Like to read? Then pull out your favorite book or one you couldn’t find the time to begin. Start reading! I know it’s one of my favorite hobbies. And there’s nothing like escaping to another world to make your own seem a little sweeter.
Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Crossword
Description: I am not ashamed to admit that I love Crossword puzzles. And you can buy one of those super books of them for really cheap at Wal-Mart of Family Dollar. So buy one and keep it in your room. The next time you get an urge, whip it out and begin the frenzy!

Next: Releasing Anger

To A Life Worth Living,
Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “A Safe Place for Cutters” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!



Managing Urges Part I Helping Others
June 1, 2009, 23:23
Filed under: Coping Skills, self-harm | Tags: , ,

Helping OthersUrges to hurt yourself generally come from feelings of  being upset, frustrated, depressed, lonely or angry.

A young woman P. S. in my *Facebook group , “A Safe Place for Cutters” came up with a number of excellant ideas for managing those difficult times when emotions seem out of control and the urge to hurt oneself is overwhelming.  I have divided her suggestions into the following categories:  Helping Others, Distraction, Releasing Anger, Channelling Emotions, Change the Moment, Spiritual, and Face the Problem.

Today I will focus Helping others or just being with people.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry
Method: Cult Time!
Description: Why not come here? Helping people always makes me feel better, so let that work for you. Respond to some threads or look at the contest entries. Play the games and even message/comment someone who is online.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Myspace
Description: For those Myspacers out there, sign on! Visit your friend’s pages and look at their pictures. Leave them snazzy comments, too.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Awareness
Description: This is like the Cult Time! method because it involves helping people. But this time, work on raising awareness. Whether it’s for depression, SI, rape, or another issue that you’re interested in, get the word out! Myspace Bulletins, journal entries, blogs, whatever. Talk about what you love. People are drawn to passion–show them what you’re passionate about.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Hurt
Method: Chit Chat
Description: Sign online and get on your favorite messenger. MSN, Yahoo, AIM, whatever. Strike up a conversation. Remember, distraction is key.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry
Method: Watching You
Description: The next time you feel like doing something negative, take a picture of your friends or someone you care a lot about (for me, it would be a picture of my Papaw). Someone that you want to make proud. Now, put it in front of you. Can you still do it with that person watching you? Can you still cut or sneak out or get drunk? It’s harder than you may think.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely
Method: Balloons
Description: I went to Bible School every year as a child. It was one week of wholesome fun. And toward the end, we would write down a little “God Bless You” note in a balloon and set them free. So this is a modified version of that. Write a little note, something you think another person could use hearing. Something positive or happy. Or you can just draw a silly picture on the balloon with a black marker. It’s up to you. Afterwards, set it free.

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry, Creative
Method: Create-a-Card
Description: Want to do something sweet for a friend? Then make them a card! When I was in highschool, a friend of mine was going through a break-up. So my friends and I made a “Ten Things We Love About Kyle” card. Nine of those reasons were silly or downright perverted (hey, we were young!) and the last one was serious. So make a card of your own for a friend, a sibling or a parent. It always feels nice to do something for someone you care about, right?

Feeling: Upset, Frustrated, Depressed, Lonely, Angry, Aggressive
Method: First to Last
Description: This is a method similar to writing your friend’s names on your arms. This time, take out some paper and write their names there. One name per sheet of paper (or one on the front and back if you want to conserve). Now decorate them. Alright, the next time you get an urge, you have to rip up those sheets of paper into a hundred shreds before you can act. Go ahead. Start tearing . . . if you can.
To A Life Worth Living,
Foresteen Forbes, Psy. D.

*If you would like to be a member of my Facebook group “A Safe Place for Cutters” please find me on Facebook and invite me to be your friend. Click here!