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Thread: Self Inflicted Pain

  1. #1
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    Due to a technical glitch, the original postings by the authors who initiated this most interesting discussion was inadvertently deleted. Fortunately the text of their postings was retrieved and the discussion is re created.

    Aoplogies for the inconveneince.

    Feel free to post your reply to any of the authors.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Adam wrote:

    Ok, so since I was the big supporter for this thread, I will set the first thread.

    Ok, I was watching TV a couple of days ago and saw a thing on tv about TS. (tourettes syndrome: unscensored, on discoveryhealth). Anyways, one of the guys on the program was talking about how he has contimplated during real serious harm to himself almost for the experience of what it would feel like. He mentioned how he sometimes felt like breaking a glass in his hand while doing dishes so he could see what the pain would be like. He said he has never gone through with this feeling but it does subconciously come up.

    I too have had this light urge. I have gotten maybe while driving and wondered what a head on crash into alight pole would be like. I was once cutting some food in my kitchen and was again think about what it would be like to cut off a finger or so. Every time I get this thought, I can tell myself thats its crazy and I never have even started to physically gone through with it but it is thought about in my head.

    I know this may seem like a touchy issue but I am gonna come out and say it. Has anyone had subconcious thought of doing yourself serious harm for the reason of wondering what it would feel like? It has been said this is a semi common mental tic or thought process in TS but I wanna see what you guys say.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Uschi wrote:

    Adam, I've never told anybody about this before, because I'm afraid that people think I am crazy. But yes, I get that quite frequently. While I'm driving and a big truck comes the other way, I might get the urge to drive into it, to know what it would be like (I'd likely be dead, of course). Sometimes, when my husband is lecturing me in the car, I feel like opening the car door while going down the highway fast, and throwing myself out of the car.

    I've felt the urge to plunge a knife into my husband, when he'd lecture me on not 'being normal', and trying harder. I know I'd never, ever do it, but sometimes I get that mental image of wanting to do it

    Many times when in a high spot (like a balcony in a highrise building), I'd feel like throwing myself down. The ground down below would attract me like a magnet. For that reason I stay away from balconies.

    The urges for harming myself are much stronger when I am depressed. And sometimes, when I am really upset and feel completely worthless, I give in to them. Like last year when I hit the corner of a wall with such force with my forarm that I cracked the bone (meaning to break it, and almost succeeding). It's like punishing myself for being unacceptable to my husband. I've never harmed anybody else, but have had terrible bruises from punching the wall or corners of tables. And once I put a big hole into the wall with my elbow, and had to fix it, right before my son's wedding a year ago (a friend helped me with that, my husband wouldn't).

    I had always wondered what it feels like to break a leg, until three years ago I broke my right ankle, while stepping onto the edge of a driveway and going over with my foot (not on purpose, of course). I almost felt satisfaction over finally knowing what it's like (not nice, a lot of pain, and my ankle will never function 100% again).
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Adam wrote:

    Uschi,

    When I was typing this post, I must admitt I was sorta nervous on the reaction I might get from some people or if anybody even knew what I was talking about. Its not an urge to hurt other people or an urge just to do bad things. Its more a curiosity of what certain pains feel like although some times it seems more complex than that. I too have never done any of the internal urges or even came close to doing them. I always seem to have a "reasonable" part of me that controls my body function sbut I have had that subconcious urge or even just a thought of the horrible act.

    This is mainly why I wanted this "mental tic" thread. To me it deals with more sensitive issues that are not seen by anyone but have just as much if not more of an impact on the persons life.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Admin1 (Cathy) wrote:

    The feelings of hurting oneself or hurting others is called intrusive thoughts and it is part of OCD. What is posted here is very valid and very real. People should be aware that this a personal and individual thing. It does not happen to everyone with OCD or TS and OCD. It can occur up to 15% of people with TS and OCD at some point in their life. It is very rare in people with TS only.

    It is imperative that anyone with intrusive thoughts either about hurting themselves or hurting others talk to their doctor or get support by talking to other adults who have dealt with this. When circumstances align, there are people who have followed through on their intrusive thoughts. As an organisation, the TSFC is aware of some individuals who have followed through on intrusive thoughts and either committed suicide or hurt others.

    Uschi and Adam -- I really urge you to talk to your doctor about your intrusive thoughts. If you are attending the TSFC conference in October you may wish to attend the Adult Issues sections and talk to other adults with TS and TS+ about this issue. If you attend a support group in your area with other adults, you may also wish to seek support there.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Adam wrote:

    am scheduled to see my nuerologist in a few weeks, I will bring it up to her. I actually havent really told anyone of this "tic" but I always thought I should.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Janet wrote:

    It's good to vocalize your thoughts to achkowledge them. Once the thoughts are out, you can work through them and create a coping mechanism for when they appear.

    Thanks for being so vulnerable and sharing this with the members here.
    _________________

  2. #2
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    I'd like to explore this subject from another perspective.

    Probably everyone on this Earth has fantasies. A popular subject for fantasies is often sexual, but people fantasize about being wealthy, being thin, being fat, being the boss and perhaps even fantasize about harmful subjects.

    Let's face it, we are inundated with sounds and images in the news, in movies, music videos and video games about horrific scenes.

    Video games depict murder, rape and mayhem!

    How much do these influences affect the fantasies one might experience?

    On the other hand, could these thoughts actually be "mental versions of inappropriate vocal tics"?

    Vocal Tics are often grossly inappropriate utterances like "you son-of-a- bitch" when speaking to someone whom the person with Tourette would never think of insulting.

    Could the same dynamic be at work when a person with Tourette fantasizes performing a dreadful act?

    There is no intention to perform the act, but might be a form of mental tic expressing inappropriate behaviour.

  3. #3

    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    Here is the reply to your last post.

    Steve,

    I dont know if tis the same. Let me explain. I have fantasized about most of what you said and yes, even maybe not so good things but even when fantsizing about those and even the harmful fantasies, those seem more about really fantasizing about your perseption or how your are percieved to everyone else. Many times its not the details of the "dream" but the reaction. I mean, has anyone ever fantsized about being very rich but having no friends or being alone, no. People want to dream about being rich and then think about what other people will think or who they will meet and so on. Even the harmful fantasies, I never go in depth on what the bad thing is, I more am dreaming of a reaction a person or group. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to be feared.

    But this is different. Now, Im not fantasizing about another persons reaction or even the deatils of the harmful act. Im more curious with the idea of an experience I no nothing about. When Im driving and I think about a head on crash, its not about the car or what I hit or hurting other people or the media surronding it. Other people almost dont exist for that moment, its more of a, "I wonder what it would be like if I......." meaning, what would I feel internally and will it quench this urge. And I dont like calling it a fantasy either because its not a long thought out "plan" of some sort. Its a quick subconcious thought and actually I spend more time thinking, "why did I just think that" than thinking about the harmful act itself.

    As far as it being a mental release for a innapropraite vocal tic, that I dont know but sounds intresting to go in depth more. I have never experienced coprolilia but I have had the urge to yell innopropriate things at certain times but I always have had control over it and this tic is very similar in feeling or thought to the one about self harm.

    Now, do video games and movie violence affect peoples thoughts, well yes. Now, Im young and an avid video gamer and many of those games are of adult rating but its a fine line with this topic. I personally feel that these games and movies CANT make people do horrible things. I dont believe in claming insanity when on trial for murder, if you killed someone to me you are somewhat mentally not right, and if someone who is already there plays a game or movie, they probably were going to do a bad thing, its just the movie or game gave them an idea. ut games and movies do make it harder for people to feal pain on a larger scale. But movies and games shouldnt even really be singled out. If you watch the news they talk about bad things all the time and even there the news shouldnt besingled out. I say this because if take away movies and games and the news and all other forms of what some people say is contributing to violence, people will still do bad things to other people. Them stem of the problems lies in that there are 6 billion (and counting) people on earht. That means there are 6 billion opinion and 6 billion ideas and 6 billion perceptions and 6 billion different lives lived and 6 billion different views on every topic ever thought. True peace can never be accomplished due to the fact, as long as there is more than one person or one idea one opinion or one veiw on every topic, there will always be a disagreement to be held and even the little ones add up and can escalate.

    Ok, I just did two different topics, sorry for getting off track though.
    The other day at a local grocery store, I saw a rack with books on it and one of them said, "pregancy for dummies"............

  4. #4

    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    I agree with Adam that it is very similar to coprolalia. I frequently get the urge to say something nasty, or even racist. I don't have any clue where the racist thoughts come from, because I respect all people, no matter their skin colour. Sometimes I feel like swearing at people, too. But I can always stop myself from saying those things.

    Now, those mental flashes of images are no different, in my opinion. It's not really a thought at all. It's a flash of hitting the truck, or flinging myself over a railing, and then wondering where that came from. That doesn't mean you'd ever give in to those things any more than giving in to saying those nasty things. People who say them are in the minority, but I bet a lot of people with TS get the urge to say them, but manage to stop themselves. They just don't talk about it.

    You wouldn't claim that only people with TS + OCD have coprolalia. Why then do you say that about this issue?
    German citizen, married to a Canadian for 28 years, four daughters, one son, eight grandchildren (and one on the way).

  5. #5
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    Interesting twist...

    My son has been very racial and abusive verbally. He does have TS and five major components for the disorder. The CPS was thinking environment that caused it. I thought some of this came from his father.

    He also hurts himself like to punish himself after a melt down or verbal sparing match with an adult.

    I realize that sensory is obviously touchy for those with TS, like light, sounds etc., even touch like his clothes, but could some other sensory be dull that would want him to experience the bizar like jumping off something to hurt himself without realizing the pain it could inflict?

    Or is it just a thought process that can be controled with help?
    Complicated subject...

    He has been diagnosed with ODD, ADHD, TS, Anxiety disorder, stress disorder from abuse. There is no repetative practices like OCD in his behavior.
    PJK

  6. #6
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    There is no repetative practices like OCD in his behavior.
    The symptoms of ODC when presented in a TS diagnosis does not present the same as someone who just has OCD. You may not see the ritualistic behaviors, sometimes you'll find that people with Tourette will experience the obsessive behaviors ie getting stuck on and idea or thought and it continues to Loop and can't move past it... and several people will describe things like having to do things in multiples of two, etc.

    Does your son have any behaviors that seem to be obsessive?

    My son will get obsessed with cards. First yugio, then digimon, etc. having to collect the entire set... when he played with transformers, the show would change the leader named Optimous and then he was obsessed with collecting all the different versions of optimous... 3 of my boys have become obsessed with collecting rocks (just regular rock from the playground)
    Janet, mom of 4

    TSFC Homepage


    "Intelligence is always increasing; accommodation allows your intelligence to do what it has always done." Cassie Green, Washington College

  7. #7

    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    oh my,i have had these thoughts too but i never even realised until recently,i was writing down all the tics i have and all the "irrational " behaviours as i am due to see a movement specialist this month and wanted him to know everything about me and what i do /think/say ect,so he can get a full picture,and i suddenly realised when i was preparing dinner that i wanted to cut my finger,i was cutting carrots up and i put the knife to my finger and pressed but not hard enough to cut the skin,i really wanted to go further and i realised that i have got to stop ,i thought OMG i am so nuts,why did i just think about doing that,i also realised that i had thought about doing this many times before,usually when cutting up something long that may resemble a finger,like celery,cucumber etc,i have a real urge and it is hard to stop myself from doing it for real,i have also had urges to shave all my hair off,being female that wouldnt be a good thing to do,i just had this thing where i hated my hair,i hated it touching my face or my neck so i kept it short but it was still "there" it felt alien to me,many times i went to get the clippers and wanted to plug them in and just wizz over my head with them,i had to fight hard to stop myself because i really didnt want to live with the after effects of being bald,i knew i would regret it and that people would see me and think i had gone mad,
    i am so glad it isnt just me,i dont mean i am glad that there are others out there who have these awful thoughts of self harm, it is terrible,but knowing that i am not on my own is helpful,if you see what i mean,
    i must go and wirte that down about the hair as i have only just remembered that one,it was more than a couple of years ago now and i have actually grown my hair quite long and dont feel the urge to hack it all off anymore,i just hope by bringing this thought back up i wont feel the urge again,sometimes the power of suggestion is a dangerous thing :?
    jo

  8. #8
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    Since Tourette is considered to be a neurological breakdown of the inhibition system in our brain, then could not inappropriate destructive thoughts be part of the same process?

  9. #9
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    (I promise this does go back to the main point - bear with me.) :-)


    I was double checking to see if anyone in the forum had opened this door, and look what I found. I am glad to see that the forum is brave enough to go into the last, dark closet at the end of the Tourette's corridor. When I finally get a chance to put enough articles (from my web site) together to publish a TS+ book, I plan on breaking down the articles into sections. Since we are talking about video games, I'll give you the analogy.

    A lot of video game strategy guides break down the book by levels of 'spoilers'. This means that the first section is just suggestions, while the last one is a 'walk-through', giving away every secret. My book is going to lay out in a similar way. Section one would be (this is not set in stone) totally accessible to anyone, nothing difficult, challenging, argumentative, etc. Section 'last' would be well marked as restricted access, meaning nothing is taboo, gloves are off, and I am going to discuss the worst of the worst, not to scare or shock, but because we MUST GET THIS OUT IN THE OPEN!

    OCD (and I strongly believe that TS is a kind of OCD, not the reverse) is a horrible disorder. Period. It ain't cute, it ain't cool, and it ain't fun. Tourette's makes me feel worn out. ADHD makes me feel lost. OCD makes me feel crazy. No contest - I'll take 20 more tics and 20% more ADHD to lose the OCD. Quote me on that. I can not tell you how upset I get on the inside when someone says, "Wow. I wish I had the cleaning OCD." No. No you don't. No, no, no. How nice it must be to not understand this.

    The thing that freaks out everyone, at some point, to some level, is that tics can be ANY MUSCLE or group of muscles. So how many kinds of tics are there? I am sure it is finite, but the list is HUGE. OCD is the same way. Obsessions are unwanted images, thoughts, or feelings. And they can be simple or complex, and about ANYTHING. Period. Scary and staggering.

    Give me a topic, any idea, and I can make it into an obsession. This is like improvisational comedy. Give me a job and an actor, and I'll make a joke about it. Here, let me try: volcanoes. OCD about volcanoes. Hmmm - not too hard. I promise this was random! Any time something shakes the building, it must be a volcano, and I must flee. Volcanoes come on TV, and I have to run out of the room. I don't like red - lava is red. I can not use Lava soap. I will never never go to Washington state because of Mt. Saint Helens. Forget it. You get the idea, right?

    ===============================================
    Okay, now here comes the 'last section' part. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
    ===============================================

    OCD can include thoughts about sex, violence, death, murder, drugs, alcohol, incest, rape, emasculation, menstruation, driving off a cliff, shutting your hand in a door, drinking lighter fluid, jumping off a bridge, cutting yourself, kicking puppies, defecating and urinating, drowning chickens, having sex with strangers, walking into traffic, punching concrete, jumping off of buildings, and eating so many sno-cones your tongue freezes, and everything in between.

    I wish I could say I invented all of these. I think I made up three or four of them. Guess where the rest came from? Support group meetings. Tourette's conferences. And, yes, inside my head. I have OCD.

    Now here is the cure for the poison:

    I am embarrassed. I am ashamed. I fear every day to say aloud what my OCD is spurting out across my consciousness. I fear losing my job due to these symptoms (notice I did not say thoughts) and I fear losing my relationships with friends and partners. I fear getting arrested and sent to prison for these symptoms. I fear being on the cover of Newsweek when it gets out. And you know what: one of the hallmarks of being crazy is that you DO NOT THINK YOU ARE CRAZY. That means I am SUPPOSED to react this way to OCD. It almost proves (at least to myself) that I am NOT CRAZY. Think about it. Give it a minute to set in. Ashamed? Not crazy. Embarrassed? Not crazy. Want it to stop? Not crazy.

    OCD has NOTHING to do with personality, or wisdom, or intellect. I am not a serial killer with motivation problems. Ouch, that sounded bad. Ha ha. OCD is generated by the brain due to a chemical imbalance. Remember, your brain is constantly spitting out ideas and rejecting them. How do you think we generate creative thoughts? We get them by stork? No. Our brain puts two unlike things together and then tosses 99% of it in the bin. It takes the gems and pushes them 'up' to the conscious level, and we then can process them again, and decide what to do about them. OCD is a leak in the pipe, a lack of checking or guarding between these two disparate realms of our brains.

    Now, take the coin and flip it over. You can have OCD and you can have a personality disorder, or a thought disorder. Maybe Ted Bundy was both - he was always immaculate in his appearance, and had the highest quality of life possible for his means. He was articulate, and tidy. He also brutally murdered women. Did you notice that he only killed women who looked EXACTLY one way? Hmmm... sounds like OCD to me. Well, let's call it OCS to keep him at arms' length. How many of our prison inmates are in the both categories? They have OCD, and are visited by visions of violence. They also have no moral nothing to hold them apart from this experience. So the OCD suggests, and the psyche or soul or mind does NOT go, "No, that is sick, man. Stop that." So they do it. Rape, murder, whatever.

    It makes you think, doesn't it? I don't know about Canada, but in the US we are making our own problems. If 1-10% of our population has the GTS gene, and that percentage is growing each generation because these are dominant genes, then how many Americans have OCD? Then overlap that with our prison population percentage, and what kind of scary number do you get? Can we NOW pay our teachers more? Can we NOW provide healthcare to children, including MENTAL health care? Can we bring up our youngsters in a world where we not only screen for neurological disorders and provide early treatment, but we also prevent mental health issues that are environmental, so that even with OCD, there is a strong moral center to buffer the world against the neurology?

    As Stephen Hawking said, in a Pink Floyd song, "Let's make sure we keep talking." Thank you for indulging me. I guess I got obsessive. :-)
    Darin M. Bush, The Tourette Tiger, author of "Tiger Trails"
    http://www.facebook.com/tourettetiger

  10. #10
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    Default Self Inflicted Pain

    Darin,

    You make some interesting points! So if I understand, our thought process forms these repulsive ideas, but the morality part of our brain acts as the control center to keep us from acting them out, even though the OCD allows the thought to be "mentally viewed".

    Would you elaborate on what is the GTS gene?

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