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LittleLu
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16 Jan 2017, 10:51 am

Probably been asked on here before, but I thought I'd ask for my own sake...

So hello again! I'm Lu. I joined a few months ago but dropped off here for a while to kind of find myself. Anyway, I'm back, and I'm looking for some helpful advice.

Like many others, I self-harm. Not severely, but it's pretty frequent. I hit myself in the head a lot, or I will bang it against walls when I'm very upset. It used to only happen when I was having attacks or meltdowns, but now it's starting to happen much more often, and it's extremely difficult to refrain from doing so. I'm afraid it's started to develop into a stim. If anything is even mildly hard for me to process, I will hit myself a few times in the head. My hands visibly shake if I don't, and it only stresses me more. The one time I actually did manage to substitute my head-hitting with hand flapping, I was yelled at by my spouse, which... ended up in my hiding in the bathroom and banging my head again. In her defense though, she's still very unused to autistic behavior and didn't know that I was stimming.

So my question is... are there any alternate stimming techniques that any of you use to avoid hurting yourself on impulse? I'm talking specifically about low-key ones. I flap quite excessively when excited or stressed out, but it tends to annoy the people around me, and it only ends up making the situation worse for me when they notice. I'm usually not one to give in to other people's desires, but in the heat of the moment when I'm having an attack it's hard to deal with someone shouting at me to stop the only method of coping I can manage. I'm afraid if I don't quit this habit of mine, I'm going to end up severely injuring myself one day.


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TheSilentOne
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16 Jan 2017, 10:55 am

Have you tried using a stress ball in your hand or maybe hugging a stuffed animal or a pillow? I do the same things as you a lot and I find that squeezing things helps me. I always carry a stuffed kitty with me wherever I go and I have a stress ball my mom got me that I use a lot too.


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LittleLu
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16 Jan 2017, 11:40 am

TheSilentOne wrote:
Have you tried using a stress ball in your hand or maybe hugging a stuffed animal or a pillow? I do the same things as you a lot and I find that squeezing things helps me. I always carry a stuffed kitty with me wherever I go and I have a stress ball my mom got me that I use a lot too.

I actually own a couple BJDs I use as "therapy dolls" on occasion. Problem is I can't squeeze them or they'll break. And they're about $300 a piece. :lol: But tending to them really helps soothe me. It isn't very beneficial in the heat of the moment though. Getting a stress ball or a plush to carry with me might actually be a really good idea. Then I don't have to worry about how rough I'm with it as long as I can get out that urge to do harm. Thank you very much for the suggestion. ^-^


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16 Jan 2017, 12:03 pm

The ultimate calming techniques are Mental rather than Physical. Try making use of The Star Prayer at least thrice daily in the knowledge that it is designed to help you to not cause harm to anything or anyone whether to others or your environment. This does not need to be done aloud, just with a direct mental-link/mental-connection with the Creator, perhaps as you take in deep, full breaths, like would be done during a meditation.

The Star Prayer wrote:
Creator of the Heavens - Mother of love*
I see your Star shining above
please cleanse my mind with all your love
so that I may heed your call of peace from above


Note: 'Mother of love'* - you may choose to say: 'Father of love' or 'Mother and Father of love.'


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LittleLu
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16 Jan 2017, 12:37 pm

Ban-Dodger wrote:
The ultimate calming techniques are Mental rather than Physical. Try making use of The Star Prayer at least thrice daily in the knowledge that it is designed to help you to not cause harm to anything or anyone whether to others or your environment. This does not need to be done aloud, just with a direct mental-link/mental-connection with the Creator, perhaps as you take in deep, full breaths, like would be done during a meditation.
The Star Prayer wrote:
Creator of the Heavens - Mother of love*
I see your Star shining above
please cleanse my mind with all your love
so that I may heed your call of peace from above


Note: 'Mother of love'* - you may choose to say: 'Father of love' or 'Mother and Father of love.'

This is very nice! I do try to do positive affirmations and prayers when I can. In the midst of an attack, it's difficult to think straight, but I'll definitely keep this in mind. It's a very nice prayer. Thank you. ^-^


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FandomConnection
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17 Jan 2017, 2:36 am

I think it's important that you talk to your spouse so that she understands about ASD/stimming etc. If you cannot replace your stims with other satisfying stims, it will be hard to prevent head-banging.

I think that hand-flapping would be a good stim for you to redirect to as it is quite physical and vigorous. It would be harder to transition straight from head-banging to a small stim like finger-tapping. I find that rubbing my arm firmly is also relaxing and comforting. If the pain of banging your head attracts you to the stim, you could try something gentler like pressing your fingernails to the skin of your hands (I use this stim). It is painful, but does not cause serious damage (unlike banging one's head). You could transitions this to an even gentler stim over time, also.


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LittleLu
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17 Jan 2017, 9:59 pm

FandomConnection wrote:
I think it's important that you talk to your spouse so that she understands about ASD/stimming etc. If you cannot replace your stims with other satisfying stims, it will be hard to prevent head-banging.

I think that hand-flapping would be a good stim for you to redirect to as it is quite physical and vigorous. It would be harder to transition straight from head-banging to a small stim like finger-tapping. I find that rubbing my arm firmly is also relaxing and comforting. If the pain of banging your head attracts you to the stim, you could try something gentler like pressing your fingernails to the skin of your hands (I use this stim). It is painful, but does not cause serious damage (unlike banging one's head). You could transitions this to an even gentler stim over time, also.

Thank you for your response! This is very helpful. I have communicated with her about my situation a couple of times. We've found that she usually only snaps at me about the hand flapping if she's in an agitated state herself. The motions set her off for some reason, so as long as she's not upset about something, I'm free to do it in front of her. Otherwise I have to run to a room where she isn't located. >.<

I do try to rub my arms or squeeze my hands tightly (almost to where it hurts) as a substitute when I can think about it, so I'll definitely keep this in mind. ^-^


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