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Self injury during argument

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Hi, I'm new to this forum and I can't find an answer to my problem... For years, I noticed my father like to do self harm when ever we had an argument, particularly when he's angry, in a dead lock or is losing the argument. We would get in an argument and when we hit a dead lock or when he's losing, he starts banging his own head and/or say that life sucks and he wants to kill himself.

It is extremely frustrating coz we can never have an argument resolved properly like this... I did try to confront him about this issue but we got into an argument and the same thing happened all over again...

Any ideas what should I do?

Sorry if this is in the wrong forum but this is the closest thing I could think of...
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replied November 27th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Hi FD87 and welcome to ehealth: Sure, he will do this so that he can win...He knows that his loved ones don't want him to harm himself, so they quit...This, in his mind, makes him a winner...I guess if it was me I would just let him keep on doing what he is doing and argue...But then this is me...As far as confronting him...He knows what you want, but he likes his game better....He ends up the winner...If it was me I would ignore it...Walk out of the room and pretend that you won....That is if winning is important...He is playing his own child's game...Take care...

Caroline
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replied April 4th, 2011
No way! I do this as well but it is not to win an argument. When I get into arguments I start to feel shame and I start to claw myself until I bleed. I have also been known to break things that are dear to me. I never do it to anyone else just to my self and my belongings. My thoughts are often that I do not want to exist and I just want to fade away and if pressed too much I will say that. Not because I want attention but because I feel that way. I have a history of long running physical and mental abuse and have undergone treatment for it and I am better but it has taken a long painful time of reliving memories and realizing the lies I believed and replacing them with the truth.
I don't know how old you are but it is not your fault. Don't take the blame for it even if he tries to make it your fault which is likely to be a bad coping mechanism for him. Look closely at his past. Is there something there that could contribute to this? Ask him questions that will give him room to talk about how he is feeling. Don't just assume that you know what he is feeling. If your dad is open to it, suggest treatment. There is freedom from the panic and hopelessness he feels during those moments he feels like he no longer wants to live.
Finally, love your dad well. Realize that he is wrong in treating you the way he does in those moments. You deserve to be listened to but realize that a reaction this strong to confrontation is likely to be due to his inability to understand his own emotions. I would suggest to you to remember that he is flawed like the rest of humanity and like the rest of humanity he probably has done some good things with his life as well. Love him for the good he has done and seek to find ways to help him change the bad he has done. He may refuse all the help you offer but you will have done all you could to love him well.
Finally, take a good look at yourself. It is not uncommon for those who have parents who struggle with these types of emotions to struggle with them themselves or feel abused by them. Don't fall into the trap of believing that you have to deal with this on your own and that you have to be strong enough to handle you own problems. This is the very belief that your dad probably struggles with. The most healthy people I know are the ones who look at there problems and deal with there problems.
I hope this helps. One final word I will add is that the truth that I replaced those lies with was truth from the bible. I am not a religious person but I am a dedicated follower of Christ. I started to deal with my issues when I became a Christian and started to realize that Christ died for me so that I could have more and did not have to live under the oppression of my past. I don't know what you believe but I encourage you to go to a good church or christian councilor or christian friend to find out more. It has been the key to letting go of the past and believing good for my future.
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replied April 4th, 2011
No way! I do this as well but it is not to win an argument. When I get into arguments I start to feel shame and I start to claw myself until I bleed. I have also been known to break things that are dear to me. I never do it to anyone else just to my self and my belongings. My thoughts are often that I do not want to exist and I just want to fade away and if pressed too much I will say that. Not because I want attention but because I feel that way. I have a history of long running physical and mental abuse and have undergone treatment for it and I am better but it has taken a long painful time of reliving memories and realizing the lies I believed and replacing them with the truth.
I don't know how old you are but it is not your fault. Don't take the blame for it even if he tries to make it your fault which is likely to be a bad coping mechanism for him. Look closely at his past. Is there something there that could contribute to this? Ask him questions that will give him room to talk about how he is feeling. Don't just assume that you know what he is feeling. If your dad is open to it, suggest treatment. There is freedom from the panic and hopelessness he feels during those moments he feels like he no longer wants to live.
Finally, love your dad well. Realize that he is wrong in treating you the way he does in those moments. You deserve to be listened to but realize that a reaction this strong to confrontation is likely to be due to his inability to understand his own emotions. I would suggest to you to remember that he is flawed like the rest of humanity and like the rest of humanity he probably has done some good things with his life as well. Love him for the good he has done and seek to find ways to help him change the bad he has done. He may refuse all the help you offer but you will have done all you could to love him well.
Finally, take a good look at yourself. It is not uncommon for those who have parents who struggle with these types of emotions to struggle with them themselves or feel abused by them. Don't fall into the trap of believing that you have to deal with this on your own and that you have to be strong enough to handle you own problems. This is the very belief that your dad probably struggles with. The most healthy people I know are the ones who look at there problems and deal with there problems.
I hope this helps. One final word I will add is that the truth that I replaced those lies with was truth from the bible. I am not a religious person but I am a dedicated follower of Christ. I started to deal with my issues when I became a Christian and started to realize that Christ died for me so that I could have more and did not have to live under the oppression of my past. I don't know what you believe but I encourage you to go to a good church or christian councilor or christian friend to find out more. It has been the key to letting go of the past and believing good for my future.
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