Why did I do this to myself?

This is a question we ask ourselves all to often. This may equate to a decision we have made. In life we make many decisions, some that benefit us and others that may cause us grief or pain. As humans we make decisions almost every moment of our lives, from deciding what to get our bed, what to eat or more major life choices. At times we don’t realise the impact of the decisions, on our behaviour or emotions. We fail to realise is, the decisions we make in the split second may not have any thought behind them and therefore hindsight will serve us well.

When suffering from a mental health condition, every decision can be very difficult and impactful. The decision to wake up and start the day can be the biggest struggle they face. The impulsive nature of some actions such as to self harm or attempt suicide are not necessarily decisions but urges to be fulfilled. However once the urges has been fulfilled the sense of guilt, anger, regret and sadness occurs. Leading to sled harming behaviours which in term creates this endless cyclical affect, which we see in some individuals.

Sometimes we don’t understand why we have done something the 1st time and than a 2nd time it makes no sense at all. Here a person will realise that they may not be in control and giving in to impulsive behaviours to easily. A decision will have to made to manage these urges and gain control on their behaviour and feelings.

Many individuals feel they lose themselves and fear they are trapped in an endless cycle of bad decisions and negativity. However this may be lead by our own anxiety around these choices and emotions.

Dependent on the mental health condition, many individuals find it hard to regulate their emotions, the overwhelming nature of the behaviour which follows. This can cause them to spiral out of control and engage in risky behaviours.

However if support is given and understanding that we all have a decision, no matter how impulsive the behaviour can be. So if someone is struggling than it’s important to remind them of the steps and decisions they have taken that day to reach that point; getting out of bed, eating some food and talking to someone etc. As we forget the small decisions we do and only focus on the bigger decision, this makes us forget the positive nature of every decision.

Talking therapies, mindfulness, CBT or DBT are all effective therapies which can assist in acknowledging the negative thoughts and increased anxiety. Attempting to face the problem and to help cope with your feelings and thoughts.

A person should never feel the choices they make were wrong, should be the opposite, acknowledge the decision and learn from it. Also to use the coping mechanism that aid a them when they feel overwhelmed and see no other solution.

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