National Eating Disorders Association

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Thoughts of self-harm (I am safe)

I have been in recovery for 3 years, now. I basically eat normally and exercise for a healthy amount of time. Unfortunately, reducing the time of my workouts has literally increased my anxiety levels to the sky. I know I used to be an elite level athlete and that for years, exercise became my way to let my anxiety go.

Lately, my body just can not cope even with the "normal exercise time" for a healthy person. That has been pretty frustrating for me. The problem is that now, there are days when I just can not stop thinking of self-harming. I have NEVER done it and I do not want to get into that terrible habit. Unfortunately, all the things that I try just do not seem to help with my anxiety levels.

I see a therapist and a psychiatrist. I had these thoughts in the past but they faded away.
Now, they are back again. I am trying to do all that my therapist told me to avoid having to workout more than the needed. But she does not know I am starting to have self-harm thoughts.

I am planning to tell her. But I feel ridiculous just to think of talking about it. At the end, I have not done it. I am not sure if it is just that some time back, I told my pdoc about it and she just did not take it seriously (believe it).

My therapist is different. She will surely listen to me. But this is soooo ashaming.
Also, I do not know if I will be able to resist the urges until Tuesday.

I am with my family this weekend. So, that will help. But that is where I am right now.


self harm

First of all, I definitely agree to talk it out with your therapist. No one should feel the need to harm themselves, no matter how, in order to relieve pain or anxiety or whatnot. My history with self-harm is pretty mild thankfully, but it never actually helped me. It always made me feel more ashamed and if it ever helped me with my emotions, it was too short-lived to remember.
Another thing, I was in a crisis a few weeks ago and decided I should see my therapist again after not seeing her for two months. I wasn't a threat to myself but it was similar and I wasn't sure if I could keep myself in damage control mode for six days until my appointment. I spent several hours on crisis lines, and ultimately, with those situations, sometimes you really do just have to distract yourself and sit it out. It sucks when you can't help yourself, but maintaining your mood is still better than making it worse. If you feel you need to, crisis lines can be helpful, if nothing else, you can just vent.

Dear kcporter6, since you

Dear kcporter6, since you mentioned having thoughts of self-harm, we would like to share the following resources. 

We also deleted the link you have shared. As per our community guidelines sharing outside links is not permitted on the forums. Thanks for your understanding. Please stay safe and continue to post! 

Thanks kcporter6,

I did love the list of 75 coping skills. If I feel I can not manage to stay safe until Tuesday, I will call one of the local crisis lines here. As you said, sometimes we just need to vent...

Today, I am having a better day. Sometimes being around my parents helps me keep my mind focused on other type of things. Of course, that is not always the case. But I am glad today it is.

Please Do Feel Better

I am worrying about you.

You seem to have made so much progress.

You are so fortunate to have a career

and office to work out of.

Is there something especially stressful currently going on

that's affecting how your moods are?

Exercise is good, very good.

But what type do you do.

I know you can listen to positive vibes if using land training w/ ear buds.

I swim so that never worked for me.

Is your office job stressful?

The idea of the other things to do instead

of harm yourself is fantastic idea.....

I hope that you feel better soon.

My neck and thigh hurt me or ache me

so I control the pain w/ OTC meds and still

try and do my nightly walk round here 3-4 times per evening.

I hope your therapist can help you work these issues out.

Be good to yourself, be strong, believe, and please do have some hope about the near future.

Covid is almost over and the schools are re-opening soon.

Bye, Annet

Hi 2Healthy4me,

Thanks a lot for your nice words. I have been better although I am still struggling. I saw my therapist yesterday and we will meet more often for a while. She also sent me to see my psychiatrist due to my high levels of anxiety. Honestly, I do not like my psychiatrist. I wonder if she will take my current situation seriously.

Yesterday, I was thinking of finding a new one. I know an adult thinking the way I am is ridiculous. But that is where I am.

I hope things get better, soon.


Hi Annet, hope you are feeling better

I am currently trying to avoid the California heat here where I am.

Feeling more motivated to go for a swim.

Hoping the local swim facilities will be back to business soon.

Hope you feel better soon.

Try and take 1 day at a time, and respect your

body's needs and urges without feeling guilty

or anxious for nourishing yourself.

Then once that's out of the way you might see

more clearly which other life issues to address next.

Disordered thinking

Not ridiculous thinking, just disordered thinking. ED has definitely had negative effects on my brain. I was an adult before I quit self harming. I have learned to love my scars for the sheer fact that they might be the ice breaker for anyone struggling and afraid to bring it up. If I can keep one person from going down that path, then it would all be worth it. I haven't self harmed in over ten years but I still get pretty intense thoughts sometimes when the anxiety peaks. I know now that it won't fix anything. It just creates two problems out of one. Obviously the anxiety is a big enough problem on it's own so why add feul to the fire?


Hi EphWhyEye, we are sorry to hear about these difficult thoughts. Your post mentioned self-harm so we wanted to post the following resources: 

 Please stay safe and keep posting on the forums. You matter.

Hi Annett, and how are you doing?

I haven't heard or seen many of your forum entries lately and was wondering how you are doing. Are you being kind and gentle to Yourself? I hope you are keeping safe and hope to hear from you soon.

Bye, be well....

Congrats on your recovery Efforts.

I hear that you are working towards being healthier.

I also hear that you are experiencing vacillating thoughts

between recovery and in more negative thoughts.

I was an athlete as well.

Did your former sport and competition ever cause

feelings leading to feel insecure,

or helped you to pull on your boots straps

and stand proud as a top competitor in sports?

What sports are you active in now,

and is it the same as when you were younger?

Try and remember good memories, happy memories,

proud memories, and breath and try and enjoy

what's good about life for you now.

I hope that your counselor has you contract to not self harm

yourself. If you feel this way Please do go to your local ER,

or call your doctor, or counselor and open up

and communicate.

Reach out and touch Faith.

I wish you the best while recovering.

Just take 1 day at a time.

Hi 2Healthy4me,

I have been doing fine. Thanks for asking. Unfortunately, I am not able to exercise.
I have a condition I was born with that is quite out of control. So, my cardiologyst asked me to stop any type of formal exercise. My dietician said the same. So, here I am... Not working out...

Do I miss it? No... But I am afraid I will lose all the muscle I had worked for so hard in my legs.
This is my 3rd week of rest. Let's see how long I can handle this for.

Overall, I am doing well with food and any ED thoughts. The self-harm thoughts have also started to fade away. I had to increase the frequency of my sessions with my therapist and also, needed a medication change.

I feel much better. Just this exercise thing... Although I am doing all the right things, my body just does not seem to heal as much as needed.

Hugs to u


I’m glad to hear you’re

I’m glad to hear you’re allowing your body to rest and heal. It can be so difficult, especially with ED, to let ourselves do that. But it is so, so necessary. Exercise is fine, but it can easily become detrimental and work against recovery and health. I’m so glad you’re taking control of your health and giving your body the rest and care it needs. Maybe someday you’ll be able to move your body in ways that feel positive and affirming to you without the ED thoughts or the risk of harm. But even if you never “formally exercise” again, that does not make you any less of a person. And it doesn’t make you any less deserving of recovery and healing. Exercise is something EDs obsess over, and cutting it out is sometimes the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves. It takes a lot of strength and courage to be able to do that. I hope you realize just how amazing and powerful you are <3

Thanks recoveryj,

This is being too hard but I am being able to do it. Pray for me so I let my body heal without returning to exercise before of time.

Being able to prioritize your

Being able to prioritize your body and get the rest you need can be so difficult, especially in this society. You have such amazing strength to be fighting for yourself and your healing. You are worthy, no matter what you do. Now, and always. And you deserve healing and recovery

Hope you are doing well and finding peace in resting

I was not aware that you had a physical condition

and exercise makes it worse.

I hope that you are feeling better from some rest,

peace and quiet.

Are you still working at the office?

I returned to my 1st job and now have both

my retail and my teaching job.

I wish you the best and hope you

continue to feel better as you recover.

Hi 2Healthy4me,

I have been feeling better. I got scared because my cardiologyst had never ever forbidden exercise to me regardless of my condition. I do not know what he saw different at this time but I am obeying him.
I am still working from home. I hope I can return to office, soon.
I am glad you are finally back to your teaching job! I am sure that will give nicer things to your days.

Hi and Hoping that You Are OK ?

Just checking in with you to see how you are doing.

I haven't seen any new postings here at NEDA from you.

You always are so supportive and I am worried about you.

you also mentioned that you have many health issues.

I hope that you are taking care of yourself

and not working too hard.