Self harm?


So, I had a negative experience with a Dr a month or two ago (Around late July), and I am still confused and upset about it. I didn't know how to interpret something; I stated a symptom that was a bit weird and she fell silent and then said 'okay'. Silly it may seem, but I really didn't understand what that meant.

Also, the whole appointment was her contradicting herself during the appointment or based on things she said at previous appointments.

I still remember her tone of voice and some of what she said. As a result, it's like I could still hear her saying 'okay' in the tone of voice that she had at the ear that was beside her (so my right side of my face). I have started shaking my head back and forth, banging the sides of my head (my temples) with my knuckles, and recently I started to slap my ears and stick my finger down the ear that she was beside (I know, not nice to imagine...sorry). The scenes from the appointment replay in my head and I want it to come out I do not know how to deal with it. Oh, and I have began humming really loudly too.

At first, it just started with shaking my head, then escalated to what is written above. I do not mean for it to be a form of self harm. I can't help what I am doing; I have been doing it for around 2/3 weeks I think.

Professionals at the mental health team contradict themselves or just make no sense, i.e, while I was getting assessed for a certain therapy, they said that I would receive it for a year...but there was a reason as to why I was receiving the assessment; to see if I qualify for it. I didn't get accepted. This was around late May I think, and I am still confused as to why professionals would jump to conclusions and I think I am somewhat struggling to deal with the change.

I've been under services for two years and it was just filled with disorganisation and chaos.

So, I just wanted to ask, is this normal for someone who is Autistic? (I am not diagnosed, just waiting to get assessed). I've read a page on this site that explains some of the behaviours that I am doing but I do not know if my scenario fits the reasons as to why someone who is Autistic may result to that certain behaviour(s). I didn't find shaking my head back and forth weird at first, but when I started doing the other behaviours, that is when I thought maybe this is a bit of a problem.

Should I do something about this? To be honest, I really don't want to face another professional again but it may be something that I have to do if what I am doing is dangerous? (based on what my friends say). Would what I am doing change? I am asking this question because what I am doing kind of hurts and is a bit exhausting and I want it to stop. As far as I know, this is a new experience for me (I am 19), hence the slight confusion.

I am trying to distract myself, but this doesn't really do much at the moment.

I hope I am explaining myself well and do not come across as stupid.

Thank you for your time~~

  • Hi MiniBlueberryMuffin,

    There's a lot I could say, but... I've had many negative experiences in the mental health system, and that's unfortunately the route that many people like us get channeled down.  I almost got to feel like a damn nuisance for wasting their time.  Got told by one CPN that she could tell by looking at me that I didn't have a personality disorder.  Got told by a psych that I couldn't be autistic because I didn't rock or flap my hands.  The lack of understanding is appalling.

    As for your behaviours, there are many associated.  I know autistic people who self-harm in different ways - including the things you do.  Eating disorders are often in there, too.  I think part of the problem is that many people are misdiagnosed with MH problems when the root of it all might actually be ASC.  I have a good friend whose diagnosis is BPD.  Her self-harming over the years has left her badly scarred.  She is also anorexic.  She's absolutely convinced that ASC is at the root of her problems, but she can't get anyone to take any notice.  They've given her her diagnosis and that, as far as they're concerned, is final.  Dreadful.

    If you look at the right-hand column, you'll see 'Related' threads that might offer you some good information.

    Take good care,


  • Welcome, MiniBlueberryMuffin! (yummy!)

    What you're describing certainly can be autistic behaviours, and not at all "stupid". Two aspects of it stand out to me...

    • Perseveration. This is where your brain just can't help coming back to the same thoughts over and over again. It's very often when there's a profound question which we just can't get an answer to. For a non-autistic person, this usually sorts itself out; their "gut feelings" will suggest an answer or convince them that the question isn't really all that important. Autistic people, on the other hand, often don't have those kind of "gut feelings"; we have to get our answers purely by thinking them out. The uncertainty that we have means that the questioning just keeps coming around again, and won't stop until we get a definite answer.
    • The head-shaking and hitting sounds like extreme sensory-seeking behaviour, very much like what is often called a "melt-down". It doesn't sound like you are deliberately thinking of harming yourself, more like your brain kind of "blows a fuse", and then you find yourself doing this and wondering why. The "fuse blows" because the brain just has too much going on, and never gets a rest, including the extreme frustration about not being able to stop the thinking. The physical actions may be your brain's way of getting a break for a bit by distracting you with extreme body sensations. If you never experienced it before, it's probably because you're more stressed out than you ever were when you were younger.

    It's impossible to say from those things alone whether you are autistic or not, but there is certainly something going on which you should try to get help with. Aside from the fact that you could injure yourself, it's probably a sign that you have some severe stress and anxiety that you need support for.