How can I help myself and change my behavior?

I've hit my head on walls and floors ever since I was young. I sometimes still do it but I don't exactly know why,

I have anxiety and I had a rough childhood but now I'll start to hit my head and sometimes not realize it but I don't know how to stop or even why I'm doing it.

How can I help myself to change my behavior?

Sherry Katz, LCSW
Sherry Katz, LCSW
Couples and Family Therapist, LCSW

Give yourself a lot of empathy and care for having had a rough childhood and realizing that life can be better than how you were treated when growing up.

Be patient with yourself too bc lasting change takes time.

 Alternatives to hitting your head require constant gentle reminders to do these new behaviors, or if you've discovered a satisfying alternative in one moment, time is required for you to repeat this alternative until it feels natural.

Anxiety usually means someone did not feel well understood growing up and was rushed to comply with the wishes of others who were a regular part of their lives.

Anxiety lessens as the person starts to know and accept their wishes and needs as valid.  Allow yourself to learn who you truly are in the spirit of accepting whatever you discover about yourself.

The behaviors will naturally change with your new understanding and self acceptance.

Good luck and enjoy this self discovery project!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Shawn Thomas Berthel, M.S., LMHC
Shawn Thomas Berthel, M.S., LMHC
Step into your new life path.

Hello. I have to wonder from a behavioral perspective if what you are doing is useful for you. In other words, does it serve a purpose in some way when you find yourself doing it. Yes, this could well be an expression of anxiety, or maybe some type of coping skill you have developed over the years to deal with stressful situations. Yet it sounds like you have developed a sort of knee-jerk behavioral conditioning that causes you to do this behavior during specific (or perhaps even non-specific) circumstances. Do you think it is a self-soothing behavior? Do you feel good after you have done it? The behavior itself is likely causing some form of slow physical damage, so I would recommend you have yourself checked by a doctor, to rule out any injury. If none exists, this obviously doesn't excuse the behavior, it just says that for the moment luck is on your side.

When we do any behavior of any kind, it is good to ask if what we are doing has merit or value. Is the behavior helping us to solve our problem, or is it merely creating yet another problem by doing the behavior in the first place. In the same way that a person might drink excessively because they are stressed and need to cope with some unresolved issue, when they are done drinking the original problem will still likely be there, but now they are intoxicated. No closer to solving the issue. When we deal with things like anxiety or depression, we need to do things that work on dealing with the symptoms, but also get to the root issue that created those feelings and find effective solutions. So the things we do to cope with life events need to not be ones that cause us harm, but rather support us as we move forward and work to deal with what life throws at us.

Sometimes seeking support from a friend or a counselor is a good idea. Being given the opportunity to express your feelings about what is going on around you and getting feedback and insight from others is much more effective than actions of self-harm, wouldn't you agree? So I would encourage you to find a counselor or a trusted friend who can help you find positive behaviors you can take to deal with your feelings, as you also work to find the answers to the day to day issues of living a life filled with promise and opportunity.

Reach out if you need help...there will likely be a hand there waiting for you.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide.   If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Kristi King-Morgan, LMSW
Social Worker, Psychotherapist

The best way to handle anxiety of this level is with a combination of appropriate medication given to you by a medical doctor, and therapy to help you understand the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are causing the anxiety. This is not something that anyone should just “white knuckle” and try to get through on their own with no help. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is a technique that has been proven helpful for depression and anxiety. This takes a therapist trained in CBT. You will learn to recognize when and why you perform the behavior of hitting your head, help you deal with the underlying cause of this, and replace the behavior with a more positive behavior. You'll learn coping skills.

You mention having a rough childhood. Anyone who has experienced trauma like this, especially long-term ongoing trauma from abuse of any kind, definitely does not need "exposure therapy", which is what is recommended for phobias. You need a therapist trained specifically in trauma informed therapy.

You are on the right path by recognizing there is an issue and what it is. Good luck with your healing journey!

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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