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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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JeanneA

Releasing the Endorphines

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JeanneA   

I've just put this on the other thread but I thought I would just ask if there is any young person that hits themselves with a lot of force for long periods of a time, as I read that this forces the brain to release endorphines with makes the person feel very happy afterwards. Would like to hear from anyone who has experienced this or knows anyone that has, thank you.

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BelLocke   

What you describe here sounds a lot like self-harm to me. The young person you are describing might be feeling the need to escape or separate from themselves by turning mental or psychological pain into physical pain. The physical pain then causes a sense of relaxation due to the releasing of endorphins. On the other hand, the young person might be depressed and/or not feeling anything at all, and causing some sort of physical pain to themselves helps them to at least feel something.

I haven't experienced it myself, although I've known others who have and I've attended workshops specifically about self-harm. It's definitely not a healthy behaviour as the person may end up seriously hurting themselves.

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JeanneA   

Thanks very much for your reply. Glen has already hurt his eye so severely that he has very little eye site in his right eye. He had an operation for a detached retina in 2012, he used to hit his eye plus also hit his head and face. Since the op he has unfortunately been hitting his eye again and when it was checked recently, the specialist said, that continuous hitting of his eye obviously made his eye worse. He has to have eye drops for life.

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JeanneA   

Thank you for your help I will look at your link :-)

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oxgirl   

Will he wear a protective helmet do you think? Some protective gear is like what boxers might wear and so would include padding around the eyes to protect them. If he were to be persuaded to wear it then when he hit himself at least there would be cushioning around the eye to give some protection and take some of the force. You might not like the idea of him wearing this head gear, but even if it was for a short period it would give the eye a rest and time to settle down and heal. Sorry to hear that this problem has recurred, Jeanne.

 

~ Mel ~

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JeanneA   

Hi Mel, no Glen would not wear any helmet on his head, this has been raised before by professionals.

 

The care home manager Mel attended a meeting with the psychiatrist and another senior doctor last week. The psychiatrist is changing Glen's anxiety medication to a long term one. Both the psychiatrist and the other doctor are going to visit Glen in just over a week's time at the home, which I think is a good idea. Both doctor's also said that the most important thing they felt is to stabilise Glen's behaviour and not put any pressure on him at the moment. He is on the list for various therapies, but as they said he needs to attend and engage in therapy sessions, at the moment he won't even go out for a drive, so you can see their point. They did feel Glen is hitting himself to get the 'good feeling' from it and to feel calm again.

 

I went to visit Glen yesterday, first time in 6 weeks. I couldn't believe it, he was so smiley just like he used to be, I hadn't seen him smile like that in ages. I stayed for 30 minutes. Glen went to his room a couple of times, but did come back down again at sat at the table eating one of the yogurts I took in. Staff said he'd had a settled few days. I really didn't want to leave, but it was to come away thinking how much better Glen was. Hopefully this settled behaviour will continue and Glen will want to go out again.

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lisac   

Jeanne, just brilliant news that Glen is happy again. May be his eye has stopped bothering him so that he is able to be more settled. Its great you could see him, what a relief, x

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JeanneA   

Hi Lisa, yes Glen's eye may have settled down again. He is due to see the eye doctor again soon, but only if staff can get him there. I hope Glen remains happy now. :-)

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oxgirl   

The most frustrating thing must be not knowing what the trigger is for Glen's periods of unhappiness. If you could only know what was upsetting him it could be addressed. Is he able to communicate at all if he is in pain or discomfort or dissatisfied about something or does he just tend to lash out?

 

If he has limited vision in one of his eyes could he be hitting it because he is frustrated that it is not working properly and he's not seeing from it clearly? Could they correct any of his vision with glasses? I know that sounds even more dangerous, but maybe if he was wearing glasses over his eyes he would be less inclined to hit them?

 

Hope he's entering a settled period now.

 

~ Mel ~

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JeanneA   

Hi Mel, the staff have a pain chart and always go through it, i.e. it shows different parts of the body and staff point to these parts asking Glen which is hurting him, sometimes he points to a certain part other times he doesn't. I think most of the time he just lashes out as you said.

As for wearing glasses I really don't think that would work at all for Glen. He was prescribed glasses a few years back for I think being short sighted, but he wouldn't wear them, so I can't see that being any different now, and they would be too dangerous for someone like Glen when he was in one of his depressive states.

You are probably right about Glen hitting his eye as he just wouldn't understand why he isn't see properly out of it. It does worry me so much about his eye sight, I know he's been hitting his left eye also I could tell on Sunday that his left eye didn't look quite right. I do wish staff could restrain him when he goes to hit the left eye. I dread the thought that one day Glen could go blind due to his hitting his eyes.

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lisac   

Hi Jeanne, the eye specialist must have previously checked his good eye. Did they say that it was Ok? I was worried about this too, as my soon also attacked his good eye but eventually gave up.

( I was told at the time that it is very very hard to detach your own retina and that the bad eye had probably had this weakness since birth). When is he having his good eye checked?

 

This autism is Hell :(

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JeanneA   

HI Lisa, yes Glen's good eye has been checked previously and it was fine. He is now awaiting his next check up, the problem is Glen is still refusing to go out so I don't know what will happen, just hope by the time the appointment comes through Glen is willing to go out again. Yes I quite agree with what you said about autism :-(

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oxgirl   

Detached retina usually follows what are called floaters; the jelly at the back of the eye pulls away from the retina and you start to see black blobs floating in the field of vision and sometimes flashing lights. It could be that he sees black floaters and has flashing lights, which annoys him and so he hits out of frustration. Sometimes when the jelly pulls away it tears the retina, which then needs to be repaired. There isn't much they can do about the floaters though. I have them and they can be very distracting, sometimes like looking through a black net curtain and they move about as you blink but they are inside the eye. If it is the floaters and flashing lights that is causing him to hit his eye, I'm not sure what they can do.

 

~ Mel ~

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JeanneA   

Hi Mel thanks for that, if thats the case it's not good for Glen as he wouldn't have any idea what was going on and it would cause him distress therefore he would hit his eye.

 

I've been in touch with the home manager today and unfortunately she said that since Sunday Glen has become quite agitated again, I said I hope my visit on Saturday didn't upset him and she said probably not, he's also adamant about not going out, she said Glen seems to be very in control of what he is doing, which is so worrying to hear. It's like there's 2 sides to Glen. How can he be so happy and smiley on Saturday and then change suddenly on Sunday, I just don't know anymore. I have Glen's annual review next Tuesday at the care home, so lots to talk about then. I am so concerned about Glen and why he's behaving in this way, I'm thinking that even though the staff are fantastic with their care and support that perhaps Glen needs somewhere that staff are firmer with him, do you think so? I think at this care home, they've never pushed Glen and have always gone along so to speak with what he has wanted. All the staff are ladies as well, there are no men, I wonder if perhaps the home would have benefited with a couple of male staff?

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lisac   

Hi Jeanne, I think the most important thing is making sure he gets his good eye re-checked at the appointment, as you say you think he has been hitting it, if just to be reassured. If it means drugging him to a point of sedation to get him there it has to be worth it. Will the care home do this?

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JeanneA   

Hi Lisa, it is important Glen goes to the eye check up but I'm not sure if the home would drug him to try to get him to go. I am ringing up tonight as the mobile dentist was going in today to check Glen's teeth as they can't get him to the dentist at the moment.

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JeanneA   

Well the mobile dentist went to see Glen, he let her check all his teeth, he was very good. The dentist said Glen's got a wisdom tooth come through which would have caused pain to Glen and she said the tooth would have started coming through a few weeks ago at the same time as when Glen became extremely agitated. The tooth is inflamed and she's given Glen some anti-biotics. Also the filling that needs to be filled is getting bigger so Glen needs this done as soon as possible. It could make more sense now as to why Glen has been so upset lately. Let's hope staff will get Glen to the dentist now to get the tooth filled.

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lisac   

Hi Jeanne this could explain it , at least you know now. Did they say what they will do about a wisdom tooth coming through, do they leave it or take it out?

My son has same happening and dentist seems to think if there is enough space for it to come through,to wait and see.

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JeanneA   

Hi Lisa, yes the dentist said the wisdom tooth can be left and once the inflamation has gone it should be ok. I just wish that Glen could have made it known that it was his teeth that were upsetting him, but at least it's made the staff more aware now regarding his teeth in case of future behavioural problems.

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