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Hitting oneself on the head

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Nesf

No, I don't hit or otherwise harm myself as a form of self-punishment. If I'm stressed or frustrated, I pull on my hair, wring my hands or bite on my lip in an attempt to control or override the feelings of frustration.. If I didn't I think I would melt down.

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(deleted)

Generally hitting myself is part of my meltdowns.

I think that he might have been having a bit of a mini-meltdown the one time when he was doing this.

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the strangest man

Seemingly intentional self harming behaviour is common in Kanner autism. Head slapping is on the milder end of that spectrum. Banging their head against a wall is not unknown. The exact reason for such behaviour is uncertain, but it often occurs when their senses are overloaded eg in a noisy environment in an attempt to block out the sensory input. That at least seems to be the reasoning in the book The Reason Why I Jump.

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DragonWing

I used to hit my head hard during what I believe was a meltdown.

I have a child I believe to be autistic and he slaps his ears when frustrated or excited

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Coises

Disclaimer: I have not been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. I think Asperger’s Syndrome is very likely, but I’m not yet certain.

I’ve had something which conforms to typical descriptions of autistic meltdowns for most of my life.

Through my twenties, I would usually bang my head on something during a meltdown. Then I went through a period of several years where I bit my forearm instead. Since my mid-thirties, meltdowns have gradually decreased in frequency. (About once or twice a year now, depending on stress.) Occasionally I bang my head on something, but more often I will hit myself on the sides of my head with whatever you call the flat side of a fist that is opposite the knuckles. I sometimes wind up giving myself a black eye.

It’s hard to explain. The desire to whack at my head is sometimes more than I can resist. I think it’s like kicking a malfunctioning machine in frustration. There is another element I don’t fully understand... it seems as if the pain is a kind of super-stim, something I’m compelled to do to counteract the meltdown.

On occasion—not often—I have bopped myself lightly on the head when I’ve said, done or heard something silly or stupid. That is completely different. I would usually do that in front of people, whereas I try to get away from people before a meltdown reaches the head-bashing stage. I’m pretty sure the gentle head-bop (or head thump on the desk) is a motion normal people sometimes do, too... somewhat comic, though it often doesn’t come off as funny as it was supposed to.

The non-meltdown head-bop can be self-mocking, but definitely not punishing. I’m not sure about the meltdown one. There could be an element of self-punishing, or even ritualized self-annihilation; but as I wrote above, it seems more like some kind of super-stim.

Edited by Coises

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(deleted)

The non-meltdown head-bop can be self-mocking, but definitely not punishing. I’m not sure about the meltdown one. There could be an element of self-punishing, or even ritualized self-annihilation; but as I wrote above, it seems more like some kind of super-stim.

That description seems to match what my friend does.

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ponz

I hit my head because it's soothing. It kinda causes my brain to relax and reset.

I only do it when I have a meltdown from sensory change (like my tv going out, when I have it playing constantly to soothe me and drown out my tinnitus) or things repeatedly not working as they should. It occurs with rocking, wailing, shaking my head, soothing myself by rubbing my head or legs and sometimes thrashing. I also make "distress noises," kinda like wheezes, whines, groans, etc.

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StormCrow

In some Asian martial arts they have something they call Soong Ku.

 

Depending on where you hit, it does different stuff, like back of the head increases breathing, forehead increases focus. (there are a lot of others too)

 

Maybe Autistic people subconsciously know about the points, and giving a good whack helps

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(deleted)
Maybe Autistic people subconsciously know about the points, and giving a good whack helps

I don't know about that, but interestingly enough it's on his forehead that he does this after saying something stupid, so the idea of "increasing focus" could be relevant...

Edited by invisible

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