self mutilating


Registered User
Dec 1, 2003
as nobody seems able to give me any advice on how to keep my wife occupied i wonder if some one can give me some information on the following. my wife has self mutilated her self on two occasions now and i wonder if this is a common occurence with this horrible illness


Registered User
Dec 11, 2003
Tully, Qld, Australia
Dear Bill,

This must be awful for you to deal with.

I have had no experience of my parents attempting this - so far. We recently moved house and my father became very disoriented for the first couple of weeks and actually tried to hit me! Since he's been such a mild manner chap all of his life, it was totally out of character.

All I can think of at this stage is to suggest that you hide all sharp objects, like kitchen knives, needles, nail files and scissors, etc. This is what I did until my father settled down. Fortunately, he's back to his usual placid self again - but it was a bit disconcerting at the time.

I wonder if your wife has attempted to mutilate herself in times when she has been lucid? These are the moments that I find the hardest and most distressing to cope with. What can you say? Unfortunately, these periods are very hard to deal with and totally random.

Sorry I can't be of more help. Jude


Registered User
Jul 9, 2003
South Coast
Dear Bill

My husband had an obsession about cutting his fingernails and toenails every day virtually until I was worried about him cutting into his fingers and toes. He also on one occasion cut his beard down to the skin on one side only, and very patchily, so it looked really moth-eaten! I solved this problem by hiding all scissors, and he hasn't complained and I think he has now forgotten about it.

He has also kicked the inside of the front door quite violently on a few occasions when he wants to get out, usually in the middle of the night - (he is an Olympic standard wanderer!) - several of his toenails were bleeding underneath. He is currently in an elderly dementia assessment unit (at age 60) while they try to get his sedatives sorted out, and it looks as though he may be able to come home next week to see how it goes.

I think you will have to hide all sharp implements as Jude suggests - a bit of a nuisance when you are cooking etc, but better than the alternative scenario.

Best wishes