The Top Misconceptions of Self Harm

Self Harm is the act of deliberately harming your body. Self harm is commonly misunderstood in our society. There can be many reasons why someone self harms. It could be that they feel that they deserve the pain, so they use the act of self harming to punish themselves. Others may self harm to get relief from the pain and distress that they are in.

On a hot summer day I wore a blue sweatshirt and jeans. It’s the time of year when most teenage girls would be wearing tank tops and shorts but i wore the complete opposite. I grew to hate the summer months knowing i’d be spending most of my time figuring out how to cover/hide my self harm scars that took over my arms and legs. That day I felt sick to my stomach with heat stroke so I decide to take off my sweater, my arms revealed. Then, an 11 year old boy asked me what happened to your arms? Are you Emo?, Do you cut yourself because your Emo? I froze. My lips wouldn’t move. Everything after that was an uncomfortable blur.

1) Self Harm is a suicide attempt.

 Self Harm is not an act of suicide. Most people who are self harming in fact, use it as a way to stay alive. People who self harm view it as a way of coping with life. Also, Self harm can cause changes in brain chemistry, which gives the effects of a “rush” and can easily become addictive and highly dangerous. A lot of people think that self harm and suicide are the same thing, when they are most definitely not.

2) Only Teenagers self harm

It is true that self harm is very common in teenagers, but people of all ages self harm. it is not just a teenage phase or trend.

3) Self Harm is just attention seeking

For some people they do self harm for attention. But, the majority do not. Those who self harm go to great lengths to try and hide their cuts and scars.

4) People who self harm enjoy the pain

Self harm hurts. Sometimes feeling the pain is the point. Feeling something tangible can help the inner turmoil that no words can do justice.

5) People who self harm can stop if they want to 

Self harm can be very addicting and once you start it becomes self medicating to the point where you feel like you need it to survive. People can learn how to cope differently using more effective skills through therapy but for some people it is very difficult to stop self harming.


2 thoughts on “The Top Misconceptions of Self Harm”

  1. Thank you for this post. It was very educational. I learned a lot. You are brave and strong.

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