Self-Harming Behaviors |

***Set off Warning***

This text consists of an sincere dialogue about self-harming conduct. No triggering info is shared, however it’s a subject that’s extremely triggering to some. Warning is suggested.

Self-harming behaviors go away lasting scars and infrequently emotions of disgrace. For individuals who have by no means self-harmed, doing so is an enigma they will’t reply. Nonetheless, it makes excellent sense for individuals who have self-harmed.

Some individuals who have suffered advanced trauma flip to drastic means to reduce their ache. This subsequent collection of articles for November is about a number of the info about self-harming conduct, and hopefully, it should give somebody on the market a glimpse of what’s on the opposite facet of this large barrier to well being and life.

What’s Self-Hurt

Self-harm is when somebody hurts themselves to take care of difficult emotions reminiscent of painful reminiscences and overwhelming conditions. Many manifestations of self-harm exist, and many individuals have their tackle what precisely describes it.

Listed here are a number of the methods individuals describe why they self-harm.




  • To vary emotional ache
  • To vary their bodily ache
  • To scale back overwhelming emotions or ideas
  • To flee traumatic reminiscences
  • To punish themselves for his or her traumatic experiences
  • To reconnect after they really feel numb and dissociated
  • To specific suicidal ideas and emotions with out dying

After self-harming, these of us really feel a short-term sense of launch, however what they disguise from remains to be there after they affiliate once more.

It’s essential to keep in mind that it doesn’t matter what your reasoning for self-harm, it does include dangers. Additionally, after getting began relying on self-harm to deal with your feelings, it could actually take a very long time to cease.

Why Do Folks Hurt Themselves?

Tough experiences from the previous or current can typically spark self-harming conduct. For some, self-harming is perpetrated on elements of their physique that they discover are linked to a a lot earlier trauma, reminiscent of being abused in childhood.

Usually, cuts and bruising improve the dopamine within the particular person’s bloodstream. The neurotransmitter dopamine is produced from the pleasure middle of your mind, so while you self-harm, you get a dopamine rush; thus the euphoria felt by those that hurt themselves.

Many causes trigger self-harming behaviors, together with:

  • Getting bullied
  • Pressures from college and work
  • Cash worries
  • A breakdown of a relationship
  • Lack of a job
  • Recollections of sexual, bodily, or emotional abuse
  • Having low shallowness
  • Difficult emotions reminiscent of nervousness, melancholy, or numbness

The record above just isn’t all-inclusive, as there are as many causes to self-harm as there are individuals who do it.

The Disgrace Brought about By the Scars of Self-Hurt

Some individuals self-harm in locations which might be invisible to others, however others determine to hurt themselves on physique elements which might be open to be seen, such because the arms. Both means, the one who hurts themselves typically will panic, be in ache, and be ashamed.

Disgrace and self-injury would possibly reproduce and amplify one another, turning self-harm into one thing akin to a cycle of disgrace and self-injury. Self-harm is usually attributable to uncomfortable social interactions the place the particular person feels overwhelmed and typically afraid. As a substitute of dissociating, the particular person chooses to chop or burn themselves.

To additional clarify, contemplate the cycle of self-harm being utilized to push away disgrace whereas nobody else is aware of of their struggles. Being amongst others the place you’re feeling a excessive degree of discomfort typically triggers disgrace. The disgrace makes one need to hurt themselves and others, and round you go within the cycle of self-harm and disgrace.

Some physicians consider that individuals who self-injure are unable to self-soothe or regulate their feelings or endure from a psychological sickness (Gunnarson, 2021).

The Emotional Toll of Self-Hurt

There are emotional ramifications of harming oneself. Whereas bodily results are obvious, self-harm causes nice emotional hurt as effectively. Individuals who hurt themselves typically really feel devastated and stricken by their conduct and emotional ties to self-harm.

One potential cause somebody will proceed to self-harm is the optimistic emotions it could deliver. These would possibly embody any of the next:

  • One feels a way of launch due to the discharge of pleased neurotransmitters.
  • One feels a way of management.
  • Self-harming conduct affords distractions from overwhelming feelings and circumstances.
  • Helps within the expression of advanced emotions.

As soon as an individual has begun to self-harm, it could actually shortly turn out to be an addictive course of the place they turn out to be depending on harming themselves to alleviate emotional stress.

Disgrace typically shortly follows self-harming conduct, leaving the survivor feeling uncontrolled and frightened. One needn’t really feel disgrace for self-harm as a result of it was all you knew on the time to ease your emotional misery.

As a result of self-harm is so addictive, defeating it may be difficult, however it may be executed.

The Bodily Toll of Self-Hurt

When somebody cuts, burns, or in any other case makes an attempt to hurt themselves, they take an unlimited threat of an infection, tetanus, MRSA, or different issues. Most individuals who self-harm don’t take precautions and are at vital threat of inflicting themselves larger hurt than they supposed and even dying.

Taking an overdose or another type of suicidal conduct is one other means your bodily self and is the final word type of self-harm. Having lived by a suicide try within the ’90s, I can inform you firsthand that suicide just isn’t the reply as it’s; because the saying goes, “a everlasting answer to a short lived downside.”

Maybe the toughest factor to face is the aftermath of self-harming conduct as a result of typically you can not disguise what occurred to you. The embarrassment is harsh and takes you down into the depths of hell as your belief in your self is destroyed.

Issues to Do to Assist You Not Self-Hurt

By now, you would possibly really feel hopeless or helpless to cease your self from hurting your self. You may need relived the final time you harm your self. However you needn’t really feel both as you turned to what you thought was the very best technique of dealing with your most brutal feelings.


Step one in ending your patterns of self-harm is to attempt to perceive them so you’ll be able to comprehend what causes your urges. It is important to keep in mind that even while you can’t cease your self from harming your physique, you’ll be able to mirror on what occurred, enabling you to take a tough take a look at your triggers. Realizing your triggers can considerably improve your means to cease them subsequent time.

Subsequent, study to acknowledge the triggers that trigger you to need to harm your self. These triggers is perhaps individuals, anniversary dates, sensations, individuals, a selected considering course of, or robust feelings.

It’s also possible to assist your self by noting what occurred earlier than you self-harmed. These notes might embody asking your self when you have any explicit ideas. Additionally, did a state of affairs, object, or particular person remind you of a trauma in your previous? Once you notice your triggers, you’ll be able to start studying the right way to deal with them with out hurting your self.

Be taught to know the bodily sensations that you just expertise earlier than you self-harm. These sensations might embody:

  • A racing coronary heart
  • Emotions of heaviness
  • You’re feeling a disconnection from your self
  • You’ve a lack of sensation
  • Feeling robust feelings reminiscent of anger or disappointment
  • Making unhealthy selections
  • Attempting your greatest to keep away from your emotions and feelings

In recognizing your urges, you’ll be able to take the mandatory steps to cut back or cease your self-harming behaviors.

Lastly, one other method to keep away from self-harm is to attend 5 minutes earlier than you do it to offer you time to assume. This method can really feel difficult, so it is crucial to not kick your self as a result of you’ll be able to’t wait that lengthy. As a substitute, be loving to your self, and you’ll progressively construct up time gaps when you concentrate on self-harming.

Ending Our Time Collectively

I’ve survived two severe suicides and quite a few self-harming incidents. It isn’t straightforward dwelling in a world that’s so unsure and a bit of extra than simply scary. It’s only pure that our brains search for a solution to ease our emotional turmoil.

Self-harm is a coping mechanism, however it is usually harmful as while you lower or in any other case hurt your self, you might be telling your self that you just don’t matter when that couldn’t be farther from the reality.

After my suicide try within the Nineteen Nineties, I didn’t belief myself. I used to be terrified that the urge to hurt myself would develop robust once more, and I didn’t need to do this. What helped me was being open and sincere about my feelings and that I had used different self-harming methods as an alternative of suicide.

Being sincere with my therapist and my family members gave me integrity and a robust sense that I used to be in charge of my life. Psychotherapy was the reply, together with some medicines that helped with my different prognosis of Main Depressive Dysfunction.

Everyone seems to be totally different, so what labored for me might not give you the results you want. Nonetheless, I hope you’ll give therapeutic an opportunity.

I hope this piece has opened the door to your therapeutic; I do know it has helped mine.

When you or somebody you’re keen on is partaking in self-harming behaviors, please name 988, the nationwide suicide prevention hotline. The one that picks up the cellphone will likely be a extremely skilled counselor who might help you uncover your subsequent steps.

“Typically even to reside is an act of braveness.” – Lucius Annaeus Seneca.

“I need to not concern. Worry is the mind-killer. Worry is the little-death that brings whole obliteration. I’ll face my concern. I’ll allow it to go over me and thru me. And when it has gone previous, I’ll flip the inside eye to see its path. The place the concern has gone, there will likely be nothing. Solely I’ll stay.” – Frank Herbert.


Gunnarsson, N. V. (2021). The self-perpetuating cycle of disgrace and self-injury. Humanity & Society, 45(3), 313-333.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.