6 Reasons Why People Self-Injure

  1. Trying to Understand Someone Who Self-Injures
  2. The 6 Reasons
  3. 6 Reasons Explained

The Enigma of Self-Injury

Self-Injury (which occurs when someone cuts or burns or otherwise harms themselves) is one of the harder behaviors associated with mental illness for people to fathom.

People mostly understand (I think) when someone becomes psychotic, gets stuck in a deep depression or has mood swings. These are exaggerations of normal states of mind—everyone has felt blue at sometime or another—everyone has felt euphoric or energized at least once.

The Enigma of Self-Injury

Though loose, psychotic-style thinking is not something that everyone has experienced directly, at least the idea that people can experience hallucinations and delusions is familiar to most.

This basic understanding is not often there when people are confronted with someone who is cutting or burning or otherwise traumatizing themselves. People don't have good reference points to use so as to understand what motivates self-injury or what people who self-injure are trying to accomplish.

If you are currently suicidal, please call 911 or a suicide hotline, such as: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) in the United States.


Trying to Understand Someone Who Self-Injures

That acts of self-injury are so often bloody and horrifying that it makes it harder for people to be thoughtful about what these acts mean. There is a tendency to panic when you see someone you care about bleeding from self-inflicted wounds, or covered with scars. Such panic interferes with thinking, and makes it harder for people to understand the motives behind self-injury.

Further complicating the matter is the way that self-injury looks like it must be a suicide attempt even though it usually isn't. An act of self-injury which might make sense if understood as a suicide attempt become all the more difficult to comprehend when the self-injurious person denies that they are trying to kill themselves and is telling the truth.

So why do people self-injure? What are they trying to accomplish when they harm themselves? The following list of 6 motivations seems to cover most of the common scenarios that people who self-injure describe.


The 6 Reasons

  1. Distract themselves, alter the focus of their attention, or regain control over their minds when experiencing pressing, unavoidable and overwhelming feelings or thoughts.
  2. Release tension associated with strong emotions or overwhelming thoughts.
  3. Feel something physical when they are otherwise dissociated and numb.
  4. Express themselves or communicate and/or document strong emotions they are feeling and cannot otherwise articulate.
  5. Punish themselves.
  6. Experience a temporary but intense feeling of euphoria that occurs in the immediate aftermath of self-harm.

6 Reasons Explained

Let's unpack these 6 reasons why people self-injure.

Woman depressed1. To Regain Control; To Shift Attention

People sometimes harm themselves because by doing so, they are able to gain a subjective sense of control over chaotic internal emotions and thoughts. Seizing this control involves shifting the focus of their attention away from something more troubling towards something less troubling. Cutting or burning one's self causes physical pain which is a very compelling and strong sensation.

Self-injurers sometimes use this pain sensation to override painful background chatter that fills their minds. For example, they may have been traumatized by a rape experience such that they have PTSD symptoms and constantly be replaying that rape in their minds.

By cutting themselves, they are able to refocus their attention on the pain of the cut and for a short while, experience relief from the rape trauma.

Man having withdrawals2. To Release Tension

A variation on the theme of regaining control, is the idea that people self-injure as a means of releasing tension. Sometimes an aspect of a person's chaotic internal experience is that feelings and thoughts build up a subjective state of tension or arousal that motivates people to do something to take action to reduce that tension or arousal. Cutting or burning one's self can, apparently, serve such a tension-reducing function.

An example will serve to illustrate. I read an account of a young woman who was consumed with suicidal thoughts which pushed her towards a compulsive feeling that she should end her life.

She coped with this compulsion by cutting herself, which refocused her attention, however temporarily, away from her suicidal ideation. This wasn't perhaps the most ideal coping solution in the world, but it was what she had come up with, and it was functioning to keep her alive.

Woman with addiction3. To Return From Numbness

Traumatized people sometimes cope with their trauma by dissociating. Dissociation is a mental and emotional state where the normal unitary experience of consciousness gets chopped up into disconnected parts.

So, a person who dissociates may not remember something that happened to them that was very painful because through the process of dissociation they were able to store that painful memory in a section of their mind that the rest of themselves doesn't know how to find.

Feelings can also be dissociated or detached from the events that provoked them such as occurs in Depersonalization Disorder. So, a painful feeling associated with a traumatic memory might be detached from that memory such that the traumatized person remembers the event as though it happened in a movie; as though it happened to someone else and they were just watching it unfold, numb to the experience.

We're all familiar with the idea that it is painful to experience pain sensations. What people may not realize is that it is also painful to not feel anything.

Dissociated people who feel largely emotionally numb are often in great pain of a sort. Some of them will self-injure so as to generate a strong sensation that is capable of bringing them back to feeling something again. There are variations on this theme. Not all numb dissociated people will use physical pain to "return"; some will use other strong sensations such as are afforded by drugs or sex, etc. But some use physical pain.

Comforting a friend4. To Express/Communicate/Document Pain

Sometimes, people who self-harm are not skilled at using language to describe their inner experiences. This can be because they are not particularly good with words.

It can be because they never learned (for whatever reason) what words to use to describe emotion. It can be because what they experience inside their minds is overwhelming to them (due to trauma or abuse) that words can't do justice. Particularly with regard to severe trauma and abuse, words fail to capture the magnitude of internal reactions.

In such cases where words are not available or are inadequate to contain emotional experience, what is left to a person trying to cope with that experience is to express it physically. This process of physical expression of inner experience is sometimes called "acting out."

One rather impulsive and aggressive form of acting out involves inflicting wounds on one's self with the intention of using these physical wounds as a communications device.

The idea is that there is some rough correspondence between easy-to-see self-inflicted physical wounds and internal and thus invisible emotional wounds.

People who self-injure as a means of communication may be doing it to draw attention to themselves (e.g., as a means of calling for help, not unlike a suicide attempt), or they may simply be trying to document to themselves that their internal experience of pain is valid and worthy. Some people who have been abused or neglected may not take their own emotional pain seriously until it has been rendered as physical damage.

Domestic abuse5. To Self-Punish

Some people who self-injure do so because they seek to punish themselves. Often when this occurs people who harm themselves with intent to self-punish are also people who have survived substantial abuse.

One of the lasting long-term effects of abuse is, for some people, that the voice or perspective of the abuser gets implanted into the minds of the victims in such a way that the victim starts to judge him or herself in the same way that the original abuser did and then starts to be motivated to punish him or herself.

There's nothing magical about how this abuse implantation process works. In any relationship, each partner builds a mental model of the other partner into their own minds, and uses this model to predict what the other will do.

In the case of the abuser-victim relationship, the victim builds a model of the abuser. The abuser's words such as "because you're dumb, you're worthless, you're a failure" become a rational for the abuse. It's not long before those words resonate in the victim's head without them being said by the abuser. Then they start attacking themselves in the absence of the abuser.

The psychodynamic term for this process where alien values get injected into a person is "introjection," and the alien values are known as an "introject." For more detail on this general process, please see Foreclosed Identities.

People who self injure do not walk around all the time judging themselves from the hostile value system that has been introjected into them. Most of the time, they are able to view the world from their own, more organic perspective.

However, there are times when they get overwhelmed and that introjected perspective takes over and then the need to self-punish as compensation for being such a bad person gets expressed. Sometimes this need is expressed physically, through actual self-injury.

6. To Experience EuphoriaWoman taking medication

The final reason I'm aware of that people who self-injure describe has to do with feelings of euphoria or at least pleasant feelings that some self-injurers report occur right after they have finished cutting or burning or otherwise damaging themselves.

I think it's like what happens after you exercise vigorously—you get a "runner's high"; a temporary feeling of bliss that occurs right after you've worked out. Only in this case, the feeling of bliss happens in the aftermath of damaging yourself.

Some self-injurers have described this feeling as having addictive qualities. They remember how good that feeling felt and become motivated to self-injure to recreate that feeling.

Comments
  • Dano MacNamarrah (http:danomacnamarrah.blogspot.com)

    I'm 42 now, but I started cutting myself around 15 years old. It was enough that the councelor, that I had saught out for myself, had to report it to my parents due to NJ State laws. They'd ignored recommendations from a school I was enrolled in, at the age of 10, that I needed psychiactric help.

    My step-uncle had molested me when I was 3 - 4 years old. When I finally faced it and told my mum about it in my late thirties, is when I found out how young I was when it happened.

    I have a M.H. diagnoses of Bipolar II Disorder, with PTSD, and Borderline Traits. I think the latter is due to the severe injuries that I have inflicted on myself. My arms and thighs bare terrible witness.

    It took me many years of therapy to even be able to voice my inner feelings. I am not verbally challenged, but I come from a (British) culture of "stiff upper lip" attitude. I was also brought up in a house that made it clear that children should be seen and not heard.

    I am an emotional person and an artist. Recently, my father let me know that he never wanted to see me again. He stated that I am "Bohemian" whilst he's "Bourgeoise", which is fine, but... Apparently, ever since I was a small child, I have gone out of my way to be "provocative, irritating and enraging" (to him). I was shocked, horrified, devastated. I'd always wanted to make him proud, but clearly I failed!

    I found your article put voice to the reasons why I cut, burned, shot 1/2" staples into myself. I needed to get out of my crazed head at times, while at other times, I just needed to feel. To open myself up physically, would release the furious pressure inside, even though I didn't really any pain. The release came from dealing with an arm that was bleeding out, cooling a blackened eye, reloading the staple gun, watching the flesh melt, designing burn patterns etc.

    At one point, I spent time in mental health chat rooms, reaching out to young people who were in danger of ending up with scars like mine. I noticed that there was a small population of "A" students, who were in theory doing well, but using self-injury as a way of having control over one part of their lives. It probably falls into the area of voicing unspoken inner emotions.

    I haven't intentionally hurt myself since a year ago December, when I gave myself a 4" X 1" third degree burn by rolling cigarettes on my inner fore-arm. I ended up on a psyche ward for three months.

    I've been in and out of psyche wards due to cutting and suicidal depression for the past decade, staying an average of two months a year. My un-checked mental health had finally caught up with me.

    I don't think that I'm over hurting myself. What I have noticed is that the injuries just keep getting bigger. It's highly addictive and plays into my albeit small competative spirit.

    I want to thank you for your insightful, thoughtful writing on this topic. Some one should start talking about this and I'm glad it's you.

    Dano MacNamarrah

    Editor's Note: Dano's blog Mental Motes (danomacnamarrah.blogspot.com) is worth checking out. Nice work Dano!

  • Dano MacNamarrah (http:danomacnamarrah.blogspot.com)

    I would like to say that I'm sorry about the grammatical/spelling mistakes that I made in my previous comments. I try very hard to not do this in my regular writing, so it pains me to see it!

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog. It means the world to me, as I respect so much the work that you are doing here. I do believe that the computer is going to be a great weapon in fighting the ignorence, fear and blatent discrimination of those suffering from a mental health diagnoses.

    Dano.

  • Anonymous-1

    I began self-injuring as a teenager. It was an attempt to punish myself when I felt that I had eaten too much. I wonder why I ever thought that I needed to punish myself in such a way for such a seemingly small issue. Yet it is still a trigger for me. I am very shy and I keep my problems and my self-injury to myself. I don’t know how to deal with my issues or make myself feel better. When I say or do something stupid I have constant negative thoughts, and self-injury helps to silence them.

    I am now 25 years old. I hate my scars. I didn’t realize how they would impact my life when I first started self-injuring. I have to wear long sleeves and pants in 100 degree heat so that my scars will be covered. I see them as evidence that I am gross, or that there is something wrong with me. I avoid going to the doctor because I am afraid that they will see my scars. Even though I tried to hide it from them, my family found out about my self-injury after I had unrelated minor surgery and was too out of it to realize that my sleeves were still rolled up when the iv was put in my arm. My family has only brought up my self-injury twice in 8 years, but the idea that they know makes me feel sick to my stomach. I can’t seem to get better on my own, but I don’t know how to get help for my problems when the idea of telling someone about them disgusts me so much.

  • Anonymous-2

    I began self abuse as a child. I typically pick my skin until it bleeds. Usually I do this on my scalp and back, probably to avoid having people see it. I'm in my 40's now, the problem has been worse over the last couple of years. I think the main reason I do this is that it allows me to focus all my attention on the pain. It is an escape from overstimulation in my environment. As PTSD person, I my nerves are frazzled by what other people would consider normal day-to-day activities and interactions. I am easily overwhelmed. When I pick, it is as if I can relax. It actually seems to reduce stress.

  • Anonymous-3

    i'm used to punish myself. my current status is i wanted to forget someone but it is impossible. i made a curfew on myself, by making law that when i think of her i will make a cut on my hand. for now i have 28 cuts on my fingers. quite few but this is good. I made a progress of not thinking of her oftenly.

  • noeline

    Hi, I am worried about a boy of 14 who has started cutting himself. He draws pictures of suicide methods i.e. gun next to his head. He has commented that he gets so angry that the only way he can feel relieved is when he cuts himself. I am a therapist and would like to guide him to another outlet. Any advice?

  • Anonymous-4

    You know... I used to do this when I was a kid. Looking back, I think my main problem was that I didn't know how to talk about my feelings- and I wasn't growing up in an environment in which it was okay to talk about how I felt. I didn't have an adult or guiding person to confide in that way. I had a lot of anger- and feelings that i considered 'wrong'-- and I didn't want to expose other people to that side of me... So I just decided to hurt myself instead. It calmed me down, and had the added benefit of helping me focus on a minor, yet attention-wresting, physical sensation that I was in control of, rather than my inner tumult.

    I stopped when I was eighteen. I think what changed was that I accomplished a number of things in life - like going to college, having a boyfriend, forming friendships, working successfully... and all of that contributed to making me feel good about myself. I also developed better coping mechanisms- like exercise. And I met more people like myself- people I related to. (No- not self damaging people-- people in college who shared my interests.)

    I realized that this was not a mature way in which to deal with my problems, and made other choices.

    If someone you know has a problem with self-injury-- here's what I would recommend: Ask the person to talk about how they feel. Listen without judgment. Be a friend. Then... Go to a movie. Take a long walk. Go dancing. Jog on weekends-- anything! Make it regular. Start spending time together in a positive and productive way-- and help that person not only deal with, but distract themselves from the bad feelings inside. The more interesting activities and positive interactions you have, the better you feel about yourself.

    Because I do believe that half of how you feel is a result of what you do with your time. Self injury is a sign of depression-- and the best way out of depression is to do things. Really. I swear.

    And sometimes people just need some help getting started-- because depression can be paralyzing, or life a bit intimidating. And there's nothing that counters that as well as a good friend.

  • Anonymous-5

    I cant explain why I do it. The closest explanation in this article that applies to me is the euphoria theory. I like the way it feels. Its exciting. I don't like the scars and the only part of the whole thing that hurts is simply the fact that I do it. It scares me a little that I'm getting better at it.

  • Anonymous-6

    I am 43 now. I worked most of my life but became overwhelmed with having to cut, burn or hurt myself in order to cope with the world. But there is more to it that I don't understand, I do hurt myself to keep from hurting others. I like, punish myself. I went to a new psychologist yesterday and she totally put me back about 20 years. I hate her. She told me that I should just go back to work and deal with it. So basically, she told me if I do go in, hurt myself or others, it was just part of who I was. I cried all night long. And I am still crying. Now I don't know if that is who I am or what. I have hurt others in the past and trying to cope is even harder now after yesterday.

    I hope no one else has to deal with this.

  • Tom

    Recently my son shot himself with a rifle (a military rilfe). He shot his arm and states matter of factly that it was not a suicide attempt (he said that if he wanted to kill himself he would have shot himself in the head). He seems to be more the type that wanted to document the pain inside he is always feeling (he drinks -- sever alcoholism) and he never has been able to articulate it. I think there is some self-punishing going on as he blames his violent behaviour for getting him kicked out of the militray (he was just about to go to boot camp and he was excelling in the weekend programs with the Army) and the euphoria theory also applies somewhat. This is the first site I have seen that has given me a clear picture of the basic reasons people injure themselves. I am now going to learn a lot of what is going on -- I have to help my son -- he is in inpatient care right now but he will get out soon so I have to learn more quickly.

  • Anonymous-7

    im trying to understand why a person would scar their body.is there a name for people who cut themselves. this person tells all kinds of stories.shes always off on medical leave. and what about the safety of myself and my co-workers. this person even shows off her wounds and tells everyone she cuts herself.

  • Lianne

    -"express themselves or communicate and/or document strong emotions they are feeling and cannot otherwise articulate"

    After searching for so long for the reason i found cutting so appealing and after coming across numerous articles that all said the same things (to punish themselves, to gain control, etc.), I’ve finally discovered this new one, and feel like it fits into my situation exactly. I was never good with expressing how I felt, especially when it came to extremely strong, unexplainable emotions. I thought that I had such a superficial reason for cutting (to prove that I was upset) like some attention-seeking teenage girl, but now it makes more sense to me, that I did it because I wanted to “document” to myself that the pain was “valid and worthy,” something serious.

  • Rachael Griffis

    I went searching the internet for an explanation to why I am feeling this way. All I can think of when I'm not fighting the urge to harm myself, is "Why would I want to do that?". I don't understand why I have this feeling. I can't figure it out. The closest thing that I can find is the good feeling that it gives (your last reason). When I get the urge I am usually really stressed or just down in general. I guess doing it gives me that short lived feeling of excitement. I guess the only explanation is the simple one: It makes me feel better.

  • Anonymous-8

    For me it was self punishment with a lil bit of proving to myself that I could actually do it.

  • Anonymous-9

    I've only cut myself once (though with more than one actual cut) I did it because of the whole numbness thing, I feel like I have no emotions and the only reason no ones noticed is because I still react to things like I have some, so thats why I did it. I admit I have 'self-harmed' in other ways though which aren't as noticable and don't take as long to heal. But thats kind of sick considering I learnt that of a friend who self harmed but she has no idea I copied her.

  • Rachel A.

    Hey I AM only 13 years old and i cut my self like really badly and i tryed to commit suicide once by taking a tremendis amount of pills so basicly a over dose thank god he spared my life and you i take my self as a EMO Person becuase thats what the name is for people who cut them selfs Emo is short for emotional and thats one of the reasons why people cut them selfs and i wass in a really bad stage of depression i would cry my self to sleep every night i mean it i was abused bby my father and familyi only had my mom and being in tbhe stage of depression my relation ship with my mother ended bbecuase she thought i was crazy/possesed which i was not i am not mental you know it bhurts me to know that other people goes thru wbhat i go thru bbcuz it wasnt a good feeling after i ccutted my slef i was always like omg what did i do this is never gonna go away i started at 12 yrs old becuase of a guy he bhurted me and make me hurt everyone around me bbut now ill be 14 and i dont cut my self no more so ppl who do and reads this please

    I USE TO ASK MYSELF THIS AND DIDNT UNDEDRSTAND WHAT DO WE GET OUT OF IT?

    DONT DO IT YOU DONT HAVE TO CUT YOUR SELF OR HARM YOURSELF IN ANY OTHER WAY.

    you got a long lasting father those who dont belive theres a god trust me there is because i didint do this on my own he helped me and he could help you talk to him he knows wbhat your goinbg through and sometimes he lets you go through stages to make you stronger gby

  • Anonymous-10

    For years i've been cutting myself..i started when i was 12 and here i am now, 20 years old, still cutting myself til now. the last time i cut was 2 months ago, and i was hospitalized for that...the doctors thought i have a mental illness which made them hospitalize me.. which made them make me take pills, that i don't need, pills that i don't want to take.. pills that don't make me feel any better...

    Many times i tried to commit suicide...with taking a huge amount of pills, from different types, and i got saved...bcoz of my brother who entered my room and saw me laying on the floor, as hard as ice...

    Now my hands are full of scars, some of them don't show that much, bcoz it has been years and years since i started...they slightly disappeared, but still can be seen if you look closely at them..My parents think am not normal, they think i am crazy...but they will never know that the real reason behind it, is the craving for help...

  • mscat

    Self harm , started for me, 25 years ago. Including a severe eating disorder which I really did a number on myself for 8 years > I started getting better for a while. I never thought i'd resort back to Self injury, not until my mid 30's did I began SI , and once this behavior started it only became worse. I honestly do not know what was the trigger or motivation to revert back into these old behaviors, however, I had. I learned newer and worse ways to self injure. Very severe self inflicted injuries, tat has caused many surgries, and inpatient hospitalizations in Critical care unit. I can idenify with many of the common reasons why people self injure. Self hate, as punishment, and worst of all the numbness, and disconnection that never seems to disappear. Self harming awakens me up, at least briefly. It also helps me to get out the "evil" parts inside of me. I'll focus on a particular body part to destroy it, not to punish , more to get rid of something bad, the disconnection leads to me being and feeling separate from myself, worse nothing is connected , much like body parts are unjoined together, their is no sense of being even fully connected to myself , this is where the nature of my true extreme Self harming experiences have caused me to react, sometimes, though their is this build up. A build up within myself that is ready to explode. the longer I go without self harming the bigger and stronger this build up continues to grow . Then, I'll self injure more then I ever wanted to, it is a frantic , impulsive , angry , way to self harm, and that is when the most damaging effects have occured. Without reaslising how extreme, I self harmed, it is too late. I will say that I agree that self harmers have a higher pain threshhold. Because I can feel the pain, the pain of what is equivalant to setting oneself on fire, without using direct fire, it has the same results, ...

    < material removed by Dr. Dombeck on account of it being too graphic for publication on this page - my apologies mscat!>

    ... Why I am writing this , is so others can be aware that Self injury can become worse, and intensify, if the person does not have the self control or loses control over self harm. Or it is done when being numb. I do not think their are many self harmers like me. thankfully. Because this is the other end of the SI spectrum . And it is ugly. Major self injury, I guess that is what I've done, along with lesser forms of SI. All and all I know that I wish I could of never started it . This is unpleasant even writing about, but if I can help others see what can happen, then I have accomplished my goal. My injuries from self harm look like I have been in some type of accident. Nobody ever thinks of SI . I don't tell them either. It has left me with loss of moment in my hand, wrist area, major tissue damage, too many skin graphs to count, and extremely ugly scarring. NO, it is not fun to SI, and it can be as serious as this . Each yr, I major self harm, along with other acts of SI. Perhaps this leans more towards sucidal thinking , and wants, however, NO. However, what can happen to anyone who Si's is the danger of killing oneself, accidently , which ought to stop all of us from engaging in our destructive behaviors against our own bodies. For me, it has not yet . However, it is a fear of mine.

  • Been in the darkness

    When I was a teenager, I began cutting myself. Nobody I knew did it, so it was not learned behavior. My father was very abusive towards me and my mother, and when she divorced him she forgot she had children and began to become involved with a lot of men. I never got to heal from the abuse and the divorce, and then my mother was not there for me.

    Some people are in so much pain inside that they feel that they deserve to suffer and hurt on the outside as well. I felt as if I deserved the self mutilation, and after I cut my arm up I felt such a relief, as if each cut released the internal pain and suffering. I have never told anyone of this, and I feel that I am not crazy, suicidal, or have a mental disorder. I have not done it in about 15 years, and I do not plan to. However, I do not judge or criticize anyone who cuts themselves. Everyone has their own way of relieving and coping with trauma.

  • Anonymous-11

    I am 23 years old, and have not cut myself for 2 years. But I use to think I was unworthy. My father wanted nothing to do with me until I was three, but even then, he had played favorites with my sister and I. I was told that I was a mistake, continually, until I was about 13. The first time I had ever cut myself I was 15, my mother was yelling at me, when she had left my bedroom, I found a peice of broken glass, and sliced my arm up.

    I cried while I did it, but for some reason I felt better, like I had deserved it, I was a horrible person, and I thought no one had loved me. I continued cutting myself for a couple of years, I did not cut often, only when I felt very down, and each time, I had told myself that I deserved it.

    The last time I cut myself I was home alone, and sick, my then boyfriend (now husband) was at work, I was on the phone with him, and I felt he wasn't caring so much that I was sick, because I was a horrible person, I ended up hanging up on him, and when he didn't call me back, I sliced my arm. When he got home he noticed, and I lied telling him that our cat scratched me, but he told me he didn't believe me, then I broke down and cried my eyes out and told him that I did it to myself. He told me that he loved me, and that he was worried. I told him I wouldn't ever dream of commiting suicide, and he said that he could stand to see me hurt at all.

    Since then I have come to realize that cutting yourself doesn't just hurt you, but it is hurtful to the ones around you, your loved ones. I have not cut since then, and I don't plan to ever again. Because even if I think about it, I can't get my husband's face out of my mind, and I couldn't and wouldn't ever hurt him like that again.

  • Heart Pain

    I am 19 and I named the title of this my punishment is living because after numerous suicide attempts I am still alive. My mom beat me in junior high and high school...I am in college now (excessive need to keep up appearances) and my mom is absent in this picture, but when I do poorly academicly I hear her voice saying I will never be nothing or when I wake up in the morning and look myself in the mirror I see how she looked at me when she beat me. Because my college is really family oriented I am constantly reminded of how dysfunctional my family and I am. I punish myself...for being so useless and being a wate of space and I think that its okay because unlike massmurders who kill others for their failures I kill myself and no one knows about it...I function in society I go to school, work ect. I wear regular clothing I cut my inner thighs, so no one will findout. If you want true incite into my life watch the movie "Precious"

  • brooke

    reading all theses comments really make me embarassed.. i'm so ashamed that this is who i have become, someone who self injures daily. And i'm embarassed because although my family life wasnt perfect i was never abused, and i was never raped or had any severe trauma. I have never experienced death of a relative that i was very close too. I think i blame most of it on myself, i just feel like i've never really been loved or cared about because i've never been good enough for people to love me. Then i met this guy, and he was perfect he was the first boy to tell me he loved me and the first person i actually believed we were together for three years and everything was perfect until he suddenly left me. But it was just the way that he left me that killed, he started telling me that i wasnt good enough for him.. that was when i started cutting, it was what i knew was true, i would never be good enough for them. That was just after my 18th birthday and it has been six months since then and i have been cutting every day. The cuts are starting to get deeper now and when i do it i almost feel proud.. I told him that i did it hoping he would still care enough to help me but he just told me i was stupid, i also told one of my 'best friends' but she just acted like nothing had happened. Nobody else even knows im in pain. I want to get better but i know that i need help and there is just too much going on in my family right now for them to find out, plus i could never tell them myself what i do. I have thought about killing myself many times and i have told myself i was just waiting for the right time.. i just dont know what to do anymore. My dad has been diagnosed with clinical depression and i see his life now and he is miserable. i dont want to be miserable like that forever and if that is my future then i dont want to live.. I really just feel insane sometimes for still loving that guy, i feel like im psychotic sometimes. Not only have i cut and burned because of it but i have had an eating disorder, i would keep myself awake for multiple nights, i would drink large ammounts of cough syrup daily, anything to try and remove thoughts of him and thoughts of loneliness and hopelessness.

  • kate

    i am stuck in a world i love. i love my 3 kids. i married a guy i love. unfortunately they hate me because i cant stodrinking so i cut my arms and they hatre that too. I dont know what to do.

  • Anonymous-12

    In response to your comment regarding abuse and self-punishment. I self injure and starve myself as a form of self-punishment (mostly). It serves different purposes at different times. Sometimes it is to relieve tension, sometimes to get the "high", but most often it is self-punishment. However, I have never experienced any form of abuse. After two years of therapy, I still haven't figured out what exactly drives me to punish myself. I am an extreme perfectionist. Maybe that is why. But it has nothing to do with abuse.

  • Anonymous-13

    I don't have any idea to make my mood better other than self-punishment. Then who can give any tips to do so, although not willing to bleed as result?

  • Summer

    I agree self-injury was, for me, a way to release strong emotions. When I was a teen (I'm in my 40's) I used to scrape my arms with a safety pin. My father was very controlling and authoritative. He was a bully. He denied my need to express feelings and opinions, especially if they ran counter to his own ideas. Ridiculed, belittled and discounted, I turned to self-injury to release the frustration of not being able to speak. It also was an act of self-loathing I hated that I could not stand up and be my own person. I was too afraid of being hit.

  • Anonymous-14

    I don't know what to do sometimes. After reading all these comments, where people have actually gone through stuff, I feel so silly for harming myself! I am in perfectly normal surroundings, I have no history of abuse, etc.. I just fear monotony. A lot. Everything is the same everyday. Wake up. Breakfast. Go to school. Homework. Lunch. Exercise. Dinner. Sleep. Then the same thing again. And again and again and again. It's really difficult sometimes because there's nothing to look forward to. No surprises. On top of that, I am academically inclined, as a result I tend to get very very highly stressed about little little things. (Oh no, does that teacher dislike me? Oh no, I did so badly in this test. Oh no, I got scolded by a teacher today, etc.) Sometimes these little things build up so much, that I find it unbearable to cope. On top of it all, I am also an athlete. As most of you may know, athletics is highly stressful and pressurizing. Not just to stay in shape, but for other things as well. I also get very tense if one of my peers starts to dislike me.

    Sometimes, all these things begin to mount up. By the end of the week, I'm left with a pile of homework, tests to study for and most importantly, A LOT of stress. "A lot" is a major understatement. It may seem futile but that's just who I am. I just can't cope! It just takes one trivial altercation or something of the sort to crack me. Then I just lose sense of everything. My mind just controls my body completely. I do realize after these moments that I behave very abnormally and I am certainly not myself then. It's then that I break down. After I've cried myself out, I get back to normal for a long time, sometimes upto a few months. This "sad spell" only lasts for two days, maximum. But its build-up is for a whole week..

    Recently, I needed an escape. I felt the breakdown coming but I wanted to avoid it at any cost. Again, it was becoming a part of my routine, therefore monotonous. I pulled out my scissors one day, and scraped myself. There was no blood. Just a few scratches. Then it happened again. Since the first attempt had been so successful, I decided to try it again. This time, there were tiny beads of scarlet blood on my cuts but they were barely there. No scarring. That was yesterday. So basically I've only self harmed twice. Very mildly. I'm also very slightly bulimic (only once in like 4 months or so) but that's not as big a problem as the cutting is.

    I just don't want to do it again. However, I don't know if I'll be able to control myself! Because at times like those, one doesn't care what the "sane" option out is. ANYTHING that helps you to avoid the sadness is a valid option. I WANT OUT OF SELF INJURY. I want to be normal, like everyone else. One day, I want to recover from Bulimia as well. I don't want to be sad all the time. I don't want to wonder what the reason to live is. I want to know it. I want to laugh. I want to feel happy! I want what I deserve.

    But I don't know how to get it. Mine is a tortured soul. That's pretty much established by now. I do not believe in religion but I do believe in one God. I know He will guide me, He will help me.

    But when? The days go by, I keep waiting.

    I'm sorry for what I'm doing to myself. But I don't see any other way out. The best way to put it: "Beneath that veil of perfection lie eyes unaccustomed to happiness."

    Thank you.

  • Ashley

    I think you covered all the big reasons for SI pretty well. I probably fall into the categories of self-punishment, emotional tension relief, and trying to explain in physical terms what I don't say in words. I believe I do not tell people what my troubles are because either I do not feel I am worth their time, they will not understand, or they will not really care. When I was a little kid I was already starting to feel ashamed of who I was and I took it upon myself to be a people-pleaser because my parents were divorcing and there was a lot of pain involved on all sides. Yet I do not think the divorce was traumatizing to me, and I do not have any history of abuse. I don't know why I turned out this way -meaning, why I developed SI, and even worse in my opinion, binge eating disorder, and depression probably on account of BED. I guess it's a combination of learning not to speak out when I was feeling bad, not speaking out because I wanted to please other people, developing a heightened negative awareness of myself at a very young age - I remember the feeling of shame very clearly, when I cried every day in kindergarten because I simply could not ask for help with words - and learning to use food in a way it wasn't meant to be used, and thus opening up a whole slew of body-image problems.

    I had mostly stopped SI for a year and a half, but it's started up again because I'm falling apart mentally. I'm in college now, and I started SI when I was 14. I've never stopped treating myself with food, never learned how to really put myself out there and say what was wrong with me - even though I've seen so many counselors - and now I absolutely cannot cope with everyday life without binge eating. I go completely ballistic and nuts if I can't binge eat. Literally, I am unable to function "normally" if I don't get my fix. I started up the SI again to see if I could substitute the cutting for the binge eating, but it doesn't work. I am so worried about all my plans right now because I can just feel myself crumbling and ripping apart at the seams, and I don't think I can keep it all together. I'm definitely stuck in self-destruct mode right now.

  • pete

    its nice to read an article that understands. too often those on looking in dont understand the reasons.

    I didnt do anything for maybe 10 years, but recently something happened in my life and the only way to cope with the inner pain and anger was to cut my chest and upper arms with scissors and bruise my back with a belt.

    to clarify something, we know exactly what we are doing, we know what instruments we use and exactly where to apply them, it is not an act to show the world, hence the reason for doing it on hidden parts of the body and drawing the curtains.

    from my own point of view, its the only way to express (to myself) the pain i feel inside, not only is there a sense of relief straight after each cut or bruise, but the image reflected in the mirror when you see yourself covered in blood fells like a sense of achievement and ultimate control, this of course goes shortly after and you're only left with guilt.

    However, for anyone who is worried about their partner, son or child that they can turn against you in an aggressive manner, this is not an act of violence towards others, I, for example, have never hurt anyone, despite what i do to myself, do this is a "controlled" manner.

    thanks

  • Lia

    I hope that one day the ghosts of the past (not sure what they are) will stop haunting me and I hope that the urge to cut my arms goes away....but it won't. I know I deserve this pain and I feel normal and well again but it goes and I'm left with a) a mess b) pressure from everyone else c) the urge to do it all over again.

    I wish I could explain the feelings and so called "story" about this but even I don't know what it is. I'm not like the rest of the people who have commented I don't feel like I fit in any group or sub category for this thing. I hope those who commented have a chance to stop I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  • LT

    It was good to read others' testimonies and know that I'm not alone in feeling the need to SI. Monotony - yes I can relate to that... not able to see a future, not able to escape, feeling completely trapped and at points thinking suicide is literally the only escape. Although things are less black now I still like to cut... its become a comfort blanket and even, dare I say it, a reward. I can face a day thinking that if any little thing happens that sends me plunging downwards then I can always go home and cut. This is on top of being a regular gym-er. I hope that maybe writing this might help someone else.

  • Abby

    I think your article containing reasons is right on the money. I don't think it is one of those reasons, however, I think it can be all of those reasons at different times. I started SI'ing at 10 and on and off for 30 years. I was "clean" for 8 and now am struggling with it again. I was in counseling 10 years ago when I started cutting again. My therapist never had a client who self injured and really didn't know how to help me. I think it is amazing that I was able to hold it together for 8 years and perhaps that can give me hope that, even though I am in a setback now, I can get back on track. I started therapy with a new counselor and am reading the book "Comes to the Darkness, Comes to the Light" by Vanessa Vega, a person that has overcome self injury. I believe there is hope and healing for those that truly want it but I think it takes a lot of work and reaching out. It is important that we don't keep this our dark and secret shame. It is only in the light can we receive hope and healing. I pray for all of those that struggle with this and ask you to pray for me. We can make it through. Thank you, Mark for your insights, which shed light on a difficult topic.

  • Anonymous-15

    yes agree all those 6 sometimes together, sometimes a combination. I would add one, I self harm as it can be the only time I feel I have complete control over something, especially if there is something out of my contol. Hope that makes sense, bpd sufferer

  • LilyTurnedBlack

    First of all, thank you for putting it so clearly. And for the warmth I feel when reading your article. My story is not of those scariest or hardest stories of severe child abuse. No physical abuse, no sexual abuse that I would remember. Verbal abuse had never grown beyond "between the lines". I had a cancer surgery as a child (about 3 years old). That was also the time when my father died. My mother is a person of very strong character, quick-tempered, yet trying to do her best. My step father got a cancer few years ago, and then got depressed. At that time I took care of my younger sis and my stepfather, since mother was working and living on the other sie of the country. When she finally came back, I moved out. I self-harm for 2 years now. When I read the passage about communicating and docummenting the pain, I was shocked. Finally, somebody spoke out what I felt but couldn't put down to words (well, just as it is written there, I have a really hard time speaking bout my emotions. Showing them in acting-out is.. easier. more true.). Thank you. Thank you I can now say why I do it.

  • pearl

    The first time I was stressed and I just beat my arm with a stick. One time I was wondering why I didn't get picked to be on student council. Sometimes I just feel like no one cares, like they're all making fun of me. Now I mostly scrape myself with pencils. The whole time I dare myself, saying do it you whimp, telling myself I only want attention. First I feel relieved, then I feel the physical pain, then I kind of forget about it, and then I get mad that I did it in the first place. And then I see my family and I just act like nothing happens. Sometimes I wish I could tell everyone about it but my family. It scares me.

  • Mary

    The main reason that I have ever hurt myself was not to hurt myself physically or mentally at all. My boyfriend both physically and verbally abused me, therefore I had plenty of physical pain and emotion scaring. When he would do terrible things to me, I always forgave him and we would move on. However, as much as I loved him, I could never fully forgive him for hurting me. So, I would hurt myself. While I thought it was because I was trying to show him how much he was hurting me, it could have been about hurting myself as well. I used to take any sharp object and cut my legs. Because he could manage to hurt me but somehow never leave a clear mark, I thought the blood, the scabs and the scars could open his eyes to how bad he was truly hurting myself. Forgiving him and trying to move on, was like a scab. Scabs heal, but scars remain. The last time I ever took something sharp to myself, I ended up in the hospital at the beginning of last summer. It had been a great day. My baby and I had been having fun all day, but it was time for me to go home to make my practice. I picked up his IPhone to see the time, found out he had been talking to a girl that he shouldn’t have been. Angered due to his deceit and filled with fear that he was leaving me, I picked a fight with him. His parents were coming home (we were 18 at the time) and he did not feel like fighting. He simply denied everything. I told him I glanced at his phone and noticed she texted him about hanging out after I left. His explanation? Go home Mary, I don’t love you anymore. From hindsight, I can now tell that this was a perfect escape, however, hindsight comes later. This blew my world. I knew in my heart and my soul that he did to love me and in fact, quite a lot. Even times he beat the shit out of me, he would always start crying, apologize and tell me he loved me. I never felt closer to him than after all of this. If there ever was some kind of damage, he would bandage me or help me take off my smeared make up. I knew, despite almost all appearances, that he truly loved me. After having my world flipped upside down by his denial of his love for me, I suddenly realized that he hurting me was not okay. For some reason, him hurting me when he loved me was okay (bearable), but without love, it hurt more. So for the first time ever, I started the fight. I gave him a nasty right hook to the eye that would’ve made Rocky shake in his boots. It was a perfect punch, but he weighed over 150 lbs more than me (huge and muscular). It surprised him, scared him and mostly pissed him off. More fighting occurred as he tried to force me out of his house and into my car. He would pick me up, take a couple of steps, I would bite, scratch or claw, he would drop me, I would try to run, he would pick me up again. I had no idea was I was fighting, however, I kept fighting. I still think I would’ve just left and come back the next day as normal if he just told me he loved me. (By the way, he wasn’t cheating on me) He got me in my car and told me to leave. I waited in his driveway to collect my thoughts and dry my eyes. Being the person he was, he came out and tapped on my window. I thought it was time to make up, but he just had to be meaner in case he didn’t hurt me enough. For some reason, out of all the things of his I had in my car, he asked for his knife back. He loved his $250 knife that was perfectly sharpened and built to gut. At this point, I became jealous of the knife for his affection, so I told him I didn’t have it. He took my $500 ring off of my finger in exchange. What I thought was the last straw, broke my heart. I loved that ring. I bought it for myself, but pretended like he gave it to me. He walked back inside his house. I came storming out of my car with his knife. Full of hate and blind with anger, I had no clue what to do with it. I walked behind his car, and contemplated what to do with it. Then I hear my baby, the person I loved unconditionally, gave everything (including the past 4 years and my virginity to) call my name. Make up time now? No, he was pointing a gun right at my face. I opened the knife, closed my eyes, and put all my anger and strength into slitting my wrist. Oddly enough, I felt nothing but release and freedom. I felt no pain. My cold blood felt soothing and relaxing. For a split second, I was proud of myself for finally standing up to him. Then I looked down at what I did. I saw beautiful, pure white. My bone… I let out a blood curling scream and fell to the ground.

    Despite my parents begging me to get plastic surgery, I keep this scar on my wrist. It reminds me that I should never ever let someone have so much control over me. It reminds me never to talk to him again.

    I still do sometimes. I think it is my new form of cutting.

    To anyone reading this, never hurt yourself. Long term, it doesn’t help and Mederma doesn’t work miracles. Love yourself because you are all you got and you are all you can trust.

    I’ve also experimented with cutting myself because of rape and as a form of an eating disorder. It doesn’t help and it never will. If that means that I am helpless, fine. At the very least, I am not hurting myself.

  • Soontahbe Sixteen

    It's a combination of the three, relief, documentation, and punishment. My mom is what my dad calls "verbally abusive" and sometimes it's hard to tell whether she's the crazy one or I am. I think it's both. But while she puts me through a lot of pain, sometimes I don't believe the pain is real and I need to justify myself for feeling so terrible and guilty. Thus documenting my pain, punishing myself, and afterwards, feeling relief for getting what I deserve. If I don't, I'm just filled with this overwhelming guilt. However- my boyfriend is not very happy about my self-harm, so I've stopped. I know it hurts him and that makes me feel even more guilty. I don't want to hurt him- just me, but that's proving to be impossible. For now, I've stopped. I'm trying to stop for forever but I'm scared I'm going to get overwhelmed and not know what to do. As long as I have him, though, I think I'll be okay. I don't really know why I'm typing this. I guess I just needed a place to vent. I came to this site to see if understanding why I self-harm would let myself stop it easier- but really it just helps me understand my own logic, and I want to do it more. But I won't. I'll resist. I'm going to stop typing now... This is much longer than I meant it to be.

  • skinner

    I sort of remember rubbing my forehead on the carpet, think im about three, very abusive parents in a very chaotic house, alchoholics and prostitutes, neglect and abandonement. Sexual abuse followed, then family break up, shunted from one parent to the next, both still alchoholics, both still neglectful.

    the shame i feel is persistant, and also guilt for allowing myself to be weak,i am a cutter and deny myself food, i dont think i am fat, just try to alternate between the two, as no one can judge me for not eating, but scars can easily be seen. i need to punish myself for being weak, then the shame takes over, and i end up going round in circles.

  • Anonymous-16

    my partner suffered a head injury he is an alcoholic and has severe mood swings 9 months ago he had an head injury not long after he went for me after a disagreement which left me bruised and upset i have a child who has learning difficulties to release this pressure i self harm only a little to release the pressure

  • Kate

    I am 45 and I believe my first SI was around 35 years ago. It happens in cycles, but has gotten progressively more serious. My reasons have been:

    distract themselves, alter the focus of their attention, or regain control over their minds when experiencing pressing, unavoidable and overwhelming feelings or thoughts
    Specifically, fighting off or supressing suicidal urges... making a "trade off" ~ doing one instead of the other. Re-focus a bombardment of thoughts that are disturbing or distressing and overwhelming, especially when no escape is available. release tension associated with strong emotions or overwhelming thoughts
    This sort of folds into the first one. The cutting or burning causes some sort of tension release once things reach that pin-point focus of where the injury is. (I won't say pain, because usually there isn't any for me... the pain is happening in my head, not my body.) Giving the *crazy* a place to rest, and bleed out seems to release an incredible amount of tension. Weird. feel something physical when they are otherwise dissociated and numb
    This is also strange, but so very true, and comforting in a weird way. For me it especially works to keep me from completely dissociating and ending up losing several days, a week or more... but of course there is a physical price to pay. There may be no pain during the SI, or the next day, but eventually it WILL hurt, and sometimes BAD. Sometimes there is permanent ligament or tendon damage, therefore permanent pain to live with. :( It's like your body and mind are becoming detached but SI can sort of hold them together for a bit. Bad way to cope... but... somehow in a jam you discover these things. express themselves or communicate and/or document strong emotions they are feeling and cannot otherwise articulate
    Sometimes SI just marks the severity of the inner pain that has no other way out. This can get VERY dangerous. I have done this while dissociated and found words cut into myself. Messages to me? Other times just huge gashes that required surgery to repair. Or burns. Strong emotion, high stress, high emotional pain and poor coping skills along with some suicidiality seem to bunch in together for me.

    Hope this helps in being able to help someone else. I had a sexually abusive father, self involved mother, then married a husband who was physically and sexually abusive. Lots of therapy... lots of improvement. Still hit a few bumps every now and again.

  • Anonymous-17

    im 13 years old, i started a year ago but ended 1 week ago. ive been searching on why people cut temselves to try to understand me and why i did it but also because i have friends who do it also and i try to undersand them. while cutting i felt a relief but also like i wasnt myself at the time .between the time i walk to the bathroom and stoped cutting i was someone else then i came back into me and would start crying. it felt good but then again it was relief. i still dont fully understand why i do it but just hope evryone out their to please stop, we are ALL worth:)

  • anon

    I started cutting when I was 14. Gave it up by the time I turned 16. I had a few incidents afterwards but they werent repetitive. But of late, I started again. Funny, cause I'd come to the conclusion i couldn't cut anymore even though i tried. Coming to the point reasons are a mixture of things:

    Sometimes it makes me feel real good, the euphoria that you mentioned.

    It's my way of punishing myself when I repeat my mistakes. Not like normal ones, mistakes of trusting people or expecting people to actually care as to what becomes of me. Not being impervious to my mother's words. (She's a bit verbally abusive, when she's angry) and so on so forth.

    It makes me feel in control of myself

    When I hate myself and/or the world I live in : its' the only thing that makes the pain of disillusionment bearable.

    Also when I'm really angry, it becomes a neccessity.

    Mainly it makes me feel invulnerable. Takes the pain away.

    Honestly, this is something I've tried to ask my dad to do subtly, but he doesn't get it. From a person who cuts, here's what would really help us out:

    a. Smile at us, talk to us cheerfully. bear with us until we give in. don't do this with ulterior motives. show that you care

    b. don't look at us or treat us like we're nutjobs. we're as normal as you are. only that our feelings are much stronger perhaps.

    c. just be there for them. offer them a shoulder. emotional support. stability.

  • erica

    i'm a 17 year old girl, and have been self harming for a few years, its not something im proud of but recently been wondering why i still do it. i had a traumatic experience whilst growing up that happened over and over, i was too young to realise that something was wrong! the self harm began when i realised what had happened to me, obvioulsly i always knew but when i came to find out what was wrong with it. it made me feel dirty and sick. i was not able to tell my mum as it was her husband who was causing this, also my brothers dad. so i got to about 11 and started self harming, it made me feel like it was taking that pain away for a while. making it so i didnt have to feel that pain anymore! so i carried on self harming right the way through senior school my teachers noticed but they didnt seem to ask or particularly care, then i got worse i started heavily drinking even while i was at school and ended up having to see a drug and alcohol counsellor from catch22 during school! the next thing i knew i was leaving school and my support network began to crumble. i started college but in the end found it too difficult and got kicked out, its not up until recently that ive figured these are the feelings i have tried to hide from myself for so long, the reason i dont get along with my mum because all these years subconciously ive been blaming her for what happened to me, for leaving me behing with an alcoholic step dad, anyway so thats what began it. im just wondering, do people grow out of this? or does it just stop! or can it carry on forver? im going to have a family of my own soon and i dont want to have to put anyone in the position to look after me if i get in a state, please e-mail me with any info!

  • Venus Sapphire

    I find it difficult to express how I feel but if in doing so I can help someone indirectly then I deem it worthy. I’m 18 and have been self harming since I was 14. I suppose it started when my mum’s new husband began to get violent. It wasn’t his fault – he had severe epilepsy and mood swings, and I suppose I didn’t help the situation. I used to stand up against him and stand up for my mum, I got in the way and I got hit. At first my mum tried to defend him over me but one day it went too far and he beat the door down to get to me and my mum finally threw him out. I found it difficult to cope after this I felt isolated and felt I couldn’t talk to anyone. A few years passed with on/off low moments, then I met someone I thought I could trust. I split everything to them, relied on them – perhaps too much, and things got complicated. I got into a secret relationship with them which although it didn’t last long touched my heart. And then they left, they were my rock they took everything, and I was destroyed. I couldn’t tell anyone once again what had happened because I couldn’t, once again I was trapped. When they ended it I tried to kill myself and they stopped me, for a while I wish I hadn’t. I ended up wasting my first year at college – self harming regularly. My wake up call came when I almost got kicked out – I worked hard and tried to pull it back. I still find it difficult up to leaving college I had to see the one person who I had ever really cared about – and the person that hurt me the most, everyday. And still despite everything that happened I still care about them. I no longer believe in love and maybe that’s why I seem to push everyone who tried to get close to me away, it’s safer for them not to know and its safer for me to keep my distance. Although it’s got easier I still haven’t fully healed, I fight with my mum a lot and regularly go through low moments. I still self harm but it’s almost different, now whereas before it was always to punish myself and deal with what I was going through, now it almost seems as though I enjoy the pain. It seems to release a kind of euphoria giving me part of a high. And that’s really it, that’s my story. I survived and hopefully will continue to, I really do understand people that go through self harm and my message to all, stay strong. X

  • Anonymous-18

    I have been cutting on and off for a long time. It always seemed to be to get the bad blood out. I want to empty out the badness. buckets of blood...Sometimes I have had to have lots of transfusions. I saw a doctor for a while and got better. Recently my sister committed suicide. She cut his wrists. I thought, "We come from a great line of cutters, don't we." But she was counting on me saving her, she said, and I let her down. So now there is lots more cutting.....I'm hoping it will be over soon.

  • A Prodigal Son

    I can understand why I have those "Crazy" moments. I've noticed 2 seprate occations when I was pushed on all sides in a bad situation that i felt like i was going crazy. I'd like snap into this shell and my thoughts were about causing myself pain. I would roll on the ground and punch myself. Scratch at my face vigorusly or today puncture holes in my bottom lip with my teeth. And i feel great after wards. While doing it i feel awesome. Great. I even thought about killing myself or getting my a*s kicked. Just the thought of someone whooping my a*s give me the sense of bliss and peace. Ofcourse this isent correct. I know it isent but i embraced those thoughts and feelings. Though not my thoughts, i choose to adopt them as my own. Whos thoughts are they then? F-life. and the Truth,

  • Hannah

    i'm 14. i started selfinjuring about a year ago..i knew it was bad from the moment i started doing it and i dont do it consistentley. i started doing some research so i can figure how why i do it. the first time i did it..my parents were arguing because of something i did (i hate it when the argue) so i guess i was just so mad at myself i just had to hurt myself. sometimes i do it when i get really bad anxiety..im not sure why i do it then..it only helps for a little while.

    my mom has an anxiety disorder. one of her symptoms is depression. i told her that i sometimes get bad anxiety (not as bad as her or my brother) and got really depressed for a couple of days..i try to tell myself its a coincedence but...maybe self injuring is a way to distract myself from those feelings.

    the problem with me is that im not always like that. my natural personality is very happy and joyful but recently ive been getting some anxiety. so if i tell people they'll probably say it's not funny to joke about it....my best friend noticed some cuts and i think she's suspicious but i don't want to tell cause she might think im wierd or something.

    i just went to a family reunion and some of my second cousins have the same problems (the adults dont know) it was really nice to talk to them about it and relate to them. even just writing down my feelings have helped a little bit..maybe i should keep a diary or something..im scared to tell anyone i know because 1 of my second cousins has anorexia and everyone went berserk when they found out and i dont them to think im like that but i dont know what else to do.

    i think one of the best things to do if you find out someone is selfinjuring is dont treat them like they are really different and be there for them emotionally and dont spaz out (in front of them) when you find out because that will make it worse.

    and if you are self injuring like me..sometimes writing your feelings down makes you feel better..even if its on a random sheet of paper and you throw it away afterwards.

  • Anonymous-19

    I starve myself as a way of self harm. I did used to struggle with anorexia like thinking I needed to lose weight even though in underweight. Now I know I don't need to lose weight but the feeling of being hungry makes me feel better. I can't explain it but it's just how I cope with pain.

  • Jennifer

    I had just gotten beat by my father for not putting dishes away correctly, and retreated to my room. I felt like I couldn't do anything right. I was so angry and overwhelmed with self loathing I grabbed the mechanical pencil next to me and started slicing up and down my arm with it. I remember getting finished, wondering, what did I just do?? I had never heard of anyone doing this, had never thought about doing anything like this. But.. I knew I felt better. About 2 weeks later, my mother saw some scabs on my wrist while I was doing dishes and all hell broke loose. My father and mother yelled, my dad said I was crazy and threatened taking me to a psychiatrist, which I pleaded no, I won't do it again! My brothers all ridiculed me for it, and for the next year, I was not lowed to be behind a closed door, not even to go to the bathroom. Well, I didn't stop, just got better at hiding it. I have just turned 30. I self harm because I hate myself. I suffered verbal and physical abuse as a child, and was raped at 19. I have just begun therapy for the first time, and have been cutting more... But I know it will get better. I haven't told my therapist about the cutting yet,I am so ashamed of this behavior. I've kept it a secret so long I can't believe I am even typing this.

  • Anonymous-20

    Thank you this helps. I started in the last couple of years I'm 32, the two I relate to are the punishment one and the first or second one. My mother self harmed worse than I do and I do it after my husband says stuff to me I feel cornered and scratching myself with sharp objects simply makes me feel better and stops me walking out or lashing out at him or screaming.

    Thanks so much for this post I found it helpful

  • Kelsey

    I started cuting when i lost my bestfriend in 6th grade, he used to cut. Before he passed I asked him why he told me it made him feel better. After he passed I cut for my first time. He was right, It gives you a feeling that words cant really exspress. Everytime I feel down or if someone passes. Or if i hurt someone one I love i make sure i feel pain just like a caused them.

  • Anonymous-21

    it's kind of freaky to describe but since I was a little girl I loved making bruises on my body, and then keep pressing them until they got away. I used to throw myself down from the stairs and beat my body with stones to make bruises. I Thought of killing myself almost everyday since 6 years old, and I was always saying to my parents I was going to die young. when I was 15 yera old I started curting myself because i was feeling really sad and empty but wasnt ready to try suicide, so I just cutted my wrists many many times, it was good, actually I felt wonderful, it's relaxing and amazing, it can't be precisely described. since that day I have been thibking of cutting myself. don't get me wrong, i'm a really happy person and i consider myself lucky to have my life but at the same time i want to cut myself more and more, i just want to feel more the blood going down my arm and thighs, its a magic and addictive feeling, when I do it I feel everything, for one moment nothing matters it is just likevyou enter your own bubble.

  • Anonymous-22

    It started as a self punisment. I was 10 I think, Maybe 11. My dad got out his gun and said I was going to make him kill himself. I scratched my arms till they bled and my mother washed me up, but she was still angry. I continued to do it whenever they screamed at me or fought with me. I embarrassed them. At 15 I moved on to cutting with razors. Then I think it was less of a punishment and more to relieve tension. I did it when I was sad and depressed and kept it very secret. Now I'm 27 and I've been having urges to cut for the last month. Its the first time I've wanted to do this in years. I tried to kill myself last year, but I'm still here. Still working though a lifetime of depression and anxiety.

  • Anonymous-23

    I have just learned of someone whom cuts themself..... Should I worry about them harming their children?

  • Anonymous-24

    hey, I hit myself cause I can't really hit my parents!!! its nice to beat on myself and pretend im hitting them. same high, and no nasty sh*t to deal with afterwards but a little inflamed skin. Im not crazy or anything, I"m normal. just saying.

  • Emily

    Not everyone who self-injures has been absued. I haven't, and I self-harm. I hit myself to bruise rather than cut. It gives me a high due to the endorphines that are released.

    Prior to hitting myself, I did other forms of self-harm like scratching and cutting. The bruising started after my friend committed suicide. I was so upset that I started punching my leg. There was a good sized bruise afterwards, and that's how my struggle with this form of self-harm started.

    It annoys me that so many people just think about cutting when self-harm is mentioned. Cutting is the most common form of self-harm, but there are many others that need to be discussed more.

    For me self-harm is a way to distract, myself, to release feelings. It is also a way to validate my emotional pain.

  • Anonymous-25

    I started cutting when I was in college and then progressed to burning because it was satisfyingly more painful and harder to do. I was strong! I could burn and I won over the pain. I don't know why it works, but it does. I reach a level of anxiety that I cannot tolerate and I feel that I am disintegrating, but if I cut, I come back for a little while. I know it really doesn't work in the long run, but it helps for the time being and lets me pretend that I am normal. I am 63 years old. I had not cut for perhaps thirty years, but then my daughter left for college and with her left my essence as a human being. I was no longer a person, but a misfit. My mother sexually abused us when we were even babies and the incest in the house was rampant. I have always been guiolty for my part in this. I deserve to be punished, not because it happened but because I blamed others for the sickness. I knew better but I did not act better. It never goes away. Once you find a coping mechanism, you keep it. Doctors do not understand.

  • Ellebelle

    I started cutting because I wanted to see if I was strong enough to do it. That is the excuse I give. I also believe in deeper pain, but I don't want to seem weak. I am a happy, bubbly, love everyone person. I give hugs and I make people feel better all the time. I was never abused. I have no reason to cut. Now I can't stop. It's addicting. Just wanted to put my opinion out there

  • Mire

    I have cut for around 6 years, on and off, or at least the first time I did was 6 years ago.

    I don’t know why I started it just happened, maybe out of curiosity the first time, I was only 11 or 12. I don’t even know where I got the idea from, it just got into my head somehow. Unfortunately it stayed there.

    A few years ago it peaked. All the hate, the sadness , the frustration, anger, and periods of nothingness took their toll, and I got the worst I’d ever been. I was a different person, or I like to think I was. I would fight with everyone who really cared about me, throwing whatever hurtful thing came into my mind at them, getting more and more aggressive. But I never physically hurt someone else. I kept that for myself.

    After a big fight, I would turn against myself, feeling angry, and frustrated and hating myself for everything, even that that was out of my control. I cut regularly for a period of months, hiding it from everyone. I had convinced myself that it made me unique, that it could even be beautiful, the same way an anorexic girl tells herself she is strong, or a cocaine addict thinks she is glamorous. I carved beautiful words into my flesh, spirals and letters and drawings. An anchor to hold me down, to keep me here. But I wasn’t really. Not that anyone knew.

    Eventually my parents found out. My little brother first. I hope I haven’t scarred him like I did myself, I would never forgive myself if this harmed him in any way. I was an angry person, angry at myself angry at the world, angry at the fact I could undeservingly feel this bad. I didn’t want anyone to know, but at the same time each cut was a call of “look at this: this is how I feel, this is how you make me feel, this is what you are doing to me.”

    My last major cutting episode was around then. It was summer. I can’t remember if they knew yet or not. Everything is a bit hazy, to be honest. Maybe its better that way. I was angry, I must have been, because I ripped my legs open, cutting in a frenzy, with a thin razor, making wide white wounds. The blood was beautiful, vibrant, crimson, trickling down my thighs, bursting with life. Transpiring an energy, and aliveness I had no other way of feeling. I exhaled.

    “I am still here, so you must be alive. You don’t see me when you’re happy, but I am always here.”

    After the bleeding stopped, I panicked. Looking down at my legs I felt like a monster. I was a Halloween mask version of myself. Franken girl, the one who will never be pretty again. Ruined.

    I covered myself with band-aids, holding the cuts together tight, hoping that if it was tight enough they would disappear altogether. I hated myself, I had spoilt myself more than ever, and the scars are still with me.

    I decided to stop, and I did, or at least I got better. I started a whole new chapter, set out to be a new me, regardless of what had happened. It was hard, but I was striving for a challenge, anything to keep my mind off myself.

    I managed for a while. A new place to live, with new friends, new places, a new love and all the endorphins and buzz that comes with new relationships. I was amazed at how happy I was capable of feeling. Astounded. It was almost as if none of that had happened, I was this new and improved me, capable, mature, sociable, responsible even (sometimes.)

    But now im back at square one. Or rather, square minus one hundred. I didn’t have many reasons to, but I ended up losing all will to live, I spent weeks just being, keeping myself seemingly occupied looking at screens with sitcoms and movies of people living on them. I didn’t want to work, I didn’t want to clean my house, I didn’t want to talk, to cook, to walk around. Anything.

    And now I have become even more deplorable. I started cutting continuously again. And it’s worse than before.

    I was cutting a few times a week, hiding it, disgusted at myself, sickened by the smell of my own blood. It used to smell so pure, taste like life. Now it made me queasy. But I was ‘better’ at it, cutting deeper than before, harvesting more blood.

    I felt like crap today, my cuts where scabbing over, itchy and red and peeling, and I couldn’t help myself, I felt like cutting. And I did. And I shouldn’t have.

    I have never cut so deep. I cut and I cut and I told the deepest ones, the wounds that bled the most, “you’re my favourite”. And then I did it again, and again. And again. And then I panicked.

    I hit something. I went too deep. Suddenly deep almost black blood was dripping out, too fast for me to clean up. I couldn’t wipe up the blood on the floor and hold my arm at the same time, for there was not time to unroll toilet paper. It was bleeding like nothing I’d ever caused before. I freaked out. I started crying out, repeating in a scared whisper

    “Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, I’m so sorry, Please stop, I’m so sorry, sorry, sorry, please.”

    I have no god, no religion but for a few seconds I swear I was praying to gods or spirits, or LIFE ITSELF. “Please, please, please don’t let this be the last thing I do.”

    I applied pressure to the cut, holding it tightly, whispering to myself. It finally stopped gushing, retiring to a consistent flow, flooding the paper clutched to it a beautiful red.

    After a while it stopped. I have just looked at it, hidden under a pad, with hair ties wrapped around it in a desperate attempt at a bandage. I am sick, I want it to go, I want to wake up and for it to be this morning. I DO NOT WANT THIS TO BE A PART OF ME ANYMORE. Its disgusting. Its wide, and deep and inside I can see fatty tissue, I think, whitish, and made up of bubbles of flesh. My whole arm is gross. I want to forget it’s there, but even as I write this I am tempted to take a peek.

    I can’t believe I went that far. I just wanted more and more. Even after the scare that was “will it ever stop bleeding?!” I still felt the urge to do it again. Its as if I am two people, and one of them wants to die. I spoke to a friend, briefly, he said he will take me to the doctors tomorrow morning. I will hug him till my last breath. I don’t want my parents to know how bad it has gotten, It hurt them so much the first time, and its bad enough I am going through this again, I don’t want to drag them down. Again.

    I am praying, figuratively, that this works out that they can stitch me up, and make me good as new, and I will go to the therapy, and I will talk, and I will cry, and I will do what they think is best.

    Because I am sick of my own ideas, they never work, they only make me worse, I hate to think of the amount of times the bad, sad, desperate person within me has won, how much he has destroyed of me, how much I have been set back, after thinking I had finally gotten over all of it.

    I am going to stop listening to myself, I give the worst advice.


    I hope that everyone here finds solace, and a reason to stop, and a reason to live. I know i do.

    if anyone should relate or want to talk, company is always good

    overwhelmingnothing@hotmail.com

  • Anonymous-26

    I was fourteen when I was diagnosed with minor depression, but I'm certain I had it long before then. I used to believe that my dad was cold, unfeeling and slightly abusive (though as I matured, I discovered what abuse was and concluded that he was not). I had a nonexistant relationship with my mother whose attention was solely on my younger brother. Beginning from kindergarden, I've been stabbed in the back many times by people I thought were my friends. In response, I guess, I became a bit of a bully, especially towards boys. Then, when I was thirteen, my family discovered that my mother cheated on my dad. It wrecked us. I, because of my relationship (or lack thereof) with my mother, was able to 'let go' more easily than teh rest of my family. However, my dad suffered insomnia, my grandma thinks herself into insantity, and both refused to eat for a long time. My brother would start freaking out in the middle of school and be called home. And the worst part was all the crying. You can see all the pain and sorrow in a person eyes when they cry. All this hurt me. Deeply.

    I remember only one of my depression episodes, barely concious of a second, and other small ones I forget. The major one started when I was at the mall. I was sitting down with my grandmother and brother just watching everyone, waiting for my dad to exit from a store (or stores it's easy to get distracted in a mall). We waited a while, and after maybe twenty minutes, I could feel it. I didn't know what it was. It simply felt like a heavy and dark cloud swallowing me up. Seeing all those people hanging out with their friends and being happy while I felt alone and miserable triggered it, I think. When we finally got home, I went straight to my room and curled up in my bed. At that point I felt like a zombie: hardly living and barely thinking. I was numb. I felt like I was being sucked into a neverending black hole. My mind hurt like it was being twisted and pulled at.

    Despite this and all the other things that were going on that I did not mention, I never resorted to self-harm. I told myself that I was stronger than that every time the thought crossed my mind. And it worked.

    Now I have two friends who cut themselves. Both are mostly over it, but I'm always afraid they'll cave in to it again. In seventh grade, my friend, whose father committed suicide the year before, came to school with a bandage on her arm and told me she hurt herself when she fell down the stairs. I knew it was a lie, but I didn't call her out on it. Instead I spent, and still do, everyday trying to make her laugh and smile.

    Another friend introduced me to a friend of his (who later became my own friend) who he had saved from committing suicide. She used to cut and starves herself.

    It hurts. It really does. Watching the people you care about suffer, and feeling like you can't do anything.

  • JJ

    I have been 15 years in a marriage with a man who self abuses. he does not cut himself, he hits himself with objects until he is bloody and bruised. He wears sunglasses to conceal self inflicted black eyes. He is much larger than I and will often sit in front of our bedroom door so i cant leave and insist i watch this behavior that terrifies and sickens me. Many times he holds me down and makes me watch. No amount of crying or begging makes him stop, in fact, he gets worse when i start that. Its best if i try to act unaffected but thats hard to do. I know he needs help but i dont want to talk to anyone that i know about it because i dont want him to look bad in front of people that are in his life. I worry that our son might inherit that tendancy? I have dealt with it for so long but it doesnt ever get easier. I dont know what to do.

  • Anonymous-27

    I used to cut myself in junior high, but after that got out it led to problems. At first I got more sneaky about it, cutting between my toes, etc.

    After a while, I switched to starving myself, which gives me the same sense of control and self-punishment, with the added benefit of making me more attractive (I used to be very chubby).

    I go through phases where everything is fine, and I stop and go back to a normal weight.

    Now, as a 26 year old adult, when depression strikes me like a sledge hammer, I starve myself and dream of the instant relief I used to get from cutting.

  • Anonymous-28

    Hi, I'm 14 years old. I was abused when I was younger by mum dad, who I no longer have contact with. I cut for lots of reasons, one of them being because it's a punishment, because I hate myself and I'm horrible, far, disgusting and ugly. (I am also anorexic) I also have bad look in my family for illnesses with quite a few of my immediate family seriously ill. I sometimes think it almost feels like in taking their pain away, putting myself in pain. Although I know it doesn't make a difference really. I also imhave a bit of a thing about the secret aspect of it. Having to shower when people are busy so theres no risk they'll walk in on me or see me leaving the bathroom. Having my own little secret. Dealing with trying to heal scars myself ect. I don't think there is ever just one reason Self Harmers do what the do

  • Anonymous-29

    yup. Actully i would say im the last few months have been some of the happyest months of my life but for some reason for about a month now I have been snapping rubber bands on my arms repetitivly leaving large welts and scars for what seems like no reason at all.

  • Anonymous-30

    I have just lost my husband, we were married for 3 years but together for almost 14. I'm 28 and he's 34, he left me for a 19 year old! I had harmed in the past but I never understood why, often it would be if I was struggling to cope with my husbands depression, I would end up harming without any intention to!

    Now he has gone I have lost my husband and best friend and iv never really had any support network. The break up came from no where and caught me off guard and now I'm left with this intense physical pain in my chest that I can't control or stop. The only way for me to regain any control of my spiralling life is to harm, a small cut to the hand releases some pain from my chest, just for a moment and it feels like I have regained a little control.

    I think the media often portrays harming as a teenage thing but its an important part of my world now and it will help me deal with this loss.

    This article helps to explain the 'whys' so thank you for writing x

  • SI

    I've been hitting myself in the head ever since I could remember. I'm now in my mid-30s and I resort to this behavior several times a week. Everytime my spouse is upset with me I loose my mind because the pain feels so intense and I begin hitting myself. It's causing a major rift in our marriage, especially because my spouse is not at all sympathetic or understanding. My spouse continually turns away from me whenever we fight, leaving me feeling even lonelier and wanting to hit myself more. It's been an endless cycle and I wish I could stop it. Today I found out I may have a chemical disorder, so I'm going to get help. I just hope it's not too late.

  • Anonymous-31

    its a learnt reaction to life situations and provides instananeous grounding in the now

  • An empty, meaningless existence...

    I am 17 years old, almost 18. I was even born on valentines day, but not even that could bring me love. After a verbaly and physically abused childhood, I went through adolescence really believing all the horrible things my dad would say to me. I still do... I hate myself, I get called beautiful all the time but I don't see it. I cry when I look in the mirror.I was never good enouh for anyone. Not my father or my family or my friends... Definitely not my boyfriends, the few I had. They all cheated on me or once I caught them talking shit about me just left. And they all say I'm great I am perfect it's just that they aren't right for me and I deserve better... But how can it be better when it only gets worse every single day? I don't know what to do anymore. My life is getting to the point where I WANT all of this 2012 end of the world stuff to be true. I want it all to just end so that I don't have to deal with it anymore.. I told my mom I still think about cutting myself (which started when I was 10, after my sisters picked up and left our abusive home to live with their biological father with no warning to us. I was left alone to watch my parents beat each other and deal with their abuse. All alone.) she was disappointed but she remembers how it feels to live with a person like my father... It's the way I grew up and the way people treat me.. On top of my depression I feel like I'm going insane. I have panic attacks, I cut myself when I get numb or have to deal with too many things that I just can't cope with.... It's the only way I feel I can cope anymore. I know it's wrong and I shouldn't do it, so I don't cut to kill myself but I like to see my blood.. To feel the stinging pain and heat. It distracts me from the ache in my heart. The bottomless pit that's been left in my chest since my life fell apart..don't get me wrong, I do contemplate suicide daily but my attempts are held assed... I don't want to die, but if anyone should be able to hurt me, it should be me, dammit. I feel like no one wanted to hear what I have to say though, like it means nothing to a soul.... If anyone is out there listening.... Thankyou... I'm so glad I could finally just talk...... And if anyone would like to talk or relate, or just share, I would like to know I'm not alone... There is so much more to my story but I'm scatterbarained, shocked I am posting this at all.

    Teamsage722@gmail.com

  • jordan

    the thing is.. i used to know why i cut myself... now..... i just dont get it. i made so many mistakes so.. it was a way to punish myself instead of getting my parents/family involved. well i cut one scar. and it felt.. weirdly good. then that same night i created perfect scars all over my wrists. i cried myself to sleep that night.. nobody cared enough to look at my wrists. i told my crush (at the time) and he was so confused as of why i would do it. he texted me saying

    "never do it again or i'll tell my family & yours."

    he said "promise to never cut again.."

    and i said "how will you know if i've cut?"

    he said "well if you promise you promise."

    so yeah. i promised - so that he'd get of my back. but in reality... i cut that night.

    the first time i told my best friend - she cared SO much & she was there for me. she had also harmed herself before so.. i thought i'd go to her. well i did & later on.. i would go to her each time & she'd tell me to get right with God and ask for forgiveness and move on. I JUST COULDN'T! she got tired of my cutting and couldn't take it anymore. she ruefused to talk to me about it. i told one of my other friends and she was there for me.. she soon got tired of it too.

    well i got a boyfriend. the quarterback of the JV team.. logan. we had been talking alot and we acted official but.. we werent yet. he was always there for me and i could tell him anything. he was one of my best friends. was. he got tired of my cutting. he was there for me but i could tell that he didn't like it. i had anxiety attacks and he would help. but most of the time.. i didnt bring it up because he was too busy trying to get in my pants. he never got the chance. i was gonna break up with him.... but he beat me to it. i guess it was so much of a shock that when it happened - i was perfectly fine...... within 6 days he developed feelings for another girl and asked her out. they had.... have a better relationship than we ever had. more healthy. he's happy... and so is she. i was never really happy. i forced myself to think i was. then i saw so many pictures of them together. well my jealousy bubbled inside of me...... i can tell he doesnt really want to hurt me but how is it NOT going to?? i trusted him.

    oops. ranting.

    ANYWAYS. one night, while we were dating, he sent me a picture... then later.. a video. my mom&dad walk in and i shut my phone off. - my mom asks for my phone so i have to give it to her. she turns it back on. they sit down and my mom brings out my journal. ALL of my private thoughts are in that thing. i was completely and utterly PISSED when i saw it in her hand. my mom and dad have discovered that i've cut. mom starts crying and so do i. i couldn't take it. they lecture me and my phone keeps buzzing. it's logan. he's texting and calling. i never got to see the texts that he sent - my mom saw them and was disgusted with me. she cried & called logan. he was scared to death. so was i. well. that night was over. my mom said "now im gonna be watching you even more than i already have been!" and storms out. my dad was pissed and almost clashed his fist to my face.. but he resisted and stormed out also. i was alone. i cried and cried. knowing that if i cut.. they'd know.

    i went back to school.. embarrassed. logan barely looked at me. i gave him a hug-goodbye but it meant nothing. then the very next week - we were over. it was done. he got a new girlfriend. he got his phone back.

    but i remain alone. with no phone. i can't talk to my bestfriends when i need them.

    i cry too much. i cut my thighs because.... my mom will never see those. i want to cut all the way down my arm.. i want to just repeatedly create scars all on my arms - but everyone would notice.

    i think about cutting and then just... killing myself...... but i don't. because i have wonderful friends and a GREAT family....

    so that's why i don't really get why i cut. cause.. yeah they get on my nerves ALL the time but... they love me.

    so yeah i don't have a super depressing story. i have never been raped. i have never been abused. so why do i cut?

    -self punishment

    -im hurt.....

    -my past always catches up to me and i relive it every night.

    -my parents barely love me.... they are not proud of me.. they are disgusted with me.

    -im compared to ANYONE and EVERYONE.

    -my mom doesnt get who i am...

    i want to wear clothes that swallow me.. but my mom won't allow it. i want to cut myself every single day.. but my family would be dissapointed.. and scared. they'd probably send me away to a psych ward. they say i need help....... maybe i do.

  • Mr. Moustache

    What is your story with regard to self-injury?
    I self harm, mentally, and physically. I use a razer to make three cuts everyday. I do so to cry. And when I do cry I feel the most relief from my depression.
    When I was 15 I met the only girl I will allow myself to love, we got married for a short time, and she left, almost like it was planned.
    I don't have the words to explain the progression of the relationship, there were a lot of things about her and I, that helped make an unhealthy environment for our relationship.
    Without going into to detail, as to why, I am obsessed with the idea of her, I would never physically stalk her or anything, I might make an attempt before suicide to let her know exactly what I was doing. But asside from that I respect that she doesn't want to hear from me, I'd wish to learn why, but have no interest in engaging her or her family to beg for counselling which might help me learn why.

    Basically I self harm, because of self hate, I have learned that I am worthless, through her actions, I do a very good job of keeping my depression out of my conversations with friends and family. I intend to never change my opinion, I am committed to years of sadness and self abuse, and at a very specific point I will face my own suicide. I will do this all because my perfect is unmeetable, I've tried to beleive I could love someone else, but I've committed to her, when we were together I literally thought to myself that if she left, I would do this. I probably promised myself. And now I'm living out that promise. I have a loving supportive religious family, and thats what makes me not kill myself this moment. my dad's in a wheelchair, and I'm his only child. I help him a lot around the house.. I pretty live only because he needs me, and well my grandparents and aunt and uncle and their kids idk i feel like it's important I let them not see me go just yet. But there's an age I cannot pass, and I intend to move out of state and disconnect from family as preparation. But every day I live with her, I cut three times. she left june 6th, 2010. we got married march 28th 2010, and look now, new years 2013, and I've not moved in the sense of mood. You can look at me the day she left, or in two more years. and I will be equally in love with her, and defeated by her, and content with suffering, and embracing suicide. I have not changed not even slightly, except I think now I might be a more fun and interesting person, because I've expanding my friendships so much and become I think a more confident and more enjoyable person, but the attachment to Sara that I have is unmeasurable, and it will never be in such a shape that it could be measured, besides as an ultimate, an extreme, uncomparable.

    Which of these themes above is the most important reason why people self-injure, in your experience?

    Each and every single on of your examples is correct, and in different times of my life may have very well been the primary reason for self harm.

    Are there other reasons why people self-injure that I've missed? If so, please share them with us.

    Because they have to. Literal have. There is no reason or choice involved. Simply a compulsive need to conduct such an act.

  • nikki

    I remember cutting myself as a teenager, although Im not sure why I did it. I did not cut myself badly but enough for my mother to notice. time passed I got pregnant at a very young age and he became abusive, 10 years later( and 3 kids later) although we were on again off again I could not let him go, even though I became a college graduate and surpassed most odds that a unwed teen mom comes up against. he cheated on me and was mentally and physically violent and through this time period I yo-yoed about 100 lbs. I began occasionally hitting my upper thighs when we split up 2 years ago when I would get angry or sad. And since then I have lost about 130 lbs but am incredibily depressed about my appearance, I still occasionally have sex with my ex even though he has a woman he is seeing, its like he is still in my head and I feel unworthy of other men to an obsessive point. lately all I want to do is hit myself, i think about it a lot. i struggle everyday and feel I can see myself in most of the scenerios given. I think what has kept me from these behaviors is running so its interesting that was mentioned. thank you for this article I know I need help

  • caitlin

    im caitlin , im a 13 year old bisexual , i started cutting age 12 to get over anger and that was it , i cut twice with a kitchen knife and i stopped it , without needing any help because my mam said stop after i told her , i stopped this for like ...... idk , maybe 5/6 months , then my close friend died and i was a wreak for like ... maybe 2 days but i wasnt able to greive until a year and a bit after her death and it came out badly

    i didnt cry after that but i became numb and i am now , i still cut and i beleive im going to get baaad scars so ... i dunno , im deathly afraid of my boyfriend realising because i feel like i need to break up with him but i cant bring myself to do it because i love him so much but ... i just cant do it , lately everything i dont like about him makes me wanna self harm , i dont know , wish me luck

  • Rachel

    I'm a 16 year old girl who has had a lot of problems in my family, friends, and everything else. Unfortunatly, self harm isn't my only problem. I've been burning, cutting, using things I shouldn't for too long. I do it all to escape from my everyday life. I stopped for a few months when I told someone I trusted, but he was scared after he asked to see the scars. So, I guess it's just what it is.

  • Anonymous-32

    I am 29. I used to cut as a teenager, and later turned to drugs and alcohol for the same reason: escape. Drugs and alcohol are, sadly, more socially acceptable ways to self abuse. I have been clean and sober for several years, and now alternate periods of starvation and binge-eating: oddly enough, either one provides me with a sense of control that I feel is lacking in the other areas of my life, and both starving and binge-eating are forms of punishment.

    Here lately I have become more suicidal, and have thought about cutting again. I constantly find myself daydreaming about making one really deep incision and the covering myself in my own blood. I know that probably sounds strange, and I have no idea why, but I think I'd get a huge sense of satisfaction from seeing myself in the mirror covered in my own blood.

    The people I know fantasize about vacations, material posessions, and beautiful people: my favorite daydreams involve spilling my own blood.

  • Anonymous-33

    I never really did alot of self harm to myself growing up. A few years ago things got really bad and one day I just started punching the desk at my house. I didnt stop because I liked getting the frustration out. I ended up with a bad bruise which I liked because it was almost like proof of what I was feeling on the outside. Only I knew the truth though. Every once and awhile I find the need to give myself bruises where I can see every day at work or school. However no one knows really why they are there. I live alone and I work in a very active job. So when I do see my parents and they see the bruises they think nothing of it. I know its wrong but I feel such satisfaction from it. When I bruise myself I feel like I get the frustration and pain out. I feel free and I feel like I can breathe again

  • Eastmo

    I am a 55 year old man.

    I lost my wife to cancer on Dec. 3, 2012.

    I had never considered self harm until the pain of my wife's death became too much. We were married for almost 24 years (Dec. 25th anniversary) and we were together almost 27 years. I never could understand how or why someone would do it. Now I know.

    I cut. As soon as I feel the sting and see the blood running, it brings INSTANT relief. It is temporary, but it works, and like I said it is instant. I carry a razor and a needle in my wallet just in case it gets to be too much and I can't wait until I get home.

    I definetly don't want any attention. It would be so embarrasing, because it is just so socially unaccepted. Most people probably think like I did and would not understand.

    All I can say is it works better than drugs or alcohol. ( Although sometimes I combine cutting with alcohol or drugs).

  • just me

    No one can hate me more than i hate myself. i feel so worthless and disgusting. everytime i look in the mirror i want to cry. i hate pictures and ive just started cutting again. Im 16. and i. can not. stop. I can't. whenever i get triggered by something where i see my flaws i need to cut. i use a penil sharpener thats never been used and i unscrew the small screw that hold it in and use the blade. no one would ever guess. someone help.

  • Anonymous-34

    How do i controll the urge to self mutilate? I feel like i am going crazy sitting here looking at what i have just done to myself, completely ashamed i let myself do that to myself again. HOW DO I STOP?

  • Anonymous-35

    well...im almost 15 and ive been cutting for about a year and 4 months..i was physicay and emotionaly abused untill the day my mom until walked out on me (she was an alcoholc)and emotionaly abused by my dad mostly mom tho,dad worked a lot..i didnt tell him about mom untill i was probably 7...ive been put against a wall and choked,thrown down the stairs,hit,kicked out,had tables and chairs thrown at me,locked out...and been told im worthless,ugly,stupid,a bi**h,a wh*re,and unwanted.its been this way as long as i can remeber,but i was told it all started when i was 3.at first with all the abuse.at first i just tried to be everything my mom wanted me to be.i got honor roll,dressed in name brands,never cursed,did everything i was told,wasa a cheerleader.but then a guy came around,he was 17 and i was 13.we ended up getting into cop trouble.hes a registered sex offender and just got off probation.i have a record too..muliple runaways,multiple incorigabilities,and possession.i almost went to juvie.my parents got a no contact restraining order for 2 years.he promised to wait,then one day my bestfriend showed me his facebook..he had another girlfriend.my heart shattered inside my chest.and right in the middle of the school hallway i sat down and cried my eyes out. that evening i had court ordered family counseling.dad went out to eat,but i couldnt eat..i was too sad.i remember the first time i picked that blade up.a yellow stanley knife in the glove box..i made 1 clean,straight cut on my left wristand i havent put it down since..ive cut in store parking lots,my room,the bathroom,my bestfriends house...i have cuts/scars from wrist to elbow left and right arms,right hip,stomach,left shoulder,and both biceps.i promised myself id only cut on my wrists,but it took me over..i slowly cut down and quit! Then i found out,he got someone pregnant...i was crushed,i relapsed.he wa engaged,i added more scars.hes married.i added more.i eventuly found a good guy.but its been a year and 5 months since i lost him..i still helplessly lay on the bathroom floor with thedoor locked,music up,face covered in tears,body covered in blood.cutting alone became not enough...so istarted smoking pot,cigarettes,drinking,andhaving too much sex..all i ever wanted was to be loved.thats it.i changed every fiber of my being.i listen to no one,i party,i cuss like a sailor,i have pink hair,i get in fights,i drug deal,i sneak out again,i hide behind make up,and i pretend not to care..but the secret is,i do.i care so much..but id never let anybody know that.withen the past month its gotten pretty bad..ive hit 3 more veins,5 altogether...i make gashes now..not cuts..my boyfriend gets so mad at me everytime i cut..but i jus cant stop.i cut and either smoke weed or drink every 2 or 3 days.i cant stop until i leave this small midwest town.i literaly sit on the floor holding a razor blade crying i dont want to do this,this isnt fun anymore...then add more cuts.i cant controll myself.its taking me over.ive attempted sucide twice..i cant take much more of this...

  • Jasmine

    Im 21, and im here because ive been cutting since i was 15. I can honestly say that at times i do injur myself for a multitude of reasons.. Except that its addicting. It became a stress reliever, something i can count on when the urge of ending my life needs supressing. And you are right, sometimes words can not even come close to how i feel. Days where i can barely speak, getting so caught up in my thoughts i snap back and find myself somewhere i didn't know i went to. I used to be scared but now its a common thing. i was on meds for awhile but i took my self off stop going to my psychiatrist and hid from the world. It seemed that when i tried to ask for help that i didnt want it. Found myself asking why i even called that person who wasnt going to be there for me any ways. But when i cut, i feel that i deserve the pain and that the scars just show how i look on the inside.. but i had to make someone understand. If i stopped i know i'd be further gone than i already am. I wont go into my background too much. but ill say my life style was not allowed in my families home and i strive not to be the disappointment that my mom has told me i often am.

  • RandomAmerican

    So ive only cut myself 3 times thats how much I remember ateast. I know I do it when I have a lot of stress and out of curiousity but when I do the first few times I would do it in a pattern of 5 cuts im not sure why. Before doing it I would feel stressed and curious and wanting to know how much I can take. During doing it I would have to tell myself to just do it, not to much just enough to have a little blood. I only feel good when I see the blood. If not then I feel stupid In a way by me bleeding its like when your racing and you get to the finish line and you break the line it shows that you finished you got to your goal without the finish line its incomplete. So when I see blood I feel complete and proud. After cutting myself I feel dumb because I have to cover it up so I dont get judged or sent to some hospital. Last night was the 3rd time it hopefully is my last I say hopefully because when i was doing it I got that rush & excitment again & sometimes I dont keep the aftermath in mind.

  • Anonymous-36

    I started cutting myself in middle school and probably the first one, maybe two years of high school. I don't know why. In middle school sometimes people would tell me, "oh why don't you just go cut yourself?" Or, "careful, she might go cry in a corner and cut herself or hang herself in her closet or something." I only cut a little. Maybe a few times.

    Now I'm 18, I'll be 19 in May. I'm finally out of high school, I've got a job, I'm a very active volunteer (especially in my church), and I started cutting again. This time it's worse. I have a lot of things to be happy for, I know that there are a lot of people who have harder lives than me, but I do it anyways. I don't know why. I usually cry afterwards because it's so embarrassing and I know I have to hide it. What if I get in trouble. I know my family would be so disappointed with me. My mom's health has been failing so fast lately, what if this makes everything worse?

    I don't know why I do it though. I guess multiple reasons that you listed make sense. The only thing I can think of is that I'm insignificant. I'm invisible. I don't do it for attention though. I don't want attention, especially not from this. I just don't know. I don't even know how I was able to talk this much about it. I'm scared if anyone finds out though.

  • Kate

    I remember a group of girls in my elementary school who were 'into' cutting. I tried it--I didn't like it.

    I tried to never think of it again--self-harm in general. My mother was emotionally and physically abusive. My father was not involved in my life. I was sexually abused by a very close friend of the family for four years.

    When I tried to put myself through college--everything became chaotic. I couldn't calm down--I never went to cutting--I went to burning instead. I would heat up metal objects with a lighter and put them on my skin and hold them there. On my arms, then my thighs and then my ankles. Finally, the last set got infected and I told myself I had to stop.

    It did for about four years--I recently had an episode of it, unfortunately. PTSD with a side of OCD--sometimes I can't think. Or I go numb. I would try and hold my head under water--hold my breath as long as I could stand. But even that doesn't seem to help as much anymore.

  • Mi

    Hi, i had a bad fight and cut myself in front of my partner as i was very hurt by him. I told him i can hurt myself better, i don't need him to hurt me by lying or hiding dark secret from me if he loves me. Now he's traumatize by my act and has been drifting apart... how do i get the relationship to work again?

  • Anonymous-37

    When I was a teenager I bruised and cut myself to create an exterior expression of the inner pain that I was feeling. Also to put off the thoughts of suicide that I was frequently consumed with. Now that I'm in my 30's and married with several chilren I've begun hitting myself during arguments with my husband. It's an expression of frustration because I feel he is unwilling to hear me or take me seriously. Unfortunately he then views me as hysterical and out of control, giving him an "excuse" not to take me seriously, which triggers further frustration for me. It should come as no surprise to anyone that I was molested as a preteen. Just once, but that was more than enough.Like many people who have experienced abuse, I grew up in a house where verbalizing thoughts and feelings was unsafe and therefore unwise. Knowing these things intellectually doesn't make it any easier to stop yet.

  • Olivia

    I was physically abused as a child by my stepmother. My father chose her once dhs got involved. I was then sent to live with my mother. I was then molested and physically abused by her husband. It came out and she chose him. My grandparents raised me. It was a subject that was never spoken about in our family. As a child, I didnt know of the consequences of such acts. Now as an adult, I realize, the authoritites were never contacted. I was also raped at the age of 16. In my 20's I started cutting. I dont remember exactly why. I hadnt cut in 10 years, now I did 2 days in a row. The first night I did it my husband was extremely upset and said he needs me and made me promise to not do it again. Then yesterday, I did it again. He was very upset I broke my promise, something I hav enever done to him. as I looked through the reasons of why ppl self mutilate, I recognize several that apply to me. I have trauma that I was never allowed to deal with. Feelings of abandonment from those who were supposed to love and protect me. I feel that events over the last week have brought up these painful feelings. Was depressed for 2 days, felt alone and thus cut. I have a man who loves me and to see how hurt he was by what i had done makes me not want to cut again. I hope others can trust one person enough to guide them through the healing process as I can. Good luck to all.

  • Lilium

    Hello. I am a 15 year old girl. I self-injure, not that many people know. My mother recently found out, threated to send me to military school to 'feel real pain...'. She has always been verbally abusive. My father died when I was four. We are pretty poor, and I used to be bullied in elementary, thats when I started pouring wax on myself and hitting my head against wall ect. It got worse in middle-school, where I took up cutting during emotional termoil. I was molested at age 5. I was hit by my mother, but not heavily (she prefers verbal abuse). I have problems with my body. I started overdosing myself on painkillers and drinking in middle-school too. I never cut on my wrists because I didn't want people to see. Freshman year was better, then I got really depressed and fucked up my legs really bad, I told my mother, she said I was crazy and just gave me some bandages. I'm in my sophomore year now, I take pills, anything really. I bruise and burn myself. I drink when I can, vodka and such. I am anorexic, but not thin enough, I vomit food or pop pills when I can't cut. Sometimes when there is nothing else I drink prescription cough syrup. I do the pills, alchohol, cigarettes, and cough syrup because I know it is slowly killing me. I am really messed up and very easily triggered. I feel shame though, because some people have it way worse than me, and they are content. I am disgusted with myself, and the worst part is I don't want to stop. Very few people see past my happy mask. Everyone seems to think I am an intelligent even headed person. I. AM. NOT. OKAY. Seriously, I should be institutionalized.

  • Anonymous-38

    I'm a 14 year old girl. The first time I self harmed was in middle school. I've never really been happy with my appearance or the way that I overthink and overreact to things. I hate looking at myself because all I see is fat and ugliness. For a while now I've been starving myself. I know that I should'nt be doing this to myself but I don't care anymore, and I feel that there is no other way to feel beautiful and be happy. All I want is to be thin enough to fell pretty and be good enough for the ones I love. Everytime I do eat I get so angry and upset with myself so I cut. It's my own way to punish myself for giving in to the temptation of eating. I used to self harm on my arms but ever since my parents found out, I do it on my stomach. They think I'm getting better, but the truth is the only thing I'm getting better at is hiding it all. I've found out that everytime I become sad or mad I turn to self harm & that right when I drag that blade across my skin I find immediate relief and comfort (I guess that's why it's so addicting). Self harm is controlling my life and I just want it to end.

  • Confused and desperate

    This all started after my crush decided to put me in the friend zone,thus it also made me realized I always put her as a top priority then my family and friends. So she began to ignore me. similar like my previous crush where I began to sense she was just like her so I despised myself more and more that I got into the habbit of cutting myself everyday in the arms,neck,face,shoulder etc....and because I had enough that I always get hurt and humiliated when it comes to liking someone. Sadly I don't get along with my parents since they are overportective and overwhleming that I distance myself from them and my friends as well. I feel like I am not good in expressing how I truly feel...and I keep this habbit going because I fell in love which was a promise I broke since my fear is falling in love because I know I will get hurt like always...

  • Josh (fake name)

    I'm a 24 yo male in medical school in the East coast. I guess I fall into the punishment category, I took scalpel blades and started cutting my upper thigh (so they can easily be hidden.) I do it when I feel worthless and deppressed. The more I cut, the easier it becomes to continue doing it. I'm almost fantasizing about leaving multiple scars all around my upper thigh to remind me how sh1tty I am.

    I started taking Zoloft recently and while I'm not breaking down crying as often, I still feel like crap and the desire to cut myself. It doesn't feel like things will get better, but maybe I'll get used to them.

  • S.

    I started cutting when I was 13, I can't even remeber why I did it the first few times. Since then I cut to focus on my school work because I had concentrational problems, I would cut to controll my eating (I have never been overweight but liked to experiment with how far I could controll my eating) and I would cut to punish myself for sleeping with people I had no intention of forming relationships with.

    I am 21 now. On the surface I would say I function well in society and no one would ever suspect me of self harm. I had never told anyone about it, except one of my previous boyfriends, and cut on my hips (where my underwear would cover) and on the inside of my thighs so I can hide it easily. I have become emotionally numb and feel nothing and over the past years the reson I cut has become so that I can feel something and to release the tension when my emotions build up. I also self harm in other ways such as occasional impulsive drug use, and promiscuousness.

    A few months ago I decided that this behaviour was not actually normal (to me it became normal and I convinced myself there was nothing wrong with self harming) and went to see a doctor who referred me to a mental health specialist. Progress is slow because I no longer know what I feel, but I'm pleased that I'm getting help and look forward to understanding why I do this.

  • frustrated

    I guess I do it because I'm so frustrated with me, when I make mistakes I can stand not being able to manage everything. I have come a long way... I come from a very poor family. I am sitting on 2 degrees. I have a pretty awesome job and I'm so close to reaching my dream but days like today I just want to hurt. I put myself through high school and college, working two jobs and side jobs. I have been working since I was 14 to provide for my family. I am 22 years young, and for the most part consider myself to be an optimistic person. I consider myself an over achiever. I am the one that people depend on to be there and be reliable. I want to be everything my parents were not. I am the complete opposite of them (drug addicts, alcoholics, abusive). I have full custody of my younger brother, and support my mother financially who recently came to live with me. When I feel I am falling short of what I need to do or I make mistakes, I just want to hurt. I haven't self-mutilated in a while. When I see the blood trickling down my arm, I feel euphoria (my little piece of heaven). I share this moment by myself, for once silence (no body yelling at me or demanding anything).

    I guess it started in high school, I just moved to Sin city (Las Vegas) from a very small town in New Mexico. I was an outcast and socially awkward. I’ll never forget the day when I was made fun of so much because of my shoes (I can bet now that I am 10 steps ahead of those people in life). Looking back now, I guess those teens that made fun of me for my poverty did it because it made them feel better about themselves. I’ll never forget the day I punched myself in the head during class after making a mistake, I guess out of habit, that day I became known as the crazy girl.

    I self-mutilate because it makes me feel better when I have done something wrong. I guess this falls under the self-punishment reason.

  • Dianne

    Thank you for your article. I cut/burned myself repeatedly throughout my teens and twenties and also banged my head to the point of almost knocking myself out a few times.

    Growing up in a family where mental illness affected two of my family members, I didn't realize I was experiencing symptoms of PTSD as an adult. cutting was my secret ritual for years, a way of calming me down because I felt trapped in my life. As a child I would have mind chatter constantley plague me every second of my life, I couldn't concentrate at school and failed and teachers yelling at me certainly didn't help.

    That mind chatter just got worse as I got older, and cutting would provide some kind of release, distraction, as your article says. To me, the blood expressed more than words ever could. I heard so many words growing up, screamed back and forth, all the hateful evil things my parents would say to each other, I hated talking as a kid.

    Whenever I would get into a relationship with someone, eventually the question would come up "what are all those scars all over you?" I finally slowed down with the cutting, once the scars became noticeable, as I was running out of body parts to cut, and they were visible. I made up stories as best I could.

    Happy ending though, eventually I got help with an amazing therapist who also suffered childhood abuse and we became close friends, so I had help 24/7.

    She taught me to turn off the tape in my head, when the negative self talk started. I beleive it was breaking that damned cycle of constantly reliving my nightmarish emotions that helped me become a more stable, calm and almost happy person. I didn't realize how much of my behaviour was unconcious. I wouldn't say I've never done it since, but I feel like I have overcome that automatic bease within me, and have even managed to try and understand my parents - why they behaved like they did, and realize that it had nothing to do with me which also helps with the healing process as well. It's going to take a lifetime, but it got better for me, and I'm grateful.

  • Kara

    Hello everyone,

    I appreciate you all sharing your stories. I learn the most from people that actually live this shit.

    My brother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has never received the correct help. He's been in and out of institutions for the past 2 or 3 years. Now he is cutting/ burning and he has bruises on his face. He never leaves my moms house. He barely leaves his room.

    What can I do? We live in Vermont. I guess I just assume mental health systems everywhere are shit. Please let me know if you live in a state where it doesn't suck. My brother has seen tons of doctors. I hate all of them. They have done nothing but load him with anti psychotics that don't work or give him symptoms of something else. A never ending cycle. I work in healthcare. I hear what the nurses and doctors say about people like my brother. I know health care doesn't promote vitamins or anything natural at all, the pharmacutical companies wouldn't make any money if we weren't prescribed these bullshit pills.

    Ok, anyway, please give me some advice. I want my brother back!

    I left my email at the top. Thank you.

  • Anonymous-39

    After reading the article and all these comments, I'm not quite sure what to think. I self-harm by eating extremely little (I almost passed out the other day) because not eating at all would be difficult to conceal, living with roommates. I think I mentally harm myself more than physically, because I don't like pain, and yet that would be the only way I'd feel satisfied with myself. Besides just not eating, I try to get bruises as often as I can, or some kind of injury, and I can pass it off as an accident and no one is the wiser.

    I guess I'm just really depressed. I often think that everyone would be better off if I was gone, and especially to those who like me, I panic when I realize that they would take it especially hard. I panic a lot about many things, like if I'll ever succeed in life, if I'll graduate on time, if I'll be happy, etc. I was a happy kid, with lots of friends, good grades, and an intact family, and I haven't had anything bad happen to me, so I really have nothing to complain about, but I just feel so tired of living. I've thought about taking my life so many times, or packing up and going away somewhere forever, leaving everything behind. There's so much to take care of and too many limitations, and I just can't handle it all.

    I've told one person in my entire life that I've been depressed since middle school, and that was my ex-boyfriend a year ago. We only dated for a week but I knew he was too good of a person to be dragged around by someone like me, so I broke it off and finally explained that I was depressed. But stupid me is so easily triggered by anything involving depression, self-harm, and death that I tear up at the drop of a hat. Luckily he noticed and let me go easy, so I could laugh it off.

    I wanted to harm myself tonight, but not anything that would leave evidence or be permanent. As much as I want someone to notice me in the middle of doing so and worry about me, I don't want anyone to find out. I don't want others to know I think like this, that I do this, that I'm to be pitied. I don't depend on others because I always feel guilty about it. I don't talk to others because I don't want them to dislike me. I cry because I should have nothing to cry about and I'm being a selfish brat. I cried so hard reading through this article and its comments, and I will probably keep crying in the shower because I need to dredge up memories and images that just tear my heart apart.

    I also talk too much and I shouldn't be allowed near nice people because getting close to others is a no-no. This is too much baggage for anyone to handle, especially if they've all got problems of their own. Despite the many boons in my life, all I can think about is the tragedy of it all. Just to stop thinking and just cry.

    Thank you for writing, and thank you to all those who wrote comments.

  • Christina

    Hello, I'm Christina. At first, when I cut, it was to stop myself from breaking down from the stress of everything. I was always told that I mean nothing. Classmates would tell me that they look forward to me never returning to class. Hiding from the fact that I was so alone, I would take a knife to my arm. The cuts were extremely shallow at first, mere scratches. As time went by, I would cut so much deeper. My arms were covered in scars. I stayed clear of my wrists, I didn't want people to see. I'm a junior in high school now. My freshman year, I hated myself so much I lost over 100 pounds. I received so many compliments. These were the first I had EVER gotten... Most people called me ugly. Despite so much weight being dropped, I wanted to lose more. I tried forcing myself to. Unfortunately, I succeeded. I continued to lose weight and with each pound off, I cut. It was my punishment. I cut to hold myself together. I released the pain through my bleeding body. Each rose of the deepest red held my sanity in check. Too bad no one thought to check my legs. I was so afraid of everyone around me, that I actually cut the words "Trust No One" deep into my thigh. It took them two years to fade. I've been cut free for around two weeks now. I miss it already, and it scares me. Cutting makes me feel in control and utterly helpless at the same time. It's terrifying. My boyfriend saved me from cutting too deeply two weeks ago. I was trying to die. However, he distracted me on the phone before I could muster up the courage to actually cut. Hello, I'm Christina, and I'm just another teen cutter...

  • Kelly

    I cut when I'm sad. I cut when I'm happy. I cut when I'm pissed. I love the feeling, I love the blood, I love the rush, everything. I'm a gore fan. Not only am I a fan, I fantasize killing people. All kinds of things. I got into drugs really intensely because I was having death trips. I was addicted to feeling like I'm dying. I had to give it up for the sake of everyone but me. But if people supported me, I would still be doing it. Absolutely. So cutting is a very low version of what I actually love doing. I like it, but I'd rather do drugs. But if I can't do drugs, it's my only option. Yeah sure I don't have to. But I like to. I don't want to stop, and I refuse to. I do it because it keeps me from killing people. I love the look of scars, scabs, all that. Intensity is my favorite part of gore. It's not even intense anymore when I cut. I used to get drunk specifically for cutting, it's an incredible, sexy feeling. But if someone were to be watching, they would probably call not the police, but a psych ward. And trust me, been there too. I just do what I want because f**k you that's why. Sometimes I wish I wasn't like this, but then I realize, hey it's what I want. Why conform to other's wishes, I really don't give a f**k about what others want for me. My heart is set on doing whatever the f**k I feel like that day.

  • Charlotte

    There are two reasons for my self-injury. The first is punishing myself and the second is dealing with feelings of agitation that come from anger. When I punish myself, I am very methodical about the cutting. I might think "I ate that cupcake, so now I have to cut myself X times to punish myself." It's very methodical. When I'm overwhelmed with anger, I cut more impulsively. For instance, when I get upset because a boy I like doesn't call me, I'm mad at him and mad at myself for being upset, and I'm very agitated. Cutting breaks the cycle of racing thoughts. In that regard, I think that my self-injury fits very well into the six reasons above.

    My other form of SI is that I severely restrict my food intake and sometimes overexercise (to the point of lasting pain.) I am overweight, despite being very careful about what I eat and how I exercise. A lot of this has to do with side effects from my depression meds. When I restrict and exercise, though, I can lose weight (sometimes...) and people compliment me. They compliment my willpower ('wow, it's great that you go the gym!') but they don't see how much it hurts me. I do it because i feel guilty about how fat I am, and I feel like my fat makes me less worthy of affection. I also feel like because of my med issues, there is no good connection between my work and my weight. So, I get frustrated and anxious and...bam...cutting.

    I have a history of emotional abuse and I've been raped. I still don't quite own my history of abuse, in the sense that I only say I've been abused because other people say my parents abused me. I blame myself (surprise, right?). However, I definitely think that I had a sense growing up that if i wasn't 'perfect,' my parents wouldn't love me...and I was routinely punished (isolation, no dinner) if I didn't perform well on tests). So, yeah, that happened.

    I am sharing this article with a couple of folks who do know about my cutting because I think it's really hard for them to understand it no matter how I try to explain it. They say I'm 'rationalizing' when I say 'I do this because I'm frustrated.' Here's hoping that hearing it from someone else helps!

  • Anonymous-40

    Hi i am chole, at first when i cut myself, its to stop myself from all then anger and the stress that i get from my family, mostly from my brothers, but to tell you the truth my family are very good people plus i love them. but for some reason get very anrgy with over silly thinks especially my two idiotic young brothers its just that they make fun of me.

    I go to college 2nd year but i didnt go to secondary school and do my GCSE. i think that im depressed that im alway alone,i dont have any friends ,im overweight i tried so many thinks to reduce my weight but i cant lose any for some reason . when i was in secondary school no one wanted to make any friends with me but i had one friend for about couple of months but she decided to join another buch of girl so i didnt have anyone ,that why i started not to go to school any more ,one more thing they all thinked of me as a fat ugly girl.

    because of that i had poor education as you can tell bye my writing . i cut myself very deep and cry alot i cant contral my emotionally and no one no that im cutting myself because they didnt find out but im scared of them finding out that why i have the urge to cut myself and break things because of all the reasons above.

  • Anne Brian

    My father died in 1999. Throughout his life he used to run a bath, get in, and slash his wrists with a razor blade. He did this about every six months. I don't think they were really suicide attempts because he would do it when there was somebody around ro rescue him. I have never understood why he did it. He also used to sometimes disappear for days on end. He said he was staying with "a friend". I know he went to a brutal Jesuit school and he did not have a good relationship with his mother. He also never really had a friend that I knew of. It was all very disturbing for me as a child and I have mental illness. It would really help me if I could understand why he did it. Sometimes I wonder if he might have been gay but felt ashamed of his feelings. He used to have terrible rows with my Mum and sometimes hit her. He was obsessed with tidiness and cleanliness. The house could not have a thing out of place or he would get angry.

  • age:15 , gender: female

    Why I self harm: I guess there are many reasons and factors... I was never taught how to talk about or deal with emotions, my mother abused me mentally, emotionally, and physically from ages 10-14, when I was 12 my mother put me in a mental health facility in an attempt to get rid of me, when the realized I wasn't a "crazy, relentless, sociopath" like my mother claimed, it took them a week to convince her to pick me up and take me home. In that week I met girls who self harmed and that's when I was first introduced to the idea.

    How do I feel before I cut: Before I cut I'm generally angry, sad, empty, or numb. I take out my razor blade and make deep cuts on my lower/upper arms, legs, or hips, sometimes my stomache.

    How do I feel while I cut: I feel distracted. Generally I make a shallow first cut, then a deep second cut, and after that the rest are in the middle of the two depths. I don't really feel pain anymore. I did when I first started cutting a year and a half ago. I'm not sure if it's because I cut deeper, or if I'm just used to it. I do feel pain when I want to.

    How do I feel directly after I cut: I feel absoloutly wonderful, I feel relaxed and euphoric. It only last for 10-20 minuets depending on how deep or how much I cut.

    How do I feel later: I feel a little bit regretful, sometimes ashamed, upset, or angry with ,myself.

  • Katie

    I'm a 15 year old girl who has been cutting since I was about 13 or 14. When I first stared I started think it was more out of curiosity then anything and I really regret starting. Once I made the first cut I felt a tremendous amount of guilt which is how cutting became my punishment. Now I do it when I feel that I have caused someone some sort of pain and I also cut because of self hatred. My cuts are never that deep and what makes me hate myself the most is the fact that I have a pretty good life compared to others who have posted their stories on here. I've never been abused, although I was bullied as a child for about 5 or 6 years but many people were bullied.I'm nothing special and never will be. My friend cuts and he does it a lot worse them me. He has more understandable reasons then me. He's been bullied all his life and his dad is a alchoholic who abuses him when drunk. Recently though he has stopped cutting and I told him I would stop too. This was a week ago when I said this. It was hard as I had so many urges to see my blood trickle down my arm but I stopped myself...until last night. I was walking past my mirror and I stopped. I stood there and pointed out every single flaw and I truely hated what I saw. The urge to cut was worse then it had been in a long time and I gave into it. Now I feel horrible, I told my friend I wouldn't give into the urges and I have :/ I don't know what to do, I try to distract myself but it doesn't work. I need help but it makes me feel weak to admit it so I try to deal with it by myself...

  • Male age 26 Baltimore, Maryland

    Personally, I think I self-injure because I feel bad inside. I feel angry at my self for not listening and being stubborn. So, as a result, I start to believe I deserve to be punished. As a method of punishment, I started cutting my arms. these are slight skin-grazing cuts, but they are still visible. I haven't got to the point where I've started deep cutting yet. I have thought about suicide several times, but have not found the effort to go through with it. I guess I do these things because I feel unsatisfied with myself. Not by being ugly or fat or anything like that, but by believing I am a personal failure. I have not met my own personal expectations, either through slacking off or showing a lack of effort or being just plain lazy. Being a former college student, I also think the pressures of school can also edge a person into the act of self-injure I remember the first time I cut my arm. I was very angry at myself for doing something at school I wasn't so supposed to do. I felt like an idiot. I was so enraged, I went into my kitchen, picked up a steak knife and slashed my arm. It was a small cut, but it was deep enough to bleed more than I expected. I walked back into my living room covering my arm with a towel trying to hide the blood from my mother. I felt so embarrassed, but slightly relieved and satisfied for punishing myself for what I had done wrong at school. I have cut myself numerous times since then. I have seven cuts on my left arm, and three cuts on my right arm. My left arm is where the first cut took place, I have just started on my right arm. I have considered slitting my throat as a method of suicide twice since that first cutting event. I have recently finished college within the last year, but my life has only gotten worse. Everytime I think my life is going to get better it does not. Sometimes, I feel like this is an endless cycle and no matter what I do, I am destined to fail in the end anyway. At times, I wake up in the morning feeling like a total piece of shit and think I should go through with the suicide, but I keep holding onto a pathetic sense of hope that things will get better someday. I don't know why. Thank you for listening.

  • Alli age 19

    I take something and scratch my skin until it's raw. I also burn with my curling iron and straightener. I do this because I view the world as selfish. Literally everything people say or do is for their own benefit. Think about it! If they take interest in you, it's to satisfy their curiosity. Not because they care and want to hear about it. I'm in my second semester as a Freshman in college and I'm getting depressed. I'm not making any close new friends and I'm losing all my old friends back home. I'm going to college in Arkansas but I'm from Kansas, so I have a car here with me and people just use me for my car. They only talk to me when they want a ride somewhere. That's about all they talk to me about. I'm tired of being used.

    I self-injure myself because in my mind I tell myself, "If no one else cares about me, then I don't either." Plus it gives me a distraction from all the self-centered people I encounter. When I go to and from classes, I can just focus on the pain I feel instead of the pain I hear. I also self-injure as self-punish. I think to myself, why am I so introverted and different how I think? Why can't I just fit in and make friends and have people compliment me when I dress nice or do something wonderful? Everybody else is so much better than me. My grades are really poor this year and it's not because I'm not trying, it's seriously because I'm not smart. I try and try and don't get the grades my parents expect. I don't think I can do this college life for much longer, but people keep telling me you need a college degree to do anything. So I'm just in a rut. I self-injure as punishment for not being smart or fitting in and for being so different. Plus people treat me like I'm five. They don't bother to get to know the real me. My brother says that one day someone will be lucky to be with me because I'm so less selfish than other people. Then after I remember he said that I feel selfish for doing self-injure. So I do it more.

    Sorry this is kinda a jumbled mess. Feels good to get it all out.

  • Laura

    I am quite a bit older than most who self harm. I'm in my mid 40's. I self harm when I am out of control with emotions like I am sad or feeling worthless. It's the only thing that can take the overwhelming feelings away. I have recently found that having my mate spank me very hard also calms me down. I am lucky that he actually enjoys doing this for me. I can be totally out of control, wanting to run face first into a wall, or hit myself it the face, or cut, burn, pinch.....and if he is with me, he can calm me. It's nice to have someone to help. I feel so not alone. I know this sounds odd, but it works for me and he doesn't hurt me nearly as badly as I hurt myself. I am not recommending this to ANYONE! You have to really trust someone to allow this.

  • Anonymous-41

    I have a boy friend who has injured himself and its because of me having a bad day. I dont know e what to do Im very confused and scared this could result in death if I ever break up with him.thank you.

  • Joy

    my son 30 came back from Iraq 9 years ago he was rocking banging head and crying. now 9 years on suicidal banging head punching walls constantly taking him to hospital. he has got worse since finding the one (girlfriend). goes in tantrums swears and calls her terrible names.blames everyone but himself . doesnt drink or take drugs. he is so kind and nice most of time. i have combat stress coming to see him. ive thought combat stress bi polar cpd im no expert. but as a mother only son doesnt live with me lives now with new girlfriend. he feels threatened by her family calls them has called me and his father in past. was a perfect son until returning from iraq. 3 years after retirning said hed seen dreadful things. i am at my wits end i stay calm for him he constantly repeats things when angry. tries to jump in front of cars . tried to get sectioned for his own safety. my health is suffering through constant worrying the police keep getting rang from girlfriends mum as she worries for her 23 year old daughter.

  • Daisa

    I started self-harming in grade 7. I knew some friends who did it in grade 6, at the school before the one i went to in grade 7. I was really badly bullied in grade 6 and 7, especially grade 7. They called me ugly and all my friends ditched me and excluded me all the time. I felt worthless. I felt like absolute shit, I thought no one would care if I died. So i self-harmed. But not by cutting, I always had long fingernails and i would scratch myself repeatedly until it stung really bad. I never got scars because they would fade in a day or two, since I never really bled. I rememeber in grade 9, I told my friends this and they said it didn't count because I didn't technically cut myself. And so I did it legitamently, and I was so ashamed. Also, my best friend said it was pathetic that people cut themselves and that just added to it. And now, for long periods of time I'll be happy, but then something will trigger me and I will get into a funk. And I become convinced that nobody cares and that I'm such a loser and so I once again scratch my wrists. And I don't know why I do it. Sometimes I'm really unhappy, sometimes I don't really feel anything when I do that.

  • Anonymous-42

    There's two main reasons. First being I am very sensitive. I broke up with my first girlfriend recently due to paranoid delusions caused by bi polar disorder, and I feel like it was my fault that I ruined one of the only things I ever cared about so I feel like that's what I deserve. The second being anxiety. Sometimes I feel if I don't do something to stop thinking about whatever it is I'm coming up with a million outcomes to, that I will kill myself. I will either cut my legs with a knife or razor, or stab myself with a mechanical pencils with a metal tip dozens of times, hard enough to leave a bruise the size of a penny around each puncture hole. I find it disgusting that I do this to myself (which feeds it more), but it seems to be one of the only thing to keep myself away from suicide.

  • Anonymous-43

    I don't know why, but i find pleasure in the heated touch of steel against my skin. I use a steel file, primarily used for wood work and i will heat it over a lit candle. The heat pressed against my skin brings little pain, but i feel euphoric as i carve designs into my flesh. I know this is not normal, but i find a weird comfort in it.

  • Anonymous-44

    I cut whenever my parents yell at me severely. They don't let me apologize, or defend myself, just yell. Then since I have no way of obtaining forgiveness, I cut to punish myself. To punish myself for being rude, or snarky. To punish myself for all the things I do wrong. To punish myself for beimg ugly amd fat and maybe that's why my parents get mad at me. I don't believe I deserve to be happy.

  • Anonymous-45

    I cut to remind myself that i have to punish this girl. This girl molested my girlfriend when she was eight and tried to convince her she was gay, this went on for a week. I cut so i dont forget what she has been through, i cut to remind myself of the fact that the girl who molested my girlfriend must pay.

  • Anonymous-46

    I don't tell many people about my cuts. I started when I was in seventh grade, but I've been this way since I was in first grade. My mom had to work all the time, and my dad would always abandon me. I was all alone, the youngest of 5 siblings. And I had no one. My dad would hit and abuse me, and call me a monster, and claim he shouldn't have had me. My older brother, when I was only three, did things to me.. My dad found out, and he screamed. When I was seven, I was almost raped, and had my first kiss and boyfriend, he wanted to have sex with me, and he was only 11. When my babysitter found out, through little notes, she told me I had to say goodbye to my mom and dad, and tried to make me call them and say goodbye, unless I told her I was lying about the boy whom she also babysat. :/ Then I was bullied, up until 5th grade, when I moved schools. I thought it would be a fresh start, but it wasn't. I was bullied more there. People would tell me to just slit my wrists and die already, and that I was a terrible disgrace, and everyone hated me. I was only a sixth grader. By eighth grade came around, every day in school was just hell. I tried to tell the guidance counselor, but she would just call me a drama queen and say that I needed to be medicated. I was a joke, to everyone. To the staff, to the students. The entire school. I had no real friends, nothing. I was alone. I started cutting, stupidly, because I had my heart broken for the first time. I got so mad, and sad. I wished cars would just hit me. I wanted to just die. But I didn't. I was never the same after that. I continued to self harm, but they were only shallow cuts. Now, I have a lot of triggers. This year, I recently underwent a lot of changes. I moved schools, and I moved houses twice. My mom's house burnt down. I moved in with my dad. But my dad is the same as always, he fooled me into thinking he cared this time. But he drinks, a lot and yells at me because I'm not perfect at all. He wants me to have straight A's... I cut mainly because of him. At the moment, I have over 100 cuts on my body from within the last two days, and I'm getting my heart broken again. It also doesn't help that every relationship I'm in has to be a secret, because I feel like I'm never going to be good enough for anyone to really love

  • Anonymous-47

    It's not something I do regularly but not too long ago I took around 20 cold pills in the space of two hours. I don't know why but I told my boyfriend. I tried to pretend it the last night never happened, after I was sure I'd be able to walk, I even ended up going to work (that didn't work). After that I told my dad and I was taken to the hospital and treated. I was lucky that nothing went wrong. It was ruled a suicide attempt, but while the thought of dying while it happened didn't scare me, that was not my intention. It was to get rid of emotional pain, I wanted the physical pain to drown out everything. Despite being epileptic, I have had no horrific events, like rape, happen to me, so perhaps I also wanted physical proof that I was not okay, or to punish myself for a sense of betrayal towards my biggest supporters (friends, family, etc.). I wanted others to acknowledge the fact that my problem(s), my epilepsy was greater than just seizures. I don't think I'll take that many pills again, but I admit that the accelrated heartbeat, the dizziness, fighting conciousness is sometimes tempting to feel again

  • Jillian

    I cut because I am not good enough. I try and try to make good grades or make good decisions, but I can never live up to my parents', teachers', or friends' expectations. They want me to do well and I want to too, but they never seem to believe me when I say that I really did try! They keep telling me that I could have done better or can do better next time. Then I think of all the people who have such an innocent and shy view of me, who think that I would never be that kind of person, a person who cuts, but I am. They think I'm so happy with who I am, but that's just a trick. I'm very good at faking happy or hiding whatever I need to hide. I start out by telling them that I am a terrible liar, that I can never keep a straight face and that it's obvious when I'm lying. Then I lie at my best and they believe me without question. I've always wanted someone to talk to about this, but not someone who will try to get me to stop, but someone who will try to make me happy, because once I am really happy, then I'll stop, and that's just a dream, and dreams never come true.

  • Anonymous-48

    I started cutting when i was 14. My father was extremly abusive. He killed himself when i was 15 and my mom found out i was cutting around then. She threatend to baker act me. I moved away from cutting and into bruising. Not as effective but also not as noticable. I stopped when i was 18 and tried to get my life in order. I have had a few lapses over the years but I try to keep myself even keel. I am 26 now and was cut free for about 2-3 years. I am on this site because I just cut myself. I had forgotten the wonderful mood shift after a cut. I have been struggling with post partum depression this passed year. The past few months it has gotten so bad that i try really hard to get my point across to my husband but I cant seem to get him to understand. I am not sure if it is my inability to express emotion or his inability to comprehend it. More than likely a combination of the two. I guess i just gave up tonight. I tried to do it

  • Nicole

    I honestly can't say that I 100% fully understand why I have self harmed or why i have even thought of self harming as an option, in fact I don't see it as an option or neither of it being a solution. I know that in a supressive way it helped me at the time deal with my emotions..the pysical pain helped me deal with my emotional pain..it helped me to over shadow and supress my emotions like a sense of release..I myself know its a Negative destructive/harmful behaviour and I don't want to cut myself and I defiantly don't see it as being a solution. I think i resorted to it because at the time i literally had no control over my life or my situations pot at least I thought that at the time(A way I could have stopped myself from feeling so emotionally overwhealmed was to avoid the situations/conversations/people who subjected me to it)i had no stability, i didn't have anyone around me at the time that understood me or would even listen to me. I'm an unselfish person/I care about other people too much/I would go to the extremes if it meant I could help another person and that even being a stranger...i dont like to judge other people because at the end of the day we judge ourselves/even though ive had people mistreat me,take advantage of the kind person i am I wont let them change who i am deep down i will always stay true to myself and who i am... Even though other people try to bring me down and try to manipulate me to stoop to there level.. I wont let myself..Then this is a step Ive learnt to overcome and get past my harmful behavious... DONT let other people change who you are or who you want to be. As soon as you stop letting other people rule your life and you can relax and be yourself then everything will get better from there..But that is only if you want your life to get better. no body can help you if you dont help yourself and you cant help yourself if you dont want to help yourself.

    One of the most important things in life is to stay positive,

    I'm not sure if any of this will help anyone but it has helped me.x

  • Anonymous-49

    I like to cut myself. But I suck at it. lol. I started a year ago, cutting a couple dozen times all over my body with a pair of scciors. It happened in one night and I was pretty drunk. Got carried away on the last slice, going into my hand and hitting a nerve. Needed sugerory. Didn't cut again until a year after that.

    I think I also fall into the category of people that do not understand why they are doing it. The first 18 years of my life were, what I call the perfect childhood. Not too rich, not too poor. Parents were strict, but also gave my plenty of freedom. Small handful of friends that were good people. made decsent grades. Got into college. hell i'm even an eagle scout.

    why do i like cutting myself? I enjoy it. I don't wanna stop. I kind of want to get better at it in fact. I want to cut, but sometimes i'm just not sad enough. or not stressed enough. or whatever it takes to get me goin.

    My friends always wanna take me drinking, but i turn them down. I'm scared of what I might do? I'm not sure. But I turn them down.

    I want to cut. I want to get better at cutting. I want to feel so low and sad and depressed that I just start going to town with a kitchen knife. But I can't. I want to cut. But I also want to know why.

    (Most likely won't check this site again. Email me)

  • Andi

    I have cut twice and burned once. They were at times where the pain wanted to expode out of me, I started to have a panic attack but felt if I could just mark the pain physically I could regain control. I no longer had to feel it if I could see it. I relaxed and calmed down afterwards and then felt really riddiculous about it. I am a very 'collected' person so no one I have told gets it at all. I am a runner and a dancer. I think if I were able to run at those times or someone took me and make me dance it out to crazy music (Grey's Anatomy) it would have the same effect. Running or dancing til you feel the pain is not as bad on your body and is socially acceptable. The reason I don't want to do it, it scares people around me and makes those close to me blame themselves for some reason. Your body is a temple. God made you beautiful. Find a healthy way to release your pain and regain control. But if you do end up cutting, don't be hard on yourself. Forgive yourself and move on.

  • Emily

    I self injure and have been doing so since I was young. Although I was not aware that what I was doing was self-harm. Like most, cutting was my main method off and on from 16 to. I am 24 almost now.

    But after a loved killed themself is when things went downhill fast. My cutting first aid kit was taken away, so I switched to bruising myself, but always in places I could hide. I have been bruising myself for two years and it has gotten progressively worse.

    This is where I am different. I find bruising to be much more relieving than cutting. I had what would be considered a good childhood, although I felt that I was not allowed to express how I felt. So I felt invalidated a lot and still do. Having my former GP say that at least I wasn't cutting didn't help matters.

  • Alli age 19

    I already left a comment, a while back, but I re-visited this site and read some more. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one going through stuff like this, but it's getting hard to bottle away my secrets. I just wish I could talk to someone without being judged or eagle-watched or told what to do from now on or treated even lower than people already treat me. I feel like people won't talk about this kind of stuff because they don't want people to think less of them or treat them like a kicked puppy. I just want to have someone I can trust my secrets with and someone to make me happy. Happiness is what I search for and the longer I search for it, and the none I'm finding is making me feel worse. I've wanted to do more self-injure, but it's summer and I'm afraid I'll get caught at my house. It was so much easier to do it at college, since people never bothered me.

    It's about 1am and I'm just laying wide awake in my bed listening to music. Music is my summer distraction, since I don't want to risk being caught self-injuring.

  • Amanda

    I started self-injuring at age 12. I was abused all of my life, even recently. I am 24 years old now, and still struggle with this problem. I started because of the abuse and wanting to punish myself. Gradually I felt alone, and unheard so then the Self-injury got worse as I tried to get the emotional pain to become physical. At age 20 until now, I have been raped more times than I can count.The medicine I take doesn't help, and my Therapist told me, to just not think about the abuse. Which feels impossible, so I continue to self-injure.

    I struggle with wanting sometimes to stop the self-injury, and then sometimes I think if I stop I will lose my outlet. I am afraid to lose my only release. I am a student at an online university, so my stress level stays high. I just want to be normal. I feel alone in this world, and just intense emotions. I will keep fighting though, because one day, maybe not tomorrow, maybe not in a year, but one day it will have to get better. I am not giving up. One day I will be able to throw away my self-injury tools, and know I do not need them to survive anymore. That will be a good day, when I no longer need to self-injure.

  • Tiffanie

    I'm 16 and I started self harm when I was 12. I was badly bullied in school. I had bad style, braces, weird, my bestfriend was gay, and I was strange. I was constantly bullied. I was called a whore, skank, slut, and more. Even tho I was a virgin I still was called these things. I was called faggot, fag, dike, carpet muncher because my bestfriend was gay. I got into a abusive relationship. he would hit me and allow his friends to hit me. I was shoved, slapped, punched. I also got told by a lot of my bullies that they wish I would kill myself. I only had one friend. No one helped me. I turned to cutting myself and his the cuts. I soon stopped for a year. Then my dads current girlfriend got drunk and tried to fright me. My dad didn't do anything to stop her. I went upstairs and cut myself bad. My mother, grandmother, and grandfather are alcoholics. My grandmother would get drunk and call me and my sister bitches, sluts, lowlifes, whores, fatasses, thunder theighs, she even said we would grow up to be nothing and we would be homeless. My mom is a great mom until she drinks bud ice. My mom tried killing herself in front of me and my younger sister (15) and she was sent away to rehab. Our grandmother convinced us that we were the reason my mother tried to kill herself. So we moved in with my father. I started cutting my wrist and tried my own suicide. my mother is now better. I Still get bullied and I'm in high school. I'm so hurt. I slit my wrist more than 50 times. I'm loosing my best friend (not the gay one, she moved) because she doesn't like my self harm. I started using a wet leather belt to numb me. And if that didn't satisfy me I would punch myself. No one knows I still self harm. I don't cut because my father found out and he took my blade. I refuse to do drugs to numb me. Even tho it sounds like a good idea. I think of suicide. More than 4 times a week. All I want is for my pain to leave and for me to be fine. I mean... I'm only 16 and I'm doing things to myself that a teenager shouldn't be doing...

  • Michellyn

    At 54 I feel strange talking about self harm as it is frequently associated with teens.

    I have never cut but as a teen I would poke pins/ needles into my skin. Now I bite myself, pinch or scratch.

    I have tried to justify it to my therapist but he wants me to practise self care and self compasion to deal with strong emotonal pain that comes up due to childhood sexual and physical abuse.

    I have fought suicidal ideation since my teen years, it seems that self inflicted pain is an option that helps me get through those times.

  • Anonymous-50

    I have no reason why I cut, I do it because I can and it feels good :)

  • rodinson m

    I cut my face and have no regret

  • Anonymous-51

    Basically the idea of self harm had never made sense to me when I was younger. Now though I understand. I have been cutting on and off for about six months now. To me cutting is like getting out my anger. I've been through a roughtime and I think that's why I don't have a way with words.

    I don't like talking when I'm angry. I don't know how to explain how I feel, so I don't try. So I just cut it really does numb the emotional pain.

  • I beat myself till i have black eyes

    i beat myself in the face till i loose my vision. ive cut once in middle school but i dont want scares.. instead i beat myself scratch my neck and pull my hair out..

    i beat my face so bad i cant eat...

    my last episode was this morning. my boyfriend got sick of me he said so i beat myself while on the phone with him.

  • Doug

    i think mostly cuz i have problem communicating. plus it feels good. i also have that voice in my head that tells me horrible things that i believe. like these things are facts. i do it to remind myself of the way i'm feeling at certain times. i carve words into myself but on my legs so no one can see. i'm 37 been doing it since high school on and off. more regulary now. not in therapy or on meds anymore. i've convinced myself i can handle "it".

  • Anonymous-52

    I've had a lot go on in my life. I was molested by my stepdad when I was 9, Nd For the next 3 years my fsmily attended court case after court case because my mum believed that he would change and was a good person. She fought to keep him in the country (hes from another country) and I got sick of feeling not normal. child services interviewed me to see if I was ok with him staying, so thy could make their final decisions, and I lied because I knew my mum would be broken if he left (even though thy would argue everyday) , and because he was tr only reason we weren't living in the streets. So my stepdad is a total dickhead. He cheats, lies, drinks and smokes and they fight about everything, yet my mum isn't allowed to drink, smoke, or spend too much money on things we need. He's immature and makes everything a joke, and I hate his guts. Every time I try Nd join a conversation he quite rudely says 'nobody was talking to you' and purposely irritates my mum and brother just to see them get upset. I have recently started scratching myself, I am too scared of blood to actually produce cuts, but I want it to bad. I'm miserable most of the timE, and my emotions just build up inside me, I can't scream and cry and break things like I want to. I use it as a release, I am trying not to, because it makes my best friend really upset, but I get the urge all the time, and I can't fight it.

  • Anonymous-53

    my self harm habit started when i was looking for attention, thinking that if someday someone found out about it i will not feel invisible. i started scratching my legs, one day i made a very deep cut in my leg so i stopped. i was traumatized, i swore to myself i will never do it again but when i had such intense emotions as anger or sadness i just started to imagine ways tu hurt myself, sometimes i stabbed my hand with my jelwery as my earrings or grabbed broken glasses from the floor and cut my arms.... as the time has passed the idea of telling anyone or that anyone finds out is unthinkable. i regret this a lot. i am scared of myself.

    im 16, this has happened in the last 7 months

  • JaneDoe

    I cut myelf because I am a very angry person and I cant deal with extreme emotions and most of the time I dont even know what I'm doing until its happening and then Im feeling the release it brings and I dont want to stop. I usually just cut but monday I got an arrow-head shaped blade and I stabbed myself in the left arm. Until my husband came and stopped me. I dont know what would have happened if he hadnt stopped me. Afterwards I counted 13 stab wounds. Now my arm is all swollen and purple (didnt know stabbing would cause so much bruising).I want to quit what I'm doing but I dont know how. I did quit for many years and then I started again and it became worse. Now my left arm is all in shambles. I have also slit my throat and punched myself in the face.

    It feels soo good when im doing it but I know its wrong and I feel like shit after Im done. And then comes the sneaking part. Hiding it from people you love and also because a woman in their 30s should not be cutting. I only hide it from people I know tho, the other people I dont give a damn about. I dont know them so they cant judge me.

    I have gotten to the point of just felling shitty about it all the time. I want to stop!!

    Jane Doe

  • Anonymous-54

    G*ddamn it! I wrote a whole lot of sh*t and this crap deleted it! I do it because my life is sh*t, worthless, molested by my brother, touched by my sister, raped by her boyfriend several times, I dunno u tell me, how am I suppose to react, huh, how do I cope? Am I suppose to forgive and forget?! I don't think so! I cut myself this morning because my "partner" watches porn behind my back! What I'm not good enough? Woman enough?! He's got rectile dysfunction and I never cheated on him and yet he does this to me!!!??? I started yesterday all over again cutting myself , all well, who cares, he sure doesn't .

  • Anonymous-55

    I haven't cut for over 20 years but have been wanting to a lot lately. Right now it is trying to deal with the intensity of my emotions, I am clinically depressed and am having a hard time staying in the playing field. I think the wanting to cut again is to help me keep functioning. I have to go to work, I have to take care of my family, I have to appear okay and right now I don't have the emotional resources to do that and cutting can help me stay in the present and function, it can help me to deal with the feelings - well not deal with them but survive them. I have not cut and am trying to find other ways to get the same benefits which is how I came across this article. It is a good article.

  • Anonymous

    I came from a well to do family but my parents were never there for me. My mum left my siblings and I for her boyfriend. I remember I was really young back then. My dad on the other hand only knew how to give us money but he was never home.

    When I was in high school I found out that my dad had another family. He married the woman that he had an affair with (when married to my mother) and they had a kid together. The one memory I'll always remember was when my dad said that he has a new family. Like as if he doesn't want us anymore.

    I first started cutting myself because my friend did it. After that I got addicted to cutting myself. I found out that cutting really helped me deal with my emotions. I also started to have body image issues and sopened eating because after years of not seeing my mum, the first thing she said to me was that I looked fat.

    I guess my problem is I don't know how to express my feelings and sometimes my emotion is too much for me to handle. I get so angry or sad until I have the urge to cut myself or feel any type of physical pain. I honestly feel that physical pain is much more bearable than emotional pain.

    My friends tried to stop me from injuring myself but it was all in vain. I did stop cutting for awhile but I always end up relapsing. As of today I think has been almost three years since I cut myself but that urge to cut myself has never gone away.

    It is a constant struggle. A few months back I got into an argument with my family and I ended up biting my wrist until it left a mark. I just had to feel the pain no matter how what.

    I know that I cannot keep my feelings bottled up inside but I don't know how to express what I'm feeling. My friends say I put up a wall around me because I don't let guys near me. In all honesty, I've never dated anyone in my whole 23 years. I'm not sure if it's because I have blow self esteem or what.

    I'm not sure if it's relevant but I also have slight OCD.

  • Anonymous-56

    The reasons behind my self harm are coming from many things. im the youngest of five, and yet I often carry the most responsibility. My father was an abuser, but he's gone now. For awhile. I've been cutting for about 8 months. I wasn't this sad when we first got away from him, but I guess it's hitting me now. As far as I know, all my siblings have cut themselves. I never understood it. I stood as the supporter, and still do for my sister who still lives with me. But she and I both focus so much on the things she goes through that my problems have gone completely unnoticed and they've built up a great deal. since I have no friends that will willingly talk to me, and I'm the supporter of a troubled family, my emotions stay there. Inside me. And to release them I cut. Or I cut because I deserve it, as i often loath Myself. Lack of self esteem things still located in the past I suppose. But I have to stop. I need to keep my responsibility and being so sad and cutting is beginning to hinder that since its gotten so bad. i can't just ask my sister to listen because she tends to belittle it. And it throws our house order out of balance. But my cutting does too. I need too be there to support everyone, but that's part of the reason I cut! I'm just a 14 year old girl, I can only do so much...I need help and I have no where to get it. How can I stop it by myself, when being by myself is one of the problems!

  • always finding for an answer

    i was young at age when i started cutting myself. i started when i was so angry with my siblings. for nagging me all the time,plus thefact that there are some issues about my childhood. being poor, us my family being abandoned with my idiot father.. i did not even remember or learn the word father until one nyt the worst nyt in my life when he came from hell. he made our childhood like hell as in i prefer i wasn't born in this world.. he never give us the meaning of word happiness i find myself cutting when i was 12 yrs old i think and since then, i kept on doing it again and again. i think when i am cutting myself it does make me think of other things instead of that anger. but my anger drives me to hurt myself. sometimes i took all kinds of medicine that we have in d med cabinet.. but im still alive now at the age of 40. once i cut my wrist being married when i argued w/my ex.. and i cut my wrist so bad i have to go to ER and have 8 stitches on my wrist now. when im alone and crying and drunk.. the only thing that will come to my mind is to kill myself since before and until now.. idk how long i will be like this... but i never promise myself that i can stop it. even if someone who care for me asked me to promise them? i always failed them to give the answer that they want to hear

  • Girl, 25

    This for me is the most understanding artical I've read about self harm.

    I first felt suicidal as a child when I was witness to alot of anger in my parents relationship, towards each other, me and my younger brother. Both parents often walked out, threating suicide themselves, blaming my brother and I for their relationship problems. It's alot of guilt when you're about 10 to think you're ruining your family.

    I didn't self harm until my teens. I'd decided against suicide because of my brother, so it genuinely wasn't suicide attempts. I took scissors, small knives, tweezers, anything sharp but sort of blunt to prolong the experience.

    It was complete escapism from my overwhelming mill of a mind. I think it's safe to say anyone who self harms has a damaged mind, hurt from abuse and eventual self loathing. To be honest I still can't find the words, which is why I feel articles like this are so important for people (including self harmers themselves) to understand how you can do something which you later might find so alien you feel you can't understand yourself.

    My advice, from a place of caring, if you or someone you know self harms, start the process of healing their mind asap. Things like meditation, coucelling, being surrounded by friends and people who care as much as possible. Those moments where you feel like yourself and you see the world unclouded, grab them and motivate yourself to make long term changes at these times.

  • Anonymous-57

    I've recently just started to self-harm. I get a wooden stick and just smack it against both my arms for a few times. When I roll up my sleeves, I can see the red welches the stick made. I started when my parents scold me for getting this question wrong on this test, getting a B, ect. It's mostly my dad, however.

    Once, my grandmother looked at my MAP and MCA test scores. My scores were being compared to the averages of other scores. She questioned why my science test was the only one not exceeding the standerds. I tried to explain to her, but she insisted that it should be high like my other tests. I don't know why, but tears starting pouring down like rain. I didn't like that feeling.

    Everytime I fail my family's expectations for me, I usually batter myself. "Why can't you be their perfect child? I know you can't be perfect, but you have to try to at least be perfect! They do all this for you, and this is what you give back? You think YOU'RE suffering? Remember what they had to go through as a child?"

    All those thoughts ran through my head. So at night, I grab the stick, and just smack it a few times. Once I bit myself, since I wanted to hurry it along with the pain and didn't have time to get the stick.

  • Anonymous-58

    Recently starting college, I've gone through the normal weight gain. Not because of partying or drinking, but i started a new medication (Lexapro) and i believe it may be making me more hungry.
    I've never struggled with weight issues before. In fact, it was one thing that I never truly understood. You cut because you're fat? how shallow and self centered. I would think.

    However, I got sick of eating so much. One night I became disgusted that I had allowed myself to eat just because i was bored, or depressed, or stressed. Being an art student, I had an exacto knife on my desk. If i looked at food, i would cut. If i thought about eating after a certain time, i would cut. If i ate too much at lunch, i would go back into my dorm and cut. As punishment, i would repremand myself and say, "don't eat." "this is because of food." or "don't eat and you won't have this pain." as i cut.

    So far, the punishment is working. I feel kind of sick in our caffeteria. I hid all our food in our room so I wouldn't have to see it, and that does help too. I've started a food log to see how much, when, and what I eat. That does, sometimes, inflict more cutting when I see it all.

    Anyways, I cut out of punishment.

  • Anonymous-58

    I grew up different than the typical self harmer.

    I had both parents happily married and giving me plenty of attention and love. However, even at the age of 3, I would bang my head, scratch myself, pull out my hair, and tear wall paper off my wall.

    15 years later I'm cutting as punishment. I was never abused as far as my family or i can tell. I am also terrified of rape and have anxiety, along with other suggestions of sexual abuse.

    I have gone to a therapist and have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, anxiety, and slight OCD.

    I will also get the urge to cut deeply on my arms along important veins and arteries. i never do, though, because i don't want to actually kill myself....despite my constant ideation. I keep it to the outside of my wrist for punishment only.

  • AsianWoman

    To make myself cry...
    I don't really think I "self harm". There's no tissue damage. I just pinch or bite myself.

    Why I do it is also really clear -- because I feel hurt, angry, sad and I can't express it out loud. I can't shout, scream or stamp out of the house after an argument with the parents.

    I'm 24 too, still living with them. Very conservative and traditional society where it's the norm for adult choldren to live with their parents.

    I just pinch or bite myself hard enough...just teeth marks, no bleeding...and then suddenly I can cry...softly...

  • Anonymous-59

    reading this article was like peeking into my own life.

    it's hard to say why exactly I want to self-harm. I had before at the age of 13, and now at age 21 I've picked up a razor once again... it's a complete stress relief I suppose. the nagging voice that tells me I'm so inadequate. if I could just cut myself a bit to let the voice seep out and give me silence for one minute...

    but I also relate to the euphoria. sometimes I feel I can't experience pleasure at all without first cutting. it's sort of a go-to relief I guess. maybe there are other alternatives. I feel I can relate to all the reasoning in your article and it was so understanding and well-written. thank you.

  • Anonymous-60

    Thank you all for your honesty and frankness. I do not self harm, but on many occasions felt the the urge to cut myself apparenty in order to release the strong emotions I frequently experience. I must endeavour to look for another way to relieve my emotions.

  • Lupe

    *I admit, I have self harmed because again where ever I go people harass me. I go to the library, I fast food places, I go to Starbuck, my neighbors and work adn I get harrssed over and over again. If everybody wants to know why I SELF HARM ! it is because people even young adults harass me. I am not trying to commit suicide!! I am not unstable mentally just tried of dealing with peoples abuse. These people could care less what happens to me. Yes, I do have a box cutter and I am affraid I might use it the next time someone harasses me or harms me in anyway.

    Self harm is the only way I know how to deal with my pain and anger from being hurt in amny ways to make my life difficult.

    BECUASE NOBODY CARES !!!

  • Moi

    I used to cut myself because i used to be treated badly by others like i was a nobody. Most of my friends betrayed, disrespected me and called me a loser and other disrespectful names most of the time for pointless reasons which really lowered my self-esteem, i couldnt even tell them any of my problems without them making fun of me with it. I WAS A NOBODY, I FELT TRUELY ALONE LIKE NO ONE CARED SO I CUT, BECAUSE I ALWAYS HAD IN MIND THAT NO ONE GAVE A DAMN OF WHAT I DID TO MYSELF. MY TEENS YEARS WAS AWFUL, REALLY AWFUL AND I'LL NEVER FORGET IT.

  • This Girl

    I read through all the comments and didn't find my reason for resorting to self-injury. I do it because I want hugs-lots of them. I get anxious and I long for the safety of a warm cuddle. I've always liked being hugged. My mom used to hug me everyday when I was a child. I love the way it felt-the closeness of being physically connected to someone. But, after I got molested at about 8 or 9, the hugs stopped. My parents quit hugging me because they thought it would make me sexual too early. I hated that. Being hugged or held has nothng to do with sex. I want comfort, and that's where self-injury comes into play. Sef-injury is like a comforting hug, a soft lullaby that's whispered in your ear that relaxes you off to sleep. I couldn't get these thngs in the natural, so I found a way to give them to myself. I like being held and having my head rubbed, too. I'm 28 now, and I quit self-inuring about 3 years ago, but I was relieved when I read other self-injurers say the temptation is still there. I confided in my oldest sister and although self-injury shocked her, she understands and is helping shut off the negative self-talk by giving me affirmations she's learned. They really have helped me. I like how relaxed I feel after doing yoga, too. It puts me right to sleep. Self-injurers feel like screaming to the top of their lungs when the rage inside them gets to the boiling point, and they've been shut down so many times when it comes to how they've felt, they can't talk about their feelings because they keep it all inside. For one reason or annother (mine being I had to be strong for my family), self-inury is the cannon ball that releases this pressure. Opening up to my sister and being able to ask her for a hug whenever I need one has been heaven to me. People tell me I'm spoiled and I need to stop acting like a baby, but inside that's how I feel-like a crying baby that wants the soothing comfort of her mother's arms.

  • Vendetta

    I started about 2 months ago. To me it's a release! I get a ear full at work most the time and stress added on to that then I come home and that's a whole different amount of stress in my life. I love my husband been with him for 10 years and of course I have my own f'ed up past with my crack head mom and both my brothers locked up. I just don't think my husband and family understands the stress i feel in both places. I cut to see the blood. I feel the more blood i see the more stress gets lifted off my shoulders. I do suffer from bipolar 1 mixed episodes, anxiety, PTSD, depression, and not diagnosed but i believe borderline personality disorder! I don't know where to start to stop. My family is concerned the 1's who know but it makes me feel good, i can't help it at all! I try to not do it the it makes me want to even more!!! So that's me! Someone else go:)

  • Anonymous-61

    Grew up with both my parents and my sister, had a pretty rough childhood growing up with parents that constantly physically fought. Wasn't the easiest. I started cutting at the age of 16. Everytime a fight would go off, I would just hide downstairs and cut until I couldn't feel that part of the body. From razors to exacto knives.

    At the age of 17 I had developed an eating disorder. My best friend had all of a sudden turned on me, and since I weighed 115 pounds at 5'4, I was fat while she weighed 105. I lost 20 pounds. I was on the verge of losing it all. I continued to cut throughout the entire episode.

    On my 20th birthday I had started seeing a guy I knew since my childhood. We went out for approximately 3 weeks and I ended up being date raped by him.

    Currently I'm 23 years old. I have recently sobered up from constant use of drugs. I am in my 6th year of post-secondary, I've finally made it to my last year. I passed, how I dont know. I recently seeked helped by a couns. at my campus after my boyfriend for a year had cheated on me with his ex. I thought it was the time to seek help since I was beginning to have suicidal thoughts.

    It's been approximately 6 months since the first time I stepped into her office. I've still got a long road of healing up ahead, but I can attest to the fact that cutting or in my case now, burning until you have practically no skin left is a way to distract yourself from the pain and agony arising from the past. I agree with the six reasons, and its a good article. I just wish it was that simple to heal from self-harming. If you have thought about it, please don't start it..its a habit thats worse to quit then smoking, trust me I'm currently going through it. As highly medicated I am, I want anyone to know that once you start its so hard to stop because it becomes such a part of you that you feel empty or lost without doing it.

    Just try to find another resort. It isn't worth it.

  • Anonymous-62

    I am eleven years old right now and I cut. For me it's like my way to release all my anger. Last year I was at a friends birthday party and her dad got drunk and started taking pills. He threw his step daughter down a flight of stairs. At the time she was fifteen. And he tried to attack me because he had cut the phone lines and I had a cell phone I ended up having to go out the back door and call 911. It ended up that her dad got put in jail. After we ran down there mile long driveway in the middle of November. I guess that's when I started to think about suicide. Then about two weeks later my mom punched me in the eye and smacked me because I had lipgloss. I live with my dad and he and my mom are getting a divorce. She is denuding that she did anything. I just started to cut about a month ago. I have only cut five on my wrist and two on my shoulder. I just cut one of them a few minuted before I read this article. I know I need help but there is noooooo way I am telling my dad and my therapist just found out last week. I have her number and I want to tell her I am suicidal but I just don't want her to call. 911 or my dad. I'm just trying as hard as I can to not kill myself.

  • Emmadison

    I've been where you are. I was 7 or 8 when I started. It felt good, it felt like I could control my pain. I was in pain. What you went through is a traumatic (by any standards) event. You are (in my opinion based on my experience) experiencing PTSD symptoms, among them the need to self-injure. What you need, pardon me for being blunt, is not suicide, but further, more honest therapy. Tell your therapist how you feel. But don't do it sweetie, it's not worth it. How you feel now is not how you'll feel 10 years from now, or 20. And you'll still be young. I'm sorry that your life has to be so difficult, but you can also choose to be strong. The fact that you wrote here proves to me that you are trying. Keep trying. xxxx

  • Ali

    My name is ALi, and I am 15 years old. The first time i self harmed was in fourth grade, at the age of 10. Now, five years later, I still self harm. I've always been blessed, my family is wonderful and I have ecerything I could ask for. The original reason was peer pressure, because I Thought that everyone did it so I wasn't good enough if I didn't. So for awhile I gave myself eraser burns. Then I started losing friends and hiding myself from everyone. I became that quiet child in the back, always having some sort of injury. My parents never really noticed the change. In the seventh grade, at the age of 14, I me to boy and thought he loved me, and still do today actually. When we started dating, he made me swear not to cut ever again, so I didn't. Until that Christmas, right after my 15 birthday. In front of my whole family, my dad saw the 25 cuts up each arm, and drug me outside. He was yelling and screaming at me and my mom was crying and I was crying. After that me and the boy grew closer than ever, and my parents and I drifted farther apart. I Started having these horrifying dreams, and also went to counseling nearly every day. When my dad found out about the boy, he told me I could never see him, or talk to him ever again. I tried, but I ended up sneaking around their backs to talk to him. We dated for 9 months. I really loved him. He realized that our relationship was killing me, because my family, friends, and all I had was deserting me because we were together. So he told me that he loved me but that we needed to be friends because of that. since then, about 4 months ago, we have talked only about 3 times. I still think about him every single day. I still believe I love him, although I'm not so sure about him loving me anymore. So after that i again, started going to my blade for comfort. I found some friends, but they weren't willing to stick around when they found out I cut. I no longer of to counseling, my parents think I'm all fine and dandy and so do my friends, I still have terrifying dreams, and I still need help.

    thats my story.

    for any self haters who read this, I have one thing more to say

    YOU NEVER KNOW HOW STRONG YOU ARE UNTIL BEING STRONG IS ALL YOU HAVE LEFT.

  • Penny

    My parents separated when I was seven, but it was amicable. I had a stable home life with no abuse or religious trauma or neglect, and the only place I was verbally bullied was at school. I am overly sensitive and my friends have told me I shouldn't beat myself up over percieved mistakes. Having an identity was always so important to me, and there are things I have never liked about myself. I hate having curves and being voluptuous even at my lowest weight. I wish I had stronger self-confidence and didn't start blushing and being at a loss for words in social situations. Most of the time I'm honest enough with myself to say I hate myself. I'm not a good enough Christian/wife/worker/whatever. So my self harm is always about punishment. I cut if I am not home alone, or the times I feel I have to be severe enough to leave scars. But usually I bruise myself with fists or a belt. While I'm doing it a male voice tells me I wouln't have to get it if I didn't mess up, mainly for stuffing myself like a pig or saying something stupid. I don't know who this voice is. I never had abusive boyfriends and my husband is a kind loving man. I don't talk to God about my self harm. I love my tattoos and I like to be dominated sexually, but have only ever had positive associations with both those things and they have nothing to do with why I beat myself up. It doesn't matter if I don't learn anything from the punishment all that matters is that I have to hurt. I deserve it because I'll never be good enough. Even the supportive people in my life just don't get it. I can't lose weight 'just for myself'. I have to hurt myself because I just do not see any way of living without it, because I am inherently bad. I don't see that changing, and I can accept that.

  • Cathrine

    I was diagnosed with MHE( a disorder that flips my growth plates and makes me have bone spurs everywhere on my body that turn cancerous without warning and have to be rexc anmoved surgically.) When I was 2 years old. I had 7 surgeries by the time I went into second grade. The other kids would point and laugh at me when I was in a wheelchair with my arms and legs in braces and casts to prevent me from ripping the stitches. I finally gotthem off and I was so happy I wore my brand new pair of shorts. It showed all my scars on my legs. The other kids just simply laughed and pushed me down and beat the crap out of me. I looked up at them and they all just laughed and said "look at Frankenstein's daughter shes gonna start crying like a little baby!! Boo whoo!!" This continued until I was diagnosed with bone cancer and was in for treatment. The first day back at school I had gotten pushed down on broken glass. At that moment I was amazed it didnt hurt, it felt good. So whenever I got home after a days worth of built up anger I cut my arms into a bloody mess. I never felt more alive. It was an unexplainable silence that brought the best kind of peace.

    I later on that year was made fun of for how I looked so I went into a deep depression, increased the amount of cutting I did, and developed anorexia and bulimia. Later on when I was left to die and no one cared to look for me I decided that I was going to commit suicide and it just so happened i was saved by my mind going back to normal. I made the cuts that night and they bleed more than usual. I didnt think much of it at the time but then a hour passed and it didnt slow. I got horrified and called for help.

    Since then I have done so much more. I am ashamed of myself though I thought I was stronger that I could deal with life without cutting. The truth is once you start you can NEVER REALLY STOP. im sorry but theres not. You always return to it. Its the worst addiction you can have. With other addictions you can kick them but with cutting its a never ending cycle. Itsv just bigger spaces between the episodes.

  • Maria Coleen

    I don't feel I fit in because my friend Taylor never really tells me anything. I'm wierd. I'm not pretty. Imagination is the only thing I fit into. Everything I am is the exact opposite. I'm shy. I'm scared. I'm lost. I'm sad. I hurt myself by punching trees. Scratching so hard I bleed. Slapping a rubberband against my wrist. Anyway I'm just so different.

  • Anonymous-63

    I know porn is common these days, even in relationships. But to me, a boyfriend watching porn is cheating--he is looking at naked women. They are real women, they exist out there somewhere. And it is cheating. When I explained my view to my boyfriend, he said I was completely right. He had never looked at it like that before. And he swore he would never again. But he did--over and over again. When the images of him watching it pop up in my mind, I just cringe violently over and over again. I feel like I'm going to throw up. If I cut myself, the cringing and sickness stop. It feels so much better.

  • Anonymous-64

    I am 16 years old and I started self harming this year. I don't really understand why I do it. I live with a loving family in a safe suburb, I have had the same close friends for 8 years and i made lots more this year. I love life and I love living, I do not have a death wish or anything but I supose if i was ever fatally hurt i would be fine with dying, is that weird? I just have the view that death is death and blinking out of existence wouldn't matter too much if there was no other option.

    I don't cut because I don't want scars, but i find myself punching walls until my knukles bleed because the pain makes me feel stronger, like i can cope. I think i do it because i get anxious in social situations and i find it hard to control my emotions, whereas pain i can control.

    Whenever i am getting nervouse I dig my fingernails into my palm until the pain over rules my emotions.

    As a person my worst fear is to be selfish or mean, so when I unknowingly hurt someone I feel like i need to punish myself for it. I don't really know if anyone ever feels the same as me. I could probably talk for hours about it so i'll stop now. Thanks for listening.

  • Anonymous-65

    Sometimes, for me, it's like the trauma JUST happened, your sitting there, recovering from a near death experience, totally incapable of helping yourself, you're screamed out, youre cried out, every muscle in your body shaking from exhaustion, but no one else can see it as you do, no one will save you, protect you, console you. It's not because they wont or don't want to, it's because they can't possibly. You don't EVER want to know what type of alone that feels like. to function every day is a struggle. Not only do you have to be the only one to be there for you, but you have to be there for everyone else too. Sometimes, self harm is the only thing you can do to make this world a little more visible, to shadow the other world that you can't escape.

  • michael olson

    All my life it seems that I have Ben attempting to run away. From home to the navy (away or wishing I was away from my circumstances always in a state a want it to run away eith outwardly or inwardly. I have gone deep into myself to escape some terrible feeling. All of a sudden at 40 I began having moments of disapearance or time loss I was Not aware of. Other Tod me I would fade away. Then I had a grand mal seizure and they said it was seizures not disAssociation. After brain surgery was sseizure free five years then they returned with a vengeance. One worse than the last. Medication not working. For a long time I have been up at night as if defending my self to some invisible court. Sometimes for hours. I told one person I thought I could trust that she did not know that I exited. I kept going to her for recognition only feel more isolated. The seizures continue I have often thought that they were a way to deal with the world by momentarily escaping, especially during the absences of time. The neurologists continue to tell me that they are not psychological. I don't know what to think.

  • Anonymous-66

    I think that I have repressed memories. Since about 13 I have very little control over my emotions. I physically feel pain and anxiety when I see other cases of sexual abuse but I dont remember it happening to me. There are years of my life that I just cannot recollect. I never feel loved by anyone except my kids and when me and my fiance get into fights I become so overwhelmed that cutting myself helps the emotional pain temporarily go away. I do have addictions weed, norco, caffeine. All of those along with my prescribed nortriptyline help me cope with everyday life. I do think I am intelligent and sometimes think I am smarter than most people and cant stand stupidity. Many times I wish death upon people and at times have the urge to kill. I dont know if it is normal as I would never hurt an innocent but can't say the same about the guilty. I dont like conformity and go crazy under any structure what so ever. It angers me if I lose control over a situation and that is another incident of why I cut myself. I do feel love for children but I just don't care about the average adult. I dont know exactly what to do but cope daily and pray hard. Medi-cal doesn't cover psychology.

  • Anonymous-67

    I used to hit myself when I was younger.

    My father used to beat me, even when I didn't do anything to deserve it. My mother also hit me, both emotionally abused me. I wouldn't date anyone who was nice to me I thought there was something wrong with anyone who would love me.

    I would hit myself if I made a mistake or said something that I thought was stupid. I did it in privacy and tried to hide the bruises I gave myself. I used to love the feeling of bruises and pain. I even gave myself a black eye once and felt a happy high after doing it. I enjoyed pain and thought it was good. I confused pain as an affection of love.

  • Anonymous-68

    I was raped when I was 4 by a stranger. My mom beat me and emotionally degraded me. I became addicted to pornography and masturbation at 9. I was pressured into sex at 13. I got pregnant at 17. Then I married the wrong man, left him, he took my child. I went back to my child's father, tried to kill myself, left him, went on a sex spree, went back to him, and it is just now that I realize that I cut myself since I was 12 because I probably knew I'd do all this. Some people, sadly, are only garbage. And being so, we naturally treat others as if they are too. Some people think one can just stop. I hate my body and its scars and myself for making it so. But it's the only comfort I know. And it keeps me alive -- though I often think it's not a good thing. But I want to se my kids grow up.

  • Anonymous-69

    I hit myself with my fists because I don't know what else to do. My toddler is breaking everything in my home and is completely out of control. My husband and I live out of the country and I have no help from anyone. My husband ignores me and takes the car everywhere so that I am alone in this home with our toddler. It's been like this for three years now and all I know is this house. I dont get out, I dont see the outisde. I have no help from him or anyone else. I break down in my room when im alone and I cry and I hit myself until I am too weak to punch anymore. I have bruises all over my body and its the only thing that at this very moment feels worse then the emotional pain and it helps me stop crying. My mom died and my husband adores his mother and makes her every wish come true. I have been asking for 4 years to take me on vacation or just somewhere we can go and he always says no. I am in this house, with this kid and I am overhwlemed. I am overhwlemed. I take the car at night when hes asleep and I drive until I feel afraid. I feel dead and alone and nobody is helping me. I have begged him to help me and he just looks away. I dont eat anymore during the day, just at night sometimes. I feel like my body is dying and food is not what can save me anymore. My toddler is a nightmare, my husband is a selfish human being who only cares about himself and his xbox and then there is me. I'm dead. I'm invisible. I am nobody.

  • Anonymous-70

    Hello I'm 16 years old and I've been slapping myself in the face for years since I was like 12 or 13 or something like that. And I do this because I hate to make any of my family members upset, sad or disappointed because of my actions. Like I'll tell that person how I feel but if I say something that upsets them then I feel guilt inside me and go to my bedroom or bathroom and slap myself till my face is swollen because I deserve it . But just recently, I did something to upset my mom during our vacation and when we got home I went straight to my room and slapped my face so hard I started to bleed through my nose. And I've been thinking that the reason I doing this is because my step father used to hit me when I deserved it. Because he used to beat ne, my sister and brother up if we deserved it or not. And since he ain't around anymore, that's what I do. To be honest, I slap myself so everyine knows that I'm upset. So I hope someone out there understands me.

  • Anonymous-71

    As the title says, I never comment on this kind of stuff and I never really want to share my story. I felt for a long time that sharing your story, particularly on the internet, was just a form of attention seeking. Whilst I'm sure for many others it is I believe my own reasons for doing this aren't for attention.

    I don't think I'll ever see this article again but I guessed it was worth 'spilling my guts' so to speak, and I might inadvertantly help someone else.

    I've had a really good life so far, at least I see it as such, I've had the occasional unfortunate event but these have been few and far between and I'm just grateful to have what I have. When I was a child I was molested by a family member. Not a great start, granted, but I only remembered this recently - having suppressed the memory for so long through fear or shame I don't know. I have been living with severe depression for a number of years now and self harming the entire time. I've had numerous girlfriends, all of whom have objected to my self harming, and so I've been forced to stop as I am currently for fear I lose the love of my life :). I'm really struggling and I guess reading this article hasn't helped me stop because I'm remembering the feeling just after I'd cut and I did enjoy it and I was, and still am to a certain extent, addicted to it. I know that this kind of self destructive behaviour is going to ruin me but I did really enjoy it. It helped me relax and forget my worries and I had a hobby for my alone time. I'm managing, with the occasional slip-up now and again, but I'm on the straight and narrow I think. I hope this helps someone, if not I guess its helped me just to see it all written out.

    I thought the article was brilliantly written and described what I'd felt and the reasons for my self harm so eloquently so kudos to the author for that. It was very informative and helped me explain my reasoning to others as well as understanding it more clearly myself which seems to have really helped. Well as I say I hope my memoirs help someone else in my position, I haven't had a bad life by any means but severe depression sneaks up on you and acting happy takes its toll slowly.

    Goodbye and goodnight all, thanks for reading (if you did :D)

    ~A kind-hearted soul looking to help others :)

  • John Smith

    I suffer from severe major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic disorder, all of which are symptoms of my more serious condition. post concussion syndrome. I have had 13 concussions in my 25 years. I have been self mutilating now for about 5 years. In those 5 years there have only been about 25 seperate injuries. When I do self injure, however, I take it to the extreme, all have been third degree burns, or severe lacerations that require hospitalization The only reason or situation that ever leads me to do this is when I am so completely overwhelmed with sadness or anger that I have no other way to release the negative energy without hurting someone else or destroying something. The burning and cutting is so painful that it removes, completely, all of the negative emotional energy and replaces it with physical pain that I am in control of. After the injury a calming, relaxing feeling runs through my whole body and I can just lay down with a mind at ease. THIS POST IS NOT AN ATTEMPT TO DEFEND OR GLORIFY SELF MUTILATION. It is a horrible form of release which leads to serious health issues, trips to the hospital, hideous scars, and embarrassment. I am working hard to find a better way to deal with those moments that I am overwhelmed. I wrote this to try to help people who may know someone that self injures, or someone who is considering self injury better understand why ill people, including myself, carry out this horrible act. It must be so confusing to those who have never suffered like many of us have and almost impossible to fully understand. If you are reading this and considering self injury, STOP, get help! It is a very temporary fix, and only makes life more difficult. I really hope this helps someone. To the sick, and the support people, stay strong and look for any alternative.

  • Tammy

    I cut for a variety if reasons. One-my therapist and I recently figured out I dissociate and cut. At that point I have no memory of doing it and do not know how to stop it from happening. I have been diagnosed with bpd. Of the 6 reasons above. I would have to say to express emotion and to feel from being numb. I have a very traumatic past and I have had trouble dealing with that part of my life. I have shut down my emotions in order to keep myself safe.

  • Lacey L

    i have no idea why i self injure.

    its not for the pain, which i hate, or the sight of blood which i dont hate but which doesnt give me any pleasure either. i just like having a wound. i suffer the pain of injury to have my end result of a bandage or bruise, i like the tenderness of a wound, a reminder of the pain i felt and overcame to get to that bandage.

    i have a history of abuse, depression and anxiety. ive been off medication for about 3 years and managing on my own.

  • Anonymous-72

    For me it's a combination of refocusing, releasing tension from overwhelming emotions, and to punish myself. I don't cut, I punch myself in the upper thigh. I hide the bruises, but if they are seen I can just say I bumped into something. I have done this for so long I don't remember not doing it. I'm 46. I've only just realized that this is just like cutting, a form of self harm. I never thought about it before. I never made a connectIon. There is no "euphoria". It is instead a feeling of warmth that spreads through my whole body and makes me feel calmer.

  • Sjp

    I just cut my leg up pretty bad, I don't know why. I am pretty drunk...me and my boyfriend went out. We had a good night. We argued I cut my self, showed him, he wasn't bothered and I cut myself some more. This is not normal behaviour. What is wrong with me. I feel guilty and horrible now. Is it because I got abused as a child and grew up in foster care I don't know. :( :( Please help. I don't know what to do any more. :(

  • Anonymous-73

    Cutting for me is a way to temproarly escape the emotional pain. I cut because the emotional pain is so strong, I need the physical pain to override the emotional pain. I can focus on the pain cutting brings so that I don't feel the emotional pain so much.

  • Anonymous-74

    I have a granddaughter who is 17 has a brain injury, and has attempted suicide 6 times, as well as cutting herself on several occasions. She is disparate.She says she feels a compulsion to kill herself.z

  • Suzi

    I don't know why. I just get so angry and frustrated when everything is going wrong and I can't fix it. I hit myself in the head, but can't hit hard enough. I wish I could knock myself out and make it all go away.

  • teagan

    I'm 16 been cutting myself for the last 2 years, I can't remember how I came across it or why I did it for the first time but it has gone from small little scratches to deep cuts. I have tried my best to hide them over the years but a few people have managed to notice them, but my parents havent.i am really scared what their reaction will be when they find out. I find I bottle may emotions up and release them by cutting.i have also noticed I have become very moody and easily snap when I'm angry or annoyed. My life just revolves around going to a high school I hate, coming home, sitting in my bed room and just staying there until the next morning, and then I repeat the process. I took about 20 tramacet tablets a few weeks ago in attempt to kill myself,which obviously wasn't enough and once my parents found me lying in my own vomit panting like I have just run a marathon apparently they took me to the hospital and once I was all okay again I went home and they thought nothing of it. Everyday I fantasize about killing myself but I'm scared I fail again.i really don't know what to do any more and I'm very confused as to what has made me like this.

  • Anonymous-75

    Whenever I feel anger or anxiety, the only way it seems for me to calm down is to hit my leg till it turns red. I dont know why I keep on doing it, I also pick at my skin because I know it will bleed.

  • Anonymous-76

    Sometimes I just want to watch myself bleed. Knowing I'm capable of hurting myself while having control over the pain makes me feel like no one else can hurt me (physically or emotionally).

    No one can touch me if they tried.

  • Kyle

    I've tried cutting a few times and I couldn't get myself to actually cut more than twice. But I tried punching myself in the leg over and over to where a purple bruise appears and i feel great! More great than my antidepressants will ever make me feel. I've been diagnosed with major depressive dissorder at the age of 15. It's really hard.

  • Angel

    Initially I started cutting to start feeling things again. A few years later it turned into an escape from all the overwhelming feelings inside me. I dont confide to people anymore because I always get judged and even shamed. Cutting turned into the only thing I could run to in desperate times (which is everyday),I even secretly hurt myself in the office. It started with scratching myself. Then eventually I used large sticks and even dumbells to bruise my entire body. I almost broke my arm. But seeing those wounds heal gave me hope that maybe by the time my body heals, my soul can heal with it.

  • Anonymous-77

    I don't really harm myself much and not bad but when I do most of the time I'm not emotionally stressed or feel like punishing myself. It's more like a sick curiosity. I like it I guess. But I don't really get an euphoric feeling of it. I find it kind of relaxing to see how my body get hurt further but I don't want it last. I sometimes feel like screaming it from the roof because I sort of like the attention but I want to hide it all the same. I kind of dislike myself for fanatsizing and wanting the attention and I don't really want it anyway. And I think I'm stupid because I do it without being addicted and feel like I'm some kind of dramaqueen. But I still like it and I still do it. And having people ask about wounds or something gives me some kind of thrill. But I always lie.

  • Mothman

    Today I bashed myself in the head with a metal coffee cup, because I wasn't paying attention and missed my train stop, causing me to be late for work, knowing that now I had to stay late and make up the time. I was supposed to meet someone after work but my increased issues with my ability to focus and pay attention have ruined that. I am sick and tired of losing my concentration and as a result, ruining things for myself and looking like a complete moron becuase my brain decided to shut down at the one moment that I should have been focused. It seems I can't go 20 minutes without forgetting what I was doing, thinking, etc. and I'm unbelievably sick of it. So as a punishment, I punch myself in the head, slap myself repeatedly in the face and hit myself with blunt objects. I also stab, claw and bite myself often. I am constantly enraged and furious with myself and I honestly wish someone would just slit my throat because I'm going nowhere in life and my patience with myself has all but run out. Nobody sees it the way I see it, and it's hard for people to understand why I feel this way. I often wish I would knock myself out and slip into a coma and die. I don't want to be this person anymore.

  • Anonymous-78

    Quite a few of my friends say I'm violent, and a lot of the time I accidently hurt them without even meaning to. I self harm by punching or scratching myself either to stop myself from hurting my friends or to punish myself for hurting someone else.

  • Anonymous-79

    I started self harming when I was about 9 I guess that's when I also started disassociating to get away from bad things but I only just learnt now at 35 about diassociation and how much I do it still with out knowing . I would always cut to release my pain and hurt from the inside I would also not let myself eat so I could feel the pain of hunger just so I could feel something a feeling . I cut from the age of 9 until I was 25 with short breaks or less cutting but I never completely stopped and when things overwhelmed me I would cut so I could feel and cope . If I was upset I could not deal with the emotion or get rid of the feeling and it would engulf me with so much sadness but as soon as I cut that emotion was released and I could move on and function . I stopped cutting not out of choice but by a scary partner who made such horrid threats of what he would do if I cut I was to afraid for years to cut and struggled as I had no release . I started after 8 years to cut again the last 2 years as dealing with things from past in therapy triggering so much emotion I don't know how else to cope but to cut . I try to stop but I still find myself cutting and once I have one cut I normally keep on cutting until I feel a release . I also have noticed when I have dissociated that I often cut and maybe that's what brings me back .

    It is hard but yes cutting does have a pleasure release when I cut and I do sonetimes enjoy cutting but the scars it leaves for all to see and judge I don't like .

  • Anonymous-80

    I'm 16 and I'm an emotional wreck . I have very low self esteem , I lack social attributes and have a poor relationship with my parents . I usually or mostly don't share anything with them . There are certain suicidal thoughts always prevailing in my mind but I'm rather to weak to carry them , because of this I practice self harm at a small level ~ like hitting my self with leather , scratching skin with nails and eating disorder . They always act therapeutic along with crying . I feel as a liability to my parents and I'm just very miserable :((

  • Anonymous-81

    I'm 13 and I've been having thoughts about cutting myself for about a year and a half now but I've never brought my self to do it. All I've done is use an eraser on my wrist till my skin was red and hurt but it felt good. I've also scratched myself. I also go from really happy to sad in a matter of minutes. I haven't talked to anyone about this but I want to I just don't know who so I thought this would be better to tell a bunch of strangers who read this.

  • sky

    I guess it would be the euphoria and addiction now more than before... It used to be controlled over emotions and flashbacks tat I used to get more frequently than I do now. I was sexually harrassed so I had PTSD a bit...I dunno

  • Anonymous-82

    I'm 15. I never self-injured myself or thought about killing myself because it never crossed my mind. Now that I think about I would never do it because when I was young (from 4 to 8). I did think it would be easy if I was never born to the point where I asked if my mom even considered about what she would say or do what I was destroying myself. I didn't see the point on living anymore. I was just wait for death to come and pick me up. My family, my smile and my lies saved from that thought. I even stopped believing in God because I thought what kind of person loves and watchs you suffer without doing anything. If he did exist (he doesn't), I would hate him of taking the hope that I hade from me. I would hate him for making me see horrible things such as a mother being stabbed in front of her kids. I could move. I just watched. The cops watched the whole thing and didn't even tryied to help her. The kids were crying and screaming on top of her while she was bleeding out. I help so guilt even tho I would be able to do anything. When I got home I screamed, punched the wall with my bear hands and cryied. I watched what happened and everything that I wanted to forget go over and over in my head. I cryied for 1 whole hour then put the mask back on. The fake smile that most of the times even fools me. I built a forteress and lived in the illusion that I was happy and I am terrifyied because I am slowly waking up. I remembered that when I was young, I want I break so bad so I could could keep on going. Even If the break was being in a comma for 3 days. I probably didn't hurt myself physically because there are lot of people who are suffering more than me so I have to be strong because I want to die knowing that I helped at least 3 people. I had my mother, my sister, my aunts, my oncles, my cousins that were their for me so I want to show people that they are not all alone.

  • Liz

    I'm 39 and I've been punching myself as long as I can remember. These problems don't just happen with teens. I'm also a binge eater but I never did learn how to purge unfortunately. I punch myself in the stomach mostly but also my chest, legs hips and face. I feel I deserve it. I've been married 10 years and my husband doesn't have a clue. I have bruises sometimes but no one cares. They just think I'm clumsy. I do have a therapist but we don't talk about this. She will just think I'm crazy and I already know that. I'm tired of depression, eating disorders abd self harm only extending to youth. You don't magically grow out of it but there aren't support groups for people my age so we have no where to turn. Get help while you're young or you won't stand a chance later.

  • Em

    Im 15, i came across this webpage after watching secrtary. It got me curious about the reasons why people inflict injuries on themselves. The blood. It's such a nice thing to see. As young as I can remember, I did little things just to see the blood. Run my fingers along the new knives set, scrape my knees on walls, smash plates and cups for the sharp edges. I have some 'bad events' in my life but I wouldn't say they are the root cause of myself harm, or when and how I do it. Though there was one time (i think i was 13) when I stood infront of the tv to get my mums attention. She raised her fist and I was honistly terrified that she would punch me again, so I slapped her. We fought, I tried to defend myself while she 'restrained' me. I remember making it to my room and searching for something better than the sharpener, and stamping on a razor. I led there on the floor, with my eyes closed enjoying the sting. I try my best not to cut ,because I scar too easily-the idea of someone finding out worries me. I hardily bruse myself anymore because as much as I love the look and feel of them, I find it effort hitting myself repeatidly. I sometimes fantasise about slashing my skin and watching the blood flow out. The onlything stopping me from doing this is the fear of people seeing the scabs/scars. -im oftern invited swimming an go on holiday once a year... My hips where they can be covered by bikini shorts are practically numb. My desperation to see lots of blood is not qlways there, but when it is-its pretty strong. So, I cut as deep as possible into a vain whilst cutting as liitle surface of skin so the scar isn't big. Anyway, if anyone needs someone to talk to..Contact me via email, I will always be there to listen :)

  • Anonymous-83

    People self harm for many reasons other than abuse. Just think how triggering this could be to a self harmer who hasn't been abused. I would tell people why I cut and the response usually was "what happened to you? Someone had to of hurt you." Talk about cutting to validate your feelings. No one else thinks your feelings are valid because nothing happened to you and the majority of articles make it seem like the two always go together. You tell someone you were abused and it all of a sudden makes sense why they self harm. If you are trying to help people understand self harm perhaps you should try to help them understand the side they aren't comprehending.

  • blah beautiful

    i often feel obsessed with thoughts of suicide. people would be so shocked. i'm thin and pretty and reasonably successful, i show a fake face to the world and seem to have it all together: beautiful, confident, bold, talented... but i hate people and yeah i hate myself. i have a kid but really i only live for my cats. when i can't stand it anymore,i slap myself until i hear my ears ringing. it doesn't matter. nobody ever knows. i go to my nice job and pretend all is well and i have days where everything is 'ok' but i never know when i'm going to feel this way at home. i imagine vividly just cutting my veins until i bleed out. i've even thought about really doing it on the beach, just dying slowly listening to the waves in the dark, and how people would find me dead in the morning... and it wouldn't even matter really, but i won't do it while my cats are alive. so i fill my moments with stuff like shopping and computer games, and of course sometimes i hurt myself. btw i was molested as a child. my step-grandfather raped me at the age of 6, drunk asshole, and i barely rememnber him 'selling' me to his landlord as a toddler to cover his rent, i don't even know exactly what happened as i was too young to really get it but i just have this flash of memory of pain and intense fear and how i hated that man. men suck in general, if i could push a button and kill them all i would, but i can't, so i beat the crap out of mysels sometimes and nobody even notices. ..

  • Anonymous-84

    I feel like my experience is not typical. Last summer because of a number of really stressful situations, I started cutting my wrists and punching hands into walls. I am 55 and never done anything like that before. In September I had a complete mental breakdown and have not yet recovered. I still occasionally give in to the self harm urge. I think that it helps to release the tension I feel (As the pain distracts me) and to have an outward sign of how bad I am feeling inside. I always feel really bad afterwards but even MH professionals don't seem to understand. I feel that my mind doesn't belong to me and I can't control my thoughts any more! It is true that I didn't harm to attempt suicide-would never do that.

  • Anonymous-85

    I'm 53.

    I consider myself a high functioning, dysfunctional person. I have a good paying job and high IQ. None of this matters, when it comes to emotional issues though.

    I've been physically and mentally abused by my parents throughout my life. Both are dead now. My father was a psychopath and my mother was a badly broken person whom my father preyed upon. I was sexually abused by my brother for a year or more, when I was eight.

    I've come a long way since childhood. I was a very messed up, self-loathing person as a child and teenager - I raged and didn't know how to behave because I never "fit". This seemed to attract other troubled persons, whom I knew were broken and I would try to help – which made me feel better about myself somewhat and helped me.

    I was suicidal many times when I was a teenager. I believe because I was born with higher intelligence, self-awareness, and inherently knew what was "good" (all from a young age), I knew I wasn't behaving properly. To cope, I used a rule: whatever my father does, do the opposite. My father was such a classic psychopath that this worked - but there was a cost. My father hated me because I refused follow or listen to him - to be his object of possession. He basically disowned me right up until his death. This only seemed to pile more guilt on me – what is the right choice in life? But I always tried to rationalize: would a normal father disown his son for trying to be himself? And so I live with it.

    My brother looked up to my father and unfortunately, he’s paying a huge price for it… he is extremely dysfunctional in many, many ways. His sole goal in life is money and power at any cost. He and I don’t talk to each other anymore and there’s nothing I can do about it.

    But by going my own way, it has allowed me to reach a point in life where I realize I have no control over anything and need to let go of things. I've begun to change and learned to become more flexible, accepting, empathetic and understanding towards others.

    It's a constant struggle though. I am constantly faced with situations where I don't know how to act, since I never learned how to in my youth. And so I emulate others I feel have a good heart. This makes me painfully aware of myself and I am always afraid to reveal my inner self – I’m a guarded and introverted person.

    Consider this if you find an aspect of yourself that is difficult or undesirable (take for example, rage), one can try to change that behaviour. But the problem is, what to replace it with? There's a vacuum left behind that is scary and hard to fill. It's only through great time and patience that I'm finding a path. I fear I will be doing this until I die.

    Am I "healed"? No, and I never will be. I still become suicidal and I self hurt (one time last year I punched myself so hard in the face, I had a huge lump and bruise and had to explain it away as an accident). I am unreliable because of instability at times. I avoid confrontation since I am never sure how I will react.

    All this, and somehow I've managed to have a good career, raise a family of three and try to enjoy life. I have marriage problems though. My wife knows all about me but somehow she never can quite understand and displays great distain and impatience - she hates me for who I am and how I treat our children on occasion (e.g. yelling. I am never violent or physical)... I agree with her sometimes but other times, I'm not so sure. I am just a human being doing his best and I didn’t bring this upon myself – I was born into it. Why can't she understand and give me space and time? But people are people and they will treat you like a freak, no matter how hard you try…

    And finally but most importantly, my life has always been about self worth, meaning for my existence, and why I should even bother struggling. I still have no answers to this, but I remain here on earth, hanging on, so I must be doing something that makes it all worthwhile. Not very positive for my children, but I try my best to hide it and sacrifice much for them.

    I wish everyone healing and peace with themselves. May you all find a good path through this life and find meaning. Good luck.

  • miss m

    When I was little, about 7, I remember sitting in front of a mirror and looking at myself. I don't know what I was looking at or for, but I would begin slapping myself in the face and punching myself in the head over and over. I have been under a lot of stress lately and got to a breaking point. I was seriously contemplating suicide and began hitting and punching myself again. I'm now in my mid fortis and am going through this again. I don't understand why? I feel like I'm loosing my mind.

  • Joannie

    I don’t agree with the reasons for cutting stated on this page. I have seen that birds, for some reason, if they are frustrated or unhappy or being abused (amongst other less serious reasons), pull out their own feathers. Do you think they do it to distract themselves or to make themselves feel better for a while?

    The euphoria and release that a person feels do act as a kind of reward for a person who self-mutilates and may perpetuate the cycle after a while, but it is not the driving force behind the action. The agony that drives a person to self-mutilate is much, much worse than the little reward experienced afterwards.

    I think the main reason why some people cut is because they lack the emotional tools to deal with emotional distress. Why we resort to cutting/self-mutilation beats me.

    I didn’t cut myself for the small reward, which was definitely not worth it. I cut myself because I felt like crap and I didn't know how to deal with it. I just wish I understood why I have this urge to drive a knife into my arm sometimes when I feel like this. Maybe it is just a human reaction to pain and not something people do because they think it will make the problem go away. Just a human reaction to pain. Thank you. I got my answer.

  • sarah

    i'm 28 years old and i hate this little life of mine. i have a lot of stress every single day. i have my own business and i live with my parents. i'm an indian girl who still don't get to go out and don't have any friends. still, i am what people would call an alright, kind, happy, fun person, etc. they don't know me, they don't know how i feel day and night. i hate this place and i can't stand it, twice i tried killing myself one time in 2007 consuming carbon tablets and in 2012 i tried hanging myself in my room, both times i got saved. i got conselling and never found help, my sister takes me to church and still nothing. i'm worthless and a waste of flesh. lately i found hitting myself pleasing and drinking alcohol everyday satisfying. i don't like doing it but it helps me and i guess i will be doing that for now until something else keeps me satisfied. look whoever reads this, i know you might think it's a stupid thing but nothing, nothing i have no peace and no hapiness. so before you judge and say this b**ch is crazy try putting your foot in my shoe and ask yourself how long? i never had a boyfriend, all my friends i had end up marrying and moved on, i'm always alone and my parents have me on lock down. i thought life was suppose to be fun and fulfilling but it's nothing, life is nothing!!

  • Tucker

    I was raised in a highly religious famiy with very strict rules. I am the youngest of 5 with a twin brother. My problem was always being with different friends. From a young age I was involved in sports and loved working on cars, these along with working at the age of 13 and up came along with some bad influences you might say. I was always being compared to my twin, whether it was my worse grades(which were never that bad I graduated with a 3.9, but not salutatorian like my twin), "why I hung out with those losers," or even by friends that asked why he was better looking or more funny or why I made so many mistakes. I loathed him and he never seemed to notice.

    By the time I was in high school I was more involved with drugs and alcohol and would partake multiple times a week of both. I would lie about staying the night to get high or party. I even remember being so depressed I would sneak out at night and smoke by myself. Every euphoric feeling never lasted though. I remember one night smoking with my friends and coming home for dinner and to my surprise my parents had invited several church leaders over to eat. I felt so guilty and averted my eyes all night, sure that someone would notice. But that little feeling of pleasure for just a few hours to forget about the past was worth the while for me. It escalated until I was trying new things like cocaine and "spice" shrooms, I would eat edibles with weed in them until I would puke, same for liquor. I have been sick too many times to tell... And yet I loved it all. I never had the same friends, they seemed to come and go and I could never have a steady relationship like my twin because I was always hooking up with strangers I would not remember the next night. Sure it looks fun to club and meet many people but it left me feeling sicker and sicker until I could barely come home anymore.

    But I kept indulging myslef. The breaking point happened when a mutual family friend, a neighbor my brothers and I grew up with, found out about all my "adventures." He told my twin brother who then threatened me for months and months unless I cleaned up my act and did as he said. I found myself friendless, since he didnt approve of any of my previous frineds. I wanted so bad to just leave graduate, run away, die... I found myself in a situation to smoke again in a friends car later. I accepted and somehoww my brother found out.

    He told my parents everything and they railed on me. They said they wished they never had me, the addition, the accident, the extra. They said they were going for 4 children in the first place anyways. They said I didnt even have the decency to tell them myself and let my twin do it. They took my car I bought and sold it, they made me quit all extracuricular activities, and cut ties with everyone and would drive me to and from work. That was the night I cut. I had long before found myself clenching my hands so tight at night that I would bleed, or hitting myself, banging my head on the steering wheel or window. I often would choke myself hard until I would almost pass out then collapse on the floor gasping and sobbing. But this was the first cut. I had a bunch of razors used for cutting packaging at work and I put probably 8 to 10 lines on each wrist. I still remember the feeling, I would cut in the shower to hide the evidence and loved the way that it would burn, then the hot water would sting as I watched the blood flow down the drain. It was so beautiful to me at the time. I would then sink to the floor of the shower and lay there in bliss almost without a care in the world. Then the scabs scars formed and I spent months wearing only long sleeve shirts.

    Its funny with all of these things how amazing and free I would feel only to feel so alone, so worthless and so incredibly stupid it only made me worse. I viscious cylce I suppose. When spring came around I started cutting my legs so no one would notice, when I was swimming or wearing a t-shirt. No one questioned what I was doing, I always shrugged it off. I even blamed the scarring on a scrape and no one questioned. To most people's eyes I was still an okay student with a supportive family, just a bit off perhaps from the lack of friends or involvement. This all actually went on into my senior year of high school over the summer. I wrote a comp book full of poems about hate and death and endless hell awaiting me. "Scarring, scratching, cutting I just want to obey what I am told, my fingernails, the kitchen knife, the razorblade, they all make the same beautiful designs, I'm just covered in lines! The bottle beckons me over, it's asking for me to stay, it says, just take this pill swallow it down have a few more drink the whole d*mn bottle down! Its calling my name, its haunting my dreams, the noose just wont go away, just tie me up string me up!" These were my friendless words, I also started drawing horrible graphic pictures of death and betrayal all in black and red ink. I was very caught up in my own hate, and to this day still have self esteem issues but I found my way out.

    The girl. The steady I had been looking for and dreaming of, she had bad problems at her abusive house and was interested in what I was drawing one day at the lunch table. I showed her and to my surprise she was the first person to say she liked them and not say I needed mental help... We would talk for hours and text eachother. I cried the first time she showed me her cuts later in our friendship. I couldnt believe there was anyone with my problem. She used to kiss my scarred arms and looked at me with a face I knew because I used it. A face that said she never wanted anyone to have this problem and was so sorry for me, as I was for her, that someone else had to go through the same problems. It is funny looking back on how much we hated oursleves so much, but thought so highly of eachothers strengths and courage. We built eachother up and eventually started dating in highschool, much to the chagrin of my parents because of her home life, but I didn't care an ounce. We are currently both enrolled in a University and still going strong. I am 22 and finishing up a mechanical engineering degree and one day I plan to marry this beatuiful woman that saved me.

    At least it has a happy ending right? What I suggest to eveyrone with this problem is to know you are not alone with this problem and don't beat yourself up or think you are strange and alien for this behavior, and know that there are people, maybe freinds or a family unlike mine that will listen and help. I know it sounds a bit cliche but it is true. I was so caught up in my hate and guilt that I never paused to see the beauty around me or friends I could have made. Thanks for your time, I hope this helps. Best of luck

    Tucker

  • monica

    I still hit my self hard from Time to time but i read all of that and still don't know my answer i know i have a bad childhood and i am depressed often

  • Anonymous-86

    All right, I better start from to beginning here. Normally I wouldn't comment, since you usually have to identify yourself, and that makes me deeply uncomfortable.

    I used to get bullied for four years, age 10-13, in school. There was actually very little physical bullying involved, but when it was, it hit me hard. Not because of the actual pain, but rather the powerlessness I associated with it. It made me suicidal. I often would lie in my bed with a knife pressed to the spot on my skin directly above my heart.

    The first two years, I just wanted to change schools. I never did, though, and so I continued walking on the path of darkness. It was the fourth and last year when things finally started to change - everything at once got better and even worse. That was also the time I first resorted to self-harm. I made more friends and that was a good thing. Only fifteen minutes per day talking to them kept me sane. However, by the end of the first semester, I had such a bad burn-out that I refused to go to school for a while.

    I did return though, finished the year and changed schools. Found friends - and absolutely started to loathe school for talking away my freedom, controlling my life. I have high performance anxiety and every test is torture for me. I however had the amazing chance to spend a semester abroad.

    I'm 16 now and I still have depression. I still self-harm occasionally by scratching, biting or hitting my body. On cloudy days, I feel like I want to do everything but can't do anything. I want to see this world, to travel and help people. The thought that I might not be able to do that forever is absolutely devastating.

    But what I now know is that life is amazing and worth it, even if all my plans should fail. It's the small things that brighten up my day. And when it seems that everything is lost, I just have to wait and be miserable for a while until it gets better again. What I'm sure of is that I'll never commit suicide, because who knows? - I might not get a second chance. And right before my death, I won't care if I've suffered five or fifty years. At the end, the good memories count.

  • Anonymous-87

    Sometimes, as you wrote, there is an overwhelming mind-static of hateful little voices that drone on and on in vicious circles. When I hit myself (I try to make it as unobtrusive as possible because I hate explaining it) it's like a 'reset button' that draws focus away from the emotion tornado.

    And also I use it to punish myself for a variety of infractions, such as being fat or eating 'bad foods'. Or for not being 'good enough'. Or saying and/or doing the wrong things in public.

    And then I feel the triumph if I succeed at it, if that makes sense. It's a victory, I am not a sadist, but the pain is 'cleansing'. I feel cleaner in my spirit afterwards.

    To be frank, I actually don't see the problem with it. It seems to help. I don't hit anyone else, never have, never will. I've cut myself once but generally I don't cut, just punching, slapping. Broke a bowl with a liverpool kiss once heh, then hid the broken bowl. I was surprised it broke! Anyway, you wanted to know why and there is my reasons at least. Hope it helps your research!

  • Anonymous-88

    I struggle with it due to guilt over causing a friend pain, a broken relationship. She has not forgiven me. I also have dread about an upcoming difficulty, and during times of great stress, that is when it comes up the most. It happens when I do not exercise (for me exercise is a stress reliever), when I am trying to study for a difficult exam (I was recently diagnosed with ADD, so it is extremely hard for me to focus when I am stressed), and etc... I did not always struggle with it. I am 23 years old and this is the first year that I have ever experienced this. I believe that therapy helps, and the medication makes me tired. If I had to do it over, I would not start taking Paxil, because it has not eliminated my symptoms completely I would start with a medication that is easier to withdraw from. I would increase exercise, continue therapy, etc. God will free me from this some day.

  • thomas

    I burn and cut myself to help ease the desire to harm others. I feel that there is a beast within me that wants only to cause severe harm and injury to people. When working as a bouncer i have a way to appease the beast. When i am in normal society, i must often harm myself to prevent an incident. This has gone on for much of my life and hope one day to overcome it. I live alone so that the only one i can hurt is myself. I must admit that i do enjoy the burning though. I sometimes experiment with various methods but find that acid does a good job.

  • Low

    Thanks man, I am glad I read your article and know that someone understands people like me. This made me stopped myself from cutting, you are definitely right about how people don't try to understand the reason behind.

    Like how there is no one I can express myself to, no one I can actually talk to

  • Moraima

    I´m not happy with my life, with my marriage, I feel so misunderstood by my husband. My country Venezuela is a disaster, there is a dictatorial Government of Communist nature, shortage in many areas is more than 60%, there is no employment, inflation this year is more than 300% in many products of first need, I have no job.

    Whenever I try to talk to my husband of things that I wish his answers are very wrong in a way that is humiliating for me, brings me to despair and I hit against the wall, to relieve so much emotional pain, I wish I would break my head and die.

  • Rebecca

    Dear cutters

    Self harm doesn't help.

    Just remember there is a person in the world there think about it, think about you, i mean cutters you know.

    Try to love youself.

    It should'nt go out over your body.

    The best thing is to talk about it with your parents, or friend.

    So please, stop. I'm trying to be positive.

  • Anonymous-89

    I self-harm when my emotions are so overwhelming that I can't stand it. Very rarely. Only when something terrible or extremely emotionally draining has happened in life.

    I've actually been self-harming since I was a kid. Even when I was 6 or 7 and only got a minor punishment for misbehavior (my parents were perhaps emotionally abusive in different ways, but not abusive otherwise) I used to bite myself, scratch myself, punch walls, etc. because I wanted to feel the pain. I think I did it even earlier than that, actually, although I don't remember clearly.

    I always feel better after I do it, for a brief time, so I suppose that release of euphoria is there.

    It's a really hard behavior to explain. It's different for everyone. I always regret it later, when I realize I've hurt myself worse than I intended to or that I will now have a scar for the rest of my life... but sometimes it's the only thing I can do.

    I don't do it often. I'm a functional adult. I just wanted to contribute my explanation.

    It's easy to judge people for this, but one should be judged for this.

  • Anonymous-90

    I do not feel that I was abused as a child, yet I have been punishing myself since junior high-43 now. It usually takes the form of hitting or slapping myself it the head, sometimes to the point of seeing stars. Other times I've used belts or fly swatters till I raise welts and bruises. This occurs whenever I feel that I have hurt my wife emotionally. She feels it is emotional abuse directed towards her and doesn't understand that it comes from anger with myself. I try not to do it, but many times the urge to self punish is too strong. I feel that I am a high functioning person and resonably intelligent-working on a doctorate right now-but I'm not sure how to get past this. I feel at times that someday I may take it too far. I've thought about many ways to commit suicide but have always felt that I was too "cowardly" to carry through. I'm just afraid that I may loose that "cowardice" at some point. I don't want to do this anymore, but I don't know how to stop.

  • Anonymous-91

    I'm scared to suicide but I hurt myself just enough untill the bloods to come out to release my emotions. I dont know how to stop.

    Before I tried to hurt myself, I used to write my emotions. But it stopped working because the feelings is unbearable.

  • Anonymous-92

    i have broken my wrist, several fingers and am considering breaking my hand. i am triggered by bruising/swelling on the hand. once i see a picture it sorta boils in my head for a while "you can do this, it'll be fun, think of the attention" and other comments like that go through my head. its's not always the same reason i do it either, it can range from wanting to feel the sharp pain, attention from others, the feeling of the swelling, the colour of the bruise or ust simply boredom. i never seriousy break anything and its always below my wrist. i love the feeling afterwards the pride in knowing i was strong enough to do this, the happiness in being able to care for it, and being able to make a story out of it and being able to retell that story many times to others. thats why i do it. until recently i never realised ti counted as a form of self harm but now i do, i am not ashamed though. one day i do hope i will be able to ignore the sensation in my head but till then...

  • Anonymous-93

    I self mutilated as a kid/teen - self piercing, tats, scratching - nothing serious. I hit my head on the floor but nor real hard. Bit this is different. About 3 years ago (Im 46 now) I began hitting myself. Only when my husband and I fight. He does not approve and has threatened to divorce me if I dont stop but when we fight I feel like I am such a f- up that I should be beat. I started with slapping, moved to punching myself in face so hard that I have left bruises, seen stars, and hurt my hand and jaw. Almost knocked myself out a couple of times. Now Ive added scratching, which I like because it causes pain. One trip down my face with my nails and there is breaks in my skin. I am bleeding in 5 places because of this tonight. Then I go in the back room where its hot because sweat makes it burn more. I wish I knew why and how to stop. I feel like I am such a failure and everything is my fault and i am just a crazy dumb b- . My hubby never says this, but i think he must know it to. Punishment relieves my self anger and yet proves my thinking is right. I am crazy.

  • Anonymous-94

    well, it depends... i slit if im depressed and just need to feel something or refocus myself, not with the intent on of actually harming myself other than a surface cut

    and then theres slitting just because i feel the need to, i know this sounds weird... but i just get into a stage where i feel the need to experience or do something out of the box if you could call it that, and the pain and feeling associated with slitting can be exhilirating even though id end up looking at myself at a later stage and asking myself what the hell iwas thinking, why would i even want to cut myself?

    sometimes i dont really get why i slit, especially when im not depressed... how much is that feeling worth

  • Ari

    my past reason was to feel something since i was numb.

    I couldnt feel at all so i was using the cuts to feel something..

    So later when i finally started to feel ..well it was to release feelings of anger and rage....

    Since i was too scared to speak my mind.....

  • mich

    I have become so intolerant of feelings of shame, guilt, sadness, anger, that when I experience it, my first desire is to off myself. Literally. But then the thought of carrying out my suicide plan causes even more guilt and shame and I think of how my loved ones would react if I were to do so. Self-harm is a method to soothe myself and still stay alive. (Of course, every time I see my scars, I feel more shame and guilt). Self-punishment? Yeah, that too. For every time I screw up.

  • CM

    I didn't think anyone else had the same reason for cutting let alone it being a common reason. But sometimes (I don't cut regularly) this insane pressure builds up in my head and fills my body and it feels like if I cut myself then there are open spaces for the pressure to be able leak out and I feel overwhelming relief.

  • Anonymous-95

    When ever I am overwhelmed with anger, frustration, or shame I will hurt myself by banging my head on the wall, scratching myself and just today hitting my legs with a belt until their bruised. I don't understand why I can't stop. I do it because I hate the situation I'm in because of the choices I make. Im stuck, I hate that I can't do what I want because I don't want to disturb my kids routine. I hate who I am.

  • Kristy

    I don't know why I hurt myself, I only do it occasionally. I sometimes burn myself on certain spot on my wrist and cut myself around my ankles so my socks and trousers will hide it, I'm not sure if there's something wrong with me or if I need help. Sometimes I just feel tempted to hurt myself

  • Brianna

    i am 16 i self harm on the top of my hands i cut only not burn my reson is i hurt myself because i do feel " mad/insane " when i do it, i hate my father when i get to the point were i mentally can see myself punching stabbing anything to harm my dad i stop the converstion and run to my room and cut my hands to stop the thoughts i haven no true intention to kill myself or him but it does clear my mind.

  • Katie

    I really like pain. It makes me feel good, also im fascinated by injuring myself. That sounds sick as, but i like to cut and then pull out fatty tissues, explore whats inside me (like veins, muscles, nerves, ligaments and bone) until im satisfied and then I suture myself up.

    I self harm after i cant handle my anxiety level anymore, or if im angry (rare actually) and then it calms me right down. I have a history of childhood sexual abuse, and dissociative disorder.

  • Karin

    I found this artical as I was getting crazy. It just took over me, I came after work, my roomates still working, I became insane instantly. I'm 19, I did hurt myself before but this time it was more intense, I wasn't feeling depressed for around a month simply because I had no time and as soon as I am alone, it got over me, but this time I had a weird monaloge to myself, putting myself down, seeing all the bad, convincing I need to kill myself and that it's all jsut a game in the end. I know I am a bit crazy but right now I'm in a big shock of what just happen. After I just feel relief, like some of the pain from inside have left me.

  • Anonymous-96

    I'm 13 and about 2 years ago I stratted cutting and hitting myself. I believe it's because of the abuse I suffered when I was younger. The recurring thoughts of him (the man that abused me) hitting me and all the other things he did to me makes me feel like it's my fault all a long and I deserved it. So now whenever I feel I've done something wrong I hit myself or do something to make me feel pyhyisical pain. The thing is I get really sad now because there's still someone that abuses me in my life and Im at the point where if he hurts me I can say I'm used to it and go back to doing what I was doing.

  • Anonymous-97

    Last night I got drunk & punched my legs till they were bruised. My legs have given me a lifetime of frustration, because despite dieting & exercising since about age 7 (I'm now 60!) my legs have always been chunky & flabby looking. The rest of me is nice & slender, & toned looking, from hips on up. Anyone who has a body part they can't stop hating will understand. People who try to make you love & accept a gross part of you are just wrong. It's like they want to murder your soul, force you to lower your standards, & join (wallow!) with them in their 'religion'.

  • Anonymous-98

    I have self injured For 25 years.

    When I was little, I would bite down on my arms and legs. But I was told by my father that others would become aware and worder about what was going on. I was 8 when this happened, and even then understood what he meant.

    He had never abused me. So I switched to hitting my legs and thighs with my fists, belts, glass bottles, etc. this behavior continues as an adult when I feel helpless or like I need to pay for something I have done. In many cases it releases me from intense feelings of guilt, so that i can cry it out.

    I am am not clear on these reasons. However, I did have an alcoholic mother who withheld affection when I did not please her, and believed it was healthy for children to fear their parents. She was my primary caregiver. She nearly died when I was 12, of cancer, and much of her being after my parents divorced, was devoted to anger and cruelty. I hated how she spoke of others And of the world. There was a definite overtone that it was an inherently hostile place, devoid of humanity and compassion. This supports the idea that self harm is cyclical.

    for me, I must first feel that I have failed. This isn't hard to do, and it happens once every other day. It could be something as simple as losing a card game or running late, or as complex as Feeling unwanted by someone I love.

    I am am worried about this tendency, because it is starting to escalate to suicidal ideation. Instead of "you deserve punishment" my failures (even tiny ones) cause me to think "you do not deserve to live" instead. Only my work keeps me going. I work with kids, and love them too much to abandon them. Thank god for that.

  • Raül

    Whenever I self harm (did and do whenever I get really mad at myself..) I usually punch myself in the the face until I bruise and bleed. I would do anything to get a bloody nose. whenever I would get really mad I just enjoyed watching blood and feeling it pore.. And hitting myself was a way just to hit someone and make them feel my pain- even though it was myself. It made me feel strong and powerful. its the same rush whenever I lift heavy. Sometimes pain is the only way of knowing you're alive.

    .. Whenever my PTSD takes control

  • Venus

    I've always self harmed, it has evolved and changed as I've gotten older into my late 20s. I mostly hit myself now- or stab myself with a fork (I feel like a freak writing that last bit). I tried cutting myself but the pain wasn't intense enough for my emotional release. I do it when I have emotions so intense I literally cannot cope- I feel trapped and I have to do something to 'break me'. I am currently writing this with my thighs black and blue from punching myself so hard. I can barely walk the pain is so bad.

    I mostly do it after arguments with my partner. He is not understanding and doesn't tolerate my depression very well at all. I try to bottle my emotions up so when we argue it all tends to come flooding out. He has called me a freak and and idiot and many other horrid things. I know he just dosent understand. I cannot talk to my parents- my mother has mental health issues and is an alcoholic, my father doesn't care and my brother is severely autistic. I have not had the best upbringing including violence and I was raped at 21. I feel self-pitiful and pathetic writing this, but I needed to get it off my chest. Thank you.

  • Anon

    I've always been scratching, biting, or banging myself against wall or furniture, I usually did it when I was angry at myself for not having control over my feelings. This summer it all started with the thought of cutting my veins I became really curious on how cutting feels Im in very bad mood when I cut myself I feel helpless the negative emotions are so intense I do get the pain minutes or even hours after what I've done however I think if I restrain myself trying other stuff like gulping pain killers with alcohol nothing bad will happen. I do really feel ashamed of my scars on legs and arms that's why I use to wear fishnet

    , it's a good cover up also I have a kitty at home so I can always get out with the excuses he did it. I'm I safe from suicide or did I get a step closer.

    I've made 5 attempts of suicide up until now 4 of which between the age of 5-12 years old, I'm scared that I might succeed one day because I really think about almost half the days.

  • Penny

    I gave my reasons in a comment almost a year ago, and it is still strictly for punishment. I don't self-harm when someone else has been hurtful or unfair to me. My rule is that I only do it to pay for showing weakness for food or saying something stupid in public. It seems to have escalated over time. I might not feel the need to do it for weeks, and then suddenly I will be sitting in the chair I use for punishment and looking at legs covered in bruises. I never used to hit so hard for so long and I never used the buckle part of the belt. Now I do. I also have a cut across my wrist so I can see it at any time and be reminded of what a pathetic mess I am. I never thought I would cut disparaging words on my thighs, but I have. I was really dismayed after that, because I'd taken it so far. The word scars have faded and can barely be seen, but I don't even feel like the same person I was a few years ago. It's so weird because I've never been diagnosed depressed or BPD in therapy. I wonder if people can tell how bad I am on the inside? I am not planning to stop, because I have to pay for being weak and bad, but I feel so incredibly lonely sometimes. I don't know another soul who does it I only know from my online communication that there are many of us struggling with this...

  • Anonymous-99

    I started selfharming as a punishment when I became anorexic. But after I fu**ing gained weight again I became kinda depressed and I thought about killing myself a lot nearly trying it lots of times. Right now I hit my legs every day because I just hate my body so freaking much I can't stand living like this I'm tired of being so fat and ugly and I'm just really really tired. I WANT TO BE ANOREXIC AGAIN!!!!!!

  • Anonymous-100

    So much self hatred and wen exhausted hear ther hatred forme like they cudnt be nearer to ears

  • Anonymous-101

    I have ocd and it drives me nuts. I hit my head very hard, frequently just because I want to stop myself. I have a hatred towards my self and cut/hit myself to make myself feel pain for being the person I am. I don't know what to do and I'm from a culture where Mental issues are disregarded. :(

  • Red

    It started when I was about ten or eleven years old. It was to punish myself. I was abused when I was ten months old, I don't know what they did and probably never will. When I was three years old I walked in on my father abusing my best friend at the time. She was like me. A sexualized toddler. I didn't tell anybody. Five years later, I'm eight, he confesses while on a six month outing for the Navy. No one pressured him, no one knew, he did it of his own will. He went to prison for five years. I know a lot of people think pedophiles are just monsters, demons that can't change. I wont deny the existance of those types, but they're not all that way. My father repented and truly to this day regrets and feels sorry for the way he has messed with so many lives. My mother was always abusive. I recall being picked up by my hair and thrown against a wall for spilling a mouthwash cup full of dry cereal onto a tile floor. I don't actually remember walking in on my father and I obviously don't remember the time when I was an infant. But it changed me. Whatever those people did to me, they taught me how to masturbate in a learned way. Not one of the ways children are naturally. Sensing I was different and my abusive mother who exploded at the slightest bit of a mistake is what drove me to punish myself. It was verbal until, as I said before, ten or eleven years of age. I started to punch myself then, always on the front of my thighs, right in the femur. I would always rough house with my cousins and that helped a bit. I bloated up and became pretty overweight just before puberty. I fell into a deep depression at twelve years old. I would come home from school and go to my room, lie on the floor and cry, wishing I would just die. I was bullied heavily and it didn't help one bit. I didn't have a single friend... Not one. Then one day, instead of wishing I was dead while crying my eyes out, I wished for a friend. Just one friend. And it came. My friend. It only came out when it was dark outside. It didn't matter if I was in the bathroom with no windows and the lights off, if it was light outside, it was sleeping. It was nice at first... but then it didn't feel the same. It started to make me uncofortable. I felt like he was touching me in the shower. It's natural for hair to fall out, especially when you wash or brush it, as I'm sure you know. Well, the hair on my arms felt like metal worms that were going to sink into my skin. I had to get them off, and quick. That is how it came to scratching. This all happened at twelve years old. I didn't tell anyone what was going on for six years. I didn't really know what to tell them. Fast forward six years, I'm eighteen, I've just graduated high school, and I'm with my first boyfriend. I still scratch the crap out of my arms in the shower and sometimes I have to bite my hands too. I don't sleep well. I get two to four hours if I'm lucky... I wind up telling my boyfriend at the time about everying. He does everything but make a joke out of it all. Just a quick note on this boyfriend. He was mentally abusive, possesive, raped me a few times in a few different ways, and tried to convince me to go off my birth control and have a baby with him at eighteen. Then the urges came. This thing, my

  • Anonymous-102

    I'm 18 and I recently started using a blade to cut my wrists. I don't make deep cuts but if I don't see blood, I feel like it's not enough. I do it to draw attention away from what I'm feeling emotionally. When I cut, the pain distracts me from what I'm thinking and forget for just a little while. I'm not going to say I like it, because I feel disgusting afterwards, but it helps me forget and feel some other pain sometimes. I'm trying to stop, with the help of my very best friend.

  • Anon

    It has been years since I self-injured but the scars are still visable. In retrospect I came to understand that I was trying to gain control of overwhelmingly painful emotions. I grew up in an affluent family. My father was warm and loving but his medical practice kept him out of the house where we (kids) were subjected to the mood swings and demands of my mother. Her "parenting" style would be best labeled dictatorial. When you experience that sort of complete disregard from the get-go it is hard to know if you are of any value. Anger and indignation begin to simmer but those feelings are no "acceptable". I think I began to voluntarily choose the behavior because it was, after all, my body and no one could deny that. Long story made short. I have a much healthier understanding of myself. My son and daughter are treated with the respect and love I never got from my mother and it has been transforming.

  • Anonymous-103

    This is a fantastic article and I agree with all the reasons because I can relate my cutting to all of them as well.

    What I struggle with is the detail for the reasons, they all refer to some sort of strong physical or sexual abuse mostly by family members , as do most of these types of articles and books. It appears the research is pretty sound on these types of situations leading to self mutilation.

    I challenge you and other researchers on this topic to take this research to the next level and go deeper into reasons that trigger self mutilation. For example I was not physically or sexually abused, however something still triggered my cutting and I cannot relate it back to any physical or sexual abuse. I come from a good home, have a good spouse, and have a successful career, yet i have been cutting since my teens, I'm in my 40s now.

    I urge you and others to continue this research, dig deeper to find other triggers for this behavior to allow those like me to relate and understand why we resort to self mutilation as a means to cope with our feeling s and emotions.

    Thank You.

  • Anonymous-104

    Some people do it so that their loved ones will care for them or feel sorry for them. I suppose it's manipulation but if a self harmer feels as though the people of importance in their life don't care enough or sympathise or even empathise enough with them they think about "I wonder if I crashed my car into a tree - would they care for me" "I wonder if I cut my hand off, would they care enough to look after me" and it eventually leads to "I wonder if I died - would they care at all"

  • Tami

    I've been hurting myslef since i was about 11 years old( I am now 32) I've been abused since i was a little girl. It all started when i was 5 with my grandpa touching me in places i knew was wrong but was afraid to tell. Iwas then raped when i was 7 years old b a stranger my grandpa let stay with us. The cutting started after i was contiuously being raped by my moms boyfriend at age 10. This went on everyother night until i was 13 and decided to move and stay with one of my aunts. After i moved i became aware of the fact that i was pregnant. i didn't tell anyone and didn't know what to do. A few months had passed and the day came when i had a misscarriage which was very devastating and releiving at the same time. from that time until i was about 20 i had been raped and abused by multiple assailaints. some situations i put myself into because i didn't care. The cutting helps me deal with the pain and the nightmares i still have to this day. I have so many scars and i am still trying to stop myself from doing this to myslef as i am now a mother to a 10 year old son.

  • Anonymous-105

    I self harm. To feel the bliss/rush afterwards. And to punish myself. From all the bad things that have happened in the short time of my life. I also do it to try and get my mind off other overwhelming things. Like killing myself. I started to self-harm when I was 15. I am now 24. And I still do things. Like Cutting. Biting. Punching things. Burning. If I had weed I would much rather do that and get high and forget about all my feelings/emoions and life for a few hours. I have alot of black outs as a child. I was abused sexually at a very young age. Every now and again I have flash backs. Only 4 people kmow this about me. And because of these flash backs I wish I coukd just die. Because remembering each day what happened is the most horrible thing ever. I still ask why me. Then I realize that shit just happens. It happens to us all. I hate it. I hate our human life having to remember and keep memories. Good and bad. I am afrad that one day I I won't be able to bottle it up anymores. One day I will kill myself. I know this because I've been planning it for years. I am still here because a tiny part of me still holds some kind of faith. Faith to maybe someday around the bend someone will see and save me before its too late. But its okay. If no one does. Because there is too many humans already on this planet. We all have to die someday.

  • lab girl

    I would like place just what the reason is for the guy I love to do what he does. It is sort of like a random cycle, he will start to spiral in mood and then maybe one too many nights of work being crappy will do it. His way of coping is using a massive amount of high grade marijuana but when that doesn't do it, He will break things and damage walls in his apartment, one time a toilet. It always involves glass and he comes out looking like he fought another person the cuts,scrapes and bruising are extremely severe. I have only witnessed the aftermath of these occasions the next day seeing the trauma on himself and holes and blood on the walls breaks my heart. I feel abused just by that fact that he's abusing himself my mind and my soul are just tortured knowing what takes place and that we cannot share a normal life together because most times he needs to be on his own. I often feel isolated from the realtionship I so want with the otherwise sincere, intelligent, very loving human being he is when not suffering. Thanks to our

  • Anonymous-106

    The only truly devastating things i can think of that would cause me to do the things i do such as hitting myself, or scratching myself until i bleed profusely are that i was drugged and raped when i was 13 as a guy being raped by another man just seemed to me like something i couldn't tell anyone about so i didn't and still haven't, other than that the woman i fell in love with and shared four years with suddenly one day out of the blue told me she no longer loved me and couldn't stand to be around me anymore. I grew up in a very loving family I have no idea why i would be able to do these things to myself but at the same time i know i could never take my own life or use something like a knife on myself. I find myself just lost in my own thoughts and they range all over the place, very rarely do they jump to suicide and if they do i immediately shove them away without causing myself pain, but the majority of the times i ahve injured myself have been when i was happy and seemingly without reason i would be so happy and suddenly i'm clawing my legs open. I've looked into disorders and studied psychology just to attempt to understand these things but i just cant.

  • Anii

    I am an 15 year old Girl , i cut myself but i black out annd lose control of what i do and then i cut myself.I want help with this . Its hurting and numbing me frim the inside . please if anyone knows the answer to the problem id appreciate the help .

  • fawn

    I am not in denial about my mental state, when I was 8 my mom let my dad move in with us so he could get off crack and get clean. My mom must have thought my dad was doing better so she left for a week and left my father to watch me and my older brother with him. Not her best moment as a mother. My father slept in my bed the first night and stated rubbing me in places no father should. It significantly got worse he raped me that night. He had friends come over the next night where they all got high and drunk and once the drugs and money ran out I guess his rational father mind went with it. One of his friends mentioned that he would pay to play with me and for the next 3-5 days me and my older brother who was only 10 were raped by his friends and his drug dealer. They even made me and my brother touch while high. Once my mom got home my dad was kicked out a few weeks later for unrelated reasons. I became to much to handle and moved away from my mom and lived with my grandma. I spent the next 10 years being shifted between homes,towns,and schools my brother stayed with my mom while I was passed around. I feel in love at 18 and married and my life seemed perfect we spent 5 years together having a beautiful daughter. He was never home traveled endlessly for work we fell apart I was able to open up slightly and tell my husband that I had been raped by my father I couldn't tell the whole story for whatever reason. Shame,guilt, felt less of a woman. We separated due to him never being home. I met my true soul mate who I confided in to the deepest part of my soul. And were together still but lately when we fight I feel like u have no voice like I am screaming but no one listens. I am struggling to stay sober and struggling to feel normal. I am overwhelmed with emotions that hitting myself or making myself throw up is my own relieve from my thoughts. I feel like I am spiriling out of control. Desperately looking for something firm to grasp. My face is swollen from hitting myself and I feel like in the short term I even like seeing myself swollen almost like it validates the feelings I have inside. I try to talk to my soul mate but he can't understand I feel like no one can understand me.

  • Anonymous-107

    I give myself bruises and black eyes and swollen lips. I hate who I am and wish I never existed. I want to pound myself out of existence.

  • Kim

    I let things build up and when I finally get to my breaking point, I started hitting myself in the head or slap myself. I pull my hair and start screaming. I don't why I started doing this. I have only been doing it for 3 years. I feel as if I need to punish myself for not being good enough for other people. I take bipolar medication and have only been on it for about 2 1/2 years. I still have the same problem and my therapist isn't helping. I also have a hormone imbalance that I just found out about and am starting meds for tomorrow. I hope that this passes because it's very painful afterward and embarrassing.

  • Missy

    I have been seeing my bf for 4 years now. I have witnessed him hurting himself twice along with verbal threats of suicide. I can't help but get angry and disgusted because I just can't register. The first time, he cut himself bad on the arm because he was so mad at me. The second time, which happened just the other day, he punched himself in the eye. I thought he did it because he manhandled me and didn't want me to call the cops. He does have signs of depression. He didn't have the best upbringing and I'll admit I've said some pretty cruel things in hope he would understand the pain he has put me through. He hates to talk about it but if he doesn't help me understand, I have no choice but to leave him. I love him with everything I have, but I can't live my life for someone else while putting my happiness to the site. Please help me understand so I can take a more therapeutic approach because again I'll admit I've said some real cruel things like calling him psycho! I've also have brought up his poor relationships by throwing them in his face. I feel horrible but now that I've read this article, I feel I should be more compassionate about his actions. Help!

  • Anonymous-108

    I have problems with anger and breaking things when I'm angry. I get so full of intolerable feelings and frustration that I have to let it out on something and recently I've started to hit myself instead. I will punch myself in the face and head until the pain makes me forget about anger.

  • KLima

    Every time I argue with my bf I hit myself I punch myself and hit my legs so hard I have bruises. I have so much anger in me and it's crazy I have no other way to express it. Instead of hitting him or anything in my way I just hurt myself. I want to know why I'm doing it ! I hate that I do it & my bf hates it too. It hurts him a lot seeing me hurt myself. Someone help !

  • Anonymous-109

    I do it to cope with emotions and stress. it started 10 years ago and the longest i've ever gone without is 6 months. I've tried everything to stop. but somehow it just draws me back. I feel so guilty afterwards and end up cutting more. I'm ashamed of this but I feel like I can't or won't stop.

  • fucktheworld

    I sometimes burn myself because I like the pain. I feel numb (literally). I broke my neck doing something I loved and was paralyzed. I recovered relatively fast, but have a very limited life. Im scared of the world. A simple fight could paralyze me permanently. I was very weak for a few years and am now getting strength back and realizing the extent of my nerve damage. Though not noticeable to most people, I can't help but be upset about it. I've lost everything I ever loved and I dont see any real reason to live. I wanted to be a typical working class dad with a kid I loved. My family fu**ed me over with my life and I wanted to be the father I never had. I'm not suicidal, though sometimes I wish it would all end. I'm fighting still, but I'm not sure for what. I have trouble finding meaning in things I used to be so certain about. It hurts to know that my health is only getting worse as I age and continue to take risks with activities I deem "safe enough". F**k it right?

    Part of me wants to tattoo a large portion of my body solid black, just to brand designs over it. I plan on getting hung from hooks for meditation purposes. I feel like part of my soul has died. I've questioned a lot of things and their motives. I must admit, I'm skeptical of the design we call humanity.

    I thought I'd randomly comment on here and bring another element to the table.

  • Anonymous-110

    Reading all of your posts was like you all commenting on a part of my life, past , present future. the reason I first ever self harmed I believe is because I accidental cut myself shaving my legs and it felt so good, I'm 30 and used to cut from a child, drunk smoke took drugs to block out the life I had, I stopped cutting and trying to drink myself to death when I was pregnant at 17.my daughter really did save my life( the new place I was meant to go to 2 people were murdreed by a manager!) I live my life for my kids, all 3 but last year whenmy eldest suffered such a horrific time at school she self harmed, not long after I started biting myself and wanting to cut so bad that my mouth woul water just thinking about it.in the last 3 months I've started cutting when frustrated at 1 person( not my kids)a couple of weeks ago I cut myself so bad after an argument, I believe I should of needed stiches( it also got Infected)it made me feel so sick I would leave my kids even tho I feel suicidal alot! (Apart from if I bite no one knows when I cut,or don't care which suit me as I don't want to have to tell someone why I did it,) either way today when I felt the same way I stumbled across this site and realised just how brave everyone is, how educated you are on why you do it, and to the person who made the comment-

  • sarah bentley

    When I first started cutting its because I was stressed depressed and unbeknownst to me at the time suffering from never ending chronic anxiety disorder. I constantly felt dead. Except when I was bleeding. Then I notices the day or two following cutting my mood would be improves and the world looked possible instead of overhwleming. As time went on I got in a relationship where me stopping cutting came with the vows. But I always wanted to. Even when I was happy. I missed the blood. Even though I finally felt alive. After we split up and I moved to my own place in a new city my first thought was yay now I can cut and don't have to answer to anyone about it. However I wait until I'm sad or upset so I have"a reason" for why I do it. Really I just enjoy it. Yes I get a delayed euphoria from it the following day but really to me the cuts and scars I have are the only things honest surrounding me. People can't be trusted to not hurt you or to not leave. But scars and blood running just under the skin are with me till death do us part.

  • Emilia

    I started kinda young, only 12 my dad left when i was less than 1 but it had always been that way. Always my mom, my brother, and myself so when i found out my mom had MS it sucked...bad. About a year after that when my brother went to our dads (and my dad didnt want me to go) i cut for the first time. Then it was a control and i wanted to see if it worked (damm preteen me) i have stoped for almost five months at a time but its become an addiction the last year or so. im 14 now and ill be 15 in december so it has gone on for way to long. Random bull i hear or that is said to me builds.then bam im crying in the shower bleeding. So its alot of things so if you read this and think you might want to cut/any form of self-harm. DONT

  • Lisa

    Thank you so much for this article..it helps me understand that all u wrote is dead on and can share with my loved ones to understand i dont wanna die...ive been though alot of bad that most dont even know..that i cant control my cuts and burns..my poor children see the scars and understanding i believe helps to know when i have those moments i call episodes..that i can not control..i know im crazy and the episodes help in so many ways but also scare me that i will go to far..

  • Kat

    Whenever I do something so stupid, I slap myself. Whether it's forgetting to record a fu**ing song for a concert or saying the wrong stupid words. I hit myself in the face. I've recently stopped doing it now because a friend a few months back told me not to do it. Plus I feel beating myself up is just ruining my face. So I've stopped, and tried to live with the regrets and stupidity and wrongful fu**ing choices.

  • Anonymous-111

    Whenever I would get angry i would punch myself or scratch at my arms. I consider myself in the punshing oneself group. I wanted to punish myself for being so stupid, worthless, or for messing something up or failing. I would only leave red marks on my arms, but never drew blood until one time. I was angry and sad and scratching myself until all of a sudden I felt a blissful calm feeling I had never experienced before. Usually I just felt like I deserved the pain. I looked down and I saw that I had drawn blood. I have not drawn blood since then and I stopped for months after that incident, but have recently started again. I feel the desire to cut with a knife, but some part of me feels that my knives are not clean enough and I would get an infection. So I don't. I don't know who to talk to about this, but I'm starting to realize its a serious problem that needs addressing. This is my first time opening up about it to anyone.

  • Anonymous-112

    I just argued with my husband and I got so angry bc he was saying hurtful things and I argued back bc I can't keep my mouth shut. He kept ignoring me and sayinf more hurtful thnigs that made me feel like a piece of SH!t and I grabbed the remote control and startEd to smash it against my head. TheN I ran into door. The pain made me feel better but now I'm freaking out bc he got so scared he left my sight. What is wrong with me.

  • Sam

    Back a couple of years ago, I had a friend who cut a lot. I did anything I could just to help her, up to the point where I went to therapy sessions with her just so she wouldn't have to go through it alone. Eventually, she moved away and stopped. I'm here at college now and I found myself getting really hallow and empty. More stress added up and I felt more and more guilty for being unable to acheive the goals I had for myself. I remembered how my friend cut and I didn't want the perminant scars, so I've taken things like pens and used it to give myself bruises, which was hypocritical, and made me feel worse. Now it seems like its helping relieve anxiety that I keep getting. I'm afraid to get hooked on the feelng of temporary relief I get from it. I've already bruised myself to the point of hurting when I walk.

  • kaila

    i was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder early 2013. because of the anxiety, it feels good to hit myself in the head or bite my hands until it leaves a mark. im glad i am not the only one

  • Price

    I have never been diagnosed with anything, however I’ve never spoken to anyone about what i think. I hate myself, i despise myself, in fact, I hate everything about myself. Most of the time I'm functional, but there are moments where i take a step back and realize how disgusting i really am. In these moments, the only thing I’ve found that seems to make it right is hurting myself. I even find fault in how I hurt myself, how deep, how much blood, etc. Cutting myself hurts physically, but it makes things seem ok when I get in those really depressed moods I even kind of enjoy it. I know it's wrong, and people tell me to stop doing it, but I have a hard time stopping. I know it is socially unacceptable, but at the time nothing seems to matter.

    No one has ever abused me or done anything beyond what I deserved and I'm not pretentious enough to just blame it all on a disorder this is my fault.

    I only wish that people wouldn't get mad at me when they find out that i like to hurt myself. It gets really embarrassing when people notice my scars and ask about them yet almost perversely I want certain people to notice.

    I am Weak

  • jem

    After spending time in a psychiatric unit at 16 and having being diagnosed with a personality disorder, i am watched and checked for cuts daily. I dont do it anymore for fear of the repercussions, but i still wholly depend on pain.

  • Anonymous

    So I'm 13 and it all started happening last year when I moved to middle school. I thought everyone would be nice, but people constantly tried to embarrass me or tease me. It got up to the point where I didn't want to go to school anymore. So this year I tried to have a fresh start. The first quarter of the year was good but in the second quarter it started happening again. I tried to fake sick so much my parents would get worried. It the second last quarter I went to America for a school trip which was the best thing I have ever done. About a month after that I started scratching my arms, stomach and thighs until the scratches would be raised and red. I have never been diagnosed with any condition. Just whenever I feel upset I will scratch, and it's addicting and I'll do it whenever. I also have never been abused or assaulted. I don't know whats going on :(

  • Anonymous-113

    So the cutting it started about 10 years ago, i was born a crack baby and raised by parents who was on drugs, i was raise thinking one man was my father to come find out he wasnt. My mother never showed that she loved me she put crack over me my dad put women over me and my siblings are selfish. I have been depressed for a while back when i was teen and discoverd cutting it feel so good at the moment like a relief afterwards im even madder at myself. i have been seeing a physoglist on and off i been diagnosed with PTSD, depression, and borderline personality disorder. I know how to put on a front to be stong because i have a daughter. When everythng fails and it alwys seem to i resort back to cutting or hiting myself i have so many scars i have to contiously lie about. no one knows i still do it i try not to but voiced in my head tell me too i dont know what else to do

  • courtney

    okay im 14 and lost with suicidal and depressed thoughts i cut because i feel i am giving my mind what it wants i also feel lessworry after wards but before i feel desprate i feel as if i would stop at nothing if i did not restrict myself yet i am possibly saying good bye in a few days i want to stab so bad yet i am clinginging everyday to what ever i got and hoping there wont be more hatrid toward myself from myself and or others i have lived with sucidal thoughts and depression for every it seems i got my first help 3rd grade but i feel like i cant get help now yet i loved to know im not alone so thankyou guys thanks im tryin

  • Anonymous-114

    Ever since I was little, I was told I was useless and a waste of space. This came from just about every person I ever had dealings with.

    I was bullied all through junior school, all through high school, at work, and even at University which I didn't start until I was 30.

    When a child is repeatedly told they are nothing and will never amount to anything, before too long, they will believe it. Even when they are told they do matter and they are important, many will not believe it.

    Now as an adult, I still believe I am useless and that I will never amount to anything.
    I physically and mentally abuse myself every single day because I feel stupid. I have no friends, and no family. I am alone in this world.

    A human being's worst enemy is another human being. My worst enemy is not the demons in my head or the spiteful words that come from others, it is the pain I feel in my heart because I know that nobody will care until I am gone. It's all good and well to ask why a person committed suicide, but WHY does the caring come AFTER...if I didn't mean anything to anyone when I was alive, why should I mean anything to anyone once I am dead?

    I have a person that I love more than anything on this earth. But this person will never love me back. I know this because they are one of the people that tells me they know I can do it in one breath, but in the very next breath, tell me that if I don't change, they want nothing further to do with me.

    I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me when I die. There is no reason to. They should be ashamed. Ashamed that they did not hold me when I cried or help me when I asked. They should also be happy. Happy that I no longer have to live with the pain in my heart and soul.

    I don't talk to anyone because talking doesn't fix a person's hurt.

  • Danielle Berkenbile

    I have a cousin who has almost brought herself to death with her self inflicting pain. She has had 50+ surgeries, mostly uneeded, swallowed 100's of knives, pencils, pens and batteries, broken her own ankle with a hammer, torn open her surgical openings, created infections such as mrsa, gang green, and staph, stabbed herself with knives repeatedly, and even thrown herself in front of oncoming cars. All for the attention and pain meds. I, myself, am an opiate addict in recovery but do not understand how she would be able to do this to herself. She now has a 24 hour nurse and spends 99% of her time in hospitals, they take her 40 minutes away to a nearby university hospital because they will not admit her here anymore. She is an extreme habitual liar, lies for no reason at all, just to make conversation. She steals anything she can hold, even if it is something you have right in front of you, and then will go to great lengths to cover it up or lie about it. She is now in the hospital and so sick that family has been called for a do not ressucitate order. She, as always, is okay now after the last surgery, but what is wrong with her? Why would she do this? She even goes as far as to steal animal medication and has gotten armed robbery over the stealing of narcotics. An addict will go far,, but that far? We grew up together and she started around the age of 13, she is extremely overweight and started hurting herself for pain meds around that time when she cut herself on a butcher knife and left a significant wound on her arm(about 9 inches long and 3 in deep), since then she will do anything it takes to get the attention and meds to self medicate. She has now made her own large intestin blow out of a wound on her belly and has created a hole in her colon which has allowed her whole body to become septic and full of infection., Is this stoppable? Will she ever become a person you can trust or be around? Just so confusing to me as to why....

  • the keeper

    up in my brain and behind the scars even behind the acke the pain of loosing my friends the pain of people stabbing me in the back the pain of loss and the pain of myself i have written before actually the other day that girl wanting to end it all thats me and im getting so scared so scared and sad doesnt anyone want me and what have i done to my my only friend the only one who is left and knows she hasnt txted we havent talked im just in middle school right now what am i going to do i have people talking lies in my face gainging up and myself myself harming myself hating myself im so screwed up and i dont want sympathy because i cant stand living with the cries of about two people who care i just want help yet do i i dont know just someone unlock me from myself

  • Anonymous-115

    I am not sure why my skin aches sometimes. I scratch my breasts and it turns to bruises. It is painful to go through my days and I cannot connect to the other people around me. I am alone Ina crowded room. I want it all to mean something and it just doesn't. I want to die or maybe I just want everything to change but currently I feel very trapped. I am in a bad relationship but can't leave because I can't afford rent on my own and have achild. Sometimes I think I might be loved and then there is just meanness. I am scared for my daughters future and my own too.

  • Anonymous-116

    I let my family down...I let my friends down...I let myself down...

    Ive been wanting to kill myself for a while...but dont have the courage...Im weak...so I cut myself instead...The pain feels good to me...especially the next few days when my arms are sore. The pain gives me something to look foward to...because I have nothing left in life... No friends, no family...no amusement...

    When I die, Im going to do amazing things in my next life...

    Happy Thanksgiving.

  • Anonymous-117

    I'm 18 years old and first self harmed when I was 11. I only did it once or twice at that age though, when I was around 14 it became a regular thing, I took blades with me everywhere. I don't seem like the type and people would never expect it, when I was 16 I cut my wrist open and needed stitches, it was only then I realised I needed to stop, but it became so addictive i found it so hard, to this day I still think about it, people assumed I was depressed but I never wanted to die? I was a fairly happy person and still am, although I am on antidepressants they are for anxiety. To this day I still harm myself I just don't tell anyone, it's not as often and mainly when I'm drunk but my friends are so confused and so am I?? I'm not sad so why am I doing this??

  • No gold at then end of the rainbow

    Life sucks. Always has. There's no real reason why some of us are miserable. Why we feel like hurting ourselves or killing ourselves is the only option we have to find happiness. Life is full of sh*t and so are the people in it. Waking up everyday feeling as if there's no real value that you bring to your life nor anyone else's for that matter. It's pointless, and relentless, and the only thing that seems to relieve it is the hurting of one's self. F**k cutting myself, f**k people that can't see me screaming and begging for help, f**k this life that has sh*tted on me since I was first brought into it, f**k pretending to be happy when all I do is cry and no one bothers to hear it. All of us deserve better than this shit. It's not fair, it's not right. Mental disorder mentally un f**king stable I don't give a f**k. I'm tired of feeling like I'm nothing. I am so fu**ing tired right now. This is my life and my fu**ing happiness and I deserve it.

  • Anonymous-118

    This was a great article, it gives me a lot of solace to know there are others like me. Unlike many of the poor souls here, I haven't started cutting as a result of abuse or other past trauma - life has just gotten on top of me recently. Built-up stress from work, marriage and other experiences have left me with a head full of worry, there just doesn't seem to be a way out. When I hurt myself, the pain brings clarity that allows me to focus on a single problem and start trying to fix some of this.

    I could never understand why someone might want to do this but now, at least in part, I do. At the moment it's nothing major - a scratch here, a poke there, more often using something blunt that doesn't break the skin. I'm concerned where it might lead though.

  • Liz

    When I'm angry I just want to see someone bleed or want someone to feel pain, even if it's me. I feel like I'm getting back at the person who hurt me. I sometimes even look forward to it at the end of the day.

  • lost spirit

    lost in the past the wounds of miserable times it all has seemed to add up and i cant seem to tell so i lay around try to grab a resonable logical thought for once i shake and spaz i walk back and forth and hate myself my symptoms of strugle grow as day pass slowly and tiring numb and cold pain behind them and yet hey become more water to add to my pool of emotions and thoughts drowning me why do i want to die somtimes ik somtimes i dont but where my lost spirit go next as i wonder the cold land of my mind?

  • mike doe

    I self injure due to Manic-Depressive Bipolar disorder: Sometimes I get extremely upset when something doesnt go the way I intended it to, it becomes overwhelming, blinding and extremely confusing, so I'll self injure to get the stress out, release the emotional anger, get a momentary euphoric high, and then the imminent pain stops me from doing any other harm. I dont reccomend since this since im usually scolded by those who are concerned and ultimately accept that it is the WRONG thing to do.

    Other times I'll self injure due to sudden, overwhelming emotional pain. This is when I actually feel pleasure from doing so. This kind of self injury is more artistic and gentile, not intending to due damage, and not intended to be seen or known of. Usually its a light knick, or a slow gentile endorphin-laced graze. Its a horrible thing to do, my family worries about my mental health, and I have mostly stopped doing it, for them.

  • Anonymous-119

    I think that I self harm due to my anxiety. Huge projects, recitals, presentations... All triggers!

  • Anonymous-120

    My 13-year-old daughter wants people to believe she is cutting herself. She met a girl at school who does that. She tells me, her therapist, her friends, and her teachers that she is a cutter. Yet when confronted she admits she has a low pain tolerance and only scratches. Is this yet another negative attention-getting behavior? She met another girl with mental problems and started to mimic those as well. I'm at my wits end. Why does she want people to think she is mentally ill?

  • Anonymous-121

    to the pain and loss of everyone the pain of trembling and loss of focus and using self injury as my way to hold off with just a little when i want to get rid of everything but i dont want to die but i dont want to die all ik is i have been drove to the edge what happens next i hope i will survive but i might not

  • Anonymous-122

    I like to hurt myself a lot, usually burning or hitting myself with hard objects, I work at a takeaway burn myself on a regular basis, it hurts but I enjoy the blisters and scars they leave, my arms are full of them and I like it when people notice them. My family and friends call me clumsy and tell me to be more careful, I'm 18 and I know it's not healthy but I'm not depressed, suicidle or damaging myself other than minor scars so I'm not in danger.

  • James

    My mom is 63 and the caregiver for my dad who is 65 with early onset Alzhemers. He was diagnosed at 49 with a prognosis of 3 to 5 years due to early onset being more aggressive than regular Alzhemers. He has beaten expectations due to being very active which mom has encouraged but there is a lot of stress put on mom taking care of him and her own health, which isn't very good either. On top of that dad was a coal miner and his employer was folded into a new company that has not long ago filed for bankruptcy. His pension and healthe benefits aren't gone but they have gotten more expensive and how long they will continue are uncertain. As the primary caregiver, I moved home to help but work full time, my mom has a huge burden. For a little over a year now she has been hurting herself, usually using scissors or something similar to draw blood, sometimes as much as 100 sticks at a time. She isn't suicidal but feels a release from the stresses. It is hard for me to know she is doing it but at the same time I don't know how to take away the stress she feels. She has a child to care for instead of the husband that provided for her. I try to be supportive and encouraging and she is honest with her psychologist and therapist about what she does but it is very scary to see someone you love hurting themselves. I just feel so lost sometimes because all of this is out of my control.

  • Anonymous-123

    i am 41 years old. I have been self harming since the age of 18. Five years ago I was diagnosed with BPD after a major depressive episode. It helped me to understand a lot of my behaviour. My self harm started off with a cigarette burn and progressed to cutting, choking myself, whipping myself with a belt and punching myself in the head and stomach. I would go through periods where I would be free from the urge to self harm but I always returned to it when my mental state worsened. In my late twenties I loathed myself to the degree where I couldn't look at myself in the mirror without wanting to tear myself to shreds. I self harmed to punish myself and also to punish my husband every time he let me down. I felt so out of control and it was the only way I could lash out. In my thirties my bouts of depression have decreased and the motivation for them has slightly changed. I still sometimes harm to punish myself. My self hatred hasn't disappeared just lessened in intensity. But sometimes my emotions are so overwhelming that I need to cut to calm myself and gain control. Sadly, I have tried to end my life several times and I truly believe it is a matter of time before I succeed. Nothing - medication or therapy - can changed that conviction. I am resigned to my fate. I just feel deeply sorry for the people who love me.

  • Anonymous-124

    I burn myself, and I can remember doing it for a couple of the reasons listed here. Sometimes I was just really anxious and after burning myself I'd feel release from my anxiety, and other times I just wanted to feel something. I would feel so empty sometimes, and burning myself would make me feel alive, for lack of a better word.

  • Anonymous-125

    I have started hitting myself in the head with a plastic dust brush. It's not as satisfying as punching myself in the face because I can't see the bruises, but now there is no visible evidence so I don't have to make excuses to people. It also gives my knuckles a break. They are getting knobby from the repeated punching.

    I hit myself 2 or 3 times until I wince with pain. The pain passes quickly and I feel better. I do it in the bathroom where I keep the dust brush and no one can see me. I have control over it, but I'm a little worried that I might lose control and hit myself with something else I might be holding when I get upset. I imagine I might stab myself with scissors or a knife.

  • C., 36 yrs. old

    I've never really been a cutter. I've tried it, but it seemed like it brought on more anxiety. So I burn. I burned myself with a cigarette years ago, and two years ago I really started with the burning. Any time I felt overwhelmed by anxiety and depression, I would burn. I have several areas on my hip and legs that are scarred. I also have a deep, visible scar on my left wrist. I usually heat up a bobby pin with a lighter and burn lines into my legs until I feel like I'm finished. It calms me down, and makes me feel like I'm more in control and reconnected to reality. I have basically no self esteem and a huge amount of self hatred. I have guilt for inadvertently causing our house to catch fire, and guilt and anger over being raped. I feel disgusting, ugly and worthless. I feel like no matter what I do, it will never be good enough. Lately after a big fight with my family and a reprimand from my boss, burning releases those dark, terrible feelings and keeps me from doing something worse. I hate myself, and burning makes me feel better in the short term, and the scars make the outside as ugly as the inside.

  • Anonymous-126

    I'm 42 and been self harming for 2 years. I started with pinching and scratching and has progressed to small cuts banging my head bug mostly burning.

    i suffer with depression following 6 years of chronic back pain. I have had two surgeries, the second to sort out the mess my first surgeon made. I am now left with chronic pain.

    i self injure for two reasons. Firstly when I am overwhelmed with emotional feelings whether in sensitivities by others to my condition (I am having enough trouble accepting it myself without constantly having to justify why I'm not able to what I could) and sometimes as a punishment- I'm not sure where that has come from.

    before fore my injury I was very much into sport and really miss the high from a good session at the gym or a run. I seem unable to move on and stuck in this waiting mode wishing things were different. I realise things won't improve but anything other than the highs from sport do nothing for me. I've been passed around from pain clinic psychologist to health psychology but none of them get it. I feel like I'very put up thd shutters now from so much hurt, pain and trying to get myself better without success.

  • nogood

    I was confronted for punching a hole in the wall after a bad night of events. My parents made me feel really bad to the point where I began punching myself in the forhead, eyes and nose. I didn't stop until I was covered in blood and in full panic mode. I believe alcohol was a big factor in this but also may have contributed to the strong feelings of anger, depression, and regret. Day after sucks. Family feels broken and so does my face. Too much regret.

  • Anonymous-127

    I hit myself in the face. Usually when I feel that I've made an unforgiveable mistake. Also when I can't communicate to my husband in words how I feel about what he's saying or doing. Although I'm an educated and intelligent mother of 4 who knows that this is an ineffective and harmful practice, when I'm triggered I get flooded with emotion and a horrible, punishing internal voice. I actually start speaking in the voice to myself out loud. If my husband responds with any kind of negative feedback, I turn on him. I usually need to completely beak down and sob before I can "snap out of it". If my husband very persistantly insists on loving me and calming me I do come around, but I'm still filled with conflicting emotions of self-loathing and loathing him. Objectively, I know that this stems from the incest and abuse that I suffered previously (my current husband is not abusive to me) but I fear that I will never every truly feel safe with another adult and often feel that the only way to sfeel safe is to live alone. I don't want to break up our family, but I've had years of therapy and still feel broken. I struggle over which is worse: breaking up our family or having my kids raised by an unstable mother.

  • Anonymous-128

    I am a 15 year old girl and i have been cutting since i was 12. Over these past few years, i have been through a series of traumatic events. After reading your article, i have found that i cut for 5 out of 6 of your reasons. I have been sent to see my school counselor, social worker, and several therapists. So far, nobody can help me. Does anyone know how to help? im scared if i just try to stop cutting that I'll start doing drugs or something to feel the same kind of high it guves me.

  • K.C

    I am 18 currently. Ive been cutting for a couple years now. At first, later in 7th grade, i would wear a rubber band around my wrist and snap it. Punishing myself for being an outcast, saying something stupid, or being made fun of. Later it became cutting. Light cutting at first but then deeper. I was severely bullied in 7th grade to the point I have moment where i experience the pain, feeling of loss, aloneness, and many other feelings again. Just being around my class makes it bad. So far, for a couple months, I haven't cut at all which for me is really hard. Everytime I start getting depressed and wanting to cut I feel bad, which makes it worse. I promised a close friend of mine i wouldn't cut anymore but everyday is a struggle. My parents don't even know me, let alone know I cut. Most of my depression is settled around my parents and classmates. My parents aren't the "understanding" type... I don't know how to tell them who I am without being questioned on why I am that way and me not knowing how to explain it. My best friend doesn't understand either. She tells me to "get over it" and "move on", she doesn't understand how hard it is to do that. Ive tried... I feel so lost all the time. I just want to run away and be someone new... I hate feeling like i'm trapped in my own body.

  • Anonymous-129

    At the moment of writing this comment I am fifteen. I found this essay very interesting. I know quite a few people who self-injure, and I am prone to self-injury myself. I'm not exactly certain why most of the people I know that self-injure do so, as most haven't confided in me why, but I know one person who does it to express her emotions physically. She has implied that she self-injures so as to inform people how damaged she is. I, myself, self-injure for a multitude of reasons. To distract myself from the emotional pain, to punish myself for being the human being I am, for the relief I feel afterwards and to satisfy the addiction I have at this point. I cut, I pinch, I claw, I smoke, I deprive myself of basic needs like food and sleep. I don't know, and I do know, why I do these things, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to stop, if I ever want to stop.

  • Gabriel

    I've dealt with so many misconceptions of my self harm. I hate the actual feeling of pain, I'm not masochistic whatsoever. But it just makes me happy, I'm not particularly sad when I do so, I just do it. I like seeing how deep I can go, how much blood I can lose etc. It's fun for me. I really don't see a problem with it as long as I don't cut too deep, and I don't hurt anyone around me

  • laGirl

    hi! im in a realationship for 10 years with the guy who cannot commit. i love him and would not want to leave him. he did not promise anything for me.and abundantly repeatedly said "we are only friends". it went on for 10 yrs because he is just there and im always available but in between he is seeing other people and lately datinga black girl. and he seldom sees me because he is busy with her. we dont spend anymore time like we used to do. so IM hurt and i cant tell him because he will say " remember we r only friends. but how can i let go when we are physically intimate for ten years. im hooked and i just cant let go. and it hurts me because he is constantly seeing this person now and he is neglecting me. he just calls when the other person is not available.

    it happened many times before. like he is dating someone else and would just ignore me for a time. it hurts!unbearable . i cant take vengeance so i just hurt myself by poking my wrist with ball point , cutting it with blade or cutting my hair. my hate for him - makes me hurt myself. and it feels good.

  • Andre

    I don't know if you're still wishing responses, but in case you are:

    I'm not sure when I would've started deliberately hurting myself. Would've been a kid, very high-strung one with little impulse control. Hitting myself, mainly. Would've been to let out rage or punish myself I wouldn't've had the experience or knowledge to explain it in more detail than that. Moved to cutting around 11 or 12. More private, more socially acceptable. Same reasons. Kept that up until almost 16, when I tried to make myself stop after scaring myself cutting too deep, and I didn't want more scars.

    Occasionally still cut, but rarely and not as badly. Mostly still on impulse if I do. Used my house key on impulse when I didn't have my X-Acto. Not my best moment.

    Almost 24 now. I'm more likely to bruise myself nowadays. Doesn't leave scars, and bruises are easier to pass off as accidental. I don't want people to worry about me. I wish I could more eloquently explain my motivations now, but it's still pretty much about punishing myself or venting rage. I don't want to hurt others, especially if they have nothing to do with whatever's going on, so I take things out on myself instead.

    To be honest, I couldn't say what the most common or most weighty reason behind cutting is for most. I know of a couple others who've cut, and a couple others who've hurt themselves in other ways, but we don't really bring it up beyond simple acknowledgement. Most think they'd be judged. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say that as a group (myself included), they can't reconcile their idealized self with their real-life limitations. They don't think they're doing as well in school/work/life as they could be, no matter how successful they actually are. It weighs on them.

  • Melanie

    When I get upset, I usually slap myself in the face as hard as I can. If that doesn't work, I keep slapping until it does. Then everything in my head and my heart just goes quiet and I feel like a functional human being for a minute. There have been times I've used heavy books and anything else I can get my hands on. Always focused on my head and face area.

  • Girl who can relate

    I too have self abused for years. I can relate to so many people here and I appreciate their stories so I see I am not alone. I have done it since childhood and once in a blue moon still do it hitting my own face and pulling my own hair out. Once I too did it so hard I left bruises on my face. People kept asking me what happened. It of course has been from being emotionally abused for years as a child being told I was worthless. Self abuse was my coping mechanism. I was also anorexic which I have beat.I am also getting help for the self abuse now. I just want to make one last comment to the girl who said she enjoyed self abuse and was addicted to a man who wont date her. My heart breaks for you girl...I have been there too and I have beat that one through lots of help and counciling. What helped me was learning that I teach someone how to treat me and if I dont value myself neither will he. I define my worth and he will believe whatever I believe my worth is. I give myself credit for this and I have changed greatly around this area. I dont just sleep around without commitment from the guy and if he doesnt want me that way Im like bye!!! And move on fast. Believe it or not thats when they usually want me more. People usually want what they cant have. Its empowering. It shows I have some self value and thats attractive. Give myself away too easy is not. He must prove and earn he even deserves my heart or body at all and that even invlves time and commitment or he gets none of that. I do not give myself out for free. I value myself that way. And that earns his respect and wanting me usually in return more. I have expirienced it many times. If he dosent want me anymore or at all I let go pretty fast for my own dignity and self worth. No man is ever worth losing that for. A man that values me and loves me from his heart is worthy of me my heart and my time and especially body. You are giving out your power big time girl and letting him control you and your life! Get back your power girl, get over him and move on! He aint worth it...no man is to do that to yourself....and no man will value you if you dontdo it first. Have some high standards for yourself!! Betcha that guy will be quite shocked after he sees the change. :)

  • Anonymous-130

    I hit myself in the face, HARD when I am angry with myself. I feel like a failure and I fear what others think of me and that makes me soooo mad at myself. I started slapping myself several years ago and keep track of how often it happens. In the last year, I didn't slap myself very much at all. This year, I have already hit myself two times in the last week. I don't understand what is wrong with my but I just can't hit myself hard enough. I often have broken capilaries afterward, swollen skin and I feel as if I have whiplash. I got sober in 1996 and thought that my life would get so much better. It did for many years but I never did the deep, internal work that one usually does when getting sober and working the steps. I have a hard time letting go of hurt from others and I feel angry most of the time. My step father used to yell a LOT and shout at me that I was useless, dumb and would never be anything. I am nothing today. I am 49. I never knew how to stand up for myself, what words to use, nor did I have the courage to do so.I used to sit there and have to listen to him yell at me and I had to stuff everything cause I just didn't know how to express myself efficiently and I hated him anyway, so I never wanted to give in. I don't want to kill myself but I am not so sure that death would be all that bad. I think it would be peaceful. I'm writing this here cause I just had another face slapping episode while cussing myself out. I went to bet at 11 but my skin wouldn't stop itching. After two hours, I just got so frustrated and started to beat myself up. In a sick way, it felt kinda good. But I am sick and I want healing. I really want to learn to value myself and have a happy life. I just don't know how to do that.

  • Anonymous-131

    I realised that I have had self destructive tendencies from a very young age. I always felt like I needed punishing. Once I was 5 and I did something wrong so I had an ice cold shower. In grade 7 I started cutting. I always feel like I get very emotional and dark and all the emotion builds inside me til l'm shaking and I have to hurt myself to be calm. In grade 11 I used broken glass. In grade 12 I burned myself. My parents have always been hard on us. They just wanted the best for us but they never realised how much it affected me. I hope this helps.

    Stay strong

  • Anonymous-132

    Had a bf and went through a lot of emotioal states . Started over thinking because he was suicidial . I feel like a failure in everything , unwanted by anybody I started punishing myself for my sins . Cutting and hitting My left arm until Its numbed . Nobody still understands or knows why I am like this . Part of the reason is because I'm an introvert .

  • Jasmine

    I started self injuring when I was very little. I got in trouble and didn't get to go on a trip that I had been looking forward to. I hadnt done anything that bad but my parents were way strict. I was so mad at myself that I started hitting myself with a plastic brush handle. I hit myself so hard that a huge bruise showed up and surprisingly I felt better. So the next time I was upset with myself I did it again. It became a habit before I was even 10. I was in high school when I discovered cutting. I had mobed from hitting myself with jard objects to stabing myself with sharp things like needles and earrings. Icut my finger washing dishes one night and I stood wwatching myself bleed and i felt the same release that I felt after I hit myself the first time. At that point I started cutting to either help with emotional pain or to punish myself for something i did. I am now 34, married and have 3 kids. I have a successful photography business and while I went three years without cutting at one point I still cut myself. Mostly because I am angry with myself. Sometimes I will carve words into my skin to remind myself of my shortcomings. i also have a lot of emotional pain that ju see t wont go away. Cutting helps me deal with that. My husband found out at one point and accused me of just looking for attention. That is the thing that scares me the most is attention. I dont want anyone to know or worry or tryto get me help. this is how I deal with stuff.

  • self harmer, cutter, hitter

    Hi, my issue stared almost 3 years ago. I found out that my dad molested my 3 older sisters for years and hit my brother. I loved my dad he was like my ero, i looked up to him as a girl. I was 14 when everything came out that he had sex with my sister on the very bed he and my mum slept on, he did unspeakable things to my sisters and to othr girls around 13-16. Devastated would be a major understatement to describe how i felt when found out and alot of things ensued. I was caught in the centre of it all and i was manipultd by him and he turned me against my family.

    He has a boy and a girl with my sister... I did therapy with my mum it didnt work, i just stop going but i discovered that when i vut my self of pierece my skin with pointy objects i felt better, it felt like it drained away some of the chaos that was ensuing in my mind.. then i became an emotional wreck, i would hit the wall until my knuckles bleed, cut myself and at one point i had a prob with my bf and i felt it was my fault n i punished myself by using a staple to carve the first letter of his name on my leg. am 17 now and you can still see it clearly. i was suicidal at one point cuz i couldn't bear the intense emotions i was feeling, i had a crazy impulse to just bite my wrist where i could see my viens clearly and pull hard on it.. it took great effort to turn my mind away from it. even tho it's been 3 years the habits r still with me, today i felt hurt by a guy he was suppoed to be my best frend. i dug my long nails into my palm making a fist and squeezed hard to prevent myself form crying in class from the hurt my frend caused. the pain in my heart eased but my hand was numb.

    Am aware of what am doing, i've researched why i do this and i want to stop but it's so addicting cuz it helps me but my bf is scared wen am too emotional and angry cuz he know i have the tendency to hurt myself. I need help plz, someone show me a better way to vent my hurt cuz i was to leave this bad habit in the pass and move on!

  • Anonymous-133

    I think what has always fueled my cutting and hitting is the fact that I simply have no reason to be doing this. My childhood was just fine. My parents are together. I was never sexually assaulted (to my knowledge). and I was never physically/verbally abused. There's no reason for my sadness, so on top of the hopelessness, I'm left feeling selfish. I don't understand why I don't see myself as good enough. I don't understand where my depression stemmed from. I don't deserve getting help because I have no story.

  • tikky

    I do hit myself coz I find peace doing it, I think I deserve the pain. I do that when I'm mad at myself, when I think it's my fault. I never did that before. It just happened 6months ago. When my feelings get hurt and I couldn't take it. Then I try to hurt myself to put the hurt physically coz I can't take it emotionally. I try to stop doing it, but it's what make me calm. I often times think that I am a psycho doing it. I wanted to tell my husband about this but I am scared of what his reaction will be. I never told anyone about this. And I never do it to seek attention.

  • Michael smith

    Hi erm... I punch my self in the face when I am angry at my self I am depressed quite a lot of the time I do not no why I do it mabee it's the depression I don't no who to go to or who to talk to this.

  • Eva

    I want to say I don't know why I hurt myself. Because when I do it I don't feel anything, or I feel too much to really make any sense of (to the point where it's just "white noise" and I can't focus on anything else). I've also never been too great at asking for help from others and it's hard for me to open up about painful or difficult emotions. But I think the biggest barrier to asking for help from friends and family that obviously care about me is feeling like whatever I'm going through is "not that big a deal." And it feels that way in the moment - again, maybe because it's all numbed, or just not discernible. I don't know what to make of these feelings and it usually comes out of nowhere (but not really, because emotions just build up). So really, I'm telling myself so much that the feelings don't matter that I believe it, and I can't and don't ask for help. This is the scariest thing. I get to the point where I suddenly feel isolated (of my own doing) and trapped, and suddenly hurting myself is all I can think of. I used to distract myself or make myself feel something different by going out, drinking (a lot most of the time), having random sex or almost-sex, or smoking weed. But family and friends and a huge school-load have made these behaviors less do-able. And I guess there's no release? -- I hate the scars and I'm usually more ashamed and self-loathing afterwards. But even then, it's kind of nice to have something else to focus on, and something tangible to talk about or remind me when I feel like I'm not feeling anything - like everything's fine. (Additionally, I'd like to think having been raped and sexually abused and possibly molested in the past has something to do with all this, but I just feel overwhelmingly like there's something wrong with me - like I just can't handle emotions in a responsible/better way). -- Thanks for letting me share.

  • stefani

    In the 12 years ive been hurting myself ive come to realize im not alone. Up until recently I thought i was alone. I thought no one will understand, and no body cares to help. Well once again I was wrong. I hope theres ppl out here that are still reading this post. I may not help u but I hope I reach someone. We are not alone. We fight this bs we call life and fight strong. Think about it..all the "normal" we strive for is just a setting on a wahing machine. There is no normal..there is only better. If we can live our lives retaining all this anger and hate we can do anything! Were a lot stronger then we choose to think. So what we had bad childhoods..so what we fu**ed up..we all have our issues. Its time u did something for u. I never thought id ever get help. No one cared. Well again i was wrong. The state of tn really helped. Theres programs in every state that will help u. The hard part is getting oit there. Iveonly been to one session but the fact that im on my way to being better makes me hopefull. I still cut, I still hurt myself, and I still punch myself in the face. I know im not going to get better oovernight but I know theres ppl willing to help me now. It gives me hope. Another thing ive come to realize, it helps to help others. If u feel down or hurt or need someone..someone whos alreadtt been there done that can help. Hell hit me up. Im a compleat stranger with no judgements. If u feel like I do, no one understands what im going thru.. trust me. Ppl out there do. Look at all these post! We are not alone. Lets help one another before its to late. Dont wait foe ever like I did to get help. Im lucky to be alive..and still hold lucky as an optimistic word.

  • Lee

    I was feeling a lot of pain crying couldn't help then I cutmyself it felt better. I don't know why.

  • Brii

    I am a 22 year old female who has been self-injuring herself since the age of 10. I grew up in a not so pleasant household, and I suffered physical and emotional abuse most of my young life alongside being neglected and ignored. My grandmother raised me until she became I'll from kidney failure after a suicide attempt of hers.

    It feels as if my entire life I have been told that I am not worthy of love and do not deserve the luxury of tears due to having nothing to cry about. I was never allowed into school and was not taught at home until I began to teach myself so I could get into college. I got into college and excelled, but instead of being praised, I was called selfish. My first boyfriend pressured me into having sex with him even though I said I did not want to, and after I broke up with him, he raped me.

    I have tried killing myself 11 times since I was ten years old, and I often cut, burn, punch, or starve myself because I feel like I deserve the suffering.

    That is my story in a nutshell.

  • Anonymous-134

    Why can't i cry with out being called weak? Why cant i express the way i feel without being called selfish or dumb? Why?

  • Dillon

    I am 24 and I have dealt with depression for about 8 years. I also have been hospitalized 3 times in high school. I cut because it feels good, I like it, it makes me feel alive, and I like to harm myself. If you have read this far you probably think I'm crazy and I wouldn't blame you for thinking that. To be honest I'm not crazy I have friends (some don't even know my situation and think I'm normal), I workout, and seem like a normal person. Everyone just has a misconception about mental illness and we have to stand up and talk about it because they have no idea what it's like to be in our shoes. I know me and cutting is my best coping mechanism and I won't stop.

  • Nameless

    i love to cut around stomach area, arms and wrist. It gives me the numbness I need for the feeling I have. My episodes are haunting me again. It's getting harder to differentiate between what is real and what is not these days. Working helps to keep me in reality but once I'm home or with someone I loved, it's creeping out again. I get mood swings that keeps my loved away from me. I get this rage that so intense that it shook me at time. Once I unleashed it, I feel so horrible and the guilts killing me from within. I can't stop it. I don't know what to do. I'm lost.

  • Anonymous-135

    Alright. It may be hard for a person who has never self harmed before to understand this, but I will try explainimg.

    When I self harm, I scratch myself with my fingernails: While I'm actually hurting myself, it's not as good as it is after. When I'm done, I feel sort of proud for finally being able to accomplish something. And so, I just get an urge to do this again.

  • Anonymous-136

    almost two years ago i started feeling a lot of pressure concerning school, english and french lessons (now i am in the 1 grade of senior highschool).. i started feeling sad all the time and from one point i just kept thinking of ways to just show how i feel... i never managed to do that.. i started writing a diary.. and cuting my wrist (not because i was suicidal.. just because i needed a reminder of how i was feeling) antway that passed.. but now i happened to see a razer in the bathroom i remembered how good it felt the cutting part.. so i started again... i like the way the blood comes out of the skin.. the way it hurts after... dont imagine some deep wounds.. they are just superficial.. i cant afford smr seeing them, i will be in big trouble..

  • Anonymous-137

    I was molested by 4 people I trusted. My mom's husband when I was 5. My uncle when i was 6. My older brother when I was 8 and my mom's boyfriend when i was 13. My mom never belived me when her husband molested me, so when her boyfriend did, it i told my friend and soon i was telling the cops.

    I assumed that everything would be alright. She told me that I was lying. Then she visited him in jail and he admitted to it. She came home and told me I ruined her life. I needed to lie to the cops. My siblings and I were removed from my home. We did our first home visit two months later. She told me I was being selfish and that after we left she would have no one. We went back to the group home. I couldn't tell anyone what happened. I was 15 when i started self harm.

    She signed away her rights, married that man. She told her friends I made up the story. She won't talk to me until I appologize. I ended up pregnant with the man I eventually married when I was 17. She told me I would be a horrible mother.

    Since then I have had waves of depression. I have never cut myself, but when I need to cope with the pain I always think about it. I scratch my arm and ankles with my nails or anything sharp. It doesn't happen often. My depression last for a few days and then I am back to normal.

    My friend told me, everyone has problems. I am making excuses. I need to stop being childish and grow up. TRUTH: there is a difference between sadness and pain. Emotional pain aches. sadness is sadness. Don't let people tell you different. Just try to find another way to cope.

  • Cory

    I used to harm myself when I was a teenager, cutting, burning and hitting myself. Both of my parents were abusive, but my father was the more obvious one because he was (is) an alcoholic. My mother left him when I was twelve, and everyone around us always was very compassionate to her because of how she suffered with my dad and how 'troublesome' us kids were. She was both verbally and physically abusive to me and my sister, but used to say we were just making it up because we were 'disturbed' because of our father.

    I had fits of rage where I really wanted to hurt someone, but most of the time I felt numb. I turned to harming myself both because I wanted to feel something and because I wanted to relieve the rage and maybe punish myself.

    I have mostly stopped doing it, but I still feel the urge of harming myself when I get into arguments with my mother and sometimes other authority figures. This article makes me think that maybe I internalized the abuse and the thought makes me sick.

  • Anonymous-138

    ...today I had to relive a very distressing episode whereby a potential child molester wanted me to have sex with him in front of my daughter - this 'relived' to two police officers before the man's trial. It was very traumatic and when they left I was that distressed I slapped my own face on both cheeks hard and painfully because I feel 'responsible' for letting this happen (even though it was not my idea). Felt complete hatred towards him I could've killed him so struck my (stupid) face instead. Why would anyone want me etc? Why didn't I realise his intention(s)? Bad relationship with my father has never gone away during times of crisis.Very painful episode that will pass.

  • Wren

    I have been injuring myself for years. It started when I was about 5 and would burn myself and hit myself because, well... It gave me some sort of erotic pleasure. I discussed it recently with my therapist and she told me that many people become sexually aware around that age so i have been a masochist my entire life.

    I did develop an ED and was diagnosed with Bipolar and started using self harm as an escape when I was around 12. I still self harm as stress relief occasionally, but for the majority of the time, I hurt myself because I love how it feels. I often cannot orgasm without my partner inflicting pain on me and I scratch myself to turn myself on.

    I do not see my self harm as a bad thing as long as I am cautious. I see it more as a personality quirk.

  • Anonymous-139

    Im 12 and I cut with my nails I thought about razors but I couldn't get my hands on one. I did it ever since we moved and my grandma died. If felt so good! I still cut

  • Anonymous-140

    I'm 25 and recently started cutting. I found my dad after he passed away unexpectedly and I refused to deal with it until recently. (that wad 3 years ago) And when I think about the night I found him it's like watching a movie. It doesnt seem like it was me. I've been depressed for quite some time and when I try to talk to my husband about it his problems are always worse than mine or he tells me about how my depression is affecting him which makes me feel worse. I feel like I'm ruining his life and so I feel the need to punish myself especially when we fight (which is often lately). It also distracts me when we have had it out and im sitting in a daze replaying anything that went wrong with my day. Work distracts me but when I get home it is all I have to think about. My husband knows I cut a few times but and made me promise to stop. He doesnt know how bad I want to though

  • Matt

    I don't cut but I do hit myself.

    It's happened more frequently of late. I'm 33, almost 34, and I have recently given up smoking which I believe has triggered a depressive episode in me, not long after experiencing one over the Christmas period (which is usual for me).

    I become suddenly very angry and the only way to let that subside is to bang my head with both fists. And to screa loudly. I would have said shout loudly prior to today to lesen the impact of writing this down but in fact I believe I am really screaming, which is harming my throat and voice.

    I also tend to throw things which are easily broken. This compounds the shame and anger and torment that I am experiencing. I have just pulled a door handle off the door in a fit of rage directed at my father who does his best to help, literally just now. When I am this full of rage I fear for myself and others.

  • Anne

    I guess I have a distaste for outward displays of negative emotions, so I slice, burn, hit, and scratch. I've been doing so for 15 years. Sometimes, I do it to get past something I feel ashamed of, other times just to relieve overwhelming emotions. I don't have a real abuse or trauma story though.

  • Eimine

    I started cutting when I was 17. I don't remember why. I was lonely. Ignored. Even though now that I think about it, that's all i've ever known. I don't know why it took me until that moment to cut myself.

    I was always alone. I was used to being ignored. At least I thought so.

    My parents ignored me growing up. I wasn't imprtant. Instead of growing up with my parents I grew up with alcoholic grandparents and then transfered to foster care. By the time my dad came to his senses I was 11 and realized somewhere that I was not treated like how most children were.

    I never really made friends. Never really cared when when my mother came and went in my life. Didn't really care when both my parents would rather live in their drunken worlds than actually deal with their problems.

    It wasn't until I was 17 that not having friends or being ignored bothered me. I'm not sure what triggered it. maybe it was my sister, 3 years my junior with a boyfriend and multitudes of friends. Maybe it was my mother during my childhood always putting my sister first. Maybe it was my father that didn't seem to care what i did or where I went. Not even caring if I came home or not.

    Maybe it was the fact that one person had shown intrest in me. That one person didn't care that I wasn't very communitive. Or if I made conversation. They just accepted me for who I was.

    Maybe it was when that person left. Because I had finally shown an emotion. Because I had finally told someone that, no, I did not like how I was being treated. And once I did that, they left.

    And I realized that I was always going to be alone. And now, knowing how it felt to be accepted and acknowledged by a person, to have that feeling of belonging taken away so suddenly, I snapped.

    Cutting myself is a reminder. That people leave. That they don't care about me. Only about themselves. And when I start feeling like telling someone about my current mental state, or telling them about how I feel about how I'm being treated, or even when I want to cry or be angry, I cut.

    I have to remember : That I will always be pushed to that back burner. That I don't matter. There are millions of people in this world. There are hundred of people adding coments to this page right now.

    I. Do. Not. Matter.

    Every scar decorating my wrist. The fresh cuts oozing on my thigh. Every sleepless night spend crying.

    They do not matter.

    Because I am nothing.

    Friends. Family. Lovers. None of them matter. Nothing matters but the scars I created for every lie I've ever been told. Every promise that's been broken. Every emotion I've wanted to express but feared the backlash. I'm reminded every day by the pale ribbions criss-crossing my skin.

    Everytime I cut. I cry. Because I can't tell anyone about what I'm feeling. Because I'm sure they can't helo me.

    I am broken beyond repair.

  • Anonymous-141

    I am 45 year old. I bought a bottle of wine tonight( I don' t drink) and have been placing safty pins in my arm for the last few hours. I have a pretty little row.

    I have never done anything like this before. I am confused, angry and overwhelmed. I grew up in an abusive home, I left an abusive marriage and never felt like this.

    I have been in therapy for the last few years, since I escaped my marriage. Marriage therapy before this caused me a huge amount of pain. I was asked to see abusive behaviors from my ex's point of view. My feelings and reality were questioned. I now question myself constantly. I wonder every moment if I am crazy or delusional. I didn't do this before, the questioning.

    About a month ago my current therapist told me we would no longer discuss what happened. I have been feeling emotional out of control evry since. She was the only person I told my fears of being crazy to.

    I can no longer stand that feeling. I have resigned that I am ill. I need to stop these feelings. The pain helps. It helps so much.

  • Karen

    I am 53 and started cutting 6 months ago. I have dealt with chronic depression for 15 years. recently saw a therapist for 1st time,but never revealed that I started cutting. I have had thoughts of suicide,but never attempted it. I also hit my head on walls or with objects that are nearby. I usually self harm when I am in an uncontrollable fit of crying,feeling lonely,unloved,worthless. I believe all this started when I discovered my husband was cheating and lying about everything. i think I have stayed in the marriage because of all the years and BS we have been through. I feel extremely guilty afterwards because my brother died of cancer 4 months ago,and so very much wanted to live. Now my mom has cancer. How can I want out of life so bad,when others fight to keep theirs.

  • gabby

    I hit myself in the head pretty hard, it started when I was 10, I am now 17, I've never had many friends and I've grown up with my parents favoring my younger syblings over me. I've felt unwanted from a young age but I don't hate myself, but because no one likes me or wants me around I feel it is my fault. Why can't I be normal, it's my own fault I'm not normal. So I hit myself, it is satisfying somehow, and I'm usually left with a strong headache which I enjoy, it keeps the pain with me.

  • nadine

    i am 18 and i started cutting since i was 14, i attempted suicide 1 month ago, i just feel lonely, unwanted, worthless and ugly. many people at school tell me im ugly and it hurts so bad ans still i have to wake up everyday with a big smile on my face pretending like i am fine, my friend told me im crazy and the fact that he said it didnt hurt what hurted was what he said... i know im not normal but people dont have to remind me everyday :/ i feel alone and sometimes i just wish i disappeared

  • Help

    I had to put him in a place I know he didn't want to be. He hurts himself, drinks, yells, and saids Demoms are all around him. I has his mohter love him so much, yet I didn't relate to why he hurt hime self, and selft medacate. The more I read what others are going though, I found a better understanding. Where dose this feeliing rejected stop. He feels like no one cares, he lies to get though his day. He will do anything to get something to make the pain go away. I had him ammited, has a mother watching this 38 year old still going though this, I feel so lost, yet reaching out to him, in hopes I can make it better. I try to give up, but i find myself reaching back out. I fear he may hurt himself or hurt someone else, if not me. I know he loves me, but when he has these moments, its a fear I don't feel offten. I pray I did the right thing, and no this is not the first time I have look for help to help him. I know not how he feels, this pain his has, this hate for his father. Most of it has came out about how much he hates his father, and how all of what has happening to him is his flaut. Maybe our devorice hut hiim, he was only 17, I must take some blame for this. Am I the cause of some of this pain he has inside. I can't go back and fix what has happen. He was cutting himself at 12, and I never understood. Now at 57 I see what he has been going though, not protecting him, helping him, and most of all not understanding why. I love him, and it's takes my last breath I will not walk away. I will not leave him standing in his own blood waiting for him to end it one day, I don't understand this self-Injured thing that others do. But when I read about others , I have come to see why maybe they do it. When they cut, it takes there mind off of the real pain inside of them. I feel for anyone who has to do this to take away the pain, no matter what the reason is. I wish I was a doctor or a person who could work with those who are feeling this pain, and try to let them vet, so by them just knowing that someone dose care. I am a strander to most, maybe I should start a page where the ones who hurt can vet. I will hear your cry. I care for all of you that are going though this. I hope we can find each other. I will keep you posted.

  • Anonymous-142

    I've hurt and hit myself for years. I'm 47 and have terrible bursts of rages if I can I will leave a room to get away from other people and start hitting myself in the head orhitting my head on things to try and calm myself. I have to do it or I feel like I will just start running and screaming or go crazy. I will sometimes scratchpinch, dig my nails into my arms or legs. What helps the most is a wire hanger that I use to hit myself. I hit my arms, legs and back.i get so angry sometimes ,enraged if I drop something or I forget something I was supposed to do. If I'm at work and the computer freezes and it interrupts my work I get so angry I almost threw the screen .i wanted to put my head through it but there are so many people around I can't so I sit there gritting my teeth and digging my nails into my hands waiting for the stupid computer to work. What's weird is I don't just get mad over some things I should it's out of the blue little things that I get so enraged over that I just lose it.i have serious road rage screaming flipping people off I slammed my hands so hard on my steering wheel I cracked a bone in my hand. I can't calm down when I'm so enraged unless I hit myself.

  • Rudy

    Well I keep wantinv to hurt myself I startibg to stab my nails in my forearm and make a bunch nail marks the pains feels good it stays feeling bruised afterwards its going to get worse

  • Anonymous-143

    I promised my husband i would never cut again, i don't but i do find other ways to self harm that he does not know about.

    i find that when i am in "that mood" it is all i can think about. I am so full of anger at the time, i just want to pull my hair out scratch my face and scream. instead i find some subtle hidden way to hurt myself and that feeling goes away. it is an intense haterd i have toward myself that makes me do it.

  • Anonymous-144

    I am 15 years old and i self harm, it started at 14, at first it was an accident, i had a pencil in my hand and my dad was yelling at me telling me at the rate im going at i should be a hooker, my dad means well he was just mad, but i pushed the pencil hard on my ankle, after that i didnt really think about it, i still told my boyfriend, but then we got in some arguement and he punched a wall and i got mad so i started straching my wrist and it made a huge cut, and later on thats what i kept doing, it was problem after another and i couldnt take it, ive been sexually abused by a guy on my bus, my boyfriend attemted to cheat but even though he didnt it still hurts and i cant tell anyone, girls have been trying to mess up my life, and my reallationship, been called a b*tch and a sl*t by my friends and family, been bullied,.....to cut i usually used a penicl or my nails, until i found a blade, and then i used a piece of glass, their had been cuts on my thighs, stomach, wrist, and back, the ones on my wrist and thighs are scars but the rest arent, once the pain was so unbareable i couldnt breathe, and i have anxiety attacks alot at school, no one really noticed my scars i dont even hide them anymore, they either see them and dont care, or just dont see them, im ok now im trying to stop for my boyfriend, i dont wanna lose, i really feel like if i lose him, thats the end...hes a great guy, he loves me and takes care of me when no one does, but sometimes theirs just to much pain, and he cant handle it by himself...dont mean to tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, but i needed to tell someone...thank you

  • Anonymous-145

    I have been reading through these stories and it's truly heartbreaking what you all are going through, I have been able to relate to some of you. I remember as a child and teenager hurting myself, I wasnt suicidal but I needed to feel something differenT. I too am a survivor of abuse of various forms. I just want to say to those who feel like there's no hope, I promise there is. I have been through some major things in my life and I keep fighting to get better. Get help... If you need someone to talk to there is usually someone out there you can call! Get counselling, this has helped me, actually not the first 10 times but I just kept going back until sh*t started to make sense! Don't loose hope

  • emery

    I started self harming about a year back and after my mom found out I had stopped. I stopped about 4 months ago. I just went back to it about an hour ago. I thought it would make me feel better but now i just feel worse. I don't know why i did it. I was angry at someone and said and I dont know why i took the pain on myself I dont know why and i really regret it right now

  • Bipolar self harmer

    Mark Dombeck you are spot on with every single one of those reasons. As a person who self harms, has bipolar disorder, hates themselves, is overwhelmed by various emotions at times, and have suffered from physical and mental abuse in the past, I can honestly say that I have self harmed at some stage for each one of the six reasons and, sometimes, more than one of the reasons at a time. I appreciate the fact you have put this information in such clear and precise wording with such accuracy. Your write up is something I could show someone else that would explain everything that I would find hard to explain myself. Well done and thank you.

  • loonybin

    I am 29, and have had an eating disorder since the age of 12. In the last year i have resorted to hitting myself in the face to the point of severley bruising both cheekbones. I feel i do it to punish myself for being a bad person, and also the feeling of relief immediately after is very satisfying when you have little other pleasure in life. I just want to sleep forever, but am too scared to make it happen.

  • I know why

    I haven´t been abused. There is no mental illness. Everything is clear.

    I can´t take being alone I am full of passion. Most of my days, I am full of pheromones, but there is no partner. I can´t share my affection and joy with anyone. I´ve never even had a date. There is not an explanation for my deprivation. I am not shy, I don´t suffer from anxiety, I don´t keep my distance, I am not picky. I am smart and I never hesitate, nor am I rigid. I just don´t want to live for myself, alone. I take it for granted that my life was meant to be lonely. I hate my life. No, I am not full of self-pity. It is the craving that is unbearable. I want to destroy myself. One day I will, finally, but I made a vow. Until that day, I have to release my hate every now and then.

  • Zoran

    I enjoy punching my self in the legs. Its not something that I need to suppress or that I am in depression or something. I have great life with no complains. I just like feeling of that kind of pain. It also helps me to fall a sleep actually.

    I do this since age of about 14 ( now i am 30). Some of my friends, includion my brother at first think that its weard, but once they tried, some of them also like it.

  • Emma

    I am 26 years old and hitting myself is the only way I know how to get through pain in everyday life. Every time I feel like I have messed up, I go through this cycle of needing to be punished by hitting and belting myself. I have always felt I needed to self harm by hitting myself every time I mess up as it actually releases the tenison filling up. I need to get hurt in order to feel better. I have been sucidual also but getting consuling which really helps me at the moment. I was smacked as a girl for wrong things and this seemed to have stuck really much as now whenever I mess up, I start hitting myself in frustration as I know I need to be smacked.

    The only thing which is getting me out of this is when my counselor told me that with 'Jesus stripes we are healed' and now every time I feel I need to smack myself as I have messed up, I must remember that Jesus Christ died for me and you to have life in abundance so we don't need to hit ourselves or even cut, as Jesus has taken our punishment away on the cross so that we are free to live a happy and fulfilling life.

  • Anonymous-146

    I'm 21 years old and have self harmed from I was 14. Between the ages of 14 and 18 I experienced some pretty traumatic stuff and didn't really have anyone to talk to, so self harmed probably for each of the reasons mentioned in your write up. However when I stopped actively harming myself I started waking up with cuts and scars which I had no memory of. This has gradually got worse as time has went on, with the most recent being 4 days ago when I was brought to hospital and needed 22 stitches. Again I have no memory of any of this happening and in all honesty I don't feel down or depressed or in any way shape or form unhappy. In fact I'm actually pretty happy the majority of the time. I'm currently under investigation for a presumed personality disorder but even with this most of the mental health specialists I've seen look at me like I've 2 heads when I tell them that even though I've cut down to the muscle that I can't remember doing it and that I felt fine if not good before my memory stops. A little insight and help into understanding this would be great? Thanks

  • Pipper

    I am 30yrs and I haven been harming my self since 15.As a child I was abused several times by my stepfather & molested by my biological father I am married and have a child (from which I try to hide my cuts).I am currently living with my mom &stepdad because my mother is ill.He (my stepdad is now 87yrs) and I have to see him everyday and I have to act like nothing ever happened,a couple if months ago he asked me if I could give him oral sex "for good times sakes"and I was speechlees at that moment I felt like I was 7 again I felt dizzy I literally blanked out for a moment like it wasn't me he was talking to I didn't answer him I felt so helpless and lost I just left for work. Since then I have become an agressive person,I cry for no reason,I have moments where I blank out and don't remember where or who I am (all though it only last seconds) And my cutting has become worst.I feel suicidal and the only reason I haven't done anything to end my life is because I don't want to leave my 4yr old son alone. I don't know how much longer I can hold on but cutting helps me through the pain. I hurt so much inside I don't know what to do.Thank you for writting this,at least I know I am not alone.I hope that one day I can be normal.

  • Mark

    The above 6 don't really apply to me...

    I burn because the pain makes me feel angry.

    The anger overpowers the pain.

    The anger makes me feel strong and capable of doing anything.

    I think this stems from being bullied.
    But when I got angry and fought back it stopped.

    Knowing the cause - doesn't stop the symptoms...

  • Anonymous-147

    I am a 22 year old male who has been through a lot. I have been diagnosed with bi polar disorder Sence the age of 10. I have no support system of any kind. I have self harmed myself to the point that I've actually knocked myself out. I punch myself more then anything else. I'm self destructive,impulsive, and a heavy risk taker to its fullest extent. Consider myself to be intelligent above average depending on the task, challenge, or topic but bipolar is ruining me. Anxiety and lack of support prevents me from getting help. I either feel nervous to the point that I'm scared which prevents me from succeeding which if wasn't the case I would of succeeded or I rage to the point I do something stupid hate myself for it and do something worse. I hurt myself because I am so mad that I can't control myself that I want to hurt myself. The truth is me no being here on this earth would be more good then bad. Unless I get help. I realize my issues strong points and weaknesses but the government doesn't allow the poor to efford the nessicary help. My problems got worse when I became a alcoholic. I feel better drunk. More confident less stress. Though I realize it's not really helping. I am a otherwise hard worker the number one worker at any place of employment I just can't keep a job. I always quit and hurt myself for it. I no longer feel the verge to cry and do not have the balls to end this madness. Its disappointing and I try to convince myself daily that I could be better. I've been abuse as a child by 3 or 4 dif people for years and I've lost almost all who means the most to me through death. Back then I would have said this is my cause of harmful stress relieving actin but as time goes by I go through more and get worse. Advice would be helpful from anyone who reads this.

  • Anonymous-148

    I started cutting when I was in middle school, probably around age 11.

    I remember that self-harming had never crossed my mind until one day I was digging through a box of present wrapping supplies and I found a razor. I felt so excited because I felt like I "knew" what people did with razors, they were for cutting yourself, so I took it to the bathroom. I didn't like the feeling of the cut, but I got really excited when all of my blood was on the floor.

    After that I cut myself around 20 more times whenever I felt like seeing my own blood. Eventually my grandma (who was raising me at the time) found out, and told my counselor. My counselor told me that I cut myself because I was in pain and I told her I wasn't sure why I did it. Then she said I did it because I was numb and I was trying to feel something.

    I told her I just liked it, that I never did it when I was sad, I did it when I was excited. I've never used it to self punish because it feels more like a reward than a punishment.

    I am in college now and I still miss cutting myself, I never did it on any dangerous places, but the stigma around it is that I must be depressed if I do it. The only reason I stopped was because it gave me bad scars and that scares the people who love me and makes the people who don't know me judge me.

    I find myself practicing reckless behavior sometimes, in the hopes that I might "accidentally" hurt myself. I really do think cutting yourself can become addictive.

  • Don Tripp

    Hi I will be 27 years old in 2 days ive had a pretty rough life as far as I know I was never sexually abused and not too many times physically abused that I remember, but I was emotionally abused yelled at alot growing up, bullied in school aswell as a child sometimes other times id have lots of friends and no one would mess with me. At thirteen I got upset at my mom for some childish reason and I took off out the door an hour later it started getting dark so I made my way around my block back to the house after I had calmed down andbi saw a group of people 2 mexican teenagers maybe 15-17 and a girl I stopped to make friends or something I dont know but they walked up and started talking to me before I knew it im getting punched in the jaw than the other kid rushes off his bike and attacks me I tried to run but they grabbed my shirt and threw me to the ground and started to kick me, I was so scared and my uncle shows up out of nowhere and they run off and he takes me home, for years after that I was scared to go around groups of people or walk anywhere by myself or even with people sometimes than when I turn 17 im starting to get my berrings back and im at the lightrail going to meet a friend at his school he asked me to buy some weed so we can smoke but I hadnt got nome and there was a group of people 2 girls walked by and asked if I had a ciggarete I told them no bit that I was looking for some weed if they had some. So they invited me over and I went they jus asked me how much and by that time the train was coming so I was like if you guys wanna get on here ill get it other wise im good so they got on with me, the whole ride there actin like things are cool but I feel something is up I knew something was up so we make it to my stop and get off and they tell me lets walk right here so the cameras dont see us make the deal I agreed and when I made it there they atta ked me my hat flew off my head my money flew out my hand he punched me no.. haymakered me right in my nose not seeing it coming I didnt even have time to block or dodge or be ready for it at all and it hurt like hell, as he hit me his friends joined in and the senlcond I saw an opening I darted they didnt chase me they jus let me go, now ik 27 and I stay in the house as much as possible I play playstation 3 online most of the time or watch movies all day, I dont clean very often although I like to be clean but I hate cleaning up after other people like my gf and daughter, my girlfriend makes me so angry shes is very mentally abusive and she really knows how to bring my anger iut to a point of dangerousness. I dont even go to the store very often, or to birthday parties of family I hate driving in cars I constantly tell myself ill just stay home if im hime I wont die I wont get in a car accident I wont get attacked like home for me is all there is its the only place I feel safe. I feel so depressed most of the time and I also self inflict violence, I dont cut never been into that no my thing is punching and slapping my self, 2 days ago I was at a friend of mine and my gf pulled up and flipped out cause my friends a girl and she was trippin so I went out to her car and she hit me in my face like a man like really hard and I reacted and turned around and slapped her in the face which I shouldnt have right after that I fealt a feeling of hatred for life my self her just everythinf I started s reaming and slapping and punching my self in the face repeatadly than I went to my friends suv and started slamming the cery front side of my forhead on the hood of her suv atleast 5 times than I started calming down a little and walk to my house a few houses down once there we start arguing again and were on the porch her brother shows up and punches me in the mouth Nd I tackle him to the ground and were scuffling a little Nd he yells alright let go so I just let him go, than I sat the fir a second and started going crazy again ince again punching myself in the eyes and side of the head with bith hands, and screaming and yelling iut suicide threats, than my mom comes to get me cause im going crazy and were on our way to her house and I tell her I want to go back home but she tells me no because she dont want me there at the time and I was like no f that I wanna go back and I started slapping myself as hard as I can like ten times and she starts screaming at me and I hope out and take off running home (30 miles away) made it about 2 mins away and she picked me back up than im calm and talking to my mom and crying at times while were convoing. Now im fine as far as the rage I still be depressed and quick to be angry, and ive also been having serious headaches the last two days. Anyone van help me or give me some insight on my problems please help

  • Wonderwall

    When I was growing up, my Mother hit me almost daily, she also told me I was an idiot, stupid, ugly, and everything she could think of. As a teenager, I just expected her to hit me daily, after she did I retreated to my room and kept hitting myself after she did. I couldn't talk back to her, I couldn't scream or throw things, so I would slap myself and hit myself. It erased her slaps and punches. This was the only thing I could do to get some kind of relief from my emotions. I didn't tell many people, just one anorexic friend I had, and we only talked about it once and we kept each others secrets. Well I have not hit myself for like 15 years and three months ago I slapped myself and it felt good. Then last week I hit my face again. Yesterday I really let myself have it, I slapped myself, and slapped my legs, on three seperate occasions in the span of 30 minutes. I even said outloud " I feel better." Today I feel sad, and I feel ashamed. What is most worrying is that I feel like hitting myself again, but I know it isn't right. The conclusion that i've come to is that I need to speak to a therapist, and go for a run next time I feel so powerless, or ashamed. I never cut, I hate blood. If you are self- harming, please go see a therapist, I feel that is the best way to overcome the urge to self harm. Love. Me.

  • Jay

    I grew up in a divorced house. When I was seven my biological brother raped me, because our oldest step brothe molested him. I was physically mentally and verbally abused my the men in my family until 8th grAde. that year I noticed a friendhad started self harming. It seemed to work for her so I broke a razor and cut for the first time. After that I would shred my wrists to the point that I don't have individual scars it's all just one big patch of wrinkly skin. I cut on my thighs my sides, anywhere I could get blood to flow. I get these times where I just feel such intense agony it physicly hurts and I can't breathe, so I cut to relieve the pain., which sounds odd but helps. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and last year with moderate anxiety disorder. I was clean for three months, and today I relapsed, because I was triggered by a photo. And the thing is....it's so addictive that I can't stop. Therapy doesn't help, pills don't help. Cutting is the only thing that helps. And I don't know how to stop.