The Reality Of Self-Harm
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Health and Wellness

The Reality Of Self-Harm

Self-Harm is not "attention seeking"

The Reality Of Self-Harm

You see a person with cuts, burns, and scars on their body. It could be on their arms, wrists, legs, neck, shoulders, and stomach. Some automatically think that person is attention seeking. Some think that person is really hurting and they want to help them, but don’t know how. The person you see with scars on their body have a story, but some are so quickly to assume and judge.

According to, 1 in 5 females and 1 in 7 males engage in self injury. Approximately two million cases are reported annually in U.S., also according to

What you should know about people who self harm is that they are not attention seeking. In fact, they are screaming for help.

Types of self harm include cutting, but also burning, picking or reopening wounds, punching or hitting oneself, inserting objects into skin, bruising or breaking one’s bones, and certain forms of hair pulling. According to, experts believe that these behaviors are non-suicidal self injury, but suicide does qualify as a form of self harm.

Self harm occurs in many mental health disorders. It is especially a symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder, but also in eating disorders, depression, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse.

What we need to understand about self harm is that it’s not “attention seeking”. You’ve seen pictures of self harm maybe on Tumblr or just on the internet in general. The glamorization of self harm is not a surprised since many mental health conditions are also glamorized all over the internet.

Because of this, self harm is judged. People believe that adolescents and young adults hurt themselves like this for attention, but if you took a step back they are actually crying out for help.

As a former self harmer, I used to cut mostly when I was in high school. It was my way of punishing myself because I thought I did something wrong like getting a low grade on a test or quiz, not being good enough, and thinking I was failing at life. Cutting was my way of coping and wanting to feel a relief, but of course it was only temporary.

People who self harm have a story. It’s not right that we are so quickly to judge someone with scars on their body.

To those who still self harm, there’s help out there for you. There are people out there who understand what you’re going through. Those who are judgmental towards you don’t understand what you’re going through and they don’t know your story. You are beautiful and you are human. You are allowed to go through hard times, but self harm won’t help. Please seek help. You deserve a good life, you deserve to have fun, and most importantly you deserve to be happy. Easier said than done, stay strong and please be safe.

Help Resources

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1.800.273.TALK (273-8255)

For hearing and speech impaired with TTY equipment: 1.800.799.4TTY (779-4889)

Español: 1.888.628.9454

Crisis Text Line

TEXT "TWLOHA" TO 741-741

If you or someone you know maybe in danger and you are worried about them please call 911

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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