This is the topic to discuss self harm in all its forms. Do not post anything that either attacks self harm or self harmers, especially if it shows a lack of knowlege on the subject. Also, please don't post stuff like "I am an emo and I cut myself"; this just shows staggering ignorance on the subject. If you have any questions that are not covered in the below FAQ, then post them in the thread.
Q) What is self harm?
Self harm, or self injury, is the act of deliberately inflicting pain and injury on yourself. There are many ways in which self harmers do this; cutting, burning, scratching with nails, hitting with hands or objects, overdosing, imbibing toxic substances, pulling out hair. Self harm is rarely done with suicidal intent and should not be lumped in with suicidal injuries.
Q) Are self harmers attention seekers?
No. Self harmers generally feel ashamed of their injuries and seek to hide them by covering up cuts with long sleeves and trousers, hiding the objects they hurt themselves with and inventing excuses for injuries. Self harm is a secret thing and many sufferers will not actively seek help. Many believe that what they are doing is necessary for their mental wellbeing and therefore don't believe that they need to be helped.
Q) Why do they do it?
Poor self esteem and warped self image, caused by bullying or abuse, is a common motive. Suffers often feel as tho the physical pain caused by the self inflicted injuries is easier to deal with than the emotional pain inside their heads. Many feel a release when they hurt themselves; also, part of it can either be a pleasurable feeling as endorphins are released, or as a means of punishing themselves for real or imagined crimes committed. Many self harmers also abuse drugs or alcohol, or suffer from an eating disorder.
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