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Can you please explain self harm to me?

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Dazed & Confused

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Can you please explain self harm to me (from someone who self harms)?

I have a similar diagnosis to many people here (I have severe depression and anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder) and I have never self harmed or felt the urge to.

Why do people self harm? I don't understand why you would want to hurt yourself when you're already in pain.

I have heard the explanation that self harming takes psychological pain away or something like that but it still doesn't make sense to me.

Also, why is it like an addiction? Does it produce endorphins?
 
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Ele123

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I don't really understand it either. I don't do it but my stepdaughter did. It wasnt something u heard about when I was a teenager ( definitely none of my circle of friends done it) i never heard of it until my stepdaughter was doing it.
 
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Fairy Chihiro

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I used to self harm. I'm trying to stay away from it now. I guess it used to kind of make me feel better because I used it as a way to deal with my anger and depression. Instead of finding a healthy way to deal with my emotions, I took the anger out on myself by hurting myself. I also hated myself and didn't want to be me. Since I was so annoyed with being me, I thought hurting myself would be a way for me to handle the whole situation.

I remember when I first started to self harm, I told myself I would only hurt myself once. But then I started self harming for years, and also tried taking my own life several times. I guess most of it has to do with all the problems I went through in life. I believe this is what caused all of my depression and self hatred. Healing from it isn't easy, but I'm trying.
 
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Dazed & Confused

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I don't really understand it either. I don't do it but my stepdaughter did. It wasnt something u heard about when I was a teenager ( definitely none of my circle of friends done it) i never heard of it until my stepdaughter was doing it.
None of my friends did either. I didn't find out about it until I was 36, from a friend with Bipolar Disorder. She had scars all over her arms and legs. She is a wealthy, attractive person with seemingly everything you could want in life.
 
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Ele123

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None of my friends did either. I didn't find out about it until I was 36, from a friend with Bipolar Disorder. She had scars all over her arms and legs. She is a wealthy, attractive person with seemingly everything you could want in life.
I think it's a fairly recent thing as I say it definitely didnt happen when I was a teenager, definitely not in my high school anyway , plus I knew people from other schools and it wasnt happening there either
 
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SadRainbow

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I think there are various reasons people self harm. I used to do it because I hated myself - I wanted to hurt myself, damage myself. It never became a long term habit for me though because I found that after I did I'd feel sorry for myself. I didn't feel I deserved any compassion and I worried that other people might see the marks and feel bad for me or try to get me help. I wanted to keep my self hate completely hidden, to suffer in silence and alone. I switched to mentally beating myself up instead. That hurt a lot more and was more effective for me.

On the plus side I don't do either now 🙂
 
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Ele123

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I think it's more a female thing. I think my stepdaughter started it cos her friends were doing it. None of the boys done it, only the girls. Obviously someone gave her the idea. At her school it was a big thing but only amongst the girls for some reason.
 
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Dazed & Confused

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I think there are various reasons people self harm. I used to do it because I hated myself - I wanted to hurt myself, damage myself. It never became a long term habit for me though because I found that after I did I'd feel sorry for myself. I didn't feel I deserved any compassion and I worried that other people might see the marks and feel bad for me or try to get me help. I wanted to keep my self hate completely hidden, to suffer in silence and alone. I switched to mentally beating myself up instead. That hurt a lot more and was more effective for me.

On the plus side I don't do either now 🙂
It sounds awful. I'm happy for you that you don't do it anymore.

I cut my finger badly a couple of weeks ago while I was making dinner and it was so painful. I don't understand why anybody would want to do that to themselves, to inflict that much pain on themselves. I don't understand being addicted to pain. It sounds like self punishment to me.
 
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SadRainbow

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It sounds awful. I'm happy for you that you don't do it anymore.

I cut my finger badly a couple of weeks ago while I was making dinner and it was so painful. I don't understand why anybody would want to do that to themselves, to inflict that much pain on themselves. I don't understand being addicted to pain. It sounds like self punishment to me.
It was definitely self punishment for me. I think for other people it can be a way to release strong negative emotions - giving them a physical form that you can then put cream and bandage on and it then heals. You do get endorphins too. Unfortunately it can become addictive and extreme.
 
Littlevoice89

Littlevoice89

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I used to self harm, I am a female in her 30s and it’s not something I just did as a teenager. It’s not a trend! It’s a way of coping with extreme overwhelming emotions. Young people do it, old people do it, males, females and everyone in between can do it.
For me I did it for two reasons, one as said above to deal with overwhelming emotional pain (a distraction) and two as a way of bringing myself back from dissociation. I have cPTSD. I haven’t self harmed for quite a few months now but the intrusive thoughts around doing it are constant. Please, if anyone reading this knows someone who self harms, do don’t treat them like they are attention seeking or anything similar, sure it may be a cry for help but that’s not the same thing. If someone is intentionally hurting them self then they must be experiencing a lot of emotional pain. Why one person going through psychological pain would do it when another doesn’t, I do not know. But it’s not something that just school girls do for attention! I’m not saying anyone was implying this but just incase I thought I would make my view clear. Appreciate it may be different from others.
 
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Dazed & Confused

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I used to self harm, I am a female in her 30s and it’s not something I just did as a teenager. It’s not a trend! It’s a way of coping with extreme overwhelming emotions. Young people do it, old people do it, males, females and everyone in between can do it.
For me I did it for two reasons, one as said above to deal with overwhelming emotional pain (a distraction) and two as a way of bringing myself back from dissociation. I have cPTSD. I haven’t self harmed for quite a few months now but the intrusive thoughts around doing it are constant. Please, if anyone reading this knows someone who self harms, do don’t treat them like they are attention seeking or anything similar, sure it may be a cry for help but that’s not the same thing. If someone is intentionally hurting them self then they must be experiencing a lot of emotional pain. Why one person going through psychological pain would do it when another doesn’t, I do not know. But it’s not something that just school girls do for attention! I’m not saying anyone was implying this but just incase I thought I would make my view clear. Appreciate it may be different from others.
Hi Littlevoice89,

No one here is saying that people who self harm do it for attention. I promise you.
 
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StillDepressed

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I suffer from severe depression / anxiety and my symptoms come in cycles. My depression is sometimes not sadness, but emptiness, an empty abyss that I'm drowning in. That emptiness has no feelings.
SH is a way to feel, a way to feel anything, feeling hurt, that pain is better than feeling nothing. I first self-harmed at 7 and it went unnoticed until I was 21 (and that was only because I was crying/screaming out for help by then). Now I understand depression more I don't tend to SH, but sometimes I want to

Also I'm male and in my 30s
 
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Dazed & Confused

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I suffer from severe depression / anxiety and my symptoms come in cycles. My depression is sometimes not sadness, but emptiness, an empty abyss that I'm drowning in. That emptiness has no feelings.
SH is a way to feel, a way to feel anything, feeling hurt, that pain is better than feeling nothing. I first self-harmed at 7 and it went unnoticed until I was 21 (and that was only because I was crying/screaming out for help by then). Now I understand depression more I don't tend to SH, but sometimes I want to

Also I'm male and in my 30s
Thank you for sharing. My depression is like that. Most of the time I can't feel my emotions. I feel numb and I can understand that horrible feeling of emptiness.
 
Racer

Racer

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there are many forms of self harm, sometimes it happens before i even realise what i am doing. i think i am getting better at recognising emotional flashbacks and suicide ideation, i am trying to learn to stop the self harm
 
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Dazed & Confused

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there are many forms of self harm, sometimes it happens before i even realise what i am doing. i think i am getting better at recognising emotional flashbacks and suicide ideation, i am trying to learn to stop the self harm
I have a habit of self neglect where I don't shower or clean my teeth or eat properly or look after myself. I have wondered if that is a form of self harm because I'm not being kind to myself.
 
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