• Hi. It’s great to see you. Welcome!

    Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life. Amongst our membership there is a wealth of expertise that has been developed through having to deal with mental health issues.

    We are an actively moderated forum with a team of experienced moderators. We also have a specialist safety team that works extra hard to keep the forum safe for visitors and members.

    Register now to access many more features and forums!

Want to learn



New member
Feb 9, 2020
Far too often in my head
While I suffer depression and anxiety I don’t self harm, but my child does. While I’ve had overwhelming thoughts of ending it all, I’ve never felt the urge to self harm in a non permanent way. I want to understand this ailment. I especially want to better understand, in general terms of self harming behavior and not necessarily specific to my child, how these impulses develop in the brain and what more I can do to help.

Putting it right out there I’m scared. I’ve dealt with my own mental illness for many years. While it’s never “cured”, it is in remission more than not, and when not I deal with it. This, however, is my child. I don’t want her to hurt, emotionally, mentally, or physically. I’m here for her. I listen. I support. I hope I can do more. I want to be able to do more.

I hope reading your posts and sharing your experiences will help me better help her.



Well-known member
Jan 5, 2011
From what little I know ( I have self harmed in the past), there are as many reasons for self harming as there are people and the reasons can change between one set of self harm and the next. It is addictive though and does work in the short term. Of course in the long term it doesn't work and you need to repeat it to get the same effect as before. Like all addictions, it can lead to increasing it to get the same feeling of relief.

It is not attention seeking which often is said and in fact many people who self harm hide it from others and don't seek attention at all. Its not necessarily a cry for help and not a suicidal intent mostly. Occasionally its linked to that, but commonly it isn't.

As for your daughter, can you get her into therapy before this becomes a lifetime habit.


Well-known member
Jan 7, 2020
First I want to say thank you for trying to understand, I feel this is something that too many people don't even try to do and it can end up causing more harm & making the person who is self harming want to isolate and hide from everyone even more.
I don't know exactly how these urges form but I can just speak from my experience. I think for most people who self harm it is a quick way to put intangible pain, stress, anxiety etc into a tangible form. Some people see it as punishing themselves because they think they deserve it. For some including myself it is a quick way to feel real, and however dark this may be, I simply just like to do it
I have a friend who struggled with it being an addiction more than I have, for her I think it was the routine aspect of it, it just became a go-to tool to shut the brain off for a little while and drift away. I do hope for your child that she can find the root cause of the desire to do this, before it becomes an addiction. But I do think it does not always become an addiction for everyone