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Are you open about the fact you self-harm, or do you hide it?

67 Answers
Last Updated: 04/17/2018 at 10:14pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jessica McDaniel, LPC, LCPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have been practicing cognitive behavioral psychotherapy since 2007 with a diverse group of adult clients with various diagnoses, all races, and socioeconomic classes.

Top Rated Answers
October 30th, 2014 12:09am
I only tell the people I trust, and the people I know who won't judge me. There are a lot of people who think you're "Crazy" or you do it just for "attention seeking". That isn't true at all, and it can be very frustrating when people say things like this. That's the reason why I don't tell everybody that I self-harm. Itsn't bad to tell people, as long as you trust them. Of course, itsn't good to hide it, because self-harm can be dangerous sometimes
- Expert in Self-Harm
November 20th, 2014 11:14am
At this point in my life, having stopped harming, I am open about my history of self-harm. Because my scars are not ever going to be invisible, I decided I would not restrict myself to a life of being fully covered 24/7. My process to being open about myself harm took many years, but by now I am comfortable (most of the time) wearing whatever is appropriate for the weather. I was first open to my mother. Then to a counselor. Four years later I was open to my mother again and this time I didn't resume hiding it completely. We began discussing it in general terms every once in a while for a year or two. Our discussions became more up-to-date when I needed her help getting medical attention at one point, and we are even more open now. I also told my sister and other mother around that time. I told two friends as well that year in college. The next year I told my grandparents. That fall I began wearing short sleeves and in essence came out to everyone. There are still situations in which I cover up: work, professional settings, new settings I'm nervous about, any new-looking scars are covered, and if I am around children. I hope this is helpful. I know how hard it is to talk about and be open about self-harm. I do think though, that over time and through recovery, it is common and very possible for people to feel more open and comfortable about acknowledging to others (everyone, or a small group) what we've gone through and experienced and struggled with and recovered from.
April 8th, 2015 12:54pm
At first, I hid it as much as I could. Now that I no longer have fresh cuts on my arms, I don't bother hiding it unless going for important interviews. It's because I want the people around me to know that self-harm was part of my life. If you're not okay with it, then don't be my friend. Don't even talk to me. It's also a way I use to tell strangers who self-harm that, hey, you're not alone.
December 11th, 2015 7:44am
A few of my friends know. I've never spoke to my parents about it, and I don't really want to either. I know that's not positive, but it scares me a lot. So, I'd say I do hide mine to an extent.
November 6th, 2014 11:21pm
I tend to hide any self-harm I do - it's something private that I do and it doesn't concern other people about whether or why that I do it, and them knowing doesn't change anything.
October 27th, 2014 6:25pm
I am proud to say that I am three months clean form self harm. It doesn't sound like much, but that's three months that I haven't even thought about picking up a blade and harming myself. When I self harmed I was very secretive about it. I didn't want anyone to know, and even today, I don't want anyone to know. I don't tell people I did it, and I think the only people who know are my close family (mom, dad, brother) who only know because my mom noticed my scars. (This incident happened a few years ago). Since I promised my family that I quit self harming a couple of years ago when they found out, I didn't tell them that I sometimes had the urges to cut. I don't feel like it is a topic I want to discuss with anyone.
November 11th, 2014 7:19pm
I no longer self-harm, but when I did, I hid it. If people seen my cuts, they'd always give me dirty looks or make me feel worse because I hurt myself. Sometimes my family would see it and ask me why and I could never tell them because my life was just a giant secret. I don't think they cared enough or they would have tried to stop me from doing it. My scars faded a lot now, so they aren't as noticeable, I always did it on my thighs so no one could see it unless it was summer. When I see people with fresh cuts or scars, I just want to tell them I'm there for them, but I never say anything.
November 3rd, 2014 7:15am
I used to self-harm. I hid it, but I know now that I shouldn't have. There were so many people around me who could have and would have gladly helped me.
November 2nd, 2014 11:16pm
I'm in the middle of the two. I sometimes let people know that I self-harm, to show that there are worse things in the world. But I also try to hide it because my mom threatened to take away all my shaving razors if I cut myself again. So in the meantime, I proceed with The Butterfly Project.
November 3rd, 2014 10:37am
Me personally way back, i was very closed up about the fact that i self harmed. It was a very unhealthy lifestyle and very painful and lonely. I would encourage anyone to get the help they need when they are self harming though. I know its seems as if you are alone, but you are really not!
November 9th, 2015 8:58pm
I am open with the fact that I used to selfharm. Its means that I went through a war, and I have scars to prove it. People may look disgusted because I have scars, but I am not ashamed of my battle scars.
December 24th, 2015 1:14am
I hide it. I don't want people to tell me I'm an 'attention whore' or an 'emotional freak'. I don't want them to think of a diffrent me whilst I'm still the same. I don't want them to treat me diffrently and show fake empathy. I'm scared if people will know they'll only make it worse by giving me dirty looks and starting with bullying again. It's just too private for meand if people know they'll use my self harming as a weakness.
September 27th, 2014 12:54am
When I used to self harm, I would definitely hide it. My parents would freak if they saw scars on my body. I would self harm in places like my thighs and hips. I've been clean for quite a long time and now I feel like I can talk about the fact i self harmed. I won't shout it out to the world or anything but when I'm asked I don't hesitate to say I did because now i've overcome it.
October 27th, 2014 3:43am
I used to hide it from everyone all of the time. When I stopped self-harming, I would be so self concious about what everyone around me would think. As time went on, I stopped caring about what others thought and saw it as strength. I saw it as a reminder that even when times were tough and even though I self-harmed, I stopped and got over all of the negative things in my life. :)
March 31st, 2015 11:01pm
I definitely hide it! I don't want to worry anyone ever and it's something that I don't really want to bring into my school or family life so right now I think there is only one person that knows and it was purely by accident. However, whatever decision someone makes regarding letting people know is perfectly okay as long they are comfortable :)
October 23rd, 2014 8:40pm
I hide it, but people see my scars. They ask me and when they do I lie. They know I'm lying, and they care. They ask me to stop but I cant..
October 24th, 2014 5:48am
I hid the fact that I self-harmed for a very long time. I never opened up about it to anyone. It was a deep secret.
November 13th, 2014 8:30pm
I hide it because otherwise my friends or family would be worried, I think they wouldn't understand.
November 16th, 2014 1:38pm
At first, I tried to hide the fact that I used to harm myself. And then, I started talking to a friend of mine. She gave me advice on how things should be and it doesn't have to be like this. That's when I started coming online for free therapy or at least anonymous people to hear me out. Thanks to 7 Cups Of Tea, I found a great meaning towards life itself and started seeing my life in a new perspective.
December 9th, 2015 1:57pm
I am not open about my self'-harm at all. A lot of people in my school have gone through it and it the school starts some pretty terrible rumors. I do tell people I am super close with though because I know they don't judge me. Also if someone comes out to me then most of the time I tell them I understand since I have been through it myself.
December 13th, 2015 8:32pm
I don't cut myself often but if i do, i tell my best friend. I hide it for a while and then i stop as soon as they are scars... sometimesi have moments that i do talk about it. like right now.
April 17th, 2018 10:14pm
It depends on the person. If you’re close to the person and you know they won’t judge you then you should’ve open about it. You should also be open if you want to get help.
October 26th, 2014 7:08pm
I am open to a point. I don't try to make it a habit to tell everyone I meet, but if the question arises, I don't like to lie. Some of my friends know, my parents, and my boyfriend does too. My goal is really to hide it, but I just kind of started opening up a little.
October 26th, 2014 10:25pm
I openly talk about it about with people whom I trust, or if I'm anonymous. Especially if I'm in a situation where sharing my experiences can help others, I do so.
October 27th, 2014 3:07pm
I was open to being honest about my situation when I was asked, but I didn't self-harm in a way that would show visible scars, nor did I tell anyone without them asking. It's down to each individual for what makes them feel comfortable
October 30th, 2014 10:22am
I'm open about the fact that I used to self harm, but I'd never glorify it, or justify IN MY MIND being open about self harming whilst doing do.
November 10th, 2014 10:06pm
Luckly I don't do that anymore, but I used to hide it. Nobody has ever seen my scars or my cuts and that has many reasons. The first one is that I am a very private person and I don't like people asking me personal questions. Second of all, I've always been araid people would think I "do it for attention" and least I was (and unfortunately still am) very ashamed of it, even though I know I shouldn't be.
November 4th, 2014 1:45pm
I don't say it at the first meting, like "Hello, I'm Sasha, look at my cuts!" I share this with someones who are close to me and who cares. It's an individual thing, but for me it's a taboo to show it to someone who didn't ask.
November 12th, 2014 7:43pm
If i feel a person is not close enough to be shared things like these i tend to hide them. If it is a Psychiatrist whom i am getting consulted or a close family member or friend. It is not okay to hide it from them as you will harm them by not trusting them than harming yourself.
November 13th, 2014 1:56am
I hide it, though if someone asks, I pull them aside and explain. I do know some people that don't hide it though, so if you make that choice, you aren't alone.