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Can self harm be considered a coping mechanism?

36 Answers
Last Updated: 09/05/2018 at 12:28am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Trishna Monplaisir, LMSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

We are here to advocate, empower and provide compassion to individuals who need help.

Top Rated Answers
August 16th, 2016 12:35pm
In my personal point of view it can. Self harm can make your head clear again, can help you to focus or to calm down.
October 6th, 2014 4:07am
Yes, but it isn't a healthy one, it's the same as abusing alcohol or drugs. It's only a temporary, and very risky, solution.
October 24th, 2014 8:52pm
Yes, Self harm is a way of handling might not be the best one for reasons such as: 1-taking care of wounds/ posible infections, 2- posibility off it turning into an addiction, 3-negative perception by some/seen as suicidal behavior, and some others I can't remember now. Still its important that you try to not blame yourself or be too hard on yourself for thing, often we are just trying to deal with things the best way we can and self harm at some point seemed like a good option. Yet I do recomend that you try and consider some healthier mechanisms for coping, we are here for you and you can reach out to us whenever you want to help you find alternatives or a way to address the issue that makes you feel the need to self harm.
October 31st, 2014 11:05am
It is a coping mechanism, but not a good one. While it helps you cope at the time, it is not a long term fix and it is dangerous and addictive. There are thousands of better ways to manage your feelings.
October 28th, 2014 6:16am
Technically yes, it is. But it is a negative coping mechanism. There are positive and negative coping mechanisms.
April 11th, 2015 12:05pm
Yes, however, it is a destructive coping mechanism, which means that it doesn't solve the conflict. Another constructive coping mechanism would be talking to a listener on 7 Cups of Tea!
October 29th, 2014 8:40pm
It can be, but it shouldn't be. It's not healthy for the obvious reasons of infection and scarring.
November 9th, 2014 12:00pm
Yes, some people consider self harm to be a coping skill. It is not a very healthy coping skill and I believe those that self harm should begin seeking more effective coping skills.
November 10th, 2014 3:01am
I used to think self harm was a coping mechanism, but it wasn't a good one. I feel like self harm is basically like drinking or doing drugs to cope. We are still inevitably harming our bodies and the problem still lingers in the back of our minds. I think a coping mechanism can be either negative or positive. We just choose which ones we should use.
November 12th, 2014 5:19am
It is a coping mechanism because you are using self-harm to repress or express an emotion that is difficult to process. But it is a temporary and dangerous way to cope. While other coping activities might seem almost impossible to do during a time of distress (ex: call a friend, paint your nails, go for a walk), give the activities a chance. It can help more than you know.
November 13th, 2014 1:45am
It is a coping mechanism. However, it is a bad one. Harming yourself helps in the short term, but in the long term it is destructive.
November 13th, 2014 8:47pm
There is always a reason why someone starts self harming - in most cases youc an say it works as a coping mechanism, some people can't deal with, or express stress, anger or other negative feelings and find help in self harm. That's why it's hard for self harmers to stop, there is a reason why they do it and one has to find another way to deal with those feelings.
November 13th, 2014 11:06pm
It can be considered a coping mechanism but personally I feel there are more ways to cope, and it is okay to ask for help if you need help, You are not alone!.
November 14th, 2014 10:50am
It is often used as a coping mechanism, but by no means is it a healthy or positive one like those that are encouraged by mental health professionals. It is not technically one because it doesn't work or benefit you in the long run.
November 14th, 2014 11:24pm
Yes, self-harm is considered as a coping mechanism, but it is wrong to self harm, there are many other alternatives to cope with stuff without hurting oneself
November 15th, 2014 3:37pm
Yes. Slef harm can be a very unhealthy oping mechanism, however, which is why here at 7 cups we can provide self help guides and techniques that will lead you to better coping mechanisms.
March 21st, 2015 1:46pm
Yes, it is a coping skill, but it is unhealthy. Explore healthier alternatives such as squeezing ice cubes (to provide pain) or writing out your feelings for a release. There many others, and feel free to talk to me if you want to know more!
April 16th, 2015 6:50pm
Yes. Self-harm is a coping mechanism, but a really bad one. No one should have to through that. There are alternative ways of coping, though. Find something that works for you and keeps your mind off things.
April 26th, 2015 10:31am
In a way, yes. In another way, no. Self harm is done as a distraction. People are afraid to feel the emotions they feel about a particular thing so instead of facing them, they distract themselves with self-harm. Its more of a distraction, rather than a way of coping :)
April 29th, 2015 3:33am
It can. Often times people who self harm are trying to find a way to deal with things that are happening to them, or attempting to deal with emotions (or even the lack of emotional feeling).
May 22nd, 2015 10:31am
Self harm is definitely a coping mechanism! It's a way of handling painful or negative things that happen in our life, which makes it a coping mechanism. The trouble with self harm is that it's a negative coping mechanism, which means it doesn't make the situation any better. It adds more overall pain and difficulties to your situation. That's why, when you're recovering from self harm, it's so important to not just stop self harming but to also replace self harm with a positive coping mechanism that helps you in the situations that make you want to self harm.
July 14th, 2015 10:35pm
Self-harm for most people is a coping mechanism. A way of dealing with the built up anger, any hate, memories and things out of their control. It's used for a lot of drastic reasons that mostly lead to a coping mechanism. Some people just enjoy pain sometimes.
July 21st, 2015 2:03pm
Self harm is considered a negative coping mechanism, try replacing it with a much more positive way of coping.
August 25th, 2015 9:46pm
Self harm is a coping mechanism, yes. However, it is not a good one. Reason being is that it tends to add a ton of problems to what you are going through, rather then making them dissapear. For example) hiding scars, feeling the pain, guilt from lying about the marks, and many more
November 3rd, 2015 5:45am
Self-harm is should be considered a coping mechanism, most cases of self harm are not suicidal but an attempt to have control over the pain they may feel. However not all self harm is in the persons self control genetic factors can also play a part such as Lesch–Nyhan syndrome in cases such as this it becomes an uncontrollable body function. Self-harm is destructive but it doesn't change the fact that it is a method of coping with emotions distress.
June 7th, 2016 2:58pm
No? Yes and no, dies it help people cope, yes, is it a good coping mechanism and is it reliable, no. Not at all.
June 13th, 2016 12:45am
Yes, but I don't think it's a healthy coping mechanism. I think there are healthier ways to cope, all you have to do is find them.
September 6th, 2016 12:27pm
Well yes, but it isn't healthy. It's one of the worst coping mechanisms, but I see why people do it.
October 11th, 2016 7:17pm
Yes it is considered a coping mechanism, but not one anyone should consider. It takes alot for someone to want to turn mental pain into physical pain but you have to remember that mental pain will go, but physical scars will not.
January 17th, 2017 9:32am
Yes self-harm is a coping mechanism although you should not use this yourself as a coping mechanism. There is a difference between mental and physical pain, mental pain can be curable most of the times, but scars aren't.