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Do I have to break the skin for it to be classed as self-harm?

38 Answers
Last Updated: 08/02/2021 at 8:25am
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Top Rated Answers
April 30th, 2015 8:52pm
Any activity that involves deliberate harm to oneself is classed as self harm. This can include actions from cutting, to bruising or even such things as deliberately overdosing. So no, it doesn't need to break the skin to be classed as self harm.
April 7th, 2015 1:17am
Writing as somebody who is a volunteer administrator of a world-wide board which supports people who self-harm, I think that the answer to this question is "no". The board takes the view that the reasons which lead to use of self-harm as a coping mechanism are more important than the physical details (breaking the skin or not, etc).
August 17th, 2015 10:48am
Of course not - anything that is intended to cause harm is considered self-harm. This includes scratching, clawing, bruising, burning, beating, breaking, cutting etc. Self-harm can come in many obscure forms that don't leave marks but still have the intention for harm.
November 30th, 2015 4:50am
No self harm can even be an act that doesn't even follow a stereotypical way of thinking of cutting deep into the skin. For example. The fact that someone is cutting themselves but only scraping, means they're are showing signs of a greater problem at work.
February 26th, 2015 7:27pm
No, you do not have to break your skin for it to be self harm. Self harm comes in many different forms.
May 21st, 2015 11:03pm
No, not at all. I believe it can even be classified as self-harm if you do something to hurt yourself emotionally as well. Any kind of action or gesture that results in you feeling any kind of pain, physical or emotional, can be classed as self-harm.
June 3rd, 2015 7:10am
No, there are many ways to self harm, cutting is not the only way, for example bulimia also tends to be a form of self harm, digging fingernails into your skin, for me the most common one i used to do was smack my head against things, i never broke skin but i ended up with bumps and lumps everywhere. if you are doing something knowingly against your well being in the hope the pain from inside will become more physical that is self harm to me.
June 4th, 2015 11:34pm
If you do something with the intention of harming yourself, then I'd say it's self harm. Even if it doesn't break the skin.
June 23rd, 2015 9:07am
No, self-harm is anything that is meant to harm you, but not kill you. It can be internal harm, bruises and other things. Any kind of self-harm is bad, and as long as you hurt yourself it is classified as as self-harm.
October 26th, 2015 2:32am
Absolutely not. The literal definition of self-harm is the harm of oneself. It doesn't have to do with whether or not you break the skin.
April 28th, 2015 11:10pm
No. Not at all. If you are harming yourself in any way then you are obviously feeling crappy about something. Try talking to a therapist.
May 22nd, 2015 7:00am
No, any attempt to hurt yourself in any way, may it cause damage to your skin or not, counts as self harm
July 27th, 2015 5:57pm
No, self harm is any harm that you inflect on purpose on yourself. No matter, if it barely leaves a mark or it is a bleeding wound.
October 29th, 2015 7:40pm
Not at all, anything meant to hurt yourself is considered self harm, self-harm means hurting yourself on purpose. It can be in many different ways like bruising, beating, punching, cutting, etc.
November 9th, 2015 11:56am
No way! You do not have to "break the skin" for it to be classed as self-harm. Any way you are doing harm to yourself is considered self-harm.
December 14th, 2015 3:44pm
No you do not have to break the skin for it to be self harm. Anything you do on purpose to harm yourself is considered self harm.
January 4th, 2016 9:13pm
No you don't. Self harm is defined as any act where you intentionally harm yourself. It can be from as large as causing gashes or breaking bones to as little as scratching the skin or isolation. But no matter what it is, you should always seek help if you are harming yourself
January 19th, 2016 6:22am
Self harm is still self harm, no matter how big or small the wound is. Don't feel as though you're any less because you don't break the skin
March 29th, 2016 6:58am
No not necessarily. If the person is causing some sort of injury to themselves as a coping method or self-punishment, than it is not healthy and the person should seek support for better coping techniques. Self-harm can include cutting, scratching, biting, picking, burning, beating, and any other form of self-injury.
June 6th, 2016 10:12pm
No, definitely not. Everything you could do with the intention of hurting yourself is self harm. Please take care.
August 29th, 2016 10:15am
Slef-harm is anything that causes injuries to yourself it doesn't mean you have to cut of burn yourself it's as simple as doing things with a purpose of harming ones self
October 10th, 2016 5:47pm
Anything that includes inflicting pain onto yourself in any form can be classified as self harm. This can be physical (from a scratch to breaking skin) to emotional (neglecting your emotional needs on purpose). Self harm is anything that harmful that you put upon yourself.
October 10th, 2016 9:55pm
Yes! Anything that you do to yourself that physically or mentally harms you can be classified as self harm. Please stay safe!
November 23rd, 2015 12:34am
you've harmed yourself mighty enough just by considering it,,try talking to a trusted listener who won't judge. Scaring yourself will only brand you.
January 19th, 2016 12:29pm
No, If you are doing anything that is intended to harm yourself whether it be scratches or cuts it IS self harm
April 5th, 2016 1:43am
no, any way shape or form of harming yourself for that purpose is self harm. stay clean love your beautiful/handsome and worth so much
April 5th, 2016 4:38am
There are many forms of self harm that do not break the skin, such as hitting, pinching, hair-pulling, and in some cases even biting. If it causes any form of harm, is intentional, and does not break skin, it can be classified under self-injury, a subsection of self-harm, thus making it self harm.
June 14th, 2016 6:30pm
No you do not have to "break the skin." Self harm is whenever you hurt your self in any way. Even if you hurt yourself, but don't break the skin it is self harm.
July 12th, 2016 12:12pm
No. First of all you don't have to self harm and to think about "how can i be classed as self harm". I mean, why do you want to be classed as self harm? Self harm is a serious thing!
January 30th, 2017 9:03pm
Self harm is something that harms you. It can be cutting, it can be behaviors, Any time you do something with the intention of self-harm, it can be considered self-harm,