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Does cutting for only a few months and stopping make me any less of a self-harmer?

207 Answers
Last Updated: 03/18/2022 at 3:48am
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Tara Davis, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology


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Top Rated Answers
June 23rd, 2016 6:36am
No. You are a self harmer, you have harmed yourself on purpose. Once or a thousand times. yet, you do not need to identify yourself as that. it's in your past.
July 31st, 2016 11:06am
Something that stands out in this question for me is that it's about being *a self-harmer* (as opposed to being about the action of self-harming). What does it mean to you to 'be a self-harmer'? How do you feel about the idea of 'being a self-harmer'? Is it something you want to be seen as or want not to be seen as? It may or may not be something you value - If it is, I'd try to think about other ways you could create an identity for yourself and express yourself. I used to self harm, and I have scars all over my left arm. I'm not ashamed or proud of these scars, but them being there does have a potential impact for the rest of my life. I cover them sometimes because I don't want to wear this part of my past on my sleeve when meeting new people; I am happy to open up about these things, but I don't want it to be the first thing people see of me as I don't want to talk about it all the time and I don't want people to misunderstand them. The reality is that this can be a real pain sometimes. For example, on a hot day when I want to wear short sleeves. Fortunately, since I have stopped they are becoming less visible over time and have got to a stage where most people do not notice them unless they look carefully. I hope this has been helpful in some way, and I wish you luck with the rest of your journey!
October 22nd, 2016 7:46am
That's amazing that you stopped! You used to self-harm and now you do not. We are not the identity of our pasts, we are the identity of who we are now and of who we want to be.
June 7th, 2017 4:08pm
There‘s no such thing as “more” of a self-harmer or “less” of a self harmer. Self harming is a delicate issue that needs to be handled carefully. And, i hope that you did stop self-harming. If Yes, then congratulations and if No, Keep fighting. We are all there for you.
November 12th, 2017 2:45pm
I personally don't really like to call someone a "self-harmer". This is like you would blame him for this but most people do it out of deep despertation and because they don't know how to else help themselves. Though in my opinion you are only a self-harmer - if you really want to call it like that- as long as you actually do harm yourself. I did cut myself for serveral years but now for another few years I didn't do it anymore and I overcame it. And I don't feel like I will be a self-harmer for the rest of my life just because of the scars. I am rather proud that I managed to overcome this and that it is a thing of the past now.
June 26th, 2016 6:41pm
You are a self-harmer, but with enough strength to stop doing it. I congratulate any one of you for stopping.
July 6th, 2016 4:43pm
Self harm is self harm but the fact that you were able to stop shows that you have grown and taken steps in the right direction.
April 5th, 2018 9:13am
No it doesn't. But it does make you incredibly strong. I have struggled with self harm for years and I know how hard it is to stop. The fact that you have managed to make such progress in only a few months is something to be proud of. It might help to think of yourself as someone who struggles with self harm rather than a 'self-harmer'. Doing so helps me to remember that there is so much more to me than my struggles with self harm. For many people, the struggle with self harm continues after they stop cutting. The urges to self harm may still be there, even if they aren't acted on any more. Recovery is a road rather than a destination and staying on the road can be really tough. Whether or not this is the case for you, remember how far you have come and how strong you are. There may be bumps in the road, sometimes you may leave it altogether, but it will be there for you when you are ready to start walking it again. I wish you the best with your recovery.
April 18th, 2018 9:33pm
Physically and biologically speaking - yes, but there may be other ways of self-harming such as undervaluing your self-worth, working to others advice or opinions which deep down inside you don't feel is right (you may be acting against your own morals or values which may hurt emotionally)
July 27th, 2016 9:48pm
Not at all. But then, being a part of the SI community doesn't make you any less of an anything. Any time anyone goes on a binge of food then purges it or drinking things like alcohol it is Self Injury as much as cutting or burning etc. Sometimes these acts are temporary, sometimes they are lifelong. The important thing is recognizing it as destructive and redirecting the energy into something CONstructive. You only have one you, so be kind to it.
February 8th, 2018 11:29am
Not at all. It's very easy as someone who cuts to compare yourself to others: "oh I've just scratched myself a few times, that person has got deepwe or bigger scars than me". It can make you feel like a fraud. But its important to remember, self-harm is self-harm. And everyone is completely different. There are no comparisons. Even if you have only hurt yourself once or only thought about it, the negative thoughts are still there and getting advice and support is just as important.
February 15th, 2018 12:52am
I don't really think there is an agenda or specific time interval that accompanies being a self-harmer. There's not really way to be "more" of a self-harmer. If you self-harm, you self-harm, that's that, you know? And stopping is good, it's a good thing to stop, but it doesn't discount anything or invalidate what you were going through before you stopped. I think that thinking there is a certain way you have to be to be a self-harmer is dangerous because it can make people want to be more of one, or a "better" one, when it reality it's not something you want to do more of, it's something that you want to stop, which can take time, and when people feel like they weren't a good enough self-harmer, it makes stopping harder.
October 10th, 2018 9:52am
No, it doesn't. Because that's not possible. Cutting even once can become an addiction. The physical pain would dilute out the mental pain and then you would keep on seeking for the physical pain as a distraction. And no matter how many times it is, self harm is a self harm. It hurts the same and has the same effect. It leaves a scar for life, if not physical, then at least a mental scar. It would keep on reminding you of your weakness and your times of despair. It's definitely better to resort to different approach to distract the mental pain. It could be any way that doesn't harm your health or anyone else's. Music helps. But that's when nothing's gone too far. One should try to seek put for help when things seem like they're going too far.
June 26th, 2016 4:34am
It depends on what you do after. If you stop self harming all together it makes you much less of it. Establishing your control over it.
June 29th, 2016 9:23pm
Stopping for any period of time makes you more in control of your life and every day without harming is a goal achieved! Fancy the thoughts of potential employers who want to hire you because you don't have scars. Imagine the power you've achieved by finding an 'out' to your pain without self harming! You are a super hero and self harm no longer defines you!!! It's in the past and should stay there!
July 6th, 2016 5:57am
There is not a fixed definition of a "self-harmer" depending on duration. However, self-harming, although stigmatized, is not a weakness of the individual. It is merely a coping mechanism some inividuals (myself included) have resorted to trying during their low points. It can however, be overcome with support :)
July 8th, 2016 1:17pm
Does drinking only a few months and stopping make you any less an alcoholic? Cutting yourself is not healthy, but I think it means you need help more than anything else. The question I think you should ask yourself is more, when and why did I start to cut myself? People tend to see cuttings as a dangerous thing because it is. Damaging your body can lead to potential serious damage or diseases.
July 9th, 2016 6:27pm
No you still struggled with something serious and stopping is a very brave thing to do I'm very happy you chose to do that.
July 13th, 2016 9:00am
Maybe yes and maybe not. I mean, if you did it beacasue you saw other people doing it, you're not a self-harmer, but if you did it 'cause you "needed" it, you are. (that's what i think)
July 13th, 2016 3:33pm
A minute, an hour, a day, a month -- self-harm is self harm, no matter how much or how little you do it. Truth be told, self-harm puts you into more stress, even though it feels like it's an escape from mental anguish into physical pain.
July 15th, 2016 12:07am
I don't think so. The fact is, at least once in your life, you were a self harmer. Even once still makes you one. But it's good that you stopped and I'm so proud that you have.
July 16th, 2016 10:38pm
Well, if at any time you did cut repeatedly it does make you a self-harmer yes, but stopping now means you did self-harm but not now
July 18th, 2016 9:46am
No. No matter what you do it will sadly always be apart of you, but just because you're a self harmer, you shouldn't let that define who you are.
July 21st, 2016 8:11pm
Kind of, because, if you stop, that stops. You just become into someone that used to be a self-harmer, and the only thing that may tell your story in 1 word, are your scars.
July 23rd, 2016 3:39am
No way! Self harm is a serious problem and you need help. It doesn't matter if you've been doing it for a few months or a few years. It's important to validate yourself and stop a bad behaviour before it becomes an addiction.
July 24th, 2016 1:20pm
No not at all self harm comes in many different forms and everybodys problems are unquie and personal to them
July 24th, 2016 11:08pm
If you have to ask that question, you have some doubts that you are a self harmer. Please speak with a listener to give you contact details for self-harming support groups.
July 27th, 2016 6:41am
What significance do you attach to the label "self-harmer"? I would probably think about this in terms of your reasons for self-harming and your reasons for stopping.
July 28th, 2016 11:33pm
No. If you've harmed yourself before you are either a current or recovered self harmer. However, no one but you can put any kind of labels on you.
July 29th, 2016 6:36am
No it does not. It is very selfish to do it at all I hope this gets out to the community tell everyone spread the news