Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

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

210 Answers
Last Updated: 05/11/2022 at 4:37pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Tara Davis, Doctorate in Counselling Psychology


I have worked successfully with a wide range of difficulties. Nothing is more important than developing a warm, compassionate relationship with someone you can trust

Top Rated Answers
November 22nd, 2017 7:46pm
Your self harm doesn't define you. You are not your scars- those scars are there to remind you of what you've gone through, what you survived. I am so proud of you for stopping or even thinking of stopping. Even if you're clean for one day- I really am proud of you. Please do not take "self-harmer" as an adjective that defines you.
November 22nd, 2017 10:04pm
Cutting in general makes you a self harmer. I suggest talking with a family, or close friend about this. Or getting an app like 7 cups!
November 29th, 2017 10:56pm
No it still means you are a self harmer. Maybe you have a certain trigger , like as in when something upsets you , you turn to the self harm because its where you feel the release. But ultimately, no matter how little you do it , it isn't healthy and will only leave you with marks and scars you will later on regret. Try some form of aggressive physical sport instead. It might be hard to start initially but it will give you a much better if not similar feeling than self harming, also its super rewarding in so many ways. I would recommend boxing or some kind of martial art.
December 1st, 2017 3:00pm
No, i do not believe that self harming for one day, or one decade makes you any more or less of a self-harmer. When a person hits the point that they cannot cope, and choose to harm themselves, it doesn't matter how short or long of a time period they do it, they're still somebody who suffers(ed) from self-harm. Never ever compare yourself to another, as we all have our own individual struggles. whether or not something you're dealing with is 'worse' or 'not as bad' as somebody else's struggles in your opinon, it is the WORST to us. it is the worst thing we may know at that time. And just because somebody else handles an issue like that easily does not mean we are wrong for feeling the way we do, as nobody's feelings are invalid.
December 8th, 2017 6:18pm
You may of self-harmed in the past but since you stopped, it shows improvement in your life and you shouldn't worry about labels/stereotypes people may throw at you.
December 15th, 2017 10:04am
Of course not. It just means you have managed to over come what drove you to self harm in the first place. It is always something that is hard to recover from. If you have self harmed, but only for a few months, and over come it then you are stronger than you know. There isn't a time harm to ''be a self harmer''.
December 20th, 2017 2:51pm
It depends what way you look at it. You self harmed less however it technically doesn't make you any less of a self harmer. However, I'm proud of you for stopping, it's a hard thing to do.
December 20th, 2017 8:42pm
I don't think that there is a scale for being a "safe harmer". If you have been harming and then stop then I would probably refer to you as someone who has overcome their self-harming tendencies.
December 31st, 2017 10:21pm
Stopping self-harm is a huge step in the right direction, even if you go back to your old behaviors. Change happens slowly and in increments—real change that is. Some people think self-harming is for life but personally I believe that full recovery is indeed possible. Also, labels can really be overused— it’s important to define yourself strongly as YOU, not just a diagnosis. You are much more than a behavior or a diagnosis,
January 7th, 2018 2:10am
I think it's progress! As long as the number of times and duration is less then before, then it's always a good thing.
January 10th, 2018 12:37pm
The only one to decide what defines you, is you. We all go through hard times and cope with things differently than others. Stopping cutting was the first step to getting better.
January 24th, 2018 1:38pm
It makes you a very strong person, being able to stop. When you were cutting, you were a self harmed but not anymore!
January 27th, 2018 1:24pm
No. Your feelings and actions are no less valid because of the length of time you have them for. I would advise you to talk to someone you trust about This, and if there is nobody then start a conversation on here with a listener, or have a look at some of the supportive websites.
January 28th, 2018 6:04pm
It's hard to measure how much of a self-harmer you are. That isn't a title you should really be striving for. If you've stopped, it means you're a self-harm survivor.
February 1st, 2018 5:30pm
No! You can relapse at any time, it doesn't matter. If you just started, or have been doing so. Finding help is most important
February 7th, 2018 4:47pm
Difficult question I think it does because it’s a thing in the past it’s like your not doing it anymore.
February 7th, 2018 10:24pm
It doesn't really matter if you are "more or less of a self-harmer" You used to hurt yourself, but you stopped. (congratulations, by the way!) You never have to identify yourself as a "self-harmer" or bring it up to anybody if you don't want to. You don't need to label yourself in any way. Just be you!
February 15th, 2018 8:58pm
Self harm is incredibly serious no matter how long you've been doing it. You aren't any less of a self-harmer for doing it for a few months, but you are less of one because you are stopping yourself which is such a positive step in the right direction. Stopping can be a very difficult, and there will be ups and downs in the road to stopping. Ups are there to be celebrated, downs are there to give you another chance and shouldn't be seen as a failure. Relapses happen and can be moved on from. I wish you the best!
February 22nd, 2018 12:33pm
With or without a label of self-harmer, the fact that it has been a method of coping in the past highlights that something has been amiss for that to happen. Unless unhealthy mechanisms are replaced with healthy ones, there is always the potential for that pattern to rise up again, in similar situations of triggered stress or trauma. I would be less concerned about the label, and more concerned about getting help to work through the behaviours that created the need for self-harming.
February 25th, 2018 3:01am
No, because it's not the Self Harm Olympics. You are not your self harm; it's just an action. Have you self harmed, yes or no? If yes, then yes that's all. You have self harmed. It doesn't make you any less than someone who cut for six years.
March 1st, 2018 12:15pm
No you harmed yourself physically and that's what self harm is. But you stopped so you should be proud of yourself that you're recovering.
March 7th, 2018 11:05pm
A self-harmer is someone who self injures themselves. You are still a self-harmer, though if you have stopped and don't relapse you wouldn't be anymore. It also may be a smaller issue causing the self injury and easier to stop it than say a 10 year addiction.
March 30th, 2018 2:09pm
it is actually depend on how you see a self harmer is. if you're a self harmer and trying to stop, maybe considering you're still a self harmer or not might be less important, just forgive yourself, accept who you are in the past and accept who you are now. keep fighting :)
April 11th, 2018 1:53am
No, it doesnt. Cutting yourself is always going to hurt you and is super dammaging for you body and for you
April 13th, 2018 1:45pm
no any form of self harm is serious and should be taken seriously. weather it is just a scratch or a cut that need stitches. all types are just a serious
April 18th, 2018 6:37pm
Self harm does not define a person. If someone is engaging in self harm, whether it be for long or short periods of time, they are in need of guidance and support. But I don't believe the act itself defines the person.
April 21st, 2018 3:05am
Self harming behaviors are often used as a form of self regulation; they often make the person utilizing those behaviors or methods feel as if they are "back in control", whether it is aimed to feel something aside from emotional numbness or to reduce and regain control of feelings that are powerful and overwhelming. Using self harm as a means of self-regulation can be dangerous no matter how infrequently you engage in those behaviors. Stopping for a while may mean that you were able to cope in better ways for that period of time, even if you weren't actively doing so. It could also mean that you were temporarily exposed to fewer, or less potent stress-factors. If you are trying to stop, then there are a variety of resources designed to help people with this issue. Reaching out to a trusted friend, or using ice rather than a harmful implement have been found by many to be satisfactory as substitute behavior. in addition, using a journal is often a good way to acknowledge and work through feelings as they are being experienced.
April 26th, 2018 2:33am
No. Purposefully cutting, no matter for how long, makes you a self-harmer. If you have stopped, you can say you are a recovering self-harmer.
April 29th, 2018 7:37am
You are not permanently defined by your mistakes. If you have self-harmed, the sooner you can stop and not become addicted to this behaviour as a long-term coping mechanism - the better.
May 9th, 2018 2:50am
I don’t believe there is a scale for how much of a self-harmer one is. If you’re deliberately hurting yourself, it is self-harm, no matter for how long you’ve been doing it. However, I believe it’s great that you’re stopping!