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I scratch my arms all the time with scissors but i can never bring myself to actually cut myself, is that still considered self harm?

9 Answers
Last Updated: 06/08/2020 at 6:04pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Serene Sarah George, MA in Psychology (Counselling), Diploma in Counselling Skills


Counsellor following person centered therapeutic approach, drawing from techniques of CBT/REBT.

Top Rated Answers
December 18th, 2017 6:59am
No matter in what way you do if you are hurting yourself delibaretly that is either to distract yourself from your emotional pain or to punish yourself or to give yourself a sense of reality or something like that then yes it is considered as self harming
November 29th, 2017 9:55pm
Self-harm is defined as an intentional act of harming the body, whether it be cutting, burning, scratching, making bruises, etc. Self-harm is typically an unhealthy way of coping with emotional pain, anger, frustration, etc. Think about when you scratch your arms with scissors. Do you usually do it when you feel upset about something? Do you do it to relieve other pain? Do you use it as a coping skill? Do you feel better after scratching yourself with the scissors? If you answered yes to those questions, there could be a chance that it is used as a way of self-harm and unhealthy coping.
July 3rd, 2018 6:37am
yes it is self harm you should seek help and try telling someone you trust and you can use a marker and draw a butterfly on the place you want to hurt and know that if you cut you will kill it and you can not cut till it fades you can also tell friends to put them on for you
December 2nd, 2017 4:55am
It depends on who you ask, or what you consider to be "self harm". Depending on the intent behind it, it could very well be self harm. Typically, people self harm as an unhealthy coping mechanisms for their stresses. If you feel you scratching yourself for the same intent; then, yes, it would be. Self harm isn't just limited to cutting, it includes burning, bruising, and yes, scratching. It all depends on the intent.
May 28th, 2018 9:22pm
Yes. Self harming isn’t always just cutting. I suggest talking to someone or getting help immediately.
July 16th, 2018 11:42am
Yes, any type of way that your hurting yourself is considered as self harm, it don't matter how your doing it but if it results in hurting yourself then its self harm.
November 26th, 2017 3:40am
Any action that someone does to intentionally harm themselves is just that, harming themselves. Often times it is not as important to ask 'Is this self-harm or not?' (sometimes people get trapped in a thought cycle where they feel the things they do are not as damaging as other forms of self-harm they have seen online or on other people). What is most important to ask is 'What purpose does this serve?'. If you are scratching yourself with scissors, what is the reason you are doing it and what happens after you do it/how do you feel? After all, if the purpose is to release negative feelings, the key is finding an alternate (healthier) outlet.
June 8th, 2020 6:04pm
I understand how this might be confusing for someone. The good news is that there is a small part inside of you that does not want to hurt yourself, however, I think that any intention to self harm, even if you can't go through with it, is a good reason to seek help. Talk to your friends and family about why you are thinking about self harm. You can also talk to a counselor or therapist and they can help you work through your feelings of pain, hurt, loneliness, etc. and determine why you are thinking about self harming yourself and hopefully give you the support you need to move into a better place.
April 17th, 2018 7:13pm
Yes it is, anything that causes harm or danger to your body or emotional well being is considered self harm.