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If I self-harm in a visible place, does that mean I'm secretly doing it for the attention?

23 Answers
Last Updated: 08/10/2021 at 11:11am
1 Tip to Feel Better
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Danielle Gonzales, PsyD


Hello! My name is Dani, I am a Psychologist and registered Psych Assistant. I have a passion for helping a different types of clients from all diverse backgrounds!

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Self-Harm
April 11th, 2015 6:45am
Maybe. Only you can answer that. However, I want to mention that "doing it for attention" doesn't mean "doing it for no reason" or "you're a bad person". Honestly, when people harm for "attention" they are seeking help without being able to verbalize their needs in a productive and healthy manner. Self harm is a symptom of things that are going wrong for us. And whether we harm in complete secrecy, partial secrecy, or plain sight, we all deserve support and help in recovering from whatever it is that is causing us so much pain.
May 13th, 2015 11:57pm
No. Anyone who does self harm doesn't do it for the attention. I'm sincerely sorry you are harming yourself, and I would recommend anyone who is doing this to look at our Self Harm guide on 7Cups. If anyone thinks you are seeking attention, please don't acknowledge their opinion: they most likely do not understand how it feels to self harm or what situation you are in at this moment. Stay strong, and remember we care about you so much here. Don't listen to the negativity people might be giving you.
May 8th, 2015 11:00am
No. It's a sign that you need someone's help. You are in a battle with the world, and you need help. It is not even close to being a sign of weakness. I should know. I am a self-harmer too.
February 22nd, 2015 7:47am
Not at all! That never ever means that! The location NEVER HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT. You're sad and angry and taking it out on yourself. You need help. you aren't trying to grab attention towards that.
July 27th, 2015 5:34pm
Self harm isn't a good idea for anyone. So if you are thinking about it just think of all the people who love you and how hurt will they be due to this action. As far as what others think.. You can't control it so don't even think of harming yourself, if not for you think about your family and loved ones
April 24th, 2015 11:13am
No it doesn't, its just a spur of the moment thing and you don't really know what you're doing our where you're doing it, definitely nothing to fret upon.
October 24th, 2016 3:18pm
No it doesn't. When you self-harm, you really don't think about the place you self-harm to/on, you just do it quickly because you want to feel better.
April 29th, 2015 12:47am
Self-harm is a way of copping with difficult times. Although, you might unconsciously do it for attention. That's not bad, (well, self-harm is extremely bad, just not the fact that you need attention). It is possible that people don't pay enough attention to you and you feel left out. You might want someone to notice you. That's okay, but self-harm is not the way to go about it. Tell people how you feel and they might be able to help. Remember, you're not alone, darling. It might feel like it sometimes, but we do care. Someone will always be there for you. Stay strong, sunshine.
March 14th, 2016 2:00pm
Never!! We are never thinking about attention and if you ever do it in a visible place its because you are hoping people may just actually notice how hurt you are
June 7th, 2016 4:45pm
No, that means you are in serious need of help and you should seek professional help. Anyone who self harms does not just do it for attention, there are obviously other issues pursuing them to cause harm on themselves.
October 26th, 2016 5:25am
Its really up to you to decide if your doing it to get attention. But I also believe that when you self harm that thought is far from your mind. Yoiur only focused on the cutting, so I don't think it self harm is used as a cry for attention for most people.
July 27th, 2015 7:41pm
Well all depends on the general reason of why your doing it in the first place... when you do it you do it on your own back not for the attention do you? So no you shouldn't think that at all
September 11th, 2017 1:45pm
This is a question that a lot of people may have different opinions on but i think the correct answer is most definitely not. For anyone to harm themselves in any way must have a problem even if they are showing it. For example if it is a very hot day and someone who self harms on their arms wants to wear short sleeves as they would over heat wearing longer sleeves just to cover up should be allowed to do so. I think people should stop feeling ashamed for self harm and i think it is something that should definitely be discussed more in the world as it can effect so many people at any age. People who have self harm in a very visible place could be using this as a massive cry for help and people should respect this and maybe talk to them, offer them some advice and not just ignore it. There is no such thing as self harming for attention!
March 4th, 2019 2:47am
No, if you self-harm in a visible place, it doesn’t mean that you’re secretly doing it for the attention. When a person feels really bad about themselves and blame themselves for something, they will want to hurt themself. They won’t have a clear conscience to actually think much about where to hurt themself because they want to cover the emotional pain with a physical one or they just want to punish themselves. It happened to me. In my situation I felt lost, and lonely. I was in a dark place. I felt like it was my fault that I was in that situation. It also hurt pretty bad. My chest kept beating and I felt so alone. I was going to hurt myself to punish myself and take away the emotional pain at the same time. Thankfully, I never did go through with it. I found people who encouraged me to smile and leave the dark place amd I felt like I belonged.
January 4th, 2016 10:54am
If you do it in a non visible place does it make you feel any more or any less better? If it makes you feel better or the same you are not doing it for attention, but if it feels worse or not the same you may be doing it for attention!
February 2nd, 2016 5:35pm
Self harm is a form of screaming for help. So most probably yes. You should seek help by taking to your parents, family members, friends or a professional. self harm is temporary numbing of a problem, You need to deal with the heart of it.
March 15th, 2016 6:33am
No. Never believe that people self harm for attention. People self harm, usually, because they don't know how to express their emotions/others have suppressed their emotions. Self harming is a hard thing to quit, but if you get help, you can stop the addiction. But never think that people do it for attention.
April 5th, 2016 10:28am
Self-harm in a visible place does not mean it is being done for attention. Self-harm is a coping mechanism and is not to be judged or labeled.
July 26th, 2016 2:04am
I think most self harm is perceived as being for attention. My perception is that you may not be paying attention to the root cause of your problems. You may only be dealing with surface issues which is why you leave surface wounds to cry out for attention (or help) as you may be too traumatised to find the root cause.
September 29th, 2017 10:04pm
No it doesn't mean that you are secretly doing it for attention! It just means that you are self harming, no matter where you do it, whatever the reason you are self harming is what you know and the reason you know you are self harming is most important
July 2nd, 2018 9:55pm
No it doesn't. Just because you self harm in visible places it does not make you an attention seeker. People who don't understand what it's like automatically assume that it is for attention but don't listen to them as it often makes the issue worse.
March 5th, 2019 7:38am
Only you can answer this, as people self-harm for different reasons and in different ways. But if you do come to the conclusion that your method is to get attention, then you're reaching out for help. This method isn't necessarily safe or adaptive, but by recognizing this in yourself, you may be ready to find a more productive way to reach out for help or guidance. There are many ways you can ground yourself, bring yourself back into the moment or manage negative cyclical thoughts besides self-harm. Someone who knows a lot about these things can help you find effective ways to deal with the situations that trigger your need to self-harm, without hurting yourself.
August 10th, 2021 11:11am
NO! Not in the slightest. I know how you must feel, hurting yourself where others can see it. You may perceive yourself only doing so for attention. However, even if I am not sure what brought you to self harm, it is 100% surely not just for wanting a bit of extra attention. There is always a deeper reason for it, and your choice of where to self harm is not just because you want the attention :) Besides, it is always best to open up about your struggles to someone, however that is a whole other subject, Hope this helps and please know that you are always valid and how much/where you self harm does not define your worth