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Is there something wrong with me if I start self-harming? Not everyone relies on that for coping, so why do I?

21 Answers
Last Updated: 05/09/2018 at 12:00am
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Alex DS Ellis, MA, LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

Feeling depressed or anxious can be so overwhelming. I want to help you feel better and be able to enjoy life. You are not alone and you deserve emotional support.

Top Rated Answers
August 10th, 2015 11:01pm
Not in the way that you're thing. There is something wrong, yes. Is that thing wrong with you? No. I don't encourage it, I won't say it's ok. But because something so bad has happened to you that it has unfortunately driven you to that place, I'm so sorry. But it doesn't mean you're defective, broken, or less than a human being. It means you were pushed over the edge by your circumstances, and sometimes, we just fall into things that we don't know how we got there.
March 3rd, 2015 6:41pm
I would not say self harm means there is anything wrong with you per say, but self harm can be a symptom of certain mental health conditions yet it can also be a way of coping with stress for some people there could be any number of reasons why you might be doing it considering those reasons is best done on a individual basis.
June 22nd, 2015 12:32pm
There is nothing wrong with you, if you self-harm. Everyone's psychology is different; their mind. It is simply a way you prefer to vent your anger, or distract yourself from mental pain by physical one instead. Like I said earlier on, everyone is different. I myself too have reached a point in life where i couldn't go on, and considered self-harm. But in the end I decided not to, because I'm not a fan of physical pain, and it wasn't worth it either.
April 7th, 2015 6:59pm
Sometimes people self-harm because they want to feel something/feel something other than whatever they're feeling at the moment. There's nothing wrong with you, but try to talk about what you're going through with someone here, and/or find another way to deal with what you're feeling.
Anonymous - Expert in Self-Harm
March 3rd, 2015 9:20pm
I would not say there is something wrong with you, though it is true that there are healthier ways of coping. Everyone is different and the things that can lead to one person choosing self harm vs another deciding not to can vary greatly. So many different factors (and chance events even) can add up to using harm as a coping mechanism. For additional information on self-harm, consider looking at this 7 cups guide: Also, try thinking of or looking up other ways you might be able to manage your emotions that could work for you. It can be a tough habit to break if you have already started, but you might be surprised at how many other options there are out there!
April 10th, 2015 8:52am
There is nothing wrong with you. Everyone copes in a different way. There are healthy ways of coping and unhealthy ways. Self-harming is unhealthy, but you can learn healthy ways to cope with your feelings.
September 29th, 2015 6:54am
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you! Everyone deals with problems in different ways and this can include self harm. However, selfharm can be dangerous and addictive, so I recommend getting professional help.
May 17th, 2016 9:17am
If you are still alive then that clearly means your work here on this planet is not done.. If you die, nobody's gonna finish that work and we'll all be left with another incomplete stuff.. Take it that way and you'll find a reason to live your life and you will no longer face the desire to compete with the people who are self-harming junkies because you are better than that.. And I believe in you :)
May 30th, 2015 4:58am
Self harm is a lot like coping using drugs, alcohol, gambling, excessive spending, ect. It's not a healthy coping mechanism. All it is is that you don't know how to cope in an effective way, and that could lead to other problems down the road. Its dangerous. Please find a different, healthy way to cope.
June 7th, 2015 7:26pm
This is something I thought as well in the beginning of my recovery and I think that it is a common question among self-harmers. Short answer: no. There is nothing "wrong with you." Long answer: Growing up, we all learn to cope with problems in our life differently. For those of us who turn to self harm, we are missing some necessary coping skill that is being replaced with the self harm. Self-harm is not due to a character flaw, or being "crazy" and with help and support we can learn healthier ways to cope.
June 7th, 2015 8:24pm
There is nothing wrong with you if you self-harm. It is a coping mechanism, and it does not define you as a person. I struggled with this for a long time, and I understand how it can help you overcome your negative feelings, or even help you feel something at all. While you rely on self-harming, others depend on drugs, alcohol, sex, and numerous other things. While yes, you should seek help and try to stop, do not put yourself down for relying on self-harm instead of other activities.
June 30th, 2015 6:22pm
There is nothing wrong with you but self harming is bad for your health, do something you enjoy besides hurting yourself.
August 25th, 2015 2:27pm
There is nothing wrong with you, but I would recommend getting help. Different people cope with situations differently
November 24th, 2015 10:17pm
Every behaviour is done for a reason. If you are self-harming it may mean that your feelings are so difficult that you haven't found a better way to relieve them. Other people may have different coping mechanisms, both positive and self-defeating. It doesn't mean that there's something wrong with you but if it is troubling you, it might be worth seeking support to see if there are other ways you might be able to manage.
March 28th, 2016 4:05pm
Hello! :) I seem to be a little bit confused by you're question, so I'll try to cover as much as I can in my answer! You said 'start' self harming (implying that you currently do not?) but then go on to say that you rely on it for coping. Either way, whether you are currently doing it or not, I want to address that there is nothing 'wrong' with people who self-harm. As you said, people will describe their behaviour as a way of coping with overwhelming feelings. And for some people it becomes addictive, a way of feeling better and re-establishing control over their emotions. It is completely natural to need to express emotion and let out how you feel. However, when it is done through self-harm it isn't the healthiest way to express these emotions- because it is hurting you. Looking to other coping mechanisms such as squeezing a stress ball, snapping a rubber band against your wrist or using a marker to write where you would harm may be of some relief. However, what is most crucial is allowing yourself to talk through the emotions that have become overwhelming, and other emotions before they get to that point!- a support network of family or friends, or seeking therapy from a counsellor can be a way to do this. (Also, coming on to 7cups for a chat!) So to summarise,- lots of people self harm and there isn't anything wrong with you. However, it is important to seek help, to deal with the emotions that have led to this and to hopefully find solutions that can help make you feel better without hurting yourself! Here is a link to some alternative coping mechanisms- ( And here is a video about self harm- Hopefully I've managed to answer your question and I hope that you feel a bit better! If there is anything else feel free to send me a message, Laura :)
June 6th, 2016 5:43pm
You might have the feeling your pain on the inside has to reflect your pain on the inside. There's nothing wrong with you, but there are other ways to cope.
August 16th, 2016 5:57pm certainly doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you if you are using self harm as your coping mechanism. We all have your own ways to vent out our anger, sadness, frustration or any other feeling, right? but yes...this doesn't mean that self is the best choice or the most healthiest one. If you are asking this question, that means that you yourself know that. There are better alternatives out there. I cannot promise that all of them will work for you, but we can try and find a way better way for sure right? It can be anything that you think will make you feel better and bring a smile on your face.
September 12th, 2016 3:31pm
I guess, you would need to find other ways of coping with the pain that you feel. Try channeling it to drawing/painting or art in general.
November 8th, 2016 9:11pm
No, definitely not, everybody copes a different way. Self-harm isn't the answer, but it does happen, it's something you need specific help for by someone who has done it before, but stopped.
November 15th, 2016 11:42pm
Nothing is wrong with you, everyone deals with emotion and stress with different ways. You just need to find a healthier, less destructive way of coping, and there are many other ways, stay strong and keep fighting!
May 9th, 2018 12:00am
There is nothing wrong with you for self-harming. But instead of physically harming yourself to cope- try: going for walks, listening to music, hanging out with friends, exercise