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What really is so wrong with using self-harm as a coping technique when it works so well?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 10/15/2019 at 5:18pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United Kingdom
Moderated by

Lisa Meighan, BSc Psychology (Honours)


Hello, I am Lisa and I work in a person-centred approach mixed with cognitive behavioural therapy. I believe we all have the potential to be the best we can be.

Top Rated Answers
February 28th, 2015 1:32pm
Using self-harm methods is only a temporary relief. It may distract your mind from whatever stress you're facing at that moment, but after that distraction is over you're still left with the original problem to face.
March 11th, 2015 11:50pm
Self harm injures the body, and it isnt a good coping method if you feel ashamed because of it later. It is a temporary solution to a problem, not a long term fix
March 29th, 2015 11:32pm
It can become a physical and mental addiction, and even if you are only using it as a coping mechanism it can be very easy to hurt yourself in the wrong spot or too deep and cause death
- Expert in Self-Harm
April 6th, 2015 3:50pm
You're not bad for self-harming. It just doesn't help very much in the long run, and can become dangerous for you. So, what's "wrong" with self harm is that it doesn't fix problems, it can increase or create social isolation, it can help you push down emotions and prevent you from working through whatever you're dealing with, it can become habitual and impulsive and you may feel out of control, it can be physically damaging and potentially dangerous, it can interfere with future job opportunities, it can be a source of shame or guilt... BUT it's not morally wrong of you - you are not a bad person. It's ok if you don't feel like stopping yet. We are here to help wherever you are right now - interested in recovery or no. Try to stay safe, and we'll get through this.
April 8th, 2015 6:01pm
The member technically is not dealing with the problem which causes all of this. "coping" actually just means you are dealing with the problem, not fixing it. I'm afraid the member will not get any successful results by doing this.
May 8th, 2015 3:19pm
Self harm hurts your immune system, scientific fact. Its also hurting your body. Its not something positive. It only makes you feel better for a little bit.
July 20th, 2015 10:38pm
It is a form of upsetting punishment. Although it may feel very right you are training yourself to punish yourself for things that may not be your fault even though you are to blame.
August 17th, 2015 7:47am
It is right there in the name. Self HARM. Its harmful. Your body was not meant to be sliced, burned, bruised, scratched, that's why it heals. You could cause internal or external damage to your skin or your body or severely injure yourself. There are plenty of coping techniques that can replacing harming yourself.
November 2nd, 2015 4:40am
Well, the term is "self-harm", right? HARM - that is just a bad thing in general, isn't it? Your body is beautiful and doesn't deserve to be cut, burned, scratched, etc. by anyone especially yourself. There are many different coping mechanisms that you can do instead: The Butterfly Project, The Ice Technique, Calling/texting a friend or family member, listening to music, working out, going for a walk/run, taking a hot bath or shower, etc. :)
November 30th, 2015 11:20am
The worst part about it is in the end, when you are done self-harming, You may block out the pain with the blade, but in the end every time you look at the scars the memories won't fade. Not to mention your grandchildren will wonder why you have scars.
November 30th, 2015 12:47pm
It's wrong because I feel regretful and guilty when I see the marks or the scissor or knife I used the next morning. The stinging of the cuts doesn't help, either. I feel like I'm wasting my life away, even if it worked temporarily to release some stress. It is a coping technique, but it is more, too. It is more than coping when it's working against my growth as an individual. I don't want to, but sometimes I couldn't help it, I was unhappy, I was broken.
June 6th, 2017 12:56am
The simple fact is that self harm might kill you. That's what's wrong with it. The people around you, while you might tell yourself that they don't care, would be devastated if you were to die.
December 5th, 2017 10:01am
it’s not a positive coping technique, no one deserves pain. there is so many other ways to let it out. we have many coping strategies in our self help guide for self harm!
February 20th, 2018 6:15pm
It has a negative impact on yourself and even other people. It leaves scars on your body which could make you feel more self-conscious about yourself, there's a high risk of you hitting a vein and losing A LOT of blood. You could also get infections from self-harming which could have a very negative impact. It's a good idea to visit other techniques and methods as they are much safer.
May 15th, 2018 3:47am
The fact that you are harming yourself... You are gonna get scars for life, it can also result on an addiction, it works well because of the chemics on our brain, that doesnt mean its good for you. Like a lot of things. Hurting yourself is bad on a lot of ways. Hope you can overcome this, good luck and have a good day.
May 23rd, 2018 12:06am
It’s wrong to use self harm as a coping method because it is only a temporary fix. You are putting yourself through pain and harming yourself instead of actually solving the problem at hand. Once you self harm you are likely to do it more than once because you think it’s helping you when it’s really not.
August 13th, 2018 8:26pm
Because it won't work forever. The urges get stronger and the pain doesn't stop, it will begin to control you.
October 15th, 2019 5:18pm
The problem with self-harm is that your brain is learning to make the connection: stress —> self harm—> relief. So one thing that will happen, is when you experience stress you will rely on it to cope like an addiction. Also it can get dangerous, because even if you believe that your way of self harming is “safe” you’ll need to intensify whatever you’re doing to get the same sense of relief. And that’s when things get out of control. Meanwhile you might forget about how to use other coping mechanisms to regulate yourself, so you’ll rely more and more on the sensation. No matter what you do to harm yourself, it can be very severely damaging to your health! Also whatever mental health issues you’re experiencing will not improve on the long run, despite the momentary relief that you’re experiencing. Whatever you decide to do with that information, I wish you all the best.