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Why is self-harm considered bad?

25 Answers
Last Updated: 01/25/2022 at 3:10am
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Stacy Overton, PhD.


I am an enthusiastic life-long learner and also a professor of counseling. I have a passion for peoples stories and helping to guide and empower the human spirit.

Top Rated Answers
- Expert in Self-Harm
April 6th, 2015 3:41pm
Self harm is considered "bad" for many reasons -- mostly because people don't understand it. Self harm is a maladaptive coping technique. That means we use self harm to cope with difficult situations but coping like this has negative side effects (scars, isolation, guilt, not a long-term solution, etc). Some people think self-harm is bad because they are scared for you, or they think there isn't any reason behind it because they can't fathom ever wanting to hurt themselves. The only real way self-harm is 'bad' though is because it's not helping you in the long run. You're not a bad person for harming, but there are better ways to cope. Hopefully, over time, you can learn how to care for yourself in safer, more loving ways.
January 10th, 2015 12:35am
I think self harm is considered bad do to the fact that you are intentionally harming yourself. Nobody asks why you would do it or how it makes you feel but they simply look at you purposefully harming yourself and they don't understand that. People are always scared of the things they don't understand.
February 29th, 2016 4:34pm
Would you recommend it to someone you care about? Would you tell a child, a sister, a parent, or a close friend that you don't see anything wrong with it, so it should probably work for them? Would you apply this same logic to anything that technically did not harm someone else, like an ed or addiction? Is this instead more about it being ok to hurt you, but that doesn't apply to others? It can be easy to justify when it's familiar and comfortable, much like an addiction is familiar or comfortable. But that doesn't mean it's okay to be an alcoholic, and it's similarly not okay to self-injure. It can be very dangerous. It may seem to work temporarily, but it's not a long-term solution. You deserve better, even if you don't see it that way right now.
April 4th, 2015 11:05pm
I guess it hurts a lot to notice someone you love is hurting themselves. You feel useless ya know. You dont know how to help, but you wanna see them happy.
January 9th, 2015 5:09pm
Self harm, while it can relieve difficult emotions, is ultimately not a healthy coping mechanism for dealing with your feelings. It prevents you from constructively recognising and finding solutions to the problems you're facing by giving you a temporary hit which allows you to ignore the upsetting emotions. Self harm can also be dangerous to you, you could cause yourself serious injury or even risk death. It's also upsetting to those around you, people who love you and are seeing you hurt yourself.
April 1st, 2015 7:11pm
Self-harm is defined as 'intentionally damaging the body tissue for reasons which are not socially sanctioned'; therefore tattooing, hair cuts, and trimming fingernails are not considered forms of self harm, even though the person is damaging body tissue. Self-harm is considered 'bad' when it is used in place of a healthy coping behavior or style. For example, when someone is upset or feeling sad they may talk with a family member, friend, or counsellor about how they are feeling and over time they usually begin to feel better about what happened. For someone who self-harms, they usually don't talk to someone about how they are feeling because they have injured themselves first. Over time this cycle repeats and the person never learns how to deal with upsetting or unpleasant emotions.
October 24th, 2016 7:17pm
Self-harm is considered bad because of the stereotyps people have about people who self-harm. Usually, when people hear about someone self-harming, their stereotype is a person, who hates everyone and everything and doesn't want anything but to die. That's not always the case though.
September 28th, 2015 12:52am
you're harming yourself as a way to bring about a physical reason for your mental/emotional pain. instead of dealing with the issue at hand, you're taking it out on yourself in an unhealthy fashion, and that ends up doing more damage in the long run.
March 19th, 2015 2:22am
Self-harm is considered bad because there are many other ways that we can cope besides hurting ourselves. Many people see SH as taboo and for attention seeking when really SH is trying to cope with what hurts. SH can be trying to "numb" something that is bothering you, punish yourself for something, or to allow you to feel something when you feel nothing. It can also let people feel like they're in control. HOWEVER, there are so many other ways to cope - ways that don't involve hurting yourself! People tend to think of SH badly because it can appear as attention seeking or just leaving marks on your body. People can also tend to believe that those who SH don't "think things through." Whatever your reasons for self-harm, 7cups is here for you and you can check out these links and websites for further information and help to stop self-harm!
September 7th, 2015 1:37am
Because you are leaving a permanent scar on your body. It might heal but it will always be there. You are cutting into your skin leaving damage
January 30th, 2018 5:22am
It’s self destructive. If you wouldn’t do it do somebody else, it’s generally not something you should be doing to yourself.
November 3rd, 2015 3:56pm
I think self harm is considered bad because the reason you self harm is because you are in a lot of pain. Self harm just causes more pain. why would you want more pain? And self harm leaves scars behind. It's just another reminder of when you were upset. I want to forget about when i was upset not remember it. The scars might just make me more sad.
June 7th, 2016 4:22pm
I believe self-harm considered bad by various people as they feel people go through with it as a way of taking problems out on yourself rather than dealing with them. It can be harmful to your own mental health as well as upsetting to your friends and family members. I, myself have dealt with it and after a long period of time, I have stopped as i also believe it to be bad. It made me feel worse about myself and lack in self-confidence even more as i am left with shameful scars until this day. It is not the right way to deal with problems and there are always other alternatives to deal with hard times. I have learnt from personal experience that it can cause a lot more distress and anxiety than you felt beforehand, it is never necessary and can be very upsetting to your loved ones as they may start to blame themselves for something you did. You are harming others as well as yourself and that is why i consider it to be bad.
June 27th, 2016 4:30am
It's considered bad for many reasons. One, because it's leaving marks on the healthy body that you've been given (kinda a cliche answer, but it's true) and, what if (using cutting as an example) you cut too deep? If you're not trying to commit suicide, and you accidentally cut too deep, how are you going to explain it to whoever finds out?
May 31st, 2015 3:53pm
Self-harm is a coping method for something underlying that is bad, and it's a destructive coping method. Naturally it will be considered bad. Other than that, there are myths about self-harm that spread false and negative misinformation about it, such as "people who self-harm are looking for attention" and "people who self-harm are crazy or psychologically disturbed" etc.
February 20th, 2020 9:37am
I think self harm is "bad" but not because of the scarring or stigma. Personally, I think it's a gateway to worse mental health and possibly even a suicide attempt. I've noticed that my own self injuries have become worse over time & like an addiction, it starts to not be enough. I either want more pain or lose self-awareness in what I'm really doing. Also, some forms of self harm scar your body, and even if you feel better eventually, if you do happen to fall back again, it could feel like you're getting nowhere. Sort of like being stuck in a carousel - down, up, down--never fully better.
February 6th, 2017 8:43am
Knowing that someone you care about is hurting themselves is concerning. Even though it feels so right, there is still a dangerous aspect to it, and you could even get carried away and die (in some cases). Think about how you would feel if someone you loved was hurting themselves, and thought it was the right thing to do? In general, it' a scary thing to see in another person
May 27th, 2015 8:46pm
Self-harm is considered bad, because the person gets hurt by doing it. Hurting somebody is never something good and especially self-harm is bad, because you are hurting someone deliberately.
November 2nd, 2015 2:32am
Self-harm is considered bad because you could permanently hurt yourself, if you self-harm tell someone
November 9th, 2015 10:39pm
I know it can be hard to see something as bad when it is helping you cope with your emotions and seems to be benefitting you. Being someone who has experienced this on a quite personal level, I 100% know how that feels. It's overall just not a healthy way to take out the things that you are feeling since you are damaging your own body, and although it may make you feel good temporarily, it really is not effective in benefitting you in the long run.
November 13th, 2017 4:23pm
Because it involves physically harming oneself, but mentally, a lot more harm can be done than is taken note of. Physically self harm can normally be seen, mentally, it can't.
June 25th, 2018 4:51pm
Self harm is considered bad for a number of reasons. Firstly you are causing yourself harm, which is a sign that you are struggling emotionally. This needs to be addressed. You risk hurting yourself seriously, infection and even accidentally killing yourself. Self harm can also be seriously addictive which is another problem in itself. You can permanently scar yourself. These are all things to take into consideration. Some people might say that self harm is attention seeking, or manipulative - this is untrue but it is a perception held by some. At the end of the day, self harm is NOT healthy and if this is something you struggle with I urge you to seek help as soon as you can.
July 17th, 2018 11:53am
Nothing is always either good or bad. There could be grey, too. Sometimes, it's just the situation you are in, due to which you end up doing things that you know aren't good for you, but you do it anyways. Coz it probably gives you a temporary relief. But, you have to remember it ain't a permanent solution
July 20th, 2015 12:53pm
Because you are harming your body, which isn't a good thing. Anything that causes you harm is no good.
January 25th, 2022 3:10am
Self-harm is bad because it keeps you stuck in the disrespect of yourself. The immediate gratification is empty and really does nothing to push yourself to a better solution to ease the feelings you have. Once you love yourself, harming yourself will be a thing of the past. It really feels as though the person who could do such a thing, no longer exists. Why? Because I refuse to let them. I do not deserve pain or scars. I deserve respect and I expect it from everyone, including myself.