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Reasons why I shouldn't self harm

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Please help.

I'm looking for an old thread containing reasons not to self harm. I am making a pros/cons list and thought it would be helpful. There were some pretty awesome things in there that had inspired me before and I need a bit of inspiring right now. If someone can direct me to it that would be helpful. Of course, feel free to add your own reason why not to self harm, I would love to read.


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Hi Teacup


None of the threads I fixed when I tidied up this forum earlier in the week specifically took away something that spoke about why we shouldn't self harm.  I also couldn't find anything specific when I ran a search.


However, I personally find these two sites helpful:


Recover your life: reasons for stopping (long lists of personal input from people who self harm)


Self injury help, support and treatment (this article talks about myths and facts about self harm, and also includes a section on "if self harm helps, why stop?")


Please let me know if there's anything else I can do to help.




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Thank you, Mia

So far on my list of reasons not to:

No more hiding

No more shame

No more scars

I can feel like a better parent

I don't have to worry about husband having ammunition against me

I can shower and dress without worrying kids or husband might see

I can go swimming

I can wear what I want

Because I'll be able to look back and feel so much stronger afterwards than I did in that moment.

Because I deserve my own kindness. And respect.

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Are you doing a pros and cons list like the DBT type of list:


Pros of harming

Cons of harming


Pros of not harming

Cons of not harming?


I found having the four headings really clarified it for me, because I wasn't just focusing on finding reasons to be good and quit, I could be honest in all the columns. Cos let's face it, stopping self harm does create some new challenges, how to manage urges, how to find confidence, how to forgive slip ups.


Excellent post - thank you Titania.

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Are you doing a pros and cons list like the DBT type of list:


Pros of harming

Cons of harming


Pros of not harming

Cons of not harming?

^ yes, this exactly. I've already wrote a really excellent list for drinking (which I've shared on my blog) but never finished one for self harm. Tdoc asked me to work at adding to my pros cons list for self harm and I will then share with him and my dbt class next time we meet.

Gosh, Mia. A pinned thread! Wow! :)

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I think the threads you are looking for usually start out with "why should I bother stopping" or something like that.

Pros of self harm:

-it's something that almost always works to change my internal reality

-I have a concrete way to "take care" of myself

-it's more regulated (for me) than drinking

-it distracts me from my emotional state

-if needed, it's a way to ask for help or show people how hard it is when I don't have words

-it interrupts the constant bombardment of intrusive body sensations (this is a really big one for me)

-ETA it keeps me from trying to make myself be dead

Cons of NOT harming:

-I have to tolerate my distress and not escape it

-I have to come up with ways to distract myself

-it is unpleasant and uncomfortable

-it takes effort to use my skills

-sometimes my skills don't work as well as I want them to

Cons of harming:

-it hurts

-it makes scars

-I spend money on first aid supplies when I could be saving or spending that on something fun

-risk of infection or harming so much I need stitches/other medical care

-I have to fess up to my therapist which is awkward and uncomfortable and embarassing

-I might have to do another stupid fucking annoying chain analysis

-I feel ashamed

-I worry/scare/distress/anger/confuse people I care about

-it's something I would NEVER EVER do to another human being

-it's not consistent with my values

Pros of NOT harming:

-no new scars, therefore no more embarassing moments or having to hide parts of my body from people who care about me

-leading to being comfortable wearing shorts and tanktops on hot days

-not spending money on first aid supplies

-my brain is more free to think about other things

-I get long term satisfaction from how I handle my emotional distress instead of shame

-I feel proud of my decision to handle things differently

-I feel more comfortable in my body

I'm sure there are more. This is just what comes to mind off the cuff.

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They are a substantial negative reinforcer... no self harm, no chain analysis.

Stupid fucking DBT.


Sometimes I hate that it helps.

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Pros of self harm:

- it reliably helps me stop feeling painful feelings

- I get relief quickly

- I don't need to rely on another person

- it acts as a record that I have not been ok that I cannot ignore in the future, and will stop me from minimizing any difficulties when talking to care providers

- I have to care for myself with first aid afterwards


Cons of not harming:

- I have to tolerate really horrible feelings

- I find it difficult to manage these with other coping methods, and they do not work as quickly and reliably

- I am more likely to have to ask another person for help


Cons of harming:


- I have scars that can last a long time

- there is an infection risk

- I worry about other people noticing and asking me about  marks and scars

- I end up lying to explain marks and scars

- I am self conscious in certain clothes/bathing suits

- aesthetically the results don't look great

- I find I have to escalate to get the same effect, increasing all the other cons

- buying first aid supplies


Pros of not harming

-  I am forced to find other, healthier ways to cope with feeling horrible

-  no scars or marks

-  I am caring for and treating my body (and self) more kindly

-  having to reach out for help to people can be a good thing


I am struggling a bit with pros of not harming, for me, but hopefully more will become apparent.

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  • 2 months later...

..because once you start up again it becomes difficult to stop.

Yup...I had stopped for 6 weeks...relapsed just over a week ago...have cut more nights than not since. :(

Reason not to cut:

I want a tattoo over my scars, and they need to be further along in the healing process...and there can't be any new cuts...

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Hope you get that tattoo LesMis.

Another reason to not self harm.. Dr appointments are not as nerve wracking since your not afraid of the dr finding new, suspicious marks. I had a dermatologist appointment yesterday, and I'm soo glad I resisted strong urges to cut in the past few weeks. I probably would have cancelled if I had fresh cuts since I would be way to anxious about it.

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  • 2 months later...

00: It hurts. Which might be the point, so maybe that is inapplicable.


01: It leaves a shitload of scars!! Always hard to explain away.


02: It is as addictive as crack or meth. You can't stop; once you make your first cut, you have thrown the stone that starts an avalanche......


03: You go through razor blades really fucking fast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


04: You get blood all over the place, and on your clothes too.


05: People always ask you incredibly irritating questions about it, such as: "What is the point?" "What are you hoping to achieve?" "But WHY?" Two words for you: FUCK. OFF.


06: There is always a chance of harming yourself more seriously than you intend.


07: If anyone ever finds out, you will forever have the stigma of "that person who cuts". Which is a moot point for me now, but.......


08: Idk.


09: Because if you stop and think about it, how fucked up is that, anyway? You, harming yourself on purpose? Like, what the actual fuck?


0A: You may have to get dragged into the hospital multiple times, which is SHITTY, let me tell you!!!! God I hate hospitals!! I fucking HATE hospitals!!!!


0B: It is incredibly awkward telling your boyfriend/girlfriend that you cut. And it is even worse if they find out accidentally.........


0C: It's so annoying trying to scrub and rinse 50 cuts in a row when you are in the shower!!!!!


0D: You have to wear long sleeves all the time. Like, ALL the time. Which would bug the shit out of anyone, even more so if you live in a hot climate.


0E: If you try to hide it from people? Don't try. It is an impossible task. The truth will come out, and then you will be screwed!!!


0F: It is kind of a shitty way of dealing with stress/lack of emotion when there are a billion other ways to cope!!


10: Or you can just put down the blade and deal with your shit already!! :D

Edited by 000000000
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  • 2 months later...
  • 3 weeks later...

About 2.5 weeks ago I threw literally years of recovery down the toilet by self harming again.  Today I won't hurt myself again because of all the memories that came rushing back about visiting the first aid section of the pharmacy, trying to hide the wound in the middle of summer and trying to deal with a wound that's healing very slowly and in a difficult place on my arm considering I see a new pdoc on Friday.  I am ashamed and embarrassed to be on this road again after so long.

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