Self harm: it's not a joke

By:,Lily Clouse

Background information

So what is self harm? Well, self harm is the act of intentionally harming yourself. Some common ways of doing this are cutting, burning, and scratching. Although if is all self-controlled, it can get to a point where you can't stop it. Self harm is a very

Common addiction, mostly in the youth and adolescents in this day and age.

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The image above is a chart of how people self harm based on technique and age, we well as gender. As you can see, the ratio of men to women in terms of self harm is very similar, which many people don't believe. This also adds how much alcohol has had an impact on this chart.

The semicolon: sign of strength?

On the media, some of you might have seen people draw or tattoo a semicolon on their wrist or hands. "What does this mean?" You might ask. Well, in English class, you learned that a semicolon indicates a pause in a sentence, longer than a comma, but doesn't end the sentence. That is a metaphor for self harm. It does feel like the end t times, but it's not over. When you see a semicolon on someone's wrist, they are probably a victim of self harm and is saying 'my story isn't over'.

Symptoms and signs

How can you tell when someone has self harmed or is thinking about it? Well, there are many ways to. Some of them include but are not limited to:

  • Scars from cuts or burns
  • Claiming to have frequent accidents
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, or bruises
  • Broken bones
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Spending a great deal of time alone
  • Wearing long sleeves and pants even in hot weather
  • Difficulties with interpersonal relationships
  • Emotional instability
  • Impulsiveness and unpredictability
  • Depressed mood
  • Irritability
  • Frequent thoughts of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness

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Myths: true or false?

There are many myths and questions about self harm. Here are some of them:

Do people self harm for attention?

The short answer is no. But, some people, who have an addiction to attention, will do it just for people to notice or pay attention to them. Real self harm victims do not want attention and mot will avoid it.

Why do people self harm?

The reason for self harm is mostly a personal reason, but some common reasons are from mental illness, like depression, anxiety, anorexia, etc, or to inflict pain on somewhere other than their brain, as a distraction.

Are all people who self harm suicidal?

No. Although it is common for self harm victims to be suicidal, it is not always the case. Some people who self harm don't actually want to commit suicide, possibly because they don't want to give up.


I do not support or advise self harm in any way, shape or form. As a person who is, as well as know a self harm victim, I strongly urge you to not go to this as an escape. This is just an informational report to inform people about the case and answer some common misconsumptions. If you are a self harm victim, thinking about self harming, or know someone who is a self harm victim, please call this hotline that is open 24 hours:

1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)