10 Real Reasons Not to Self Harm

Obvious massive trigger warning for self harm.

There are many, many lists and articles and comments and emails and conversations and every other form of interaction out there about why you shouldn’t self harm. If you have ever hurt yourself and anyone has ever found out, you’ve been subject to a litany of reasons. There are many good reasons to not self harm and lots of really stupid reasons to not self harm. Some people find the generic lists on the internet extremely helpful, but I have never been particularly convinced when I’m in a bad place. They come from a place that assumes I believe in my own worth, and when I want to hurt myself I’m rarely in a state of mind that recognizes that. At a guess, I would suspect that I’m not alone.

At this point, I’ve mostly kicked the habit of self-harm, and I think it can be really helpful for those who have been there to share what helped for them. So here is my list of real, honest to god reasons that I have stopped.


This post has been moved to my new blog at Aut of Spoons. Check out the list there.

113 thoughts on “10 Real Reasons Not to Self Harm

  1. Victoria says:

    I was about to relapse after nearly a year and found this on Google. Thank you so much kind stranger.

  2. Emma Glover says:

    This seriously helped me so much. As a recovering cutter, this helped me at a time when all my other support mechanisms had failed. There are so many romantisised reasons to “self care” and not cut, but a reminder of the honest logistics of it all has been such a help. What seems good at the time has legit and inconvenient consequences. Thank you!

  3. Anonymous ty says:

    Holy shit. Dude this is such a real list. Went to town on my thigh a week ago after not doing it for years and got pissed when my boyfriend was upset about it. Like, I understand it made him sad, but it was like, this is my fight not yours? Just pretend you don’t see it kthx. The ice metaphor really put it into perspective. I googled ‘reasons to not cut yourself’ today and I’m so fucking glad this showed up. Bookmarking and coming back to this. Another reason: The constant pre-rehearsing of what you could possibly say if someone asks what those cuts are. The hours I wasted only to not be asked lmao.

    • oj27 says:

      I’m so so so happy it helped. And YES on that final reason. The number of times I’ve worn clothes that cover my whole body just to avoid it is astounding. It fucking rules your life.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I haven’t self-harmed before but I have really considered it so many times and I really was going to tonight but this stopped me. Thank you… It’s kind of funny that the practical reasons are more convincing than the big philosophical ones… Thank you again ❤

  5. Raven says:

    This really helped when I was considering relapsing, and I’m really glad I found this. Also yes, the itching is seriously the worst part oh my gosh it never stops sometimes. But thank you for this. 🙂

  6. Jemima Cuddlefuck says:

    Thank you. I just don’t know how else to cope rn

    • oj27 says:

      I know. I totally get that. And it’s so frustrating because people cope so differently that it’s hard to give advice. What works for me is to move my body, really work hard on establishing relationships where I feel safe and comfortable, and work somewhere that I feel comfortable going to work every day. But that’s just me. I really hope you find something that works for you.

      • Jemima Cuddlefuck says:

        Thanks so much for replying. It really means the world. Just to know that there is someone out there who cares 🙂 I’m (sort of) sure I’ll find my way out of this.

  7. Coral says:

    Hey, this really helped me today. The humor made it easy to read. I especially liked #4. That me right now, I should go to bed. Thank you for this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you. You just stopped me from cuthing myself tonight.

  9. Kat says:

    Honestly… thank you so much for writing this. This is the only thing I’ve ever related to and actually I’m so desperate to relapse and this is just what I needed to read today to keep me going. Have saved link and will read this to keep me going when I need. Thank you a million… you have no idea how much I appreciate this!

  10. Sarah says:

    I’m so glad I found this. You really have made a difference posting this. Thank you so much for preventing me from cutting myself. It’s a constant thought that goes through my head and I finally found something that makes me never want to do it again.

  11. forgetful says:

    i started, then looked up reasons not to cut, if i hadn’t of read this, i’d be sore tomorrow, i completly forgot about the morning shower!! thanks for reminding me and helping me out, i’m going to just go to bed, thank you so much for being open and honest, also reminding me hat a bitch the after effects are, its been awhile xxoo

  12. Moon says:

    Thank you… im 13 and ive been considering various things e.g suicide etc. etc. and i just feel so done with life. I was about to cut when i googled reasons to not cut (because i thought hey maybe if i google this itll distract me, yes i know stupid) and i found this post and it really helped

    • Anonymous says:

      Lemmie tell you, it ain’t worth it. I’ve been cutting for years on end and it’s good for short term relief but afterwards you just feel stupid and then there’s the stress of hiding it as mentioned in the article above. I still cut but not as often cause I learned how to think.

  13. Jessica says:

    Thank you for this. It helped alot

  14. Stella says:

    Eh, still not any reasons I particularly care about.

  15. Autumn says:

    The way i feel right now, i feel abandon, alone, no one cares, im no body, if i would to die would u miss me, I DON’T CARE ANYMORE I JUST WANT TO DIE!!! My boyfriend thought I was getting sick, but In reality I just feel out of it. I can’t get up to eat or use the bathroom,my boyfriend makes me eat. I lack motivation for school, my mother doesn’t believe in depression so I’m alone beside my loving boyfriend. As always, I never had any friends and to this day I still don’t. I feel like I’m moving in slow motion and I can’t do anything about it. I’ll go to laugh and I will cry, and it takes me a lot to laugh. What is wrong with me, i’m SO out of it I feel like I took a drug or something BUT I DIDNT! Like i shut everyone out even my boyfriend. Now my boyfriend broke up with me cuz of my depression. And i have been in and out of hospital since i was 12 and im 13 almost 14 please anyone email me at ahoppkins011304@gmail.com if they think thheey can help or just want to tallk.

  16. Mak says:

    Thank you so much. I was about to well, cut, because the other forms of self harm I have done, (bruising, pinching, scratching ex.) don’t work as well as they used to. I had heard that it completely takes over your life, but I needed more reasons and this helped me not do it. I was just going to cut on my stomach, but reading about the clothes thing, that put it in perspective. Thank you.

  17. DN says:

    I am doing a talk on self-harm and would like to use the picture on this page. As professionals we are trying to find better ways to reach out and help those that self-cut. Thanks for your honesty. May I use the picture?

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