Self Harm is Normal

How scary is that for those of us who don’t understand it? There are so many people out there that when they read the title, they’ll get it. They will understand. But those that don’t get it, they say “How is that NORMAL?” Well, it is. And here’s why.

If you look up pretty much any mental disorder, one of the symptoms is… You guessed it! Self Harm!

  • Depression: Self Harm
  • Bipolar: Self Harm
  • BPD: Self Harm
  • PTSD: Self Harm

Schizophrenia: Self Harm (reliance on drugs or alcohol)

It’s all tied together. And it’s everywhere. Self harm is linked to so many things that people like me say, hey that’s normal. Everyone I know that has a disorder is a self harmer and there’s a lot wrong with that, but it’s normal. Self harm doesn’t mean that we are out for attention, and it doesn’t always mean that we cut ourselves.

There are many forms of self harm:

  • Cutting is always number one (everyone knows that one)
  • Burning
  • Pinching
  • Punching
  • Pulling your hair out
  • Slapping yourself
  • breaking bones

The list, honestly, could go on. And I’m going to link alcoholism and drug use in there too, because you are hurting yourself with it.

It’s normal, and it’s scary. But it doesn’t have to be a secret. It doesn’t have to be a shameful thing. We all need to talk about it. Get it out in the open for people to discuss and know that they aren’t alone in this struggle. Because after all, that’s what we’re doing. We’re struggling. Ans we are all in this together. So don’t be surprised when you see unexplained marks on someone, they are struggling like you are.


About Preslee

I am diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Panic and Anxiety disorders, and PTSD. I write about my own personal experiences and thoughts.

Posted on April 3, 2014, in Mental Health, Support and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I read this and had to come back to it. Because it was normal to me. It struck a nerve. I now consider myself a recovering cutter. Because I feel like same with drugs and alcohol it’s a life long recovery. A battle of the urges. I myself haven’t cut since beginning of feb 2013 a little over a year. I from time to time have beyond terrifying urges but have managed to use my dbt skills to leave it at the urge. I’m on kind of a journey of self acceptance with the cutting scar I have and am blogging about it at the moment. Thank you for posting about a topic more people need to be aware off

  2. edelwilliams1

    I read this and again, like the above commentator had to read and re-read to fully take in what you were saying and what you actually wanted to say. My initial response was one of horror; that something so abnormal could be viewed as in any way ‘normal’. But you are right! For those who have the urges it is a normal thing to do. I have bi-polar and have never self harmed. It’s not part of my illness. But my daughter has cut herself and she does not suffer any psychiatric or mental disorders. She did it because it was something she could control at a time in her life when she felt more ‘out of control’ than she was able to cope with. I was uncertain as to how to help her and in the end could do nothing to alleviate her pain or struggling, but she knew I was there for when she was ready! Its not normal and I still don’t understand it but I understand her and was here when she needed it. Thankfully.

    • I think that most people, when they read the title, have the same reaction as you did. However, I think it’s time to normalize something that happens in almost every mental illness. I’ve struggled with self harm since I was 15. I was recovered for a very long time, until my illness was more violent in appearance. I began cutting again, because I could control the pain, at least one area in my life, when nothing else made sense. It’s scary for people to think about self harm, but if you look at blogs on here or on tumblr, it’s all over social media. Not everyone does it for attention, not everyone is trying to kill themselves, we are coping the best way we know how. Congratulations for not self harming, it’s a very high achievement in our community, I think. I hope that your daughter is doing much better. 🙂 Keep up the good work, love.

  1. Pingback: Self-harm – in under two minutes | Life in a Bind - BPD and me

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