Thank you for asking this great question. Though there are many layers in this question to discuss, let’s first address self-harm. People resort to self-harm for many different reasons. Stress from relationships, school, work… A lot of internal and external factors can lead to the accumulation of stress and lead to an overwhelming situation for one to handle. The physical pain from self-harm provide temporary relief from the mental angst they are going through. Although it sounds enticing, self-harm is an unhealthy method of coping. It leaves behind physical scars as well as puts one at the risk of infection.
Self harm is not the problem, but rather, the by-product of a problem. If a stress factor (or factors) in one’s life is affecting them to the degree that they are on the verge of breaking down, they may choose to self-harm to relieve themselves temporarily from it. We here at ConnecTeen do not judge or put down the act of self harming. We respect the different ways of coping because everyone is different. However, we also recognize that healthier alternatives are available and we wish that people who wish to self harm would try these alternatives instead, ones that are risk and scar free.
Let’s talk about guilt. Guilt is a complex feeling. There are two different types of guilt: guilt towards oneself, guilt towards others. When one self-harms, it is possible that they feel guilty towards themselves for having resorted to such a method to cope. Perhaps they feel guilty towards others such as their family and friends for having self-harmed, and for hiding it even. The stigmas that follow self-harm are horrific to deal with, and they might drive one into a corner of guilt. Hence, we understand why you may feel guilty. We also understand why you may not feel guilty, because you might think that you are justified in coping in this manner. And to that extent, you are right, since you are the master of your own life and you should choose the coping method that works best for you.
Finally, to answer your question: Should you feel guilty? There is no definite binary answer of yes or no towards this question. You are entitled to your own emotions and feelings. We cannot give verdict on your emotions and dictate you to feel a certain way or not. Whether you feel guilty or not, we can help. There are alternative healthy coping methods out there. Just shoot us a call or text and we would be more than happy to discuss coping methods with you. If you want to talk about what has been making you self harm lately, we can do that as well. Our phone lines are open 24/7 and our text lines are on until 1:30am. ConnecTeen would love to talk to you whenever you are, wherever you are!