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Peer Talk

Is it bad to self harm? Or on the contrary, is it good to self harm? Or is it just okay (not bad or good)?

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Thank you for asking us this! Self-harm is something that affects many people, and we’re really glad you reached out to us with this question.

In general, it’s impossible to define self-harm as good or bad, because there are so many different factors to consider that lead people to rely on self-harming. Each person that engages in self-harm can do it for entirely different reasons. The traditional belief that people who self-harm are also suicidal is quite inaccurate, with self-harm being a completely different behavior that does not necessarily have to be linked with wanting to take your own life. For instance, some people who self-harm do so because they find that it helps them to cope with difficult situations and feelings in their lives. Others choose to rely on physical pain in order to deal with the emotional pain that they’re feeling.

For those who are suicidal, self-harming may be a way to overcome their feelings of suicide. For many people, self-harming is a coping strategy that they use when they find themselves in a difficult situation, and in that way people can find it to be a helpful way to manage their feelings and emotions.

Although we are not here to judge what is good or bad for you, we do strongly encourage you not to rely solely on self-harm as a coping mechanism. Although people may find it helpful and preferable to other coping mechanisms, self-harm can be dangerous and risky. Since self-harming isn’t the only way for people to cope effectively, we encourage you to try other ways before resorting to it. Some good ways to cope include: reading, watching tv, exercising or playing a sport, taking a bath, playing video games, talking to friends and family, listening to music, writing in a journal, drawing or painting and cooking or baking. Find something that you enjoy doing, that’ll take your mind off of things things for a while and will make you feel better. Using these coping mechanisms can often be more beneficial for you, because they’re safer and more rewarding.

If you’d like to talk about anything stressful or hard that is going on in your life, please feel free to chat with us at, text us at 587-333-2724 or call us at 403-264-TEEN. We’d love to talk to you, no matter what the problem is.

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