Top Definition
An expression used to describe the act of hurting oneself, most of the time by cutting but also burning, breaking bones, hitting yourself etc.

It is a general view that people self harm for attention which is normally not the case. People who self harm are generally depressed and has a hard time dealing with life. Self harm also mustn't be mixed up with suicide, as it's not done for dying, but for coping with life.

Most people who self harm are ashamed and hide it, but there are those who aren't afraid to go in long sleeves (if they cut their arms) This is most of the time NOT because they want everyone to feel sorry for them.

Also smoking can technically be counted as self harm, as it's a way of hurting oneself, although not as direct as other ways.
"I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel, I focus on the pain, the only thing that's real. The needle tears a hole, the old familiar sting, tried to kill it all away but I remember everything." - Hurt, Nine Inch Nails
po Natta Јул 11, 2005
Alot of people confuse self harm with attention seeking or the populer mainstream fad wich is "emo". This is not the truth, alot of self harmers despise emo's due to the fact that their bullshit immitation self harming has completely biased people towards the subject( bear in mind I am talking about emo in a general sense, Im not denying that an emo can have real problems, Im simply pointing out that the vast majority dont). Emo's go around drawing attention to their pathetic attempts and claiming that they are truly missunderstood. Not only does anyone who genuinly self harms for relevant reasons get labelled attention seeking but they'r also labelled as emo's, wich greatly pisses off anyone who has any concept of what it really feals like to truly want to self mutilate due to any particular genuine reason. Self harm is not about getting attention or making a statement, self harm is about release, mainly of stress. This can actually be explained scientifically, the adrenalin triggered by shedding blood somehow eliminates the brain signals and hormones produced by stress, stress that could be caused by any number of things, every one of them real. Often when somebody is hurt emotionally, the survival technique of numbing out the feelings is employed, this ultimately stops the person from feeling hurt but also prevents them from feeling other emotions, much like shock. The mind is not used to this, and often people cut to prove to themselves that they can still feel emotion. Also in some cases it is impossible for a person to cry without cutting, as anybody knows crying is essential for the release of some emotions, not continual crying, but often if a person does not cry for long periods of time they will need some other release.Somebody who is unable to cry without cutting, they often cannot cry because they associate crying with showing weakness, time has tought that when you show people your weaknesses they often target and manipulate those weaknesses, therefore a person may only be able to cry in response to real physical pain, thus releaving their REAL emotional pain. Cutting can happen for a vast amount of reasons, the prejudice associated with it is not fair and only goes on to make matters worse, it is essential that people understand what they are looking at before they decide to judge.
The classic example of a real cutter is somebody who has been brought up without being tought how to release their emotions correctly, somebody who is victimised, and classically somebody who has no friends or family to talk to about their various problems or worries. However any one person can be a genuine self harmer, it only takes a few unfortunate circumstances, you'd be suprised at how messed up humans really are.
po Brain of pinky. Мај 21, 2006
Someone who self-harms do this because they are often sad, they feel that feeling pysical pain will drown thier emotional pain. Not accociated with goths or punks or emo, it can happen to anyone. Although, some people do it for attention. Shoot those people.
She cuts herself because her boyfriend dumped her, so she uses self-harm to cause pysical pain, to drown out her emotional pain.
po Miss. Unique Март 3, 2006
OK, despite what some people think, and generalise, self harmers are not all emo, and don't all do it in the same way.

For example, a previous post described that it is normally on the wrist lower arms, and in certain shapes every time.
This isn't the case; people may also do if for any reason on their stomach, legs, chest and upper arms.

People that carve pretty stars and flowers into their arms are just attention seeking idiots that need to grow up.
Self harm is something that affects over 20% of teenagers aged 12 - 19, and can seriously affect people's lives. People who suffer from depression may self harm, and people who don't.

People, please change today.
When you see a kid with scars on their wrists and tear tracks, don't judge them; don't automatically call them emo.
Just be caring towards them;
Help end self harm!
Man that kid is emo...

No she isn't; she's just hurting. It's self harm; not a stereotype
po PoisonousLithium Мај 31, 2009
Self harm refers to the willful act of harming oneself. Many people simply group its many forms under "cutting," but this is technically incorrect. Self harming is usually triggered by an underlying behavioural or emotional disorder, such as depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder, or total lack of feeling. The main reason why people self harm is because it simulates an attack, and produces endorphins, among other hormones, which provide comfort to the self harmer. However, there are many dangers in self harming:
-If the self harmer cuts a little too deep, they might not be able to stop the bleeding.
-Hepatitis B, and other blood-bourne diseases.
-Scars are unattractive. At best.
Additionally, it's highly addictive and hard to break. It's equivalent to ending an eating disorder. The psychological addiction level is very high, as one might suspect, but there is a physical aspect of the addiction: The hormones released after an act of self harm are tangible things which can be very difficult to be separated from. While someone is quitting self harming, there may be disturbing outward manifestations of the desire to harm, such as sadism. These symptoms will pass with time.
In short, self harm disorder is not something to be trifled with. Its association with a certain style of clothing and music is unfortunate, and self harming to try and conform with this twisted stereotype. The will to fit in will fade quickly, but the scars are immortal.
Self harm brings nothing but pain and misery.

Can you reach for the stars, with the scars on your wrists weighing you down like leaden shackles on damned souls?
po Phobic Delusions Јул 24, 2010
self harm is the act of harming the self.
This can include cuttiing, burning alcohol, drug or solvent abuse, self brusing and hair pulling triciollomania mongst other things. It is a coping method not a failed suicide attempt or a sign of being "emo"
Im worried about Janet, I think shes started to self-harm, she hasnt taken her hoodie off all summer.
po Howlie Фабруар 20, 2008
usually in the aftermath of some trauma which may have occured during ones formative years. A violation and ungodly act of hurt caused by the callous insensitivity of those who should know not to pick on those who are way too vulnerable, and simply can't take it. Revulsion and anger towards the physical self perhaps because of some deep hurt, i.e, abuse, bullying, sexual aggression, etc cetera.
Self harm as an act can encompass a variety of destructive behaviours, from cutting, burning, to shaving ones hair. I slashed my arms to ribbons due to a fragile mental state, 'cause i felt violent towards "them", for crossing a boundary with me, they thought i was "weird" and relentlessly mocked and degraded me, got used as a sexual punching bag when much younger. Has a devastating impact on sufferer, loss of sound mind, proper emotional development, limited life opportunities, inability to have healthy human relationships, don't trust others that they won't end up hurting me, just like all the rest. Hopelessness and apathy about mankind. A throbbing heart.....I could write a novella about it!
po anonymous for obvious reasons Мај 28, 2008
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