Cutting & Self-Harm

Sometimes people hurt themselves when going through an intensely painful time, or when struggling with symptoms of severe mental illness. 

If you’ve harmed yourself, it’s important to understand why it’s a problem, and what you can do to get help.
Chat with a Hope Coach

What Is Self-Harm?

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is defined as the intentional, direct injuring of one’s own body, usually without suicidal intentions. Self-harming behavior could take several forms, but the most common are cutting, scratching, hitting, or biting the skin to deliberately hurt one’s self. Most people harm themselves to the point of visible bruising or bleeding, but cover up the signs of their self harm so that it’s harder for their loved ones to notice.

If you self-harm, you are not alone. Some estimates place the number of people who self-harm as high as one in five women, and one in seven men. HealthyPlace reports that as many as 90% of all people who self-harm started doing so in their teens.


Self-harm includes cutting, burning, bruising, pulling your hair, picking your skin, or any activity where you damage your body. It can cause injury to your nerves, tendons, blood vessels or muscles. Permanent scarring is very likely, and you can also develop infections. Self-harm can be lethal, as it can result in accidental death.


The choice to self-harm is commonly triggered by intense emotional pain. Some people feel disconnected or numb and want to feel something. Others use it to release anger and soothe the emotional chaos they can’t control. It's important to understand this is a vicious cycle that only brings temporary relief. The urge to self-harm can be very addictive and can cause you more emotional turmoil as you later regret harming your body.


Self-harm not only leaves outward scars, but it also puts scars on the spirit...on the soul. They can't be seen but they can be felt. Your spirit is crying out for help. The healing process for self-harm needs to include giving your spirit the attention it needs to provide stability and calmness within.

Your information will be kept private and a link to your eBook will be emailed to you.
View other eBooks in our library.
Download this FREE eBook!

You aren't alone.

Check out these stories of hope from others who have struggled with this issue.

Why Am I Harming Myself?

As with any harmful behavior or emotion, causes of self-harm will vary between people. 

Many people engage in self-harm because of:

• Mental health diagnoses (especially depression) that are not sufficiently treated or managed
• Traumatic events like a death in the family, or a divorce, that leave people feeling helpless
• Low self-esteem and self-worth as a result of bullying or abuse

You may be drawn to self-harm out of a desire to control your pain. You may feel so emotionally numb that harming yourself allows you to at least feel something. Or you may feel a sense of release after hurting yourself. The secrecy may also be part of why it keeps happening. If no one notices your pain, you are likely to feel further isolated in that pain, prompting more self-harm.
Chat with a Hope Coach

Why Is Self-Harm Dangerous?

You may have convinced yourself that self-harm is not dangerous, since you are not attempting to kill yourself, and you are not actively hurting anyone but yourself. But self-harm is a dangerous, risky behavior that you need to get help with immediately. Why?

• Self-harm could result in more serious injury than you intend.

• You may be more likely to consider or plan suicide in the future than someone who has never harmed themselves.

• The cyclical nature of self-harm, and its tendency to temporarily “soothe” means it often becomes an addiction. Addictive behavior puts you at risk of neglecting what’s normally important to you, and damages or strains even your closest relationships.

Breaking Free: How to Stop Self-Harm

One of the biggest reasons people continue to self-harm, even when they know it’s dangerous, is fear that they will be judged or condemned by people they care about. 

At the TheHopeLine, we understand that self-harm is happening because of deep pain, and unmet needs. We’ll never judge you, and we offer a confidential place to get help for cutting, self-harm, and other addictive behaviors. 


Using self-harm as a way to cope with unhealthy emotions, most often causes feelings failure and hopelessness. However, when your heart and mind tell you that you've failed, there is a truth to help you overcome. The Bible says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26. Place your hope in God's strength to help you break free from your urge to self-harm.

Tired of The Problem?  Try the Solution.

Privacy Policy / Terms of Use
© 2024 TheHopeLine, Inc. Registered 501(c)(3). EIN: 20-1198064
© 2021 Powered by OxyNinja Core