Self-Injury Awareness Day

In light of Self-Injury Awareness Day, here are a few things that self-injury is NOT, taken from the book Hope and Healing for Kids Who Cut by Marv Penner:

It is not just a fad.

It is not an extreme version of tattoos or piercings

It is probably not a suicide attempt (though self-injury is often the result of deep emotional pain or a symptom of other problems like depression, so the issue of suicide should definitely be addressed! Avoid accusations though, and understand that self-injury is most likely a coping technique rather than an attempt to end one’s life)

It is not demon possession (I’m looking at you, Baptist preachers)

It is not just an attempt to get attention.

For those struggling with self-injury, one of the worse feelings is the stigma and misunderstanding surrounding the issue throughout society. Many of us who are or have been self-injurers in the past are all too familiar with the misconceptions listed above.

So, let’s drag this issue into the light and remove the stigma surrounding self-injury. If you have a story to tell, send me a link in the comments and I will post it on my Weekend Links tomorrow or Sunday. Or just take the last few hours of Self-Injury Awareness Day to spread these facts to your friends and family!

Oh, and if you’re currently a self-injurer, I get it. I’ve been there, and so have many others.

You are not alone!

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  • It’s so important for each of us to know we’re not alone, but even more so when something this stigmatized is at play.

    I get the self-injury thing – even though I’ve never been there myself. One of the girls I’ve mentored over the years (about 7 years now) and even my best friend have been self-injurers.

    One of the movements that I love that is geared towards helping young people cope with self-injury, depression and other common afflictions/addictions is TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms). It comes out of such a moving story of a young woman’s life and I love the hope they are trying to share with people.

  • Hi Sarah,

    I just found out about self-injury awareness day yesterday, so I made a video of one of my favorite poems. It’s about someone I met once who was a cutter. Thank you for adding to the conversation and shedding a light on something that is often kept in the dark.

    Here is the link if you and whoever wants to check it out:

  • Diana M. D.


  • I used to be a self-injurer. For me, being in physical pain helped dull the emotional pain, though only for a few minutes. It was a form of control when I felt I had no control, just like my eating disorder before it. It was miserable. I was already “the depressed goth girl” at school, so most people didn’t take it too seriously. Then again, it’s difficult for someone to take cutting seriously when they don’t take depression seriously – I, too, grew up with the “you just want attention, you’re so selfish, it’s just a phase” reaction to depression, anorexia, suicide attempts, and cutting. The only thing that sort of reaction did for me was make me force the pain inside until it didn’t show anymore and just suffer in silence, wondering why I wasn’t happy.