Different types of Self Harm


Hello Beautiful People,

My second post for MHAP this week is going to be about the different types of self harm.

This post may cause triggering for some by talking about different types of self harm – if you feel as if this may trigger you please, please stop reading and contact Samaritans to speak to someone on 116 123.

What really annoys me is that every time self harm is mentioned on TV and Film, the slitting of the wrists is the go to. Now don’t get me wrong, yes some people do self harm that way, but by only focusing on that creates a sense of stereotyping and most significantly it attaches a stigma to self harm. Just because someone has anxiety, depression, BPD or even bipolar just to name a few doesn’t mean that every single person who has that diagnosis is going to slit their wrists.

Self harming is about having that release, a short term release to the crisis or struggle that someone is battling that day, week or month and so forth. You take the release, when I’ve had that release I feel the shame and guilt a few hours later and I truly end up hating myself even more, I feel worthless, like I’m nothing and as a result the cycle continues and continues. I don’t often think of the longer term implications of the harm I’m causing myself mentally and even physically or even the pain I may end up causing towards my family because the only thing that matters is the short thrill of release.

Self harm itself can take a variety of forms:

  • Binge Eating
  • Starvation
  • Picking at skin with nails
  • Pulling hair
  • Ripping off nails or biting off nails
  • Not washing or brushing teeth
  • Self imposed isolation
  • Not changing clothes
  • Cutting all over the body
  • Taking pills
  • Drowning
  • Strangulation

There are so many forms of self harm and even more that I could add to the list. All of these types provide that temporary release for a short term problem – yet some of these like not washing or isolation are less likely to be considered as forms of self harm by the general public.

A questions for you all:

Who feels a sense of guilt for not getting changed in the morning or not washing their teeth and just spending the entire day on the sofa?

I know I do, my anxiety increases even more so when I hear a snide comment such as; ‘God, you are so lazy.’ I’m not, I struggled this morning, I was triggered and the only way to have my release from my internal crisis was to sit in my smelly pjs, with greasy hair and bad breath on the sofa.

It wasn’t until the therapist I’m currently seeing as part of my taught CBT counselling that I released that this was a way of self harming myself because I was isolated, I wasn’t looking after myself and all I was doing was just hurting myself and others by not speaking up.

Even more so, the therapy that I use has also made me release that I do in fact binge eat and that I associate negative thoughts as a reason to pig out on takeaway pizza – which basically means that if I order a dominoes I’m actually paying a company to self harm myself and that realisation has in fact blown my mind because it has taken so long to associate the two together.

So I may not cut my wrists, but I do harm myself emotionally and physically in other ways which goes to show that we shouldn’t stereotype this form of release and we need to realise that self harming can be a multitude of different things. I honestly do feel that this needs to be addressed more on TV and in Film because from what I have seen television companies actually mock cutting which therefore encourages other people to mock the process of slitting the wrists without actually understanding the thought process of self harming.

What are your thoughts on this? Leave a comment below!

If you are going through this either physically, emotionally or both please seek help. It took me four years and multiple suicide attempts and self harming to realise that what I was doing wasn’t healthy.

Until next week,


Leo, The Anxious Teacher


Ps. if you want to read more of my posts in the mean time check out my blog here.


  1. Donna Hudson says

    Thanks for being brave enough to share this article. I think it’s time we start addressing self harming as a way to cope with our Mental Health Illnesses. I used to cut or burn myself, I was also anorexic with bulimia. It has taken some difficult work to stop self harming completely.

    • Nicole Carman says

      I definitely agree — it’s not talked about nearly as much as it should be. It’s still such a taboo subject, but the reality is so many people struggle with self harm, and considering it a taboo subject and avoiding discussions entirely contribute to the lack of support people receive.

  2. amymayj says

    This is such a brave and informative article. People are so narrow minded about self harm thinking that it’s just cutting and that people only do it for attention (that one absolutely enrages me). There definitely needs to be more awareness raised about it and the different types of self harm. Thank you for sharing such a brave piece 🙂

    • Nicole Carman says

      Thanks so much for reading and for taking the time to comment. I can’t stand when people talk about it being for attention, either. It irks me so much.

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