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Self Harming

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A website providng help and support for those who are self harming. The site has links to other useful sites and a chatroom.

The intent of this site is to educate, to inform and, most of all, to help those who hurt themselves understand that they're not crazy or freaks or evil. They're human, people in pain who have developed a coping mechanism that, while maladaptive in terms of the "normal" world, works for them. Although learning other, better ways to cope is an admirable goal, beating them up emotionally for falling short of this or lapsing just perpetuates a vicious cycle.

This site does not encourage self-harm, nor does it condemn people for choosing to harm themselves. There is explicit material here, because over the years people have expressed great relief at seeing the words of others and finding out that other people do what they do and feel what they feel. They've also found it refreshing to be in a place that discusses this sensitive topic in a matter-of-fact way, without sensationalizing or dramatizing it.

As a way of life, self-injury is pretty ineffective. It's not a terribly effective coping method, either, but it's far from being the worst thing a person can do. I choose to radically accept reality -- some people are going to hurt themselves regardless of what I say here. Polite euphemism and side-stepping aren't going to lessen the odds of that. I strive to be genuine, compassionate, concerned, and realistic.

The information here comes from the five years I've spent listening to, talking with, and skills-coaching people who self-injure; peer-reviewed journals; books; internet surveys; and other sources (see references). Many people have told me their stories and contributed immensely to this site. Without their generosity, this page would be impoverished. If this site can help you feel as though your burden is no longer one you carry alone, I'll feel I've repaid them.

Deb Martinson

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