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Forums / Suicidal thoughts and self-harm / Is self-harm a selfish act? (T.W)

Topic: Is self-harm a selfish act? (T.W)

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. calli_the_abnormality
    calli_the_abnormality avatar
    2 posts
    27 June 2021

    Hi, I'd like to say that first, this post recounts traumatic events and dark thoughts of mine. If you'd prefer not see that, please don't read this. Though a response is preferred, please don't think it's an obligation. I'd also like to say that at 12yo I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression.

    Every time that I'm found out hurting myself or expressing the will to do so, it's a selfish act, something done without thinking about the impact it'll have on other people. Now, my parents aren't harmful to me, they pulled me and my sister away from an abuser which is what first caused the thoughts years ago.

    But whether I tell my parents or they find out through their own means, I'm being selfish, not caring about the rest of the family and in some cases, a threat. By that, meaning that because I harm myself, I intend to harm others.
    This is not the case, no way in hell. Now, I'm not a saint. I've lied in the past, for my own benefit and for my abuser's, so it's understandable why my parents would jump to such conclusions. But no matter what I argue, I'm the selfish one.

    I harm myself due the bitter self-hatred that's buried itself in my heart. It's extremely difficult for me to accept compliments, if asked to point out positive things about myself, I can't. If I pass a test with flying colours, I'll often blame it on luck or a low class average. I've always had low self-esteem. But high school and the recent exams have proven to me more than ever, that I'm not good enough. That I'm not as amazing as some claim. "They're just trying to make me feel better out of pity" Statements like that strike me often. And combined with petty instances of public embarrassment, 'soft bullying' and general inconveniences, I break. I hyper-fixate on the errors, I scrutinise myself for messing up and do self-harm.

    Now this is mostly my fault here, but my parents don't know the full picture. I can't bring myself to tell them. I'm scared of past labels such as "attention-seeker" or "overdramatic" to come to light again. I don't have a therapist too. I have the school counselor, but they have to send me away for the day and to return with a GP's approval.

    I've called Kids Helpline a couple times, but this isn't working for me. To anyone who sees this, please, what do I do?

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6840 posts
    28 June 2021 in reply to calli_the_abnormality
    Hey calli_the_abnormality,

    Welcome to our forums and thank you for posting here. It takes a lot of courage to be so open and honest with your feelings, and we are so glad that you have reached out here tonight. We're so sorry to hear that you've been struggling with these intense thoughts, and urges to harm yourself, but please know that you're never alone in this, and many others reading will also be able to relate to feeling this way during moments in their lives too. We also just wanted to let you know that we are also checking in with you privately through email with some extra support.

    You mentioned you've reached out to Kids Help Line before. We're sorry to hear that hasn't been helpful those couple of times but we'd strongly encourage you to try again. Being able to talk these thoughts and feelings through with an understanding voice at the other end of the phone can be incredibly powerful, helpful in getting more immediate support and advice whenever things are feeling like too much to cope with.

    You can also reach out to eheadspace for a one-on-one online chat from 9am to 1 am here: or you can try calling them during those hours on 1800 650 890

    We'd also encourage you to reach out to our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), who are available to you at anytime, night or day, during overwhelming moments.

    You are not alone here, and we hope that you keep us updated on how you're going whenever you feel ready. Our community would love to help you in your journey.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Sad_Mushroom
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Sad_Mushroom avatar
    239 posts
    3 July 2021 in reply to calli_the_abnormality

    Hi Calli,

    I am now 55yo and over all my self-harm issues but I was a full-time self-harmer in my younger years.

    I am out of it all and have been for years and just want you to know that things can get better and we can get out.

    As we get older things change and we get to have more control over our own lives. Just hang in there and rely on the help services (already provided on previous post) and do not be scared to ball your eyes out and scream for help.

    YOU are special and obviously very smart to seek help and find where to ask for help. YOU are closer to getting help than you realise. PLEASE do not give up now......Kellie

    1 person found this helpful
  4. therising
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    therising avatar
    2830 posts
    4 July 2021 in reply to calli_the_abnormality

    Hi calli

    I know you're not big on compliments but I can't help myself when it comes to stating the obvious - you're wonderful and truly amazing. The proof is in your post. You're beginning to wonder about a lot, which proves you're wonder full and I'm amazed by your level of consciousness which has brought you here. With you amazing me, this makes you obviously amazing. You don't have to feel your wonderfulness or your amazingness, sometimes it can be enough to just recognise them in some way.

    I can relate to the self harming, from when it used to be my 'go to' thing when I was about 16. By the way, I'm an old gal of 50 now :) Of course, people do this for a variety of reasons. I can relate to your reasons, that level of self hatred. For me it was mainly about a form of self punishment. If I could talk to my younger self, I'd say to her what I'd like to say to you: It is time to be an attention seeker, so that you can gain the attention of those who can guide you away from going into a depression. It is time to be dramatic and if your dramatic self can't get people's attention then it's time to be over dramatic. Wave your arms, scream at the top of your lungs or cry like a maniac 'I CAN'T KEEP DOING THIS WITHOUT GUIDANCE'.

    If anyone was to say 'Oh, that person's just being an over dramatic attention seeker' and then leave it at that, I couldn't help but say 'What the hell is wrong with you, that you would make that statement and then leave that person to suffer?!' I'd have to control myself and not give that inconsiderate person a bit of a slap on top of it :)

    Calli, who do you sense raises you in some way? Who do you sense brings you down? If you're sensitive enough, you'll be able to feel it. If you sense yourself being raised (your spirits and your level of consciousness or self awareness) by your school counselor, that GP approval may be worth gaining. If you feel raised simply by coming here for now, this may be a good start.

    Calli, I know it sounds a little crazy but you'll want to being holding onto your sensitivity because it will serve you well. Don't let anyone tell you 'You need to stop being so sensitive'. If anyone tells you this and it leads you to feel down, that is 'the feeling' of being shut down. It pays to recognise this feeling so you can ask yourself 'What is wrong with a person who would want to shut or bring me down?' Sensing the questionable nature of others is a natural self esteem booster.

    Come back anytime you feel the need :)

  5. white knight
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    white knight avatar
    9781 posts
    4 July 2021 in reply to therising

    Hi, welcome

    I think the last 3 posts are spot on for advice. I just wanted to say, how articulate you post is and how well written.

    Anyone that accuses a self harmer of selfishness is reacting as a naive person without the knowledge needed to understand it's complexities.


    Beyondblue topic they just wont understand why?

    Thankyou for being so brave in writing in here.


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