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Stigma of Self-Harm

The paradox of self-harm can be difficult to understand, even for those of us living inside it. We hurt ourselves to feel better—and no, on the surface, that doesn't make sense. But in the moment, sometimes it feels like the only option we've got.
Not every case of self-injury is obvious. Whether you're talking clinically or colloquially, it can be hard sometimes to clearly define what counts as self-harm and what does not.
Individually, hating yourself and hurting yourself are difficult things to cope with. Simultaneously, though, self-harm and self-hate create a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break—but doing so is vital for healing and growth.
Whether you do so intentionally or unconsciously, using emotional blackmail to stop self-harm is one of the worst things you can do to someone struggling to recover.
When we talk about self-harm recovery, we like to think of it in terms of goals and milestones. We like to think of it as something measurable that we can track, a box we can tick off, or a line we can cross. But at what point do you get to claim the title of being self-harm free?
Telling yourself to stop feeling guilty for self-harm is like trying not to think about pink elephants. It feels like you can't help it, and the harder you push it away, the tighter it seems to grip onto your gray matter. But believe it or not, you can move past guilt and finally begin to heal.
Whether you're dreading a spring break beach trip or a long, hot summer full of pool party potential, swimsuit season can be daunting for anyone with scars, but especially those of us whose scars were self-inflicted. Let's talk about how to hide self-harm scars in swimsuit season—and whether you really need to.
Paradoxically, writing about self-harm for HealthyPlace has been one of the hardest things I've done in my life—and one of the easiest. It's certainly not for everyone, but in my case, publicly writing on self-injury has been an incredible opportunity to both heal and be healed in return.
Many people in recovery wonder, can you get a job with self-harm scars, or will your past always cast a shadow over your future? The truth is, while you can't erase the past, that doesn't mean you have to let it hold you back.
Self-harm isn't just about physical pain—it can be deeply intertwined with invisible emotional pain as well. If the self-injury beliefs that you are holding onto are holding you back from healing, it's time to let them go.