From a Project Inspired Girl, Katie G – Why Self-Harm Doesn’t Hurt Just You

    You know the feeling. When everything seems to be going wrong. It’s not a good feeling, is it? Now another question: How do you handle it?

    Maybe you listen to music. Maybe you pray. Maybe you read a book. Or maybe you’re part of a group of people who do something more drastic to handle it: Maybe you hurt yourself. There are many different ways of doing this – cutting and burning are two ways that you’ve probably heard of.

    One thing I can’t stress enough – “self-harm” is a very misleading term. If you self-harm, you may think that since it’s your body, it only hurts you. This, however, is not true. It hurts others, too, including God, your family, friends, your boyfriend, even those acquaintances you barely talk to.

    Girls who don’t self-harm, I’m talking to you now. First of all, good for you. You are making a wonderful choice in finding other ways of dealing with problems. Now, do you have a friend that you suspect of self-harming? The first thing you should do is approach him or her and ask them if they’re doing it. If they say no, it could just be a misunderstanding. If you still think they’re hurting themselves, keep an eye on them without accusing them until you’re sure they’re telling the truth. If the answer is yes, tell a trusted adult – your parents, a teacher, a counselor, even a youth leader.

    To girls who do self-harm – I want you to know that I’ve been there. It’s a dark road that can lead to something worse, such as suicide. I know it’s hard to quit but think of all of those people in your life whom the behavior will affect. I know you can’t possibly mean to hurt all of those people. Now, if you are doing it to get back at someone, such as a parent, try to think of other solutions such as talking it out. If you do it because you feel the need to punish yourself for something, think about what it is you feel you need punishment for. Then, think about whether it really was your fault. If you still feel it was your fault, seek counseling. The most important thing to know – there is no mistake that you can make that’s worth harming yourself over.

    Now, once again, please remember that it doesn’t just harm you. It hurts your parents who probably love you more than life. It hurts your friends who care about you deeply. If you have a boyfriend, it hurts him because he loves you and cares about you, too. It hurts acquaintances who don’t want to see you hurt. And more than anything, it hurts God. Do you think the Creator of the universe wants to see a child of His in pain? Your body is a temple, and when you hurt yourself, you hurt Him.

    My point is, the pain goes farther than you can imagine. Please think before you do it. Think of all of those who love you and want you to succeed. Think of those who care about you and your well-being. Then, put down the knife or the lighter or whatever you use to hurt yourself, and find something productive to do. And above all, pray for God’s guidance as you kick the habit.

    Get Help

    Self-injury and self-mutilation are not appropriate coping behaviors. It’s important to get help from a health care professional as soon as possible.

    Sometimes self-injury is a way of asking for help so that others know how much you’re hurting. However, other people may not notice, especially if you hide the evidence with long sleeves or tights. Remember that deeper cuts can result in permanent damage and leave lasting scars.

    It’s important to find other ways to relieve the pain and learn how to talk about it.

    The first step in stopping this behavior is to acknowledge that you have a problem and that you are not alone. Self-injury is a choice and you can choose to not injure yourself. I’m not saying it will be easy — in fact, people say it’s harder to stop than cigarette smoking. The important thing to remember is that you can do it, with help! It will take work, but you can live without self-injury.

    To help you decide if you have a problem, child development expert Nancy Brown, Ph.D., would recommend that you ask yourself these questions:

    • Do you cut or burn your skin habitually?
    • Do you feel compulsively drawn to cut, pierce or burn your skin?
    • Do you get “high” from the way the activity feels physically?
    • Does the behavior consume your thoughts or interfere with your ability to function normally?
    • Realistically, could you stop the behavior today if you wanted to?
    • Do you use cutting, burning, piercing, compulsively exercising or any other self-injurious behavior as your primary method of releasing internal tension or distress?
    • Is your self-injuring behavior “ritualized,” meaning it must be done in a certain way, and more frequently?
    • If you do not self-injure do you panic, get disorganized or distressed?

    If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, get help — the earlier the better. One option I would recommend is to please call S.A.F.E. Alternatives (1-800-Don’t Cut) or visit their website. They have a great book you can order called Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program for Self-Injurers as well.


    Please, please watch this video. It’s God’s love letter to YOU.

    “My precious child there are some times of suffering in your life. But the temporary suffering of this life does not compare to the glory that shall be revealed in you. Know this that I am with you and I will help you. Your help comes from me, I am the God who created the heavens and the earth, and the one who created you. I will never leave you, I will never reject you. When your parents fail you I will pick you up, hold you close, and adopt you. Nothing can ever separate you from my love for you. When you are in trouble and distress my love is with you. When you are persecuted my love is with you. When you are hungry and cold and naked my love is with you, I am always with you. When you are in danger and threatened with death my love is with you, I will be with you forever.” – from “God’s Love For You” video

    Have you ever had issues with self-harm or know someone who has?

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    By Project Inspired girl, Katie G


    1. It’s so good that you’ve posted this, (It’s kind of strange ecause I literally just send an article to Nicole about this.) I just wish I could have seen this article about 3 years ago. I felt like life was never worth it and so I took up cutting, burning myself, I started overdosing on medications, and attempting suicide. After the first time I cut, I had no clue if God really exsisted or not, but that night I prayed to God and just told him that I just couldn’t deal with life, and how I needed help but I didn’t know how to ask for it. About a year ago I met someone who really gave me a new perspective on life. He invited me to his youth group at church, and I have been going there ever since. It was there that I really came to know Jesus and start a new life with him. My heart and soul have been healed by His word and I feel alive again.(:

      • yes you DID kale!! and I just read it from my cell phone! I am so happy you were healed Kala, that makes me so happy!! The devil and his lies are dangerous. But Jesus is living in you and you can do all things through Him!

    2. it is sad how many people cut themselves, or use other painful things to deal with issues. it hurts me!! to think that there are so many people who think that they need to do this!! 🙁 i am praying for people who do this so they can kick this horrible habit!! God bless, and thank you for writing this… i know it will help many!! 🙂

    3. YES! This is SO true! Cutting hurts yourself, but it also hurts others. I am a former cutter, but thankfully I didn’t cut enough to do any permanent damage. But let me tell you, cutting just makes you feel worse! Girls, please, please, please talk to a adult if you cut! PLEASE! They will be able to help you! God can help you overcome suicide, eating disorders, cutting, and depression. He helped me!

    4. I’m so glad this is posted. Awareness is very important because I know I wasn’t the only one who felt as if I was the only one who self injures.

      Self injury is still a big struggle to me, and the only thing that really helps is knowing His word, and believing that He is always with me.

    5. Great timing for this. For 2 and a half years, this was my life, and with only God’s help, I kicked the habit by myself. I haven’t hurt myself in almost 2 years. But the emotional scars are still there. Just a week ago I told my mom everything and I’m gonna be getting the help I need. God Bless you girls who need help and it will get better I promise!

    6. I used to use a really rusty screwdriver to cut myself. Ive stopped all that though. But i did it because i felt so alone. I liked one of my best guy friends, asked him out, got rejected, got depressed, the whole nine yards. But thats over and done with.

      • EMily- I am so sorry to hear your pain. that also hurts God. Please get help if you are doing that again, because that is the devil telling you to do that. God loves you x1000000000000 and never wants to see you hurt! Please stay strong. 🙂

        • Thank you Nicole. Ive not done that yet, but it feels like i want to. I dont mean to bring you down if thats what i am indeed doing. I dont know whats wrong with me. I guess im just trying to find acceptance from anyone that will accept me. Not all people are as nice as you. In fact you are one of the VERY few people that arent always going out of their way to hurt me. 🙂 that i am very grateful for. But in addition to that, i also used to just look at myself in the mirror and think to myself, “Am i really that ugly?” but anyway, Thank you for being one of the few people out there that dont judge people on looks, or be condescending and look at everyone as under you.

        • Hey Emily you know i felt the way before and its really a huge lie i can see what your feeling you want someone to love you because you feel rejected. but im sure you parents love you and i know God loves you and i love you too. and i know that you are beautiful prayer is the thing that will open your eyes to the truth because i know you are being fooled by the enemy. just keep listening to God!
          everyone feels like there never enough and its a lie.

      • your daddy in Heaven loves you so, so so so SOOO much Guadalupe! you don’t even know how much! you are so precious, adored, beautiful. When you hear negative thoughts about yourself, remember they are not from God they are fro the devil! (I just felt I needed to write this- I felt like God was working through me.) God BLESS YOU!

    7. I love that video sooo much!!! It makes me closer to God nd also makes me feels sooo awesome about myself! Nd I don’t have physical self harm, but sometimes I have mental self harm which is something i’m taking up with the Lord…again thanks so much for this post nd video!! 😀

    8. Thank you for posting this! It’s such an encouragement, I myself have gone through depression and minor cutting (not enough to leave physsical scars). I prayed and prayed and God made me see sense and tell my parents. Since then I’ve been trying to raise awareness for self harming and depression. I always think how different my life would be now if I was not saved, I would probably be dead or still harming myself, I thank God that I know Him!

    9. i feel the same way you do- I don’t know how to stress it enough and it frustrates me. if only there were more ways for girls to know that they didnt have to, and to be educated about these things, than to just go and see the supermodels and the famous being bad examples to them

    10. In 7th grade, (I’m in 9th now) my best friens in the whole wide world, started cutting… she said it was because she was so stressed and didn’t know how to deal with it. She cut for a while before she told me… well I found out, she had been wearing this blue sweater and it was really hot, so one day I asked and she told me. I was so upset, but we were at school so I couldn’t do anything. She promissed me she would never, EVER cut agian. I believed her and helped her through things. Then she was callerd to the councelors office, because someone told the councelor. She called her parents. Then a few days later my friend called me in tears saying she had cut again.. and couldn’t stop the bleeding. I helped her through how to stop it and she called down. The next night I spent the night at her house, and found the sissirs she used. I hid them form hwer and even thiough she found them that night, she hasn’t cut since. Her willpower to stop, GMH! (Gives me hope… It’s from a website wiht insprirational sories on it.)

    11. I completely relate. I remember all ninth grade year being depressed which led into thoughts of suicide which led to attempts. But God has allowed me to live each time. Then once summer started, i thought i wasnt good enough and felt like i’ve committed so many sins and one that is an abomination and felt like i needed to die. But since God didn’t allow me to die, i tried cutting to relief me of the pain and for punishment as well. I remember feeling this numbing feeling and no pain because…i felt well this could never compare to the pain i felt inside. Until, one sunday at church where the Pastor asked people to come up to the alter who were struggling with depression and i did. The Pastor noticed that there were actually spirits that were tormenting me of my past mistakes and other bad things so she demanded those spirits to loose me in Jesus name and at that moment i was Free. No bondage to suicidal thoughts, cutting and lingering sins. Jesus freed me <3

    12. hey first off I want tot thank you for writing this I think it will help me and other people who read it but I think it’s easier said then done when you want to tell your parents or family please someone give me some adivice on this i could really use it i want to tell my parents

    13. also am i the only one who hates when people pretend to know what your going through? I know when people say ” i get it” i want to scream NO YOU DON’T! if you’ve never hurt yourself then how could possibly know what I’m going through?

    14. The deeper you cut, the deeper I hurt. Those are lyrics to a song, not sure which one. Even though statistics say only 1 in 200 teens cut, in my realm of 50ish close friends… I’ve met almost eight. And that’s only the ones I know for sure.

      Having been there, I’m trying desperatlely to help them and constantly pray for them.

    15. Just in time!! I don’t self harm like cutting or anything like that, but i do the mental self harm. Where you think “I’m not good enough and never will be”, “I do nothing right”,”No one loves me” and so forth. I actually was having this problem today. Thank you SO much for this!

    16. I hope what you posted reaches out to many girls out there.
      I struggled with depression when i was just a 6th grader,began having suicidal thoughts and started cutting myself when I entered jr.high. It doesn’t do you any good, it just ended making me feel like crap. The devil rejoices when he sees people falling into this because it’s easier for him to put many bad thoughts in your mind. i’ve contemplated suicide, but God proved His love for me and saved me. but old habits do die hard..there were so many times i promised God I wouldn’t do it again and i guess you could say I relapsed. It’s difficult to get away from your old habits, but man prayer is EFFECTIVE as long as you believe God is able, and thankfully I haven’t turned to my old ways anymore. God’s grace has proven to be the best way of healing for me, and I pray that God will work with those who struggle <3

    17. I dislike how people refer to self-harm as a “bad habit” like cussing or smoking…As if it’s just a nervous habit that you just need to be a little stronger to break, or something. What, like popping your knuckles? …While it’s true today (unlike when I was going through that hell) that there are (mostly teenagers) who this may indeed apply to moreso than not, it occurs to me that simply trying to guilt-trip somebody into stopping isn’t really going to work. (And make no mistake, the sentiments expressed in this article make it clear that despite whatever experience the author may have had with self harm, different cases are different with different folks…maybe if someone had guilt-tripped her into quitting she might have, maybe she never really had real problems as it were?)

      Like “of course it hurts you, but what about your granny and your sister and your dog and your boyfriend and your daddy and especially JESUS! now you don’t want to hurt JESUS do you?!”…that’s how it comes off. I mean, of COURSE people don’t want to hurt Jesus. Do you really imagine that there are those out there sawing away at their skin like “now that THAT Jesus! Yeah, that really hurts don’t it! I’ll git YOU!”…Remember that the road to hell is paved with ONLY the best of intentions…One must realize that, even if it is not true in all cases, those who truly need help (as opposed to just ‘quitting’, which even drug addicts cannot do cold turkey – because there are psychological and/or emotional problems that cause them to choose that specific coping mechanism which will not be cured merely by taking the substance away) and those who at least deep-down want to stop will not be benefited by even more guilt, even more worry about what others think and how one effects them, etc. It may be socially annoying or odd or even concerning to those who know and love you, but that is not the main reason to stop. Not for others, but for yourself. Is the only (or even best) reason not to commit suicide simply so you can live for your family and friends? If we all did that we’d probably most of us be dead by now if that was the case! It’s cliche, but you have to love yourself before you can properly care about others, even if it’s your own family – and you have to live for yourself, and for God, as well. (I find the Godless have far more problems than not!)

      Also, this article implies that self harm is a sin (and I believe in sin, don’t get me wrong – in fact I probably make a clearer distinction than most between that which is mortal or venial, as I’m not a protestant)…It may be, it might not be. If it is it’s almost certainly not going to send you to hell (mortal) but regardless of that it’s implied here that it’s worse than it seems to be in most cases – as if you’re hurting God anymore than if you consented to a lustful thought or committed fornication…in fact that would be worse, but because it ‘doesn’t hurt your boyfriend’ (that’s for sure!), I’m sure THAT’S okay…especially if you use (mortally sinful) contraceptive methods! People forget that God and the Blessed Virgin are “hurt” (angered) ONLY by sin, and therefore you are implying that the emotionally unbalanced are committing grave sin against God…so either admit you think it’s a sin (and what authorities of the Church you claim to uphold), or at least realize that God is hurt a lot more when you use His Holy Name (and/or title!) in vain. All the little things like “omg!z!” and “fer Chrissake!” and washing dishes on the Sabbath (Sunday) hurts Him a lot more than someone’s perishable flesh being torn away…Even assuming that self harm is a sin (and it could be, who knows) that means that these people are merely morally disordered, not mentally or emotionally unbalanced…it would mean they don’t need counsel or even medication, but merely an attitude adjustment away from sin! If this is your position, madam, at least have the kindness and intellectual honesty to state it outright, and I will condescend to agree to at least respect your opinions. If self harm is truly and simply a moral disorder plaguing only sinners, then by all means, throw as much guilt at them as you can, because, surely this will work far better than psychobabble and psychiatric medications…everyone knows that psychopaths can’t be “treated” because they are simply immoral; what then would be the difference between them and self mutilators?

      As for me, I will choose to reserve my judgements until I find something from the Church that actually states self harm is a (mortal) sin, or at least implies it, as you so artfully do. Having escaped the consequences of my (admittedly mortally sinful) unsuccessful suicide attempt at 15, although I did not straight away escape the hell of that world, at least I have found Christ in the True Catholic Faith (though don’t confuse me with the ‘neo-catholic’ lemmings who protect pedophile-protecting “popes”)…and (when I’m baptized), salvation – thank God! As for my own experiences I will assume that I was inherently and gravely sinful and since I deserve hell for a lot less (and a lot more) than that, I’ll just go ahead and lump all of my unpleasant choices together as ‘mortal sin’ and be done with it. But maybe it wasn’t so? Maybe it isn’t with other people, so I’m not going to assume that other people have had (and are having) the same experiences as I did. I mean, I couldn’t even feel a bit of pain (despite needing stitches for how deep the cuts were at times)! I know this was some influence of the devil, some kind of blood sacrifice as it were…because the most horrible torrents of rage and murderous hate (mostly for myself) would overwhelm me to the point of cutting or worse, which literally just happened to occur to me one day while I felt this way and happened to have a shaver in my hand…But couldn’t feel a thing, no matter how deep or how many dozens (or hundreds as it were…) they may have been. Apparently some people get that too but some try to explain it away with – what do they call it? – some kind of hormone, adrenaline, something…which could be true in many cases I suppose, but in mine I (now) know I was merely allowing myself to unwittingly make daily satanic blood sacrifices that now permanately scar me (and visibly so) merely so I wouldn’t go off the deep end and end up in a locked mental facility with my hands and feet tied down to a bed, or whatever else that would’ve happened…which is one of the reasons I took great pains in order to hide the cuts (ie, wasn’t a ‘cry for help’ as is often thought), until I got lazy assuming that people wouldn’t notice or that I could just lie it away (“oh yeah, I have a real mean cat”….lol), which usually did work…which brings me to another point. If people avoid mortal sin (which like I said comes in many forms – careless blasphemy, “white” lies no matter how seemingly innocent or even cheating at a card game, working on Sunday, various sins of the flesh especially, intemperance, etc)…if these are avoided I promise you will never have a problem with self harm or the devil or emotional problems PERIOD. Whatever is plaguing a body can be traced to a spiritual problem, in almost all cases. These might not all result from sin, but mortal sin certainly exacerbates ALL problems, period. So the removal thereof may not cure all one’s problems, but they will certainly be relieved, at the very least.

      What I do these days instead of cutting is first of all, not allow myself to get as riled up as I would (though in most cases people can’t help how they feel, you can often only change how you react to those feelings), try your best to calm down internally, and then I pray the Rosary until I feel better (surprisingly, it doesn’t take much, just a few decades)…I would really reccomend it, because even if you don’t know how to use the beads at first at least you can clutch onto them and move them around in your hands and if you make a rule to keep your hands occupied with something other than a razor or a kitchen torch while you’re upset emotionally that would be a good way to keep yourself from reacting to the feelings which need to be worked on…but most importantly, if you don’t want to end up with the stigma of a diagnosis of mental illness (the stigma is usually worse than the illness), then start analyzing your feelings and figure out why you started so you can figure out how to stop, if you indeed have the capability of doing so. If not, don’t let idiots who have no experience with emotional or psychological problems make you feel like you’re less than a person because you’re seeking help from doctors, or because you may need medication, or for ANY of the other “reasons” that the mentally ill (or even the temporarily emotionally unstable) are so disgustingly stigmatized in this wretched society of phoney “Christians” who are kind and loving only in their own minds…My poor dear Mother has refused to take her medicine for her condition her whole life because of the stigma! Now she’s dying in her delusions, refusing to the last to be thought of as “crazy”, and not even 50…Don’t let society’s idiocy dictate your life (certainly if one were a sodomite one would be told to act on such feelings with wanton abandon, to be “proud” – why be ashamed of a condition you can’t help when the sodomites are proud of being the worst types of sinners known to man?)…Maybe this country will truly be Christian one day and the sickening stigma of the mentally ill will cease.

    18. My bestie cuts ): I’ve tried to help her, let her know God and I are there for her but she just pushes me away. God too. She says I don’t understand…but…I do. I used to self harm all the time . I got better when I went to RWBC (Red Willow Bible Camp) and met some friends who busted me and helped me get better. But my bestie…I don’t even know how to help. I know she has a bad life and I’ve told her that God is there for her but she insists that “If God was really there, why would life be so terrible?” I told her it was a test of her faith and that God loves her very much but she just believes I’m crazy and over filled by a faith of nonsense ):

    19. I need help. I’ve cut quite a few times. Yet, I can’t get professional help because I would have to tell my parents. I can’t do that. I’ve tried to tell my friends, hoping for help, but then they just avoid me. I don’t know what to do and everything is just getting worse. I’ve talked to God and asked him for help so many times but he won’t give me an answer. I’ll go from really biblical, God-loving girl, to depressed, anxious girl constantly. I just don’t know what to do anymore. I feel like I’m getting trapped in an endless loop.

      • Can you get a counselor to help you at school? Or maybe an adult you trust, like a youth pastor or a friend’s parent?
        The first time I got help, I didn’t want it.
        My friend finally dragged me to the counselor’s office to get me the help I needed.
        It’s a long process, but I can now safely say I’m in a better position than how I was back then.

        • I know if I tell an adult, they will do the responsible thing and tell my parents. It’s not that I just don’t want them to know, or scared they’ll be disappointed in me. They seriously might kick me out of the house. They have before.

    20. I’ve had various treatments, been to different mental hospitals, went to a lot of counselling, and am currently on two medications for my depression and anxiety. I thank the Lord for saving me from my father’s house (his family is VERY abusive) and placing me with my mom (parents are divorced), I thank my mom for being supportive of me, I thank the Lord that I’m even alive today, since I have attempted to commit suicide many, many times. I truly believe He saved me every time, and to be completely honest, those were VERY close calls. My faith is what is bringing me, well, “back to life” in a way.
      Though the earthly resources have helped a bit, I think it’s a jump start back on the road the Lord have planned for my life; It’s to get me going to serve Jesus. Jesus is our savior and He’s the only one who can heal us.
      Jesus saves. <3

    21. thank you fot posting this and when i scrach myself i do it out of anger and to punish myself and thanks for the tips and i talked to my grandma and told her no more and i will try reading my bible or praying which ever helps for me.

    22. True the bible says ur body is a temple for God and the Holy Spirit. If you harm urself, u harm a very special place for God, and you are hurting a part of Him. The reason I don’t cut is because it only makes things worse and it becomes addictive. Harming urself only brings on more pain.

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