Misconceptions Around Self-Harm & Suicidal Ideation



You are doing it [self harm] for attention.

I hate this one. It is very likely that someone who is self-harming is doing so secretly. This is NOT for attention. They may be dealing with dark thoughts which push them towards harmful behaviors. These behaviors may be a way to seek temporary relief from anxiety or depression. It is much more complex than “attention-seeking” behavior. It’s time to stop the stigma. Such stigma may prevent those who are performing such behaviors from seeking help.


You can’t be suicidal- you have such a good life.

Stop attacking people for being suicidal. It is beyond their control. They may appear to have the perfect life, but depression can impact anyone, no matter their life circumstances. Suicidal thoughts are a SYMPTOM of depression. You wouldn’t attack someone for experiences symptoms from physical illnesses; don’t do it for mental illnesses.


You can just snap out of it/control it. You aren’t even trying.

For many people engaging in self-harm or experiencing suicidal thoughts, it can stem from a mental illness. Many factors of mental illness can be beyond the control of the person impacted by them. Who would WANT to continuously experience suicidal thoughts or hurt themselves? These experiences are much more complicated than typically believed to be. People may be putting much effort into avoiding such behaviors or thoughts, but do not know how to control them. This is where professional intervention i.e. therapy or medication may be necessary.




**NOTE: If you are someone or know someone who is dealing with self-harm or suicidal thoughts, please seek help! http://www.spsamerica.org/ is one resource, but there are many more available via the phone or internet!






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