Why do people post images of their fresh self-harm wounds? It’s irresponsible and I wish you would stop.

Hey, so lately I’ve become aware that quite a lot of people post images of the cuts they’ve just inflicted upon themselves online, and in their blogs. And this has caused me to have some serious ranting monologues in my head. I really felt the urge to ask the people doing this as to WHY!?! because it really baffles me, but I figured I might come off offensive and hurt someone, and ended up writing this here in stead. I’m very curious as to why people do that, and if you do and have an answer please tell me, I want to understand. But no matter what the reason I really don’t think that’s OK one bit, and the following will be a rant about that behavior and what I think about it. If you do this and know you’ll be offended go away (or stay and change!), because I’ll be critiquing it, and I’m not gonna apologize for it.

First of all I wanna say that I don’t think anyone should judge others for their self-harm, it’s your own body and your self-harm mostly affects you. I really wish you didn’t do it, but I’m not about to criticize someone for choosing that way of surviving the terrible mental pain you must be in. This is about flaunting images of fresh cuts and wounds openly on the web, with no form of warning or giving people any opportunity to chose not to take part.

  1. IT’S A TRIGGER:
    You do know that writing about self-harm can be triggering, but pictures is even more triggering. And most of all pictures of fresh wounds, and the action of cutting oneself are triggering. When you post a picture of your wounds you trigger other people that has not asked for it, people that might be struggling with the same, or people that are in a desperate situation and need relief.
  2. YOU SUBJECT OTHERS TO HARMFUL BEHAVIOR:
    You subject them to a trigger to behavior that is unhealthy and dangerous. You don’t only choose to subject yourself to this, you subject strangers online to it, without their consent. Kids can see it. And grow-ups that know they’re in the danger group for leaning towards this kind of coping mechanisms. You don’t give them the opportunity to keep themselves safe. If I go online and search up pictures of fresh cuts, that’s my bad, that’s my responsibility and no one can be faulted for that but myself. But when I am searching the web for blogs to read about different subjects, I should be able to do that without having cuts pushed into my face. I should be able to sit safely in my living room keeping myself and hypothetical kids safe from seeing self-harm wounds.

I do believe we have a responsibility for our peers and our fellow world travelers. I do believe that every human being should strive to not hurt others and impair other people’s lives. And posting images of self-harm wounds, and cuts, does that exact thing. I believe you can do better. And if you don’t do better, if you knowingly subject another human being to this pain you are irresponsible and a bad person. (Yes, I said it, a bad person.) The pain being inflicted through an image like this doesn’t make it OK, or less bad than inflicting pain in other ways. You should know that it’s triggering, and that it’s harmful, and if you know and still do it it’s just as bad as other forms of actively hurting others. We all live our lives, thinking about ourselves, but doing what is right for us, good for us, should not be done at other people’s wellbeing’s expense. We have a right to a place in this world, to resources and happiness, but not if it’s from hurting others.

I realize that one of the reasons for doing this might be wanting attention, hurting, and needing desperately for someone to see. I don’t devalue this. Everyone needs attention, and sometimes we are so alone that we chose the means at hand (for instance posting an image of a new cut). But even if this is the reason, it’s not alright. There are other ways! You getting what you need and want should not come at the cost of other people hurting. I think we all should be responsible and chose not to be a person that does this to others.

Writing and speaking about self-harm can be meaningful, can teach people, give them more perspective, and help them understand their loved ones, or themselves. It can help them change a bad coping strategy or make them feel less alone. But even writing about this subject in a detailed manner should come with a warning, so that the people that know they are at risk of being triggered can choose for themselves if they wanna take part, if they wanna subject themselves to it. No one should choose that for another person, and we should have enough compassion for people to give them the choice. But pictures of fresh wounds and cuts, I see no reason whatsoever how this can be positive to share with the world. Pictures of fresh wounds can’t like words about them be meaningful, they can’t teach people, give them more perspective or help them understand their loved ones or themselves. Pictures of cuts cannot help them change a bad coping strategy or make someone feel less alone. It can only hurt.

So why? Why do you do this? Why do you choose to take away someones freedom to protect themselves from harm by without warning shoving a picture of a fresh self-harm wound/cut in their face? Why do you feel the need to show your pain in a way that hurts others?

Please don’t! Use the web to rant, and complain, and yell and scream out your misery and pain. Use the web to express how desperately you need someone to see you. How incredibly much it hurts! Use the web however you like, as long as you don’t actively and knowingly hurt others in the process. And to me, posting images of fresh self-harm wounds can never be anything but just that. It’s cruel, vicious and unacceptable. So please, don’t do it. And if you have to, don’t do it where I can see, or kids can see, without any warnings.

– Marie