the Hope of Survivors

Why Do I Do These Things?
What is “self-abuse”?
Self-abuse is also known as self-mutilation. It is when you turn against yourself and do harm to your body in various ways such as starving yourself (anorexia), binging and purging (bulimia), cutting yourself, burning yourself, pulling your hair, picking or scratching your skin, hitting yourself, extreme risk-taking (like driving too fast), and so on. It is unacceptable behaviour to God. It is sin.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.”—1 Corinthians 6:19

Why do I do this to myself?
This is a very unhealthy way to cope with the overwhelming feelings (self-hatred, unexpressed rage, shame, guilt, fear, pain, etc.) you have or are trying to suppress. Our bodies and minds are wonderfully made, but we can do much damage to ourselves when we attempt to deny feelings or past experiences. We must learn to trust God to help us through our trying circumstances and help us to have an attitude of forgiveness—toward ourselves and toward our abusers.

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”—Psalm 139:14

To learn more about self-abuse and to receive help, please contact:

SAFE (Self-Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives: Call 1-800-DON’T-CUT (1-800-366-8288) or go to their web site at

Also, for more information, please read our section entitled Consequences of Abuse.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18