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What is the difference between Self Harming and Failed Suicide Attempt?

Discussion in 'After Effects' started by downunder, Apr 24, 2008.

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  1. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    Was wondering what the difference is?

    I have attempted suicide and obviously failed but then a few days afterwards felt much better, like got rid of a whole lot of stress. I did not cut myself or OD.

    Was wondering am I possibly a self harmer?

    Do other people seem to feel better after a failed attempt?

    Have also noticed that attempts seemed to be 9 - 12 weeks apart, anyone else have a pattern.
  2. dazzle11215

    dazzle11215 Staff Alumni

    i think the difference is really to do with intent.

    if you hoped that by harming yourself you would die, it was suicide; if you wanted to release stress then it was self-harm. self-harm, as i understand it, is more about using it as a way to deal with overwhelming feelings.

    do you have any insight into why your attempts are 9 to 12 weeks apart? my moods are cyclical, but i'm learning to see the early warning signs and i can intervene early, preventing a descent into suicide.
  3. puckers

    puckers New Member

    I ended up in the hospital in high school and to this day I don't know whether or not I was seriously trying to kill myself.

    It is really hard to determine the line between self harm and intent to kill yourself.
  4. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member

    It's the intent behind ones actions. If you took an overdose for relief of negative feelings and didn't expect death to occur, then it's self harm. If you died taking an overdose that you didn't expect to be lethal, it'd be recorded as 'accidental death'. A failed suicide attempt would be if you attempted to take your life with a method that'd normally prove fatal/a method that you thought would kill.

    I've overdosed many times and only ONE was a genuine attempt to take my own life.
  5. Issaccs

    Issaccs Well-Known Member

    Its the intent and scale.

    You can self harm with little cuts and burns without ever endangering your life for whatever reason you believe it helps you.
    You could also deliberatly try and do more, fatal harm through the same methods on a grander scale and have every intention of not surviving it.

    Thats the differnce between self harm and attempted suicide.
  6. *dilligaf*

    *dilligaf* Staff Alumni

    Self harm is doing something with the intent of harming yourself...not kill yourself
  7. notwanting2live

    notwanting2live Well-Known Member

    i feel that when i overdose or if i try and strangle my self or try and do something, i initially do it to die, and then when i survive, becuase it isnt my time to go, that it is as if my life can get better. i dont know how to explain it. i have taken an massive overdose on proplus - caffiene tablets - and i thought i would ide, not becuase of the tablets, but becuase of the ffects on my heat, as my heart went crazy, and was beating so fast. i told my pysch. this and she said it is a severe way of self harm, although at the time it feels like you just want to die.
  8. Shad()w

    Shad()w Member

    It's hard to tell what our intentions are sometimes. After I attempted, I went to the hospital myself so perhaps I didn't actually want to die. I did feel even worse afterwards though, not because of my injury but because I felt like I failed at what I set out to do. I guess with me it's a grey area. I also self harm and for me it's very deliberate but I think it can vary from person to person how much they are aware of their motivations.
  9. Anam_Cara

    Anam_Cara Well-Known Member

    I agree with others who say the difference between self harm and failed suicide attempt is the intent.. self harming for me is usually done as an outlet and way to either feel something when numb, or to take out anger on myself.. when i self harm them intent isn't to end my life.. usually its random and sporadic.. there is no PLAN or intent to die.. failed suicide attempt obviously is when someone who had the intent to end their life fails.. to me thats the difference between them..
  10. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    I did have a time since my first post, where things were getting very stressful, I remembered a past attempt and how I felt better afterwards, like I had somehow reset my stress level back to 1 out of 10. So I OD'ed, but I really didn't care whether it killed me or not. I have messages in envelopes for people left in my locker at work. On that day I updated them, had my last meal etc. I thought I might have woken up in hospital or have been dead. I really didn't care either way. But it didn't happen like that. I am really amazed at how you can take so many tablets and still be here to tell the tale. When I read about Heath Ledger's, "Accidental Overdose" I think it is a load of BS.
  11. CarpetBurn

    CarpetBurn New Member

    Self Harm isn't suicidal behavior.

    People who self harm are the ones that don't know how to express their emotions properly. If they're angry, sad, depressed, dissapointed...they take out stress by inflicting pain on themselves.

    Reasons for self harm(there are much more reasons):
    -To punish someone else by hurting yourself.
    -To punish yourself.
    -Stress Relief.

    Some people do it just to feel the pain. Just to feel 'alive'.

    Failed Suicide is when you may have second thoughts or you were found and rescued by someone else.

    Failed Suicide and Self Harm are two HUGE different things.
  12. Stranger1

    Stranger1 Forum Buddy & Antiquities Friend

    I remember my attempt was from due stress because my fiance was out running around on me. She also spent all of our money putting cocaine up her nose. I finally had my feel and OD'd. I slept for almost two days and no one even noticed. Her son was in the house and you would have thought he would think something was wrong.
    Any how I went to the emergency room because my hands and feet and ancles were all swollen up. The doc said quit abusing my meds and turned around and left. So my ex took me to another hospital and they admitted me.
    They thought at first it was a heartattack. After running tests they discovered some of my organs weren't funtioning right. They kept me for four days.
    As far as self harming I have started cutting myself again. I haven't done that in a long time.:chopper:.
  13. Aleth

    Aleth Well-Known Member

    I guess there are different degrees of self harm, some intend suicide, some just want pain, for some its a cry for help, while others are perhaps daring themselves to risk death or testing how they feel about death by coming as close to it as they can.

    But many people are squeemish about pain like me and have no wish to injure themselves. They simply look for the quickest and/or most painless method of death they can accomplish. Although, it can often result in unintentional self harm.
  14. butterflies32

    butterflies32 Well-Known Member


    There is such thing as parasuicide that is a suicide attempt that failed but then is seen as a form of self harm. This sounds a little bit like what you did.

    People who SH do not intend to die, it is not something that is on their agenda.

    Suicide ideation is the intent to kill one self.

    Hope this helps.

  15. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    Googled, parasuicide.

    Parasuicide: An apparent attempt at suicide, commonly called a suicidal gesture, in which the aim is not death. For example, a sublethal drug overdose or wrist slash. Previous parasuicide is a predictor of suicide. The increased risk of subsequent suicide persists without decline for at least two decades.

    Parasuicide may be a genuine attempt by the person to kill themselves, or it has been suggested that it can be 'a cry for help', the person feeling this is the only way that their level of distress is recognised.

    Have also heard that once you have attempted it, you are forever a "high risk" person.
  16. butterflies32

    butterflies32 Well-Known Member

    Where did you hear that? it is possible to recover from with proffessional help. parasuicide needs to be delt with becaus eit can be dangerous and fatal but is treated almost like a suicidal patient.

  17. Smashed__

    Smashed__ Well-Known Member

    When people actually DO die from overdoses it isn't a load of bullshit, as much a suprise as it may be. I think it has a lot to do with what medication(s) are being used, the immunity in your body(if you've used the drugs normally for extended lengths of time), amount of meds, and if someone finds you or not.
  18. downunder

    downunder Well-Known Member

    What I am meaning is that I can;t understand how you can have an "accidental overdose" when it takes so much to OD. I think it would have to be done on purpose.

    In relation to being forever at high risk, heard that if you are on the Crisis Assessment Team files as having attempted suicide in the past, that they term you as forever high risk. May be different in other countries.
  19. ZundertowZ

    ZundertowZ Well-Known Member

    ive been sef medicating for a year and my tolleance towards certain pills has gotton to the point where i have 2 take alot! i do worry about an accidental od.
  20. LenaLunacy

    LenaLunacy Well-Known Member

    I believe, my own personal opinion, is that self harming with the intent of jus hurting yourself and not killing yourself, is what's different froma failed suicide attempt.
    A suicide attempt is an activity with which you hope to die by, whereas self harm, often, is jus a way for people to cope.
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