The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
9 Points

People that self-harm, or cut themselves, are selfish and attention seeking

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/19/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,945 times Debate No: 63543
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)




My argument is that self-harmers should NOT be regarded as selfish or simply attention seeking. A large majority of these people self-harm for specific reasons, such as to relieve mental or emotional stress. Also, the stereotypes that you usually see cut exclusively on their wrists, where most people can easily see. This is not the case for most self-harmers. In fact, most people choose to cut on their upper thighs or stomach, regions of the body that are not usually visible with clothing on. This is because the self-harmers DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW. How can one be selfish or attention seeking, when one of their main goals is to not show the scars/cuts to anyone?


I accept this debate as I share my views on this very sensitive issue. My views would be to try and demean this horrible stress relief that these wounds are now just an accessory for young people. This is not a proper way to solve an issue and it has been popularized I have seen many young girls and boys start this not to try and suppress issues but more as their friends are starting.

I ask the opponent word the debate title better it's unfair to straight off give your opponent a bad head start. Alot of people I saw did not join due to what the debate title was I only accepted because I have my own views on this subject.
Debate Round No. 1


First, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate, and I am sorry that you dislike the title of it. I simply used that title in order to attract opponents with that specific mindset or opinion on this topic, and to make my debate topic clear. I apologize for any inconvenience.

I agree with your statements that self-harm -- cutting in particular -- has become a sort of "accessory for young people." However, the people who choose to inflict harm upon themselves for mere popularity or attention are quite rare in society. Most people who self-harm do it with the intention of truly hurting themselves, for many different reasons, and are not doing it for attention or personal gain, other than the fact that self-harmers often report feeling better after cutting.

"My views would be to try and demean this horrible stress relief...This is not a proper way to solve an issue..." These remarks lead be to believe that you regard self-harming as the wrong way to relieve stress, and that you wish to shame or degrade people who choose to do so. To that, I say that self-harmers should not be shunned or degraded in any way, as this is often the original cause of the need for self-harm. Instead, I would like to promote that these people be cared for just as well as anyone with a mental disorder, because cutting can be extremely harmful. Self-harming is often used as a temporary emotional pain/stress reliever, and can be very effective at it. Sadly, cutting obviously comes with some very serious side-effects.

My goal in this argument is to prove that self-harmers are neither attention seeking nor selfish, and do not use their wounds for their own gain. I have experience with this topic, and strongly believe that my opinions are correct.

Lastly, I would like to politely ask my opponent to use better grammar and/or punctuation in their debate. When reading their argument, there was slight confusion in meaning, and I wish to avoid that in the future. Thank you.


"That you wish to shame or degrade people who choose to do so"

I had never actually meant to shame and degrade those who
choose to do so and I do not see how it may have came
across that way. I do not believe they deserve to be shamed
or degraded these actions start from past painful experiences
I am not a person who would add on those problems I'd like to
bring up two statistics (The resource link can be found below them)

-90 percent of people who engage in self harm begin during Teenage years or pre-adolescent year

-Many of those who self injure report learning how to do so from friends or pro self injury websites

The people who choose to do this are often Teen or Pre Teen so we can say they are very young and inexperienced on how to handle tough situations so the self harm comes up. Immaturity is what should be brought up it is immature to handle these type of situations this way. I have had problems with mental health in the past and self harm came up but the way I saw it was I have so much pain at the moment so why make more but again this was my own opinion. Life will throw much more problems at you in your life sad fact it won't stop. You as a person have to stand up and realize it's time to make a mature decision and seek help. I myself am not 100% mature yet I still make stupid decisions and will probably continue to do so for a while. But tough times call for a clear mind as hard as it can be. Self Harming is nothing more than a horrible band-aid you can hurt yourself till you're raw but it will never really solve the problem it will often lead to suicide.

I myself hate that these sort of things get popularized I have a graph to show that it has actually risen in the past years like a trend. When researching on the topic I had to look everywhere some places put down the trend and others even glorified it I have to admit it was quite confronting, searching Google I saw the following popular searches.

self harm tips and tricks

ways to self harm
pro self harm

I don't want to think about how many would have searched these but they where some of the popular queries yet there was one search that hardly showed up and it was to help solve the issue. I never actually new there was people who gave away tips now they should be shamed one bad attempt can go haywire and leave a poor innocent kid dead that someone who hopefully had a good life ahead of them but nothing could ever really of been known. This seems more like its own sub culture it has it's fans and those who tend to hate it. I feel that some kids have joined this as a fad to join to try and find where they belong. Some say I shouldn't be talking about it because I've never really had any experience with the issue and they'd be correct I really wouldn't see it as they did but my experience is through witnessing the subject. Being an outsider gave me an outlook from someone of neither side I automatically hated it though to me my friends and even a sibling where hurting themselves I cant stand seeing them in pain witnessing them go through depression was enough let alone them physically hurting themselves but I will continue with real experiences in the next debate.

Debate Round No. 2


Aralie forfeited this round.


As my opponent has forfeited the last round I will just put my closing statement

I in no way endorse this act of depression. To violently scar your body this way will make any mental problem worse no one deserves this. I hope if you are reading this and you have these issues please seek help you are worth so much more everyone is. I'm sorry that my opponent wasn't fully able to do this debate but I found doing this a very eye opening experience for myself. So all I would like to finish with is you are worth it and you deserve so much more.

Thank you for reading the debate and I hope you can join in and vote.

Here are some phone numbers for anyone with any issues with self harm.
Kids Helpline- 1800 55 1800
Lifeline Australia- 13 11 14

Note: These are Australian numbers I'm not very sure about other countries and their helplines. But please don't hesitate to find any help on your own or with the help of others.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by DeepInThought 2 years ago
The act of NSSI or Non Suicidal Self Injury (cutting included) has been going on for centuries. The only difference between now and Wylted's example of 20 years ago, is that NSSI was still considered an act of madness. Even though psychologist have fairly recently dismissed that notion; it is still a popular assumption by the misinformed, so people still (but not as much now) have a hard time coming out, in fear of people slapping them with a crazy label.
To radu12345678890: you said directly that cutting hasn't been going on for centuries, but I can give you specific examples that it has... The ancient Greek historian told in his weightings of a Spartan leader who was imprisoned for his strange behavior, and within the time of his imprisonment, he would use a knife that his serf gave him, to cut himself. Another example of NSSI in history is the "needle girls" that in the late 19th century, two American doctors, George Gould and Walter Pyle documented that people (epically woman (understandable during that time that women would use NSSI more then males) where using needles to prick themselves until they had blood dripping down their arms.
This just proves that NSSI is not a new thing, but it is just becoming more noticed.
The subject is for many people still taboo, and I think that it shouldn't be, but I highly recommend that you do your research before you mistakenly make uninformed statements. Being informed on this subject could save a life, perhaps even someone your close to.
Posted by jynxx 2 years ago
MOST people who self harm don't try to like glamorize it. We try to hide the scars and marks. Sure, going to self harm to fix your problems is not the best. They're other ways to cope. But i'll tell you, depending who you are, you have different limits of how much stress you can handle. So unless the people are going around purposefully wearing a tank top right after they cut, don't say it's seeking attention.
Posted by radu12345678890 3 years ago
Here's what I think:

"Cutting" yourself hasn't been going on for centuries. I don't exactly know when it all began, but I can almost positively say that it started after the 1900. Especially in America, adults "listen" to kids. They let them "express" their feelings, and "punish" them when they do wrong. I could go into a whole conversation about this, but I'll save that for a different time.

I believe that "cutting" is also the fault of the parents. Sure, they don't actually do the action, but their the one who raised that child, taught it right from wrong, and "punished" them. I do agree somewhat that it's much based on attention, and maybe mental disorders in which case, I'm not going to vouch for.
Posted by What_Ali_Thinks 3 years ago
I have been a victim of bullying, but did not inflict self-harm to my body. Although, I did other things as a way to express my emotional pain through vandalism and tantrums. Cutting is one of the many ways that victims of bullying can express their pain. It's not necessarily attention seeking in my opinion. The main reason cutting is such an issue because of how dangerous it is, and many people look down upon it because they wonder why anyone would want to inflict physical harm to themselves.
Posted by Redpanda 3 years ago
I thought you were Pro for the argument for a minute before I realised you weren't... Good thing too because I was about to accept the challenge.

People who cut aren't usually attention seeking or selfish!

I have heard about so many bullying victims resorting to cutting because they think that they are worthless. It makes me feel sad that someone can hate themself so much because of what someone else said to them! :(
Posted by PartTimeHipster 3 years ago
I was about to accept the challenge angrily because I thought you were PRO. Realising we are on the same side in this case, I am less angry.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
Why did cutting become popular? That stuff just didn't happen as often back 20 years ago.
Posted by Gods_Servant 3 years ago
i agree some of us do it to feel pain over an emotion or to feel alive as some are already dead inside
Posted by Gods_Servant 3 years ago
i agree some of us do it to feel pain over an emotion or to feel alive as some are already dead inside
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by jynxx 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture, but i still agree with con.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture