%% This list of examples has been alphabetized. Please add your example in the proper place. Thanks!
%% Per decision in Image Pickin', this page is to be left without an image or an Image Links page.
%% See thread for reference: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1461454185020060700
->''"All the little things that might have been annoying me suddenly seem so trivial because I'm concentrating on the pain. I'm not a person who can scream and shout so this is my only outlet. It's all done very logically."''
-->-- '''[[Music/ManicStreetPreachers Richey Edwards]]'''

'''For self-harming tropers who would like to seek help, or for tropers hoping to find help for a loved one, [[YouAreNotAlone please know that]] [[UsefulNotes/SuicidePrevention you are not alone]]. If a partner/institution/religious group pushes you to engage in self-harm for any reason or promotes self-harming behavior, you are likely a victim of {{UsefulNotes/Abuse}}. Again, YouAreNotAlone'''.

Self-harm (SH), also termed self-injury (SI), is the act or acts of deliberately hurting oneself. Methods of doing so include, but are not limited to cutting, scratching, burning, biting, and banging or hitting body-parts. Eating disorders are also considered to exist on the self-harm spectrum, as are some high-risk unsafe sexual practices (specifically anything related to EroticAsphyxiation, weapons play with "live" weapons such as sharp knives or loaded firearms, and/or intentionally trying to become infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.) Particularly easy to miss are those who commit emotional self-harm, which can be a both a surrogate and precursor to physical self-harm.[[note]]Emotional Self-Harm does not mean watching a sad movie or being mad at yourself for failing at something unintentionally. Emotional self-harm would involve intentionally reading hate speech ([[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech especially when it's directed at a group you're a member of]]), intentionally failing at an important task, intentionally starting arguments or {{flame war}}s, or intentionally seeking out degrading relationships and situations.[[/note]] Some consider [[TheSmokingSection cigarette smoking and tobacco use]] and/or the intentional consumption of [[NutritionalNightmare severely unhealthy foods]] as forms of SelfHarm, but this is [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment somewhat controversial]] because the motivations underlying both behaviors are often somewhat different than those underlying more traditional forms of self-harm.[[note]]Specifically, the most common motivations for smoking and for eating very unhealthy food are pleasure-seeking and/or to cope with surroundings where one or both are available/temporarily advantageous, or to "fit in" or "rebel" socially. These are in contrast to almost all of the motivations for more "traditional" self-harm mentioned.[[/note]]

There is a lot of stigma surrounding self-harm. In fiction, it is generally associated with the {{goth}} and {{emo|Teen}} subcultures, and often thought that self-injurers are "just doing it for attention". Cutting is by far the most represented form of SI in fiction, though other forms are seen.

In reality, however, there are many reasons for self-harm, and it is not confined to (or encouraged by) any particular subcultures. It is usually a sign that someone is really hurting inside or suffering from mental illness; self-harm is associated with a variety of mental illnesses, including UsefulNotes/{{depression}} and [[HollywoodPersonalityDisorders borderline personality disorder]] (BPD is, in fact, the only illness for which the DSM lists self-harm as a criterion.) Contrary to the belief that they are seeking attention, many self-injurers will go to great lengths to [[CutHimselfShaving hide their injuries]].

Reasons for self-injury include, but are not limited to:
* Relief of emotional pain: many people who self-harm suffer from disorders such as depression, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder which cause intense emotional ups or downs. Self-harm can provide temporary relief from these emotions.
* To generate feelings: On the other end of the spectrum, some people who self-harm have feelings of numbness or dissociation, and the only way that they can feel anything at all is by hurting themselves.
* Control: Often in addition to one or both of the above, people may self-harm because the pain it generates is a the only feeling that they are able to control.
* [[ThePenance Self-punishment]]: some people who self-harm do it because they think they've done something that warrants punishment, or perhaps they suffer from self-loathing and think they deserve to suffer pain.
* Sexual gratification via pain: Some people obtain sexual gratification via acts that are sufficiently extreme enough to cross over from "harmless" (e.g. getting insulted or spanked) to SelfHarm (e.g. EroticAsphyxiation or knife play) whether with a partner or alone.
* To communicate to others: Although it's much less frequent than is usually portrayed, some people self-harm because they don't know how to effectively communicate to others. It doesn't make them manipulative or attention-seeking, it just means that they don't know of better ways to communicate. It can be a sort of distress signal. Some people do this because they feel that their mental health isn't taken seriously and use this to say, "Please, listen. I need help. This really is an issue. This is what can happen if I don't get the help I need."
* Though it's not as common as the others, some simply do it as a quick and simple way to feel good for a short amount of time.
* Religion or ritual: Though it's not as common as the other reasons in modern times, some people self-harm or subject themselves to harm from someone else as a result of religious belief or as a ritual act. In past times, it was far more common, with a distinct overlap between it and the above-mentioned reasons of self-punishment or sexual gratification.
* Seeking community/social acceptance: This one is almost exclusive to eating disorders and to seeking HIV infection (e.g. cutting, burning, and the like aren't usually done to be a part of a community), but some people actually want to be anorexic or bulimic because anorexia or bulimia make them skinny/socially accepted, or because they can relate to other eating disordered people online or in real life. Some of those who seek HIV infection view being HIV+ as a "club" or "community," and seek it for that reason, as well. It is also the reason some people smoke and/or consume unhealthy foods, if you consider one or both of those intentional self-harm.)

It should be noted that not all people who self-harm are [[DrivenToSuicide suicidal]], though there is an increased risk of suicide in those who do, especially accidental suicide if the person truly does not care about living or dying, or has no education or interest in harm reduction/is engaging in specifically risky practices. However in media, self-harm frequently signifies that a character is suicidal.

SelfMutilationDemonstration is another reason why characters might deliberately injure themselves, as is any situation when they're faced with a LifeOrLimbDecision.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', [[spoiler:this is the primary method that Titan Shifters use to activate their transformation, since injury (and a clear goal) are required]]. Eren has a tendency to bite his hand hard enough to draw blood, which others note is actually harder than it looks.
* ''Manga/{{Berserk}}'':
** At several points in the manga, Griffith claws at his arms deeply enough to bleed, usually due to going through some bad things mentally.
** Guts does this in the earlier chapters too, to what's left of his arm with his fingers.
** And then there's Farnese and her penchant for self-flagellation, which she does for religious, emotional and sexual reasons.
* ''Manga/BlackLagoon'':
** Implied with Frederica Sawyer. In Chapter #41, scars can be seen on her wrist while she is climbing a ladder, and a few official artworks featuring her show a fairly large amount of scars on her wrists.
** When Garcia overhears Roberta (who he has a big crush on) getting intimate with a soldier he responds by crying and biting into his finger hard enough that he bleeds.
* ''Manga/ACruelGodReigns'': Around a year after Sandra and Greg's deaths, Jeremy begins slamming his head and body into walls and door frames when he [[FreakOut becomes too distressed]] or during [[HeroicBSOD moments of confusion]].
* A contractor in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' has to cut himself in order to activate his powers.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', Captain Ginyu wounds himself by stabbing his own hand into his chest, which greatly shocks Goku...but not as much as Ginyu's subsequent use of a [[GrandTheftMe body-change]] technique, leaving Goku in his badly injured body.
* After her wings begin splotching due to [[spoiler:becoming sin-bound]], Rakka from ''Anime/HaibaneRenmei'' begins cutting off the ruined feathers. She stops when Reki finds out and teaches her how to [[HideYourOtherness dye her wings]]. [[spoiler:Reki herself used to mutilate her wings as well due to being born with black wings]].
* In ''Manga/InuYasha'', there is a scene where [[BigBad Naraku]], frustrated about the feelings of jealousy and unrequited love for Kikyo (which he blames on the vestiges of his humanity, but are later revealed to be very much his own), rips the skin of his back (where he has a scar that marks him as part-human) with a sword. With a HealingFactor like his, the resulting wound is like a shallow papercut to him, but the scene implies that he has been doing it ''over and over again'' and he has implied that he tried even more drastic methods... Since he already knew that it wouldn't work, one can assume that he does it entirely because of the aforementioned feelings.
* The main character of ''Manga/{{Life}}'' by Keiko Suenobu begins cutting after her best friend turns on her. In the LiveActionAdaptation, this is replaced by an ImportantHaircut and it focuses harder on the bullying.
* In ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'', protagonist Tobia is being held captive by someone who thinks [[PsychicPowers Newtypes]] have evolved beyond the concerns of {{Muggles}} and is trying to convince him to not care about the war going on right outside. Tobia's ShutUpHannibal is to steal a knife from a nearby guard, cut his arm, and say (paraphrased) "Newtypes and Oldtypes bleed the same blood; we aren't superior, just different."
* In ''Manga/{{Narutaru}}'', [[spoiler:Akira Sakura]] cuts herself - hardly surprising considering how dark the series is.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'':
** Gaara attempted to slash his own wrists as a child, but was blocked by his own sand barrier. This is after a classic example of a DarkAndTroubledPast, since while he had never actually been injured due to said sand barrier and was only half-halfheartedly trying out of curiosity, the fact that a child would casually try something like that is still rather indicative of Gaara's state of mind.
** Hidan takes this UpToEleven by having to impale himself with sharp objects in order to ''sacrifice'' people for his religious ceremonies. After linking his body to someone else through ingesting some of their blood, wounding his immortal body allows him to transfer said damage to his victim.
** The summoning technique in general requires the summoner to offer some blood before they can proceed to summon their creatures.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** While she may or may not have tried to speed the process by [[BungledSuicide cutting her wrists]] and [[BathSuicide lying in a bathtub]], Asuka was implied to have taken a more indirect route by starving herself. She's found naked with her clothes folded neatly (a hallmark of people committing suicide) and is too weak to avoid being taken into custody when Section 2 agents find her.
** One early draft of episode 24 would've shown Kaworu with scars on his wrists and neck, with the implications that they were from suicide attempts. This was apparently cut in the final draft, but it does help explain why Kaworu was so willing to [[spoiler:have Shinji kill him]].
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** Very early, during the Arlong arc, Arlong's ally, corrupt marine officer Nezumi, "confiscates" the ransom money that Nami spent the last 8 years collecting. Arlong tells her that he didn't break their deal and the villagers decide that she has fought enough, and goes to fight him, which would lead to their certain deaths. Distraught and hopeless, Nami grabs a knife and starts violently defacing the Arlong tattoo on her arm, not stopping until Luffy grabs her hand.
** The scar under Luffy's left eye is self-inflicted, but it wasn't for much of an emotional reason. [[IdiotHero He just wanted to show how tough he was to the other pirates when he was a kid]].
* ''Manga/PandoraHearts'': In times of emotional distress Break will claw at his empty eye socket until it bleeds. (It was pulled out of his head by the Will of the Abyss).
* One of the ''many'' signs of mental instability shown by Dilandau in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne'' is how he picks at the cut on his face that [[TheHero Van]] gave him early in the series and reopens it while brooding. One of his {{Mook}}s points out that this is preventing it from healing properly and gets promptly [[BadBoss backhanded]] for it.
* In ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'', [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Lune]] is stabbing herself to relieve the frustration of being unable to harm humans.
* ''Manga/TokyoGhoul'':
** After being captured and imprisoned in Cochlea, the amnesiac Ghoul #240 is seen wearing bandages over his eyes. This is because he repeatedly clawed his own eyes out (he has a HealingFactor so they would regrow), to the extent the wounds kept getting infected.
** Juuzou Suzuya is shown stitching his own skin for no discernible reason. Being raised and tortured by a psychopathic ghoul might have something to do with it, since he shrugs off more major injuries as well.
* ''Manga/WolfGuyWolfenCrest'': The BigBad Haguro Dou becomes completely and crazily obsessed with protagonist (and werewolf) Inugami. He initially doesn't care about or even think twice about Inugami... until he pushes Inugami too far. Which results in Inugami showing him his true form and scaring Haguro. Haguro goes insane from it, and obsesses and stalks Inugami after that, even cutting himself all over his arm and carving the word "Inu" onto his hand.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''ComicBook/ArkhamAsylumASeriousHouseOnSeriousEarth'', Amadeus Arkham's patient, serial killer Martin "Mad Dog" Hawkins, states that he cuts his arms with a razor "[j]ust to feel. Just to feel ''something''."
* Speedball, aka Robbie Baldwin of ''ComicBook/NewWarriors'' wound up needing to do this to use his powers because of his guilt following the disastrous explosion in Stamford Connecticut that claimed the lives of 612 people. For a time he wears a special suit that constantly injures him so he can unlock them and dubs himself Penance, but even after he gets rid of the suit and goes back to his old persona he admits that he still cuts himself to store up the energy he uses as Penance because this power is more useful in a fight, but he realizes how harmful this is and Hank Pym offers to get him help.
* In the first arc of ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'', Nico uses a pocket knife to cut her arm, whenever she has to summon the Staff of One (which only appears when she bleeds). Though Nico is a PerkyGoth though, she actually is not normally a cutter. In fact, after the first arc is over, she can't bring herself to use the pocket knife and instead resorts to more imaginative ways to bleed (including making use of that time of the month).
* In ''ComicBook/TheSandman'', [[AnthropomorphicPersonification Despair]] habitually tears her skin with the hooked ring she wears. At one point she cut her ''[[EyeScream eyeball]]'' open, which was mercifully only narrated, not shown. It doesn't leave permanent marks, presumably because she's as immortal as the rest of the Endless.
* In ''ComicBook/StrangersInParadise'', [[spoiler:Tambi Baker]] used to cut herself while in the employ of [[spoiler:Darcy Parker.]]
* ComicBook/{{X 23}} habitually cuts herself on the wrists and forearms with her claws, and is first shown engaging in this behavior [[spoiler: after being forced to kill her sensei as a test of the trigger scent]]. Laura can fall under ''all'' of the reasons for cutting noted above, and one issue of her solo series suggests she may even be inflicting fatal injuries on herself: An employee at a hotel where she was staying with Gambit reported to his manager that it appeared as if someone attempted to commit suicide in a bathroom she just left. Her HealingFactor prevents her from dying from her wounds, however, and completely heals the resulting scars.
* In ''ComicBook/TheCrow'', to vent his anguish Eric uses a straight razor to slash one forearm, and later cuts a stylized crown of thorns into his chest. These leave nasty scars, unlike other injuries which appear to completely heal.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Finder}}'', Jaeger, the protagonist of several arcs, sometimes has to resort to self-harm if he doesn't get injured in some other way, as he has a very strong HealingFactor that, if not activated every so often, gives him an auto-immune disease. This is played for black humour in one story where he starts cutting himself in his girlfriend's bathroom, gets too enthusiastic, leaves the bathroom looking like a slaughterhouse, and jumps out of the window and runs away in embarassment when she gets home. She muses that it was the first time she had a boyfriend who ran away '''and''' killed himself.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In chapter 6 of ''Fanfic/AKingdomDivided'', [[spoiler: Rainbow Dash]] cuts herself to stop the hallucinations.
* ''Very'' common in ''Manga/DeathNote'' fanworks centered around the M's. A popular {{Fanon}} explanation for the fact that Matt wears long sleeves and gauntlet gloves in LA is that it's to hide evidence of self-harm and/or [[DrugsAreBad needle-drug use]] brought on by a period of painful [[DontSplitUsUp separation]] from Mello following the latter's InUniverse decision to leave Wammy's. (It should be noted, however, that he has the gloves and sleeves while they're both at Wammy's.)
* In chapter 11 of ''[[{{Fanfic/Facade}} Façade]]'', [[spoiler: Chie]] was revealed to have cut herself.
* In ''Fanfic/Gensokyo20XX'', an age-regressed Reimu is prone to this, being that she is mentally detached from any sort of pain stimuli that would make her stop.
* Some of the most stereotypical portrayals of self-harm come from bad fanfiction, perhaps most notably ''FanFic/MyImmortal'', where self-injury (specifically cutting) is used as an indication of "goffikness", with none of the emotional nuances characteristic of real SI attached.
* The ''Manga/LuckyStar'' doujinshi ''Webcomic/{{Lonely Kagamin}}'' reveals that the now adult Konata has become depressed due to others ignoring her because of the way she looks. Kagami notices injuries on her arm when she visits her.
* In ''WebVideo/UltraFastPony'', Rarity is a huge masochist and enjoys pain. She hurts herself often, purely for fun.
-->''[Rarity is in the midst of a HeroicBSOD.]''\\
'''Twilight:''' We have to do something, guys. If she gets too depressed, she might start hurting herself.\\
'''Fluttershy:''' But she does that anyway.\\
'''Twilight:''' Oh, yeah. Rarity, you're not hurting yourself in there, are you?\\
'''Rarity:''' Do I ''sound'' like I'm in a good mood?

* The main character of ''{{Film/Thirteen}}'' is a cutter.
* In ''Film/TheAbyss'', self-harm is one of the signs of Lt. Coffey's descent into insanity.
* In ''Film/TwentyEightDays'', there is a scene where Andrea, Gwen's roommate at rehab, is caught self-injuring by Gwen.
* In ''Film/{{Asylum}}'', Ivy confesses to Madison that she is a self-injurer.
* ''Film/AugustaGone'' explicitly shows a scene of cutting while the character Augusta is at a camp for "problem" teens.
* One of the characters in the '80s horror film ''Film/BadDreams''.
--->"I just make a little hole, and it all goes away."
* Karin from ''Film/CriesAndWhispers'' has a lot of issues, really, with pent-up rage and an inability to express love and a dickhead of a husband. So she stabs herself in the vagina with a shard of glass. And then she smears the blood all over her face.
* In [[TheFilmOfTheBook the film of]] ''Film/GirlInterrupted'':
** Daisy is a cutter, something that is not a part of her character in the novel.
** In a deleted scene, Lisa is shown self-harming, by [[CigaretteBurns burning her cigarettes on her forearm]] (in the shape of a cat), which is why she is seen wearing a bandage on it.
* Veronica in ''Film/{{Heathers}}'' is prone to burning herself as an expression of dislike for her actions or situation.
* Discussed in ''Film/HighFidelity''. After [[spoiler: Laura's father dies, she has sex with Rob and they get back together.]] She says it's either that or stick her hand in the fire.
* ''Film/MadMaxFuryRoad'':
** The Splendid Angharad's facial scars have been confirmed to be from self harm, with the implication she did it both to cope with life as a SexSlave and to herself to make herself less desirable to [[BigBad Immortan Joe]]. Also, as a FreezeFrameBonus, small scars can be seen on her wrist as she hands Max the water hose.
** The same kind of scars can be seen for a split second on Furiosa's wrist while she activates the Rig's killswitches, although in another closeup a second later they are no longer visible. It's strongly implied that [[spoiler:she was a former Wife as well.]]
* Amanda in the ''Franchise/{{Saw}}'' franchise, previously a drug addict, started self-harming (via cutting) which is what lands her in another trap in ''Film/SawII'' [[spoiler:(actually, that was part of the plan but she did self-harm)]]. She is shown cutting her legs in ''Film/SawIII'', laying out all the tools before she starts (in an attempt to gain control over her situation), and later tightly grips a knife until she begins to bleed (because she's starting to lose control -- in comparison to the previous scenes in the film).
* Maggie Gylenhaal's character in ''Film/{{Secretary}}''.
* Julie in ''[[Film/ThreeColorsTrilogy Three Colors: Blue]]'' starts harming herself after the deaths of her husband and child, most notably in a sequence where she deliberately drags her fist along a jagged stone wall.
* In ''Film/VampireGirlVsFrankensteinGirl'', there is a school club devoted to this.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** In ''Film/X2XMenUnited'', this is implicitly where all of Nightcrawler's scars came from. (His are unusual in that they look like artistic, ritual scarification, which is different from most self-harm injuries.)
---> "One for every sin. So, quite a few."
** In ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'', when his wings first appear, Angel tries to ''scrape'' them off with files and graters.
** In ''Film/{{Logan}}'', [[ComicBook/{{X23}} Laura]] is seen on a video recording cutting herself and [[HealingFactor watching the injuries heal]] while she's an experimental subject in a Transigen lab.
* The original script for ''Film/{{Titanic|1997}}'' depicted Rose as being a bit more depressed and unstable as she is described as digging a crab fork into her arm until it bleeds under the dinner table as a prelude to her breakdown in her stateroom and attempted suicide. She is depressed because life as a rich high society girl makes her feel empty inside and like screaming.

* ''Literature/CodexAlera'': The [[WolfMan Canim]] Ritualist Morak has arms covered in self-harm scars. In his case, this is to establish him as a good guy and follower of the GoodOldWays. Canim Ritualists use BloodMagic, and have to spill blood in order to make it work. Good ones, who emphasize community service and self-sacrifice as part of their art spill their own blood, the ones who are only in it for the power tend to use [[HumanSacrifice someone else's.]]
* Perhaps the best-known example in YA fiction is Patricia [=McCormick=]'s ''{{Literature/Cut}}'', about [[CaptainObvious a cutter]].
* Shows up ''a lot'' in Creator/EllenHopkins' young adult books.
* In ''Literature/ExtremelyLoudAndIncrediblyClose'', Oskar frequently bruises himself when he is upset.
* Hayleigh from ''Literature/{{Fat}}'' does this, but it's to fake her periods.
* In the ''Disney/{{Frozen}}'' book ''Literature/AFrozenHeart'', Hans runs his fingers over the rough wood of the table and finds the pain the splinters cause to be "oddly pleasant. Physical pain he could handle."
* Ann from the ''Literature/GemmaDoyle'' trilogy is ''not'' a fan of herself. This is to the point of self-harm.
* It's mentioned in passing in ''Literature/{{Ghostgirl}}'' that one of the Dead Ed students died from self harm. She'd cut but not deep enough to do massive damage. She ended up dying due to an infection caused by her cutting.
* In ''Literature/GirlInterrupted'', Susanna bites her hands due to feelings of depersonalization. This is omitted from the film.
* In Creator/JodiPicoult's ''Literature/HandleWithCare'', Amelia, the older daughter of the main character, begins cutting (in addition to developing bulimia), to deal with her feelings of neglect and loneliness.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'':
** Werewolves will attack themselves out of frustration while transformed if there are no humans around to attack.
** House-elves are compelled to physically punish themselves if they disobey their masters.
--->''"Bad Dobby!"''
* In ''Literature/{{I Am J}}'', J's friend Melissa cuts herself. It makes her mad whenever J brings it up.
* Serena d'Angelus, an artist in ''[[Literature/HorusHeresy Fulgrim]]'', cuts herself to deal with her frustrations. After the corruption of Slaanesh infects the remembrancers that went to Laeran, her self-mutilation gets worse and then she discovers that mixing blood with her paints makes the shades that she cannot replicate normally.
* Lisa engages this during one scene in ''Lisa, Bright and Dark'' by John Neufeld.
* Steven Levenkron's ''The Luckiest Girl in the World'' is about this trope. The author also wrote a non-fiction book on the subject.
* An odd example of a villain, and someone who's not a teenager: Annie Wilkes in ''Literature/{{Misery}}''.
* In Creator/PiersAnthony's ''Mode'' series, the main character is introduced sneaking off to the bathroom to cut herself again, keeping her scarred wrists hidden by fashionable bands. She also exploits her 'habit' by setting a challenge to see who can bleed the most, her opponent is not willing to cut himself at all, so she wins.
* [[ActionGirl Tahiri]] does this for a few books in the late ''Literature/NewJediOrder''. It's eventually revealed that this is her repressed [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Yuuzhan Vong]] [[SplitPersonality personality]], Riina, trying to assert herself (the Vong practice ritual scarring- and at high level, other forms of BodyHorror- as a status symbol and religious rite). After pulling a SplitPersonalityMerge, Tahiri stops having the impulse, though she remains Vong enough inside that she won't let anyone remove the scars.
* ''Literature/SchoolsOutForever'' has a couple of scenes where Ari bites his arm to make himself feel better about his daddy issues (among other issues).
* Lily from ''Literature/TheSecretLifeOfBees'' has a habit of picking her scabs or biting her nails 'till they bleed when nervous.
* ''Literature/ShadowsOnTheMoon'': The heroine turns to cutting to deal with the stress of survivor's guilt.
* In ''Literature/TheSouthernReachTrilogy'', the biologist discovers that pain holds the transformation at bay, [[spoiler:so in her 30-year-stay at Area X she is revealed to have done things such as deliberately stepping on a nail and allowing herself to be bitten by a venomous snake.]] Grace discovers the biologist's notes and also does some self-harm to stop the change.
* One scene in ''Literature/{{Speak}}'' features Melinda scratching herself with a paperclip until she bleeds.
* ''Literature/{{Uglies}}'': In ''Pretties'', [[spoiler: Shay]] leads a group of Pretties who cut themselves to focus their minds. In ''Specials'', the Cutters cut themselves, burn themselves, and subject themselves to extreme cold for similar reasons.
* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', Lissa used to cut herself when depressed.
* Julia Hoban's novel ''Willow'' is about a cutter.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/SeventhHeaven'': In one episode, Mary catches Nicole (a new friend of her sister's) self-harming in her bathroom. Mary tells Eric (her father), who then tells Nicole's father. Eric gives him a card and a number to call so they can get help for Nicole. Nicole is then PutOnABus.
* ''Series/TheAffair'': After Noah sees scars on Alison's legs, she admits that she cuts herself to cope with the death of her son Gabriel. Later in the series she's seen doing it again during an emotional breakdown.
* ''The Bad Girls Club'': Zara cuts herself after getting into a fight with the rest of the members of the group.
* ''Series/BeverlyHills90210'': In one episode, Donna finds her assistant cutting herself, after suspecting it. She tries to help her, eventually persuading her to get therapy.
* ''Series/BoardwalkEmpire'': Agent Nelson van Alden of the Burau of Prohibition is a deeply puritanical man who self-flagellates when he finds himself obsessively attracted to Margaret Schroeder.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'':
** After discovering she was BornOfMagic, Dawn is discovered with a knife in one hand and a large gash on the other arm. She then asks "Is this blood?", suggesting that the incident was an attempt to see if she was human.
** Faith is a bit of an atypical variant, as she's harming her body [[GrandTheftMe while her mind isn't actually occupying it]]. (As such, this could be argued not to be harming "herself" per se. That said, all of the self-loathing and rage of a self-harmer is present as she lays into her Buffy-occupied body.)
* ''Series/{{Community}}'' has this on one episode, when Jeff admits to cutting himself in 7th grade to [[spoiler:fake appendicitis, just so someone would care about him]] He still has the scar, 22 years later.
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'': On a campus where the team has been investigating a spate of murders, one of the girls there is shown cutting and deliberately trying to get herself killed by the murderer (like a suicide attempt).
* ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'' has had four self-injurers:
** The first was Ellie, who began cutting herself after her father leaves and her mother started drinking again. Eventually, Paige noticed and convinced Ellie to see the school guidance counselor. She's implied to have stopped cutting at some point, although she says that she'll always be a cutter, even if she never does it again.
** Later, Adam, a transgender boy, resorts to burning after his mother tries to force him to live as a girl.
** Campbell cuts himself with an ice skate and [[spoiler: jumps off a ledge and breaks his arm]].
** Zoe began burning herself as a way to cope with forcing herself in the closet.
* ''Series/{{ER}}'': In one episode, a self-harmer is treated at their clinic.
* Later on in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', after Sylar has gained the power of shapeshifting, he ends up having a ShapeshifterIdentityCrisis and at one point carves his name into his arm. It heals away, an extra bit of symbolism, but it still shows that he's struggling with this new power.
* One of the students in ''Series/HigherGround'', Juliette, is a cutter.
* ''{{Series/House}}'': In one episode, House discovers his patient has been cutting herself.
* ''Series/{{Intervention}}'' has featured self-injurers.
* Played with in ''Series/{{Jekyll}}''; Hyde will often do things that hurt him, but they usually hurt Jackman more (and in any case he has an extremely high threshold for pain). In his first episode, he intimidates someone by slowly [[CigaretteBurns stubbing out a cigarette on his own palm]], commenting "It'll hurt more tomorrow" (when Jackman will be back in control), and at a bar deliberately orders something that's "really bad for hangovers".
* Connor in ''Series/TheLAComplex'' deliberately crashed his car, poured boiling water over his arm and set his house on fire.
* ''Series/LawAndOrderCriminalIntent'': During one case, the daughter of a suspect is a cutter.
* ''Series/LieToMe'': Megan from "The Royal We" reveals cuts on her thigh to Dr. Lightman.
* Several episodes of ''Series/{{MASH}}'' have dealt with a soldier shooting himself in the foot to get out of the fighting for a while.
** This was a favorite ploy of Col. Flagg. In his first appearance, he has a broken arm. Another intelligence officer (a friend of Trapper's) arrives in camp and said Flagg probably did it himself with a hammer, just so he could be brought to the 4077th and spy on them.
** In the same episode, when Hawkeye told Flagg he couldn't give him a medical excuse to stay at the 4077th, Flagg re-broke his arm by smashing an X-ray machine on top of it.
** In another episode, Flagg arrives at the 4077th to question a soldier who was caught stealing medical supplies. Flagg lets him escape, then wrecks the tent he was being held in. He caps it off by smashing a phone over his own head, then running himself head-first into a cabinet, to make it look like the prisoner overpowered him and escaped on his own.
* ''Series/OrphanBlack'': Helena has cuts on her back which makes it look like she has wings, and is seen cutting multiple times in season one. [[spoiler:Tomas]] also self-harms at one point.
* In a season 2 episode of ''Series/{{Quantico}}'', Dayana is seen making herself a cup of tea, but then she pours some of the hot water onto her hand.
* ''Series/TheRealWorld'': In the Cancun season, Ayiiia is caught self-harming in the bathroom and later she cuts herself on the deck.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}'': Octavia is seen cutting herself in her tent and later her sleeves are pulled up to show the marks.
* ''Series/ShamelessUS'':
** In the penultimate Season 2 episode, [[spoiler:Monica, the Gallagher matriarch ([[MissingMom in name, not in practice mind you]]), is shown with her slit wrists on the floor during the Thanksgiving dinner. She is bipolar, and had not been taking her medication for some time prior to the incident.]]
** In Season 4, Debbie Gallagher self-harms after a complicated breakup with her boyfriend.
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'': Cassie. It's never seen though, only mentioned.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. In "Extreme Risk", B'Elanna Torres had been playing high-risk holodeck programs with the safety protocols removed. She's been treating the subsequent injuries herself so the Doctor won't find out what she's up to, but this trope is also implied when B'Elanna admits that she just wants to feel something, after receiving news of the [[EverybodysDeadDave annihilation of the Maquis]] back in the Alpha Quadrant.
* ''Series/TheWalkingDead'': In "Them," Daryl puts out a lit cigarette on his hand.

* Between The Trees' "The Way She Feels" is about a teenage girl who cuts herself. She eventually stops after her father discovers her self-harm and gets her help.
* "Small Cuts" by Music/TheBrobecks.
* Kyo of Music/DirEnGrey regularly cuts himself onstage with various implements (most infamously a razor at the Wacken 2009 performance), fishhooks his mouth, and otherwise self-harms onstage. Generally he limits this to his performances outside of Japan, but once did it in Japan - at a memorial show for [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] along with miming [[DudeNotFunny choking himself]].
* Music/TheDresdenDolls' song "Bad Habit" is about cutting too, with lyrics like ''"Happiness is just a gash away"''.
* The title character in Music/{{Eminem}}'s "Stan" mentions this: "Sometimes I even cut myself to see how much it bleeds, it's like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush for me".
* The Music/{{Evanescence}} song "Tourniquet" is very suggestive of a struggle with cutting, leading to accidental or intentional suicide necessitating the titular tourniquet. (The opening line: "I tried to kill the pain/but only brought more/so much more/I lay dying, and I'm pouring/crimson regret and/betrayal.")
* "Accidents with Scalpels" by Fockewolf.
* "Little House" by Music/TheFray.
* "Bleed Like Me" by Music/{{Garbage}} contains a vignette about Doodle, who cuts herself. The band's lead singer, Shirley Manson, has talked about her own self-harm.
* [[Music/HidetoMatsumoto hide]] was himself a self-harmer, via binge-purge bulimia, and may well have died in an act of [[EroticAsphyxiation autoerotic asphyxiation]] combining fetish and self-harm to accidentally die.
* "Blood and Fire" by the Indigo Girls.
* "Strawberry Gashes" by Music/JackOffJill; uses 'strawberry gashes' to refer to the marks from cutting.
* "Self-Inflicted" by Music/KatyPerry.
* Music/{{KMFDM}}'s "Never Say Never" is either about this or a drug addiction.
* There are numerous references to self-harm in the Music/ManicStreetPreachers' music (not surprising, given former songwriter Richey Edwards was a self-harmer; see Real Life below). The narrator of ''Yes'' feels that he can't scream, so he resorts to hurting himself to get the pain out. In ''Die In The Summertime'' the narrator reminisces about about a time before he started hurting himself, without "ruining lines".
* Dead of Music/{{Mayhem}} used to include SelfHarm in live shows.
* "Screenager" by {{Music/Muse}}
* Music/NineInchNails' song "Hurt" (which was memorably CoveredUp by Music/JohnnyCash) appears to be about the disassociation type, opening with the lines "I hurt myself today/to see if I still feel/I focus on the pain/the only thing that's real"
* "Cut" by Music/{{Plumb}} is quite obviously about this; it talks about the relief that can be gained by self-harm.
* "Ana's Song" by Music/{{Silverchair}} is about anorexia.
* This is referenced in the first line of "The Last Night" by Music/{{Skillet}}. It's about a man whose friend has [[AbusiveParents demeaning parents]] who blame her for their problems and consider her depression to be "just a phase":
-->''You come to me with scars on your wrist.\\
You tell me "[[DrivenToSuicide This will be the last night feeling like this]]."''
* Several songs by punk-rock band Music/TheUsed are about self-injury. Their second album, ''In Love and Death'', is particularly preoccupied with it, perhaps due to CreatorBreakdown, as much of the album was written in response to the death of lead singer Bert [=McCracken=]'s fiancee.
* "Hero" by Music/VioletUK references self-harm in a way that is very emotional for an anime theme song.
* "Breathe Me" by Music/{{Sia}} is about someone who self-harms and is asking for help.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* ''Coming Down'' by Music/FiveFingerDeathPunch.
* ''Fuckin Perfect'' by Music/{{Pink}} contains a scene where the protagonist [[{{CarvedMark}} carves perfect into her arm]].

* ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'': The narrator of the episode "Killing Floor" finds one of the his colleagues at the slaughterhouse shooting himself with a bolt gun in various parts of his body.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Dialed up to about fourteen by Malfeas in ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', who - being a GeniusLoci packed with MalevolentArchitecture - self-harms by slamming shells together as a manifestation of his cosmic bipolar disorder stemming from his defeat in the Primordial War, mixing reasons one and four above. The Abyssals are also portrayed this way occasionally, but usually they don't need to bother - if they're trying to be good people, their own Exaltations go out of their way to injure them, so self-harm is basically a waste of time.
--->'''Holden Shearer''': Funny thing: To the extent that the setting has anyone who is an emo cutter, it is actually Malfeas. However, he'll never get called on it, because he sulks while listening to Music/{{Megadeth}} and he does his cutting with a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]].
* Orlanda Elliot, one of the sample characters in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'', is a cutter. After becoming a Scion, the cuts actually did something useful (shedding her own blood gives her [[{{Mana}} Legend]]), giving her no reason to stop. The reasons amount to 1, 3, and 4 in the description.

* Quite possibly the only example of this trope PlayedForLaughs occurs in ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors''. Seymour discovers that his [[PhraseCatcher strange and unusual plant,]] Audrey II, eats blood when he accidentally pricks his finger on some roses. As a result, he feeds Audrey II by pricking his fingers and letting the plant ''literally'' suck him dry. This works out fine until Audrey II gets too big for Seymour's blood alone to satisfy it...

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Simon from ''VideoGame/CryOfFear'' has several gashes on his left wrist, which he had apparently cut prior to the game's start. They are visible when he injects himself with morphine. The opening scene of the non-canon "Memories" bonus story involves Simon cutting while having flashbacks to the events of the main game.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has the schizophrenic Nightkin Dog of the Dead Money DLC. In an attempt to subdue his SplitPersonality, he has taken to physically scarring himself heavily and even attaching a bear trap to his fist to shut out the voice.
* ''VideoGame/NeverendingNightmares'' has you playing a character with obsessive compulsive disorder and depression, amongst other problems, exploring a series of nightmares. The nightmares usually end with [[spoiler:him, seemingly for no reason, harming himself in some horrible way, ranging from cutting a deep, wide gash in his stomach with a knife to doing [[{{Gorn}} unspeakably gory things]] to his own arms.]]
* [[spoiler: Chidori]] of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' is eventually discovered to do this.
* At one point in the ''VideoGame/SerialExperimentsLain'' video game, Lain breaks a mirror and sinks a piece of glass into her neck.
* Various sharp items in ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' explicitly damage Isaac/the player character in favor of some sort of in-game benefit. A literal Razor Blade increases Isaac's damage for the room, Dull Razor inflicts a "fake" hit that does not actually deplete Isaac's health but activates items that normally only work when taking damage, and Blood Rights (a straight-edge razor) damages all enemies in the room. The former can be unlocked as a starting item for Eve in ''Afterbirth'' by donating enough to the Greed Machine. In terms of passive items, Isaac has a habit of jamming certain objects in him to gain their effect, such as with Tiny Planet, Iron Bar, and Small Rock being stuck in his head.
* ''VideoGame/AbsoluteDespairGirls'': Toko Fukawa can activate a controlled-variant of her SplitPersonality [[SerialKiller Genocider Sho]]/[[DubNameChange Genocide Jack]] by deliberately tasering herself. She notes that she didn't want to activate the Sho/Jack personality too often with this method because she fears that tasering herself too much will fry her brain.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/DokiDokiLiteratureClub'': [[spoiler:Yuri]] is revealed to have a habit of cutting herself. [[spoiler:There is a scene where the player character to come across her slicing her arm open with a knife from her collection, [[RewindGag only for the game to rewind back to an earlier point]]. Monika also brings it up, claiming she does it when she's "excited." This explanation is supported by various other details in the game, and provides a possible reason why Yuri would stab herself even if you accept her confession. However, since Monika has a ''reason'' to make Yuri look bad, it's unclear how much she's telling the truth.]]
* ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'':
** A symptom of [[spoiler:[[HatePlague Hinamizawa Syndrome]]]] is self-harm, normally scratching at the neck due to hallucinations of having bugs under your skin.
** [[spoiler:Rena]] used to cut herself out of paranoia, and likely depression, in the past. In one arc she also begins viciously scratching her skin due to believing she's infested with maggots.
* ''VisualNovel/MissingStars'' is still in development, and thus is subject to change, however concept art and official art suggests Katja cuts herself.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* It has been confirmed via WordOfGod that in ''Webcomic/AvasDemon'' the scars on the title character's upper arms are from self-harm. Michelle has also revealed that Ava's signature scarf is to hide SH scars on her chest.
* Nikki from ''Webcomic/BetweenTheLines'' apparently has a history of cutting herself.
* Faen of ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' is shown to have developed this behavior after the 15 year timeskip, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=8365 and digs her fingernails into her back until she bleeds]], apparently due to anxiety. She's seen picking at a cut on her hand a page earlier, and Ariel's comments imply that this isn't the first time it's happened. Sadly not surprising considering that Faen is already a NervousWreck due to her [[UnhappyMedium empathy]].
* ''Webcomic/GreyIs'' : [[spoiler: Black]] cuts himself the night after he remembers who White is while thinking about [[spoiler: Ameers death]], White knows and the next day calmly cleans and redresses the wound. White later says that he doesn't get it and asks if it's a new game he's playing, implying that [[spoiler: Black]] didn't self-harm before White left.
* During Gamzee's FreakOut in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', he slices himself across the face with Nepeta's claws for unclear reasons. WordOfGod says it was because joyful self-mutilation is {{Squick}}y (and therefore [[DarkComedy hilarious]]).
* Played for DarkComedy in ''Webcomic/PennyAndAggie''. Aggie, regretful over having urged Duane to ask out Michelle (forgetting that she's in recovery from an eating disorder and other issues), pictures a cartoonishly stupid version of herself shoving Duane at Michelle, who's staring at her wrist and [[RebusBubble thinking of a razor blade]].
* Saha of ''Webcomic/RasputinCatamite'' constantly cuts into his arms and wrists with a small blade, for no apparent reason.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'' has discussed self-harm before, most notably in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_21836_5-truths-about-hurting-yourself-a-cutters-perspective.html this article]]
* Wiki/SCPFoundation: [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-847 SCP-847]] is a mannequin that shatters parts of itself that a male who spends time with it finds undesirable or outdated.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* [[TheMentallyDisturbed Lemongrab]] of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' seems to have a habit of jumping out of high windows when he's in distress.
* Toot on ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' giggles as she tells us she cuts herself to dull the pain.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'':
** Meg is sometimes depicted as fragile and disturbed and as a way to solve her problems she stated to her mom that she cuts herself. In another episode when Connie (who always bullies Meg) asked Meg to help her become popular again after Chris became popular Meg told her off and showed her the scars on her arm that she made from cutting herself as a result of Connie's bullying.
** Quagmire marries Joan (a {{Yandere}}) in the episode "I Take Thee Quagmire". Peter convinces him to get a divorce using champagne and Lois' breasts, and when he tries to broach the subject she threatens to cut herself with a kitchen knife.
* Uncle in season 4 of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'' hits himself with his own two-finger slap, blaming himself for getting Tohru captured by Ikazuki.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Creator/AmyWinehouse admitted to being a cutter, though she spoke little about it publicly. The following exchange is from a 2007 ''Magazine/RollingStone'' article:
-->I point to my left forearm and say, "I couldn't help but notice the scars. How old were you when you started doing that?" She looks at me, surprised, but doesn't have a ready-made answer, so I continue: "I mean, the cutting." Her muscles seem to tighten, and she avoids eye contact as she replies, "Um, that's really old. Really old. Just from a bad time, I suppose. "And then, stammering, "D-d-desperate times."
* Kago Ai, after being fired from Music/HelloProject by Up-Front Agency for being photographed smoking having already being suspended for it a year earlier, suffered from severe depression and started cutting herself. She has even admitted to having suicidal thoughts. She has since recovered, in addition to making a comeback as a musician and actress. Unfortunately as of September 2011, Kago Ai has once again attempted to slit her wrists and has been put on suicide watch.
* Richey Edwards of the Music/ManicStreetPreachers had a history of self-harm. The most notorious incident was when Edwards, getting frustrated trying to convince a reporter from NME that the band were for real, eventually pulled out a razor and [[CarvedMark carved "4 REAL"]] into his arm. A photograph of his stitched up arm appeared on the cover of the magazine.
* self-injury.net maintains a [[https://web.archive.org/web/20150120074240/https://self-injury.net/media/famous-self-injurers list]] of celebrities who have admitted to hurting themselves.
* Occurs in more intelligent animals kept in captivity in poor conditions, such as chimpanzees and parrots, who may pluck out their hairs or feathers and chew at themselves to the point of mutilation, out of boredom or neurosis.
* One of the classic symptoms of the genetic disorder Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome is self harm. People with this disorder have been known to bang their heads and bite themselves if they are not prevented from doing so.