Everyday Objects Can Become Weapons for Self-Harmers

August 29, 2014 Jennifer Aline Graham

Self-harmers know that typical, everyday objects can be seen in an unsafe light. Some people may see a can tab as, well a can tab, while self-harmers see it as an escape. While people see a pen cap as being used to top a pen, those who self-injure may see it as a harmful tool.

Being that everyone’s brains are unique and different, very few understand the mind of those who self-harm. This rings true for mental illness in general – they are frightening diseases to understand. For those who don’t quite take the time to see through the blurred eyes of a self-harmer, they may not fully grasp why they see and do what they do.

The world is filled with everyday objects that can be seen as deadly weapons through the eyes of a cutter or a burner. Even dull objects can be easily morphed into something that can be used to puncture or cut skin. This is one of the reasons it is difficult for self-harmers to overcome their struggle. Being surrounded by triggers can be just as deadly as when the items are being used.

Typical Objects Can be Seen in an Unsafe Light

Simple, everyday objects can turn into unsafe weapons for self-harmers when in an unsafe, vulnerable state.

I recently moved into a new apartment after two stressful weeks of finding the perfect place. I began going through boxes and organizing my kitchen when a few mason jar covers fell out of the cupboard and onto the counter. When they fell, some of the sharp, circular centers came out of the top and when I went to pick them up, I stared at them for a moment.

I realized that six years before that very moment, I probably would have saved those sharp jar tops to use on my skin. I probably would have even made a self-harm mark at that very moment just out of pure curiosity. It was hard for me to push those covers into the back of the cupboard and to stop thinking about what “past me” would have done with them. I was also proud of how I was able to do just that – push the sharp objects away.

Some people come face-to-face with simple, everyday tools and are unable to just push those urges aside. A paperclip may be a paperclip one day and the next it is being used to hurt your body. For some people, it is hard to even use scissors or a razor without harmful memories hitting them in the face.

It takes time to be able to face those demons and stop self-harming without falling backwards and using them again for unsafe reasons. Some of us are able to push past those triggers, but still can’t fight the thoughts connected to them. It’s natural to connect certain thoughts with objects that connect you to your past. However, it is important to find the strength to push those negative thoughts aside before they become a battle once again.

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APA Reference
Aline, J. (2014, August 29). Everyday Objects Can Become Weapons for Self-Harmers, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 22 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

May, 8 2019 at 7:05 pm

For me it was anything with and edge: razor, paper clips, glass, mechanical pencils, ect. Honestly it doesn't matter what you use, nor how big/deep it is. It's all self harm none-the-less. All that matters is if you find it in yourself to stop, because until then, no one can help you.

May, 10 2019 at 1:53 pm

I agree that all of it is self-harm. If the impulse to self-harm is there, everything in the world becomes a tool in service of that impulse.
Seeking help to address the underlying issues is the best way to get out of that mental trap.

None of your business.
November, 25 2018 at 4:22 pm

For me, it's knives.

September, 11 2014 at 1:55 am

I remember, for me, it was box cutters. I worked stocking shelves in a department store and frequently used them to open boxes. I also used them to hurt myself (among other things). I still have a little trouble using one, but thankfully I'm at a job now where I don't use one.
I honestly used anything I could get my hands on, at one point. When I was hospitalized I used the pushpins that had been stuck in the cork-boards behind our beds. When those got taken away, I hid forks and plastic knives in my nightstand. It seems silly looking back on it now.
I've gone about a year without cutting now. I had stopped for a while, about three years, but I've had minor slips in between. I still get urges occasionally, but I'm doing my best to fight them. Medication and therapy have helped a lot!

Jen Miller
September, 4 2014 at 5:04 pm

Self harm is just like taking a drink and drugs. It is all about control. When life gets to be overwhelming picking up XXXX allows that instant relief. I had been cut free for sometime until I found out that I had been cheated on. I was out of control-angry, hurt and betrayed. I walked right into the garage had several drinks and grabbed a razor blade and made several large cuts. The blood made me feel vindicated. It dripped and left a puddle. I had scars form on the underside of my left wrist. They are vividly visible and I feel the shame and guilt of that action. I know people see them and everyday feel that is my punishment. I have had no urge since. I have hope for my future and I have listed goals for myself. Some are just simple tasks and some are long term. I stay motivated by that. I also ask myself these 3 questions
Is my thinking based on fact?
Does my thinking help me achieve my goals?
Does my thinking help me feel the way I want to feel?
Thanks, Jen

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