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 15 from

Author: Jennifer Aline Graham

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

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!

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

For me, it's knives.

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.

May, 22 2019 at 2:16 pm

I used razers, to cut and i burned myself with a rubber band. Im still trying to recover.

May, 23 2019 at 11:50 am

Hi Summer,
Recovery is hard. I appreciate you taking the time and effort to visit this resources page for self-harm; it shows that you are being proactive about your recovery, even if you feel frustrated by what feels like a lack of progress.
There are no small steps to recovery. Every step brings you closer to a better life. I hope you take advantage of some of the other resources on our site, and I hope also that you have people in your life who can help you along the way.
Best of luck,

May, 29 2019 at 7:44 am

I can't believe i'm writing this at school lol
If someone asked me what the main thought in my head would be going into middle school, I probably would have said getting good grades, or making good friends. I never thought I would have been trying to stop cutting myself.
I've been trying to be more open about it to my close friends, and they have been very supportive in trying to help me stop, so that's been pretty nice. It's been 4 days since I've cut myself, and it's not easy not doing it. This is just a horrible feeling and I hope I never have to go through this ever again.

June, 5 2019 at 9:07 pm

Hi Logan,
First of all, I just want to say what an amazing thing you're doing, and how this kind of self-awareness and ability to be proactive will only serve you in your recovery. You sound like you have some great people around you for support and even though quitting isn't easy, I can tell you're going to be just fine. Even though it's not something you expected to deal with, I learned a lot from dealing with mine, and I'm sure you will too. Keep taking care of yourself, and your life will start to get bigger and bigger until it grows beyond the pain of what you're going through now.
Best of luck,

November, 11 2019 at 5:29 am

Hi, My name is Siarah and I'm 15. I have been cutting for the past year and I use Razors and what ever I can Find. I have tried hitting myself and burning but it does not feel as numbing. I have not cut for about 4 weeks but I did fail once and it broke my heart. I'm trying but its really hard. I have no Friends where I just moved and My family is not very supporting.. I normally cut when I'm mad or when I'm in pain because it hurts less when its physical pain not emotional pain. I wish I could wipe my scars away and pretend that none of this has ever happened. my younger sister asked me the other day why I had scars on my arm (She's 9) and I didn't know what to say to her. What should I say? how do I stop? its almost imposible to look at everything in the house without thinking about self harming. Please. help. me. I really want to stop.
Thanks, Siarah

July, 8 2020 at 9:21 pm

Last year, I struggled to find anything sharp enough to break skin. I tried using everything I could find, like a broken hanger and a pen. My suicide attempts were with charger chords and violin tuners. I never wanted to tell anyone because when my brother saw I got hand tremors sometimes, He told me to stop faking. He said people have actual problems and lying won’t make people care anymore about an stupid brat. I felt ashamed of myself. I wanted to dies so bad that when my parents weren’t home, I held a knife to my throat. I wanted to kill myself but I remembered my future. I could make someone else happy, but through death they would finally care. I would put them through a day of sadness. I cut my arm with the knife to remind me of that day. I am twelve years old. I want to change my gender when I am 18. I look up to my brother. He on the other hand, only looks down on me.

July, 13 2020 at 2:16 am

oh abigall we are so happy that you didn't leave this earth. You are WORTH it! you have so much to live for and beyond those dark thoughts you are more than you think, people love you, your family loves you, and if anything im here for you. keep going you can do it!

July, 28 2020 at 11:29 am

I really need help. I cant take this any longer. I feel beyond hope.

July, 28 2020 at 2:00 pm

First, I'd like to tell you that I understand how you feel; I've felt it too, or at least something like it. When you're in a dark place, it can be incredibly hard to even remember what the light looks like, let alone believe that you'll ever feel it on your face again.
But the only constant in this life is change. Whatever is happening now won't always be happening. The feelings you're feeling now will not last forever. There is always hope; you don't have to feel it for it to be true.
I know it may not feel good to admit right now, but it's good that you acknowledge that you need help. That is the first step, and for many people, one of the hardest. The next step is finding help.
First, it sounds like you might need some support right now, to get through this moment. Please consider calling one of the hotlines on this page for help:…
If you have anyone you already trust enough to talk to about this, please call or message them as well. I know it isn't easy to share this pain with others, but you've already taken a big step simply by commenting here. It's so important that you let the people you care about--and who care about you--do what they can to help, even if that just means listening and being with you until these feelings subside. If you already have a therapist, counselor, or another medical professional you can talk to, please contact them as well. If you don't, again, calling one of the hotlines listed on the page I linked to above can help you get connected with someone who can help you through this.
For less immediate support, there's also a lot of good information on this page about self-harm, including recovery tips that you can start using right now on your own:
Finally, remember that what you feel and what is true are not always the same thing. You may feel right now that you can't cope, and that you are beyond hope, but we humans are often far more resilient than we give ourselves credit for. Don't dwell on forever; it's too big, too overwhelming to take in all at once. Instead, focus on what you can do right now, today, to make things even a little better. Take things one step at a time, starting with getting the help you need--and deserve.
I wish you all the best, Laura, and I hope to hear from you again--or if not, I hope that the reason is that you found the help you needed. Please do not hesitate to comment again if you need more support or have any other thoughts or questions you'd like to share.

January, 12 2021 at 7:47 pm

I got to the point of using a steak knife...
I am in a lot of pain, suicide attempts, self harm, pushing people away.
I cant take it anymore. I'm done, I'm tired and just want to have 2 seconds of peace..
except in my house you don't get that.
my older brother is DEAD my older sister is missing.
my little brother is in 7th grade at my school...
but even he can't keep me here anymore.
i've been fighting for too long.
I'm sorry, I'm done....
-an 8th grader

January, 13 2021 at 10:13 am

Hi Amanda,
Thank you for reaching out. That takes courage, and I am so sorry to hear that you are in so much pain. HealthyPlace has a list of mental health resources and hotline numbers that you can find here:…. In addition, our Self-Injury Community page has information and support for you too: I know it can be difficult, but please consider seeking help.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
HealthyPlace Comment Moderator

May, 14 2021 at 9:07 pm

I'm really just tired of life. My mom is verbally abusive, and even when she found out I've been trying to commit suicide, she doesn't care. My parents just dumped me in a mental hospital. They monitor everything I do, and I absolutely hate it. I overthink everything, have anger issues, and extreme anxiety disorder. Antidepressants don't work, and recently, I've started cutting my neck. I don't know why I'm typing this, I just want to get the pain out. If anyone has advice for me, please help. I'm just done with life.

May, 17 2021 at 12:51 pm

Hi Mikaela,
Thank you for reaching out with your comment. I am so sorry to hear that you are in the midst of all this pain right now. I would encourage you to seek out resources that can help you take the steps toward healing. Please see HealthyPlace's list of hotline numbers and mental health interventions here:…. In addition you might find our online Anxiety Community ( and Self-Injury Community ( to be supportive as well. I know it can be difficult, but please reach out for help.
Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer
Comment Moderator

August, 31 2021 at 4:46 pm

I have been clean for about 4 years now! It does get better, I promise. Just hang in there because you deserve happiness and love and appreciation and you will get it sooner than you think. Until then, don't be afraid to ask for help.
We love you :)

October, 8 2021 at 4:47 pm

I am 13 I have 5 siblings and two parents that want to think im responsible for their kids well being. I try and try and cant seem to let the feeling go that i'll never be able to have a normal childhood. Ive been self harming since i was 7 and had 4 suicied attemts since them my parents only know about 1. Ive never been happy and my parents are just degrading me and telling me im just an ungrateful bitch, hopefuly soon ill be out of my misery.

October, 13 2021 at 10:34 am

Hi Bella,
It sounds like you feel a lot of pressure and generally overwhelmed by your situation, which sounds very stressful. I'm so sorry you've been put in a position where you feel so much weight on your shoulders. For what it's worth, I'm glad that you are still here, and that you took the opportunity to reach out via this comment for support. That's an excellent step in the right direction.
Does your school have a counseling program? If so, I would strongly urge you to speak to a counselor and talk to them about what is going on. A mental health professional can help you address a complicated situation like this and find ways to feel better without hurting yourself. I know that it might feel, at times, like there is no way out or that you have no hope of ever being happy, but please believe me when I say that's not true. It may take some time, but recovery IS possible and you CAN feel better. A counselor can also arrange for your parents to have important discussions about your mental health and how they can better support it—as well as that of your other siblings. In a worst-case scenario, a counselor can also help you and your siblings get out of your household if your living situation is, or becomes, abusive.
If there is not a counselor available at your school, or if you are not comfortable talking to them about your situation, you can also call or text a hotline, where someone can help you figure out what you can do to change your situation and improve your state of mind.
This page has an excellent list of hotlines and other resources you can turn to for help:…
Above all, please do not give up on yourself or on your future. The only constant in life is change, and your circumstances CAN change for the better. Just keep in mind that you will likely need some help to make that happen, so please do reach out to a counselor or hotline as soon as possible. Please also feel free to comment again here or elsewhere on the blog if you have more questions or concerns you'd like to discuss.

November, 27 2022 at 3:57 pm

i am cutting for 4 moths now..its terrible it gets worser and just want to attempt friend i name her "S" gets trough alot of pain to..she wnats to attempt suicide to an has a bad eating disorder(me to btw) but she has shit parents they dont even care bout her my parents in that way are littlle bit nicer but idk what to do i am aslogoing trough pancick attacks and i have anxiety how can in help 'S' and myself? xxx, ash

December, 5 2022 at 12:29 am

I have been cutting since i was 10 years old i am 13 now. I had always been a bit sad since i was a little kid, when i was 10 i got this idea that i would start cutting but that didn't work out i soon got addicted and my family found out.My parents have sent me to the mental hospital a lot and i have a bunch of unwanted scars, All i'm trying to say is don't self-harm you will get bullied, you will have scars, you will become addicted, and most importantly don't do it for attention or to fit in.Just be yourself.I am 2 weeks clean and i hope that you will listen and don't self-harm please it is not good i promise,and if you do self-harm ik it can be hard to stop but just don't become like me please.Live your life to it's fullest.<3 -Skylar

December, 5 2022 at 12:34 am

i am 15 years old and i self-harm it doesn't matter if my parents take away everything i'm still going to cut. I use anything at this point pencil sharpeners,tacs,pencils,led,pens,earrings,paperclips,erasers, maybe even my own fingernails at this stage don't get addicted i'm warning you.

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