Self harm could possibly stem from simply not being able to express oneself due to fear, anxiety, emotional backlash, etc. I am always unhappy when I have to "be on my guard" - "pretend to be a nice proper young lady" etc... Inhibiting and limiting yourself could have a very damaging effect, and self harm could be the emotional release needed. 7 yrs since relapse.
As for psychology books... not a clue. but that sexy gentleman at [url=http://www.evolvify.com]Evolutionary Psychology and Biology Applied to Health, Business, and Relationships[/url] has some great ideas :)
Sorry I didn't mean to offend anyone, maybe I just worded things wrong. I'm not trying to reduce self harm from a serious issue just to some evolutionary quirk.. I've self harmed a lot in the past so I was just curious of other people's opinions on the topic.
A lot of the books I read said it was looking for affection/attention, sort of like a kid that gets hurt while playing gets a hug or something of their parents to feel better, but that didn't make much sense to me since people that self harm usually try to hide it.
I think to an extent, it is about attention/affection. Maybe not for everyone though. I always hid my self-harm, but I remember fantasizing about someone finding out and helping me (how they would help was never clear, I think I mostly wanted someone to show their love for me so I could feel I was worth loving). Depression inhibits feelings of "belonging", so it's probably more that than self-harm.
My self harm was/ is to bite myself. I've never drawn blood, to my knowledge, but I have drawn bruises that look suspiciously like their origin.
My reasoning was quite simple when I started doing it as a kid: I had to take it out on SOMETHING, and violence of any sort was punishable by violence in the form of an overaggressive spanking. So, I took it out on myself. I also knew that if I was caught with bruises or cuts, I'd be in trouble: Mom would lay on the guilt trip, Dad'd hit me, and/ or/ the school might take us kids away from Mom and Dad. So I learned to stop before it became a bruise.
It was (and, to a much lesser extent, still is) a way to emote in a situation where emotions are unacceptable.
[QUOTE=homunculus;947784]A lot of the books I read said it was looking for affection/[B]attention[/B], sort of like a kid that gets hurt while playing gets a hug or something of their parents to feel better, but that didn't make much sense to me since people that self harm usually try to hide it.[/QUOTE]
I feel that the attention getting factor comes in to play for self-harming individuals with different triggers/causes than the ones who tend to hide it. You typically think of someone who self harms as wearing long clothing to cover the marks. This, in my case, was because the cutting wasn't meant for others to see or know about. After the initial endorphins were gone, the marks on the skin were not considered a thing to be proud of or something to show off. In my experience the ones who are looking for affection/attention are the ones who more often show their marks. This shows up fairly often in certain social groups in middle and high schools.