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Is This Self-Harm?

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From a teen in New Zealand: Hey I’ve had this habit of using my braces to cut my lips. I was wondering if this is considered self harm? or just a habit. I usually do it subconsciously and don’t realize until I taste blood in my mouth.

Is This Self-Harm?

Answered by on -


Regardless of what you call it, you are hurting yourself. Habits are just that — habits. Habits can be broken. There are many good websites where you can get advice. Just do a search for “breaking a habit”. Start there. If you follow the suggestions and still can’t stop, I suggest you see a therapist for a few sessions to give you more coaching and support. The therapist will also be able to help you determine if there is more to this than simply a bad habit.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

Is This Self-Harm?

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). Is This Self-Harm?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.