Home » Self-Harm Ideation as a Punishing Response to Social Events

Self-Harm Ideation as a Punishing Response to Social Events

Asked by on with 1 answer:

Are random thoughts/ideation of self-harm (metal blocks smashing my head, stabbing myself,wanting to punch my face) as an automatic response to shame particularly from social interactions (“omg, I can’believe I said that” or “why didn’I say this”) a standard symptom? If people knew what misery went through my head after a Christmas party . . . Google searches aren’t showing anything as a shame response. (note: I am not suicidal. I have smacked myself a couple times but never actually harmed myself.) And its not always like this, sometimes not at all. A really weird surge of it this past week. No other major symptoms – no history of self-harm, not currently depressed. And then how do I stop it?

Self-Harm Ideation as a Punishing Response to Social Events

Answered by on -


While it is certainly not my intention to diagnose (you’ll want to go to a mental health provider in person for this) I can offer that the description of self-harm and intrusive thoughts can sometimes be linked together in something known as an obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). While I certainly don’t know if this is true in your situation, I’ll invite you to read about this here and here. If it sounds like what you are experiencing, you may want to follow up with a therapist with experience in the therapies mentioned in the articles.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Self-Harm Ideation as a Punishing Response to Social Events

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2019). Self-Harm Ideation as a Punishing Response to Social Events. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 4 Feb 2019
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 4 Feb 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.