Dear Cathy (if I may), Thanks for sharing your account and for creating this opportunity for public discussion on such an important issue. I note your personal account above, starts in your 20s as an adult. Apart from saying, ‘….Events occurred that triggered memories of my troubled childhood…’ you don’t seem to explain what actually happened in your childhood and with your parents? *Is there a reason for this omission? Noting the work of the late Alice Miller and now today, the excellent books by Lindsay Gibson PsyD – is there a possibility that some or many people might ‘self-harm’ due to a deep seated inner-self disconnection, which causes very painful emotional loneliness (a terrifying feeling of death-annihilation) – from having been raised by narcissistic /emotionally immature parents? Some might say that the inner-self (psyche) of children who are raised by narcissistic or ’emotionally immature parents’ (Gibson) – was not shown it has a right to exist on earth, to just ‘be’ here without being forced to function, perform, shut down, serve others’ (parents’) emotional or physical needs, including internalised parental/societal pressures to achieve a lofty life-purpose, material accomplishments or ambitious-driven career goals. In great despair, some might say that later in adulthood, the inner-self (soul, our ‘true self’) either turns its righteous rage against others, or turns this rage inwards against itself (self-harm). This notion of realising our life purpose is ‘not’ to ‘fix’ ourselves (such as with psychiatry), in order to be ‘functional’ so we can chase after a prized career, material accomplishment – but to instead just appreciate the physical experience of being alive on earth – in whatever incarnation and form our life takes – is depicted beautifully in the 2020 Disney-Pixmar movie ‘Soul’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kdgOY8vB5mc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs–6c7Hn_A The ultimate premise of ‘Soul’ is very different from most American movies; it seems to contain a deeply profound but new philosophy now emerging in our 21st century era. (For those who are interested – a similar very popular movie is the 2004 Swedish film, ‘As It Is In Heaven’ : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-INid-Zht8). *In addition to child abuse (in all its sad terrible forms) – is not being loved unconditionally, felt, seen, understood and nurtured consistently by our parents/early caregivers – appreciated for our simply ‘being here’ – also a terrifying form of early childhood parental trauma that might need to be explored? Is self-harm, in some cases, a form of ‘inner-child abuse’? If childhood experiences (traumas) are triggered by events in adulthood that lead to ‘self-harm,’ does one’s childhood need to be explored too? Narcissistic /emotionally immature parents, for example, might not want to know the underlying ’cause’ of their children’s distressed behaviour (tears, crying, tantrums, self-harm etc.) – they may instead prefer an ‘authoritarian/totalitarian’ approach which is to just ‘stop it’ (such as by sending their children to psychiatrists?). Is there a risk that wanting to ‘stop self-harm’, is unwittingly ‘authoritarian’ (perhaps like authoritarian parenting experienced in early childhood for some people in some cultures that pride ‘stoicism’, for example) which seeks similarly, to control, censor and repress the soul’s correct and sane ‘cry for help’ – the trauma distress response of the inner- true self: the inner-child? Thanks again for this discussion.