Something little to ease my pain: an interpretation of an incident of self-harm


  • Mihirini Sirisena Centre for Research on Families and Relationships


Over the years, the high prevalence of suicide in the Sri Lankan society has attracted the attention of scholars from different disciplines who have offered diverse explanations and interpretations of the phenomenon, focusing on the immediate causes preceding acts of suicide and self-harm. Could it be that one view of death one hold impacts upon one’s willingness to consider suicide as a potential course of action?

In this exploratory essay, I reflect on one story I encountered during my fieldwork among university students and offer a situated alternate explanation to self-harm, where I suggest that, when faced with seemingly unendurable trials, suicide and self-harm may be propelled by a hopeful view of death where death appears as hope not only in the sense that it brings an end to life’s unfair tribulations but also that the end it marks is not an end in itself but a new beginning.


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How to Cite

Sirisena, M. (2015). Something little to ease my pain: an interpretation of an incident of self-harm. The South Asianist Journal, 4(1). Retrieved from