I've had several friends who used self-harm in many different ways. Some of them used it as a way to romanticise their depression, to get attention, as a substitute for suicide, or the traditional trying to counter-act their emotional distress with physical pain.
I cut myself once, when I was late high school, I took a knife and sliced along my ribs and down my abdomen.I was hospitalized,l have the scars, though luckily they have greatly faded. During this time, I also used to starve myself, sometimes unintentionally but often fully aware of what I was doing. This continued for a few years, and I got into my first serious relationship, which was also an abusive one.The whole time I never really wanted to die, but I did want everything to stop. I felt like I was trapped, and there was nothing I could do, but if I kept eating it was never going to stop.
I'm much more emotionally and physically healthy now, after I moved away from all my friends and parents and started a new life, things have been so much better. Sometimes when I'm not feeling so good, I can still forget to eat, but I have people around me to remind me.