Self-harm is when someone has the intention of hurting or wounding their body to cause a physical pain

Schoolgirl sat on street looking sad

Self-harm is often related to emotional pain, which is difficult to express. Some people self-harm to divert their internal pain externally, some do it to join in with others, some people want to everything to ‘go away’, and some people want others to notice them. Usually people do not intend to cause themselves any long-term damage by self-harming, but they become overwhelmed and use the self-harm as a way of managing the feelings of distress.

Types of self-harm

  • Cutting or burning the skin
  • Misuse of drugs and alcohol, poisoning yourself with medications and/or other harmful liquids
  • Banging your head, pulling out hair or picking at skin
  • Starving yourself or eating too much
  • Physical exhaustion – exercising/working too much – not resting.

If self-harm is accompanied by feelings of wanting to not be around anymore, you must tell someone so that you can have support.

Self-harm support

  • Speak to a trusted family/friend: Perhaps they see signs which you don’t.
  • Talking therapy: Find ways that you can release emotional pain effectively and reduce/stop self-harm.
  • Find healthier ways to stop self-harm body: Read useful information to learn about self-harm and its effects. Some people find other ways such as squeezing cornflakes or ice or writing on their arm in red pen have some benefits without as many risks.
  • Self-care: If you do self-harm, you must make sure you do everything you can to reduce the risk of something very serious happening. This means keeping things clean to reduce risk of infection, and not locking doors so someone can always help you if needed.
  • Do not keep yourself isolated: Spend time with family and friends who have a positive impact on how you feel.
  • If you are worried about someone self-harming: It is really worrying when someone we love or care for is self-harming. It is important to keep calm and not get angry with them. Getting someone to stop self-harming straight away without alternative support is not always the best thing to do. Speak to a professional who can give you specific advice about the situation.

Top clips and stories

Top Apps

Extra information