Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It is a way of expressing deep emotional feelings such as low self-esteem, or a way of coping with traumatic events, such as the death of a loved one. If you are self-harming, you should see your GP for help.
You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for support. Research has suggested that self-harm is most common among 15-19-year-olds, and those suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Cutting the skin
- Burning the skin
- Punching your own body
- Poisoning yourself with tablets
- Misusing alcohol or drugs
- Eating disorders, such as deliberately starving yourself (anorexia nervosa), binge eating or bulimia
People often try to keep self-harm a secret because of shame or fear of discovery. For example, they may cover up their skin and avoid discussing the problem. It may, therefore, be up to close family and friends to notice when somebody is self-harming, and to approach the subject with care and understanding.
The signs may include unexplained injuries and signs of depression or low self-esteem. Someone who is self-harming can seriously hurt themselves, so it is important that they speak to a GP about the underlying issue and about any treatment or therapy that might help them.
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Disclaimer: Counselling or Psychotherapy Treatments are not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other health care professional. Always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment. Clients are responsible for assessing the outcome of their treatment and are advised to refer to NICE guidelines for further information.