Self-harm is when you inflict physical harm on yourself, usually in secret and often without anyone else knowing. Self-harming can include:

Cutting your skin with knives or any sharp object

Burning your skin

Hitting your body with an object or fists (like punching the wall)

Picking at your skin

Swallowing pills or sharp objects

Self-harming usually does not mean that a person wants to commit suicide or that they are looking for attention. Usually when people harm themselves, they are suffering a great deal of pain on the inside and are unable to use words to describe their feelings.  People who harm themselves have often encountered very difficult situations or relationships.  They may have:

Been bullied or discriminated against

Bereavement of a family member

Broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend

Been physically or sexually abused

Experienced a serious illness or disability that affects the way they feel about themselves

Experienced problems with family, school or peer groups

It is only a temporary ‘solution’ though, a ‘band-aid fix’, because your real feelings of hurt and distress have not been dealt with.

Trying to work through these issues by yourself can be difficult. Knowing that others have overcome similar issues with the help of counselling is worth thinking about.

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