Self-harm is when an individual injures, damages or hurts themselves intentionally as a way of dealing with difficult feelings and/or experiences. This is done in an attempt to block or distract themselves from feeling these emotions.
People may self-harm to punish, to feel normal, to be in control of their body after a trauma, or to feel better due to adrenaline rush it provides. The most common method of self-harm is using an a sharp object to cut the skin.
Other methods include burning, hitting, starving, poisoning and hair pulling as well as misuse of drugs and alcohol, even exercising excessively.
Some people believe that those who self-harm are seeking attention. However, the could not be further from the truth; some people ensure they hide their self-harm as they don’t like the attention which follows.
People can self-harm for years and find it extremely difficult to stop, so it’s important to seek early support and medical advice in order to find alternative ways of dealing with emotions. Self-harm doesn’t usually mean the person is suicidal or wants to die. However, there is links between self-harm and suicide rates. It’s important to mention that males are 3 times more likely to attempt suicide than females, and this is the lowest it has been in 30 years.
If you yourself are struggling with mental health, or think you know someone who is, reach out! Please talk to someone or visit Mind’s Urgent Help Tool!