Understanding self harm
What is self harm?
- cutting or scratching themselves
- burning themselves with a flame or something hot
- causing bruising to the body by hitting themselves
- throwing their body against something that will hurt
- taking overdoses of tablets or medication
- inserting objects into the body
- hair pulling (also known as trichotilliomania)
Why do people self harm?
But I just don’t get it…
Who self harms?
What causes people to self harm?
There are many things that can cause distress is someone that can in turn lead them to harm themselves. Such issues that may trigger the onset or a period of self harm might be bullying, trauma, abuse, school or work pressures, bereavement and difficult relationships but no experience can be disregarded. There doesn’t always need to be a triggering event in someone’s life that makes them turn to self harm, sometimes individuals just experience a period of decreased self esteem or increased distress that leads them to harm themselves.
Self harm is NOT...
- attention seeking or manipulative;
- a mental illness; it is a symptom of internal stress or distress
- just a young person’s problem
- a suicide attempt but it is a risk factor for suicide
- the sole problem but is a symptom of emotional distress
- a problem that cannot be solved, people can learn to manage their emotions in a different way
- a behaviour that is risky to others