What is Self-Harm?

Self-harm is a broad term that describes the act of hurting yourself on purpose.

Why do some people Self-Harm?

Self-harm can be a way to:

  • Express, cope with or numb painful feelings.
  • Get some control over painful and often confusing feelings.
  • Punish yourself; this can be particularly true if a person has low self-esteem or blames themselves for the original trauma.
  • Provide comfort at a difficult time by doing something that is familiar. This can help when new and confusing feelings appear.

Myths about Self-Harm:

“It is a failed suicide attempt”: Self-harm is much more about attempting to cope with life rather than wanting to die. Injuries can be life threatening but are rarely so.

“Self-harm is attention seeking behaviour”: Many people try as hard as they can to hide any evidence of their self-harm. People do not hurt themselves to gain attention.

“Self-harm is a sign of someone going mad”: Self-harm is a sign of deep distress – not madness.

“People who self harm are a danger to others”: People who self-harm are directing the hurt at themselves and not at other people. In fact, most people who self-harm would be appalled at the idea of harming anyone else.

Specialist resources around Self-Harm

Self injury Support offer a support and information about self-harm

Want to talk?

Women and girls

0808 801 0456

Monday & Friday
11.00am – 2.00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 6.00pm – 8:30pm

Men and boys

0808 801 0464

Monday 11.00am – 2.00pm
Tuesday 6.00pm – 8:30pm

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