What Is It?
Self-harm is also known as self-injury and is where someone harms their body without wanting to die. Many people who harm themselves also have suicidal thoughts. Young people may harm themselves because they don’t know what to do, or don’t feel they have any other options. For some young people, self-harm gives temporary relief and a sense of control over their lives. This may seem the only way to escape the pain they are feeling on the inside.
Types of self-harm could include scratching, cutting, burning, hitting yourself, pulling out hair, taking an overdose or not taking medication properly (e.g. diabetic medication).
What Might Help?
- Talk to someone: Speak to someone you trust, such as a family member.
- Delay the act: go for a walk/run and the urge to hurt yourself may reduce.
- Use distraction techniques: play music, drawing or writing, breathing and relaxation exercises.
- Tune into your thoughts and feelings: Try to identify how you are feeling and accept the emotion, ask yourself why you are feeling it? Try to remember you are not your emotion and you don’t have to act on it.
- Using other less invasive forms of self-harm: rubbing ice cube over arm, pinging an elastic band around your wrist or drawing with a red pen on your skin.
- Seek professional advice: This could be by going to your GP and speaking about options available including counselling.
Useful Clips and Stories:
- Read about Michelle’s experience of self-harm
- Time to Change have stories of experiences of self-harm
- Recovery from Self-Harm
- Mind Info Line (Tel: 0845 766 0163/ 0300 123 3393; Text: 86463)
- ChildLine has a confidential service (Tel: 0800 11 11)
- Teen issues have further information on self-harm
- The National Self Harm Website has some helpful resources