By Jennifer O'Neill, Senior Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It's usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.
Types of Self-harm include:
Please know, if you do self-harm as a way of bringing attention to yourself, remember that you deserve a respectful response from those around you, including from medical professionals and deserve the support to change these methods and actions.
If you engage in self-harm, you may feel embarrassed or ashamed about it. This may mean that you keep your self-harming a secret. This is a common reaction, although not everyone does this.
There are no fixed reasoning, rules and theories to why people self-harm. For some people, it can be linked to a significant experience or feeling, and be a way of dealing with something that is happening now or that happened in the past or that causes distress when remembering events or similar experience’s and feelings. For certain people, it isn’t as clear cut as that. Some people are not able to understand the reasons for their self-harm, and, it’s important to be reminded that this is OK, and the reason for self-harm doesn’t need to be known to ask for help or support.
There are many reasons people engage in self-harm:
Any stressful experience can cause one to feel a possible need to self-harm. People who self-harm can seriously hurt themselves, so it's important that they speak to a General Practitioner (GP), or medical professional about the underlying issue and be provided with the relevant treatment or therapy that could help these behaviours and reduce distress and upset.
Cite this article as:
Jennifer O'Neill (2016) Self Harm. The Beautiful Space-A Journal of Mind, Art and Poetry., June 2016. TBSB100
A safe, supportive online community where you can listen, be heard and share your experiences with others.
User-led organisation for people who self-harm, friends and families.
National Self Harm Network (NSHN)
Survivor-led forum for people who self-harm, friends and families.
NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence)
0845 003 7780
Provides guidance on health and social care.
Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 90 90, Stirling, FK8 2SA
24-hour helpline: 116 123 (freephone)
24-hour emotional support for anyone feeling isolated, distressed or struggling to cope.
0300 304 7000
Support and information about mental health problems including online support.
Support for people aged 16–25.
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