Section masthead

Self-harm

  • Deliberately Injuring Yourself

    Some people turn to hurting themselves physically as a way of dealing with their overwhelming anger, tension or frustration. This is known as self-harm, self-injury, self-mutilation or self-abuse.

    For these people, hurting themselves brings about a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension. And then it is usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions that drove them to it. Self-harm is often done on impulse and may be associated with other conditions such as depression.

    Self-harm - What are the symptoms?
    img src: www.schoolswork.co.uk
    Self-harm symptoms include:

    • Cutting
    • Burning,
    • Picking or interfering with wound healing,
    • Infecting oneself,
    • Punching/hitting self or objects,
    • Inserting objects in to skin,
    • Bruising or breaking bones, and
    • Some forms of hair pulling.


    To cover up their scars, these people may turn to wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts.


    Self-harm may also take less obvious forms, such as:

    • Taking unnecessary risks
    • Staying in an abusive relationship
    • Developing eating problems (anorexia, bulimia)
    • Abusing alcohol or drugs


    Most people who engage in self-injury are adolescents. Self-injury often starts in the early teen years, when emotions are more volatile and children face increasing peer pressure, loneliness and conflicts with parents or other authority figures.

    The majority of the people who self-injure are females, even though the percentage of young men seems to be on the rise.