Self-harming is when a young person chooses to injure or harm themselves on purpose.
Self-harm is not about enjoying pain. Young people may self-harm as a way to cope with problems like feeling anxious, depressed or stressed. You may self-harm to try and feel in control of these issues or to punish yourself.
Self-harming might include:
- cutting, burning, picking or scratching yourself
- head banging, hitting or pulling out hair
- taking personal risks or neglecting themselves
- taking an overdose of tablets
- sometimes it is attempting to commit suicide if the problems are very severe.
Some people feel the need to harm themselves every day whilst others self-harm when they are under pressure or stress. Much self-harming is done secretly and can be followed by feelings of shame and embarrassment.
If you self-harm it is extremely important that you speak to an adult you trust so you can get help as soon as possible.
Does everyone who self-harms need to come to CAMHS? Watch this film for information on ways to seek help.
If you would like to know more about self-harm and the help you can get you might find these websites useful: