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: