Self Harm

Self harm is difficult to talk about but it’s a common problem and you can beat it. Find out what self-harm means and what to do if you think you’re affected by it.

What is self harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. You usually do it because something else feels wrong. It seems like the only way to let those feelings out.

It is a very common behaviour in young people and affects around one in 12 people with 10% of 15-16 year olds self-harming.

If you self-harm it is usually as a result of another problem. It can happen if you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed or bullied and feel you don’t have any other way of dealing with these issues.

Sometimes it feels like no-one understands why you self-harm but lots more people today know about what the condition really means.

What to do about self harm?

Take the first step – if you think you are affected by self-harm talk to someone, a parent or relative you trust, perhaps a teacher or youth worker. If you don’t think you can confide in anyone, talk to your GP.

Why talk to your GP - Self-harm can be a sign of other disorders that you need help with such as depression or anxiety and they can refer you to the right people for treatment. You may also be referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) so you can have an assessment for the right treatment for you.

Treating Injuries - You may well need treatment quickly for injuries from self-harming. Any injuries you have should be treated straight away and not left because you harmed yourself.

Your GP may be able to treat the injuries themself or may refer you to hospital where you will be treated by a doctor or nurse trained to work with children and young people who self-harm.

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