Self Harm / Damaging Yourself

It is common for young people to feel anxious, upset or stressed linked to issues at school, home or to relationships. It can be difficult to know who to talk to or where to turn for support and how to deal with these feelings when they build up. Some young people consider that self-harm provides relief. Self-harm is when a young person inflicts pain on themselves in some way.

If you are self-harming, you may be cutting or burning yourself, biting your nails excessively, developing eating problems, taking drugs or misusing alcohol. The relief from self-harm is often short term and does not deal with the underlying problem. Although it is often a private thing and hard to share, it does help to talk to people and this might include friends, family, your GP, school nurse or adults in school. They may be able to offer you more information about support.

It is not an illness; it is a way of expressing personal pain. The treatment usually involves working with someone to find new and less destructive ways of expressing your pain and hurt.

Some young people find websites such as Young Minds helpful as they can give you information about what others have done to keep safe and find different ways of coping.

If you are self-harming, you should see your GP for help. You can also call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 for support or visit the website of Mind (a mental health charity) for further advice.

Read more about getting help if you self-harm.