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Self Harm

What is self-harm?

Self-harm means hurting yourself or damaging your health on purpose. Sometimes young people can feel lots confusing and painful emotions (feelings) and they don’t know how to deal with them so they hurt themselves physically to try and stop feeling bad inside.

Types of self-harming behaviour

  • cutting or scratching
  • biting themselves
  • causing bruises
  • banging their head against a wall
  • punching a wall
  • pulling out their hair
  • burning themselves with fire or chemicals
  • poisoning themselves
  • starving or overeating
  • falling over on purpose
  • breaking a bone on purpose.

Getting help

There are ways to deal with your feelings and to teach yourself to stop self-harming. You can get help to feel better again.

If this information brings up feelings that are hard for you, please phone Childline 116 or speak to somebody you trust.

Things to remember:

  • there are lots of different reasons why someone might self-harm
  • it’s better to talk to someone and get help, rather than keep it all inside
  • you can talk to one of our counsellors any time
  • there are other ways to cope – and different things work for different people
  • there are lots of things that make you who you are, self-harm is not one of them

Telling someone about self-harming is one of the best ways of getting help for the problem. Talking is important because it means you don’t have to deal with everything on your own but it’s not always easy. It’s often hard to know why you’re self-harming. Explaining it to someone else can feel even harder.

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