This section looks at what self-harm is. And why you may self-harm. It could help if you are using self-harm to cope. Or you are thinking about self-harming. It explains what support you can get. And how to help yourself if you self-harm. There is also information for friends, carers and relatives.
- Self-harm is harming yourself on purpose. Such as by scratching, cutting, overdosing on medication, biting or burning.
- Self-harm isn’t a mental illness but it is often linked to mental distress
- You may self-harm because you find it difficult to cope with your moods or share how you are feeling. Everyone has their own reasons for self-harming.
- Drinking a lot of alcohol or taking drugs may increase your risk of self-harm. You are more at risk of death if you self-harm because of accidental suicide.
- It is more common for young people to self-harm.
- Your doctor can help if you want to stop self-harming. They might refer you for specialist support.
- Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can help you self-harm less and make you feel less alone.
- It can be hard to know how to support someone who self-harms. Being patient and learning about why people self-harm can help.
This section covers:
- What is self-harm?
- Who self-harms?
- Why do people self-harm?
- Do people self-harm more than once?
- Is there a link between self-harm and suicide?
- How can I tell someone I self harm?
- What professional help will I get?
- What will happen if I need to go to hospital?
- What if I’m not happy with my treatment?
- How can I help myself?
- How can I self-harm safely?
- How can I deal with my scars?
- Information for friends, carers and relatives
These pages are created by Rethink Mental Illness' Advice and Information Service in accordance with the Information Standard. Last reviewed in November 2017. Next review November 2020.
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