This section looks at what self-harm is and what causes someone to self-harm. It could help if you are harming yourself or are thinking about it. It explains what support you can get and how to help yourself if you are self-harming. There is also information for friends, carers and relatives.
- Self-harm is when you hurt or harm yourself on purpose.
- Self-harm is most common among young people, aged 11-25.
- Drinking a lot of alcohol or taking drugs may increase your risk of self-harm.
- Self-harm is always a sign that something is wrong. However, it doesn’t always mean you have a mental health condition.
- 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.
- If you self-harm you are more at risk of suicide than someone who doesn’t.
- Your doctor can help if you want to stop self-harming. They might offer medication, counselling or both.
- 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 they self-harm can help.
This section covers:
- What is self-harm?
- Who self-harms?
- Why do people self-harm?
- Is self-harming a mental health problem?
- Do people repeatedly self-harm?
- Self-harm and suicide
- What help can professionals give me?
- How can I help myself?
- Dealing with scars
- How can I tell someone if I have a problem with self-harm?
- 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 December 2015. Next review December 2017.
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