What is it?
Self-harm is a way some people use to deal with difficult feelings that build up inside. People deal with their feelings and worries in very different ways. Some people may deal with these feelings by self-harming.
Some examples of self-harm include cutting or burning oneself, bruising oneself, pulling out hair, picking skin and taking an overdose of tablets.
Self harm can affect anyone and is quite common. Many people may harm themselves for long periods of time before disclosing that they have a problem, many more may never admit to it.
Why do people do it?
There are many reasons why people self-harm. A set list of reasons can never be written because everyone has different worries and problems to deal with. Some of the reasons may be:
Pressure of school/exams
Problems in school
Problems with friends
Pressure to fit in
Pressure to have sex
The list is endless; there are many more reasons why someone may self-harm. Many may not even know why they self harm.
When self-harm becomes a way of dealing with worries and problems, it may be very difficult to stop. If you or someone you know is self harming, it is important to get the help and support that is needed to stop. The most important thing is to remember that all people go through tough times and everyone deals with their problems differently and that with help and support people who self harm can find different ways of dealing with worries and stresses.
What can help?
Self-harm is often a very personal or private thing so disclosure can be very difficult and upsetting but telling someone you trust what is going on can help, and they can help you help yourself through it.
Who could you tell you?
Parent or guardian
A friend’s parent or guardian
Sister or brother
A helpline eg. Pieta house (Tel: 01 60100 00 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
By telling someone you trust what is going on; they can help you by supporting you through recovery. Young people should not be ashamed or afraid to tell someone they trust that they are self-harming. Everyone deals with their worries and stresses in different ways, for someone who deals with issues through self harm it is important to learn other ways of dealing with issues that may cause upset and worry. A young person may have to get further professional help to aid recovery but with this help and support, recovery is made easier.