Coping with life's ups and downs

Self Injury

Self-injury describes the various things that some young people do to harm themselves in a deliberate and usually hidden way. Often this involves repeatedly cutting the skin, but burning, scalding, banging or scratching one’s own body, breaking bones, hair pulling and ingesting toxic substances or objects are all done as well.

Self-harm is usually a response to profound emotional pain and distress that a person feels cannot be resolved in any another way. People who hurt themselves often feel that the physical pain is easier to deal with than the emotional pain they are experiencing. However, self-harm provides only temporary relief and does not address the underlying issues. (Truth Hurts, MHF 2006)

Research shows that one in three people who self-harm will do it again within a year if they don’t get help. Cutting can cause scarring, numbness or paralysis. If you are harming yourself and it is a struggle to cope talking to someone can help you feel less alone to see your problems more clearly.

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