Self-harm is difficult to talk about but it's a common problem. Find out what self-harm means and what to do if you're affected by it.
What is self-harm?
Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. You usually do it because something else feels wrong. It seems like the only way to let those feelings out.
It is a very common behaviour and affects around 1 in 12 people with 10% of 15-16 year olds self-harming.
If you self-harm it is usually as a result of another problem. It can happen if you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed or bullied and feel you don't have any other way of dealing with these issues.
Sometimes it feels like no one understands why you self-harm but lots more people today know about what the condition really means.
What to do about self-harm?
Take the first step - If you think you're affected by self-harm talk to someone, a parent, guardian or relative you trust, perhaps a teacher or youth worker? If you don't feel as though you can confide in anyone, talk to your GP.
Why talk to your GP? Self-harm can be a sign of other disorders that you need help with such as depression or anxiety and they can refer you to the right people for treatment. Your GP will be aware of different local services which may be able to offer you some help.
Treating Injuries - You may well need treatment quickly for injuries from self-harming. If you have any open wounds, they may require a dressing. A school nurse or GP may be able to treat the injuries themselves or may refer you to hospital. If you take more than your prescribed dosage, or a pill/tablet that is not prescribed for you, you will require urgent care via emergency services.