Self-harm is when you do something that is hurting and harming yourself, or where you are damaging your health on purpose. Perhaps the most common form of self-harm is deliberately cutting yourself.
This is a way of trying to manage your feelings, cope with painful memories, or deal with overwhelming situations and experiences that feel out of control. It can be the thing you turn to when you feel you have no other option.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, about 1 in 10 young people will self-harm at some point in their young lives, but these statistics are based only on those who have seen a GP or have been hospitalised, so it will likely be higher. We know that a lot of people do not seek help after self-harm.
When people self-harm it can be:
- A way to express something that words can’t describe.
- Helping someone turn invisible thoughts and feelings into something visible.
- Looking to make emotional pain into physical pain.
- A way of feeling in control.
- Helping someone escape traumatic memories.
- A form of self-punishment.
- Helping someone stop feeling numb or disconnected.
- A way of expressing suicidal feelings and thoughts.
Ways of Self-Harming:
- Cutting yourself.
- Burning your skin.
- Picking or scratching your skin.
- Inserting objects inside you.
- Hitting yourself or walls.
- Poisoning yourself (e.g. drinking some bleach).
- Pulling your hair out.
- Over/under eating.
- Excessive exercising.
- Excessive working.
- Causing fights where you will get hurt.
Talking about self-harming is one of the best ways of coping, even though this may seem really challenging. It means you are not on your own. Even though you may not understand why you are doing it, counselling can really help you to explore what’s happening for you, how the self-harming is helping in some way, and then move you towards dealing with whatever is underlying this behaviour.
Counselling can also teach you coping strategies to help prevent further episodes of self-harm.
To arrange your first session simply call us on 01206 841650, 07949 392248, or send us a message here.