There is no way I can cover all the types and as a forum, we won’t put any specifics on here. Research has shown that this can ‘inspire’ others to copy techniques or words. It can also trigger others to self harm.

Reasons for Self Harm include:

  • Depression
  • Childhood abuse
  • Bullying
  • High anxiety
  • Bereavement
  • Relationship difficulty
  • Feeling of numbness to life
  • Physical health problems
  • Feeling suicidal

and many more.

Self harm is an aspect of emotional problems that often upsets and causes strong reactions in those who find out someone has or is doing it. This is understandable but with some insight, maybe this can be better understood. Self harm is seen as a physical response to an emotional pain.

People self harm for a myriad reasons and those reasons can change even in an individual from one bout of self harm to another. Behind it is often a desperation, an inner pain and turmoil which the person feels unable to manage and it works on the principle that a worse pain can settle a chronic one. Also it can be done as punishment to the self for imagined unforgivable events in a person’s life. Remember, I said imagined or perceived, and not that these events really are unacceptable.

People who have been abused as children can be a group at high risk. Children, when abused, often blame themselves for the abuse since blaming the parent is unthinkable when most parents are seen as “god” to a child. So with that inner pain, that hurt child still dominates even into adulthood.

You could add in here addiction to street drugs, eating disorders, long term depression, guilt, phobias and fears, and many, many more.

When a person self harms because they are feeling numb, it doesn’t mean that high tolerance to pain remains, and often that once the problem has been dealt with by the self harm, the pain of what they have done can be excruciating. This needs to be remembered when the person seeks medical help and there are reports of doctors or nurses not giving pain relief before treatment!

Myths about Self Harm

  • It’s attention seeking: in fact most people who self harm hide it from others and may harm in areas that won’t be seen. Its not done to show people, its done to express inner pain.
  • The person is suicidal: a few people may do this before a suicide attempt, but the vast majority don’t feel suicidal. In fact many can find it a way to manage some emotions throughout their lives.
  • It’s a teenage thing, they will grow out of it: In fact people who self harm are of all ages. People who have used this coping mechanism can do so all their lives. Teenage children aren’t being silly or following a fashion. It is still an expression of inner pain.
  • <