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About Self Harm

 

Self harm is a lot more common than is probably realized. The term "self harm" (self injury, self mutilation) is used to describe a certain behaviour where people of various ages, sex, religion and race, inflict injuries on themselves. Self harm is a sign that a person is in real distress. It is about despair, sadness, hurt, pain and isolation. Every person who self harms will have their own reasons for doing it.

Is self harm common?

Self harm is more common in women than in men, and it is thought that this is the case as women tend to express their emotions differently to men. Men are more likely to be outwardly violent. About 1 in 1000 women between the ages of 15 and 35 are thought to hurt themselves. About 10% of admissions to medical wards in the UK are for the results of self harm.  Most admissions for treatment of self harm are due to drug overdoses. About 10% is for treatment of self inflicted wounds. 

Why do people hurt themselves?

self harm can stem from negative childhood experiences, from low self esteem, from feelings of being out of control and self hate. It may be a way of managing feelings and feeling numb and empty. I have more information on this here.