Self harm

Self harm happens when someone intentionally hurts or harms themselves. There are many ways in which people self harm including cutting, burning, taking too many pills or abusing illegal drugs or alcohol.

People who self harm do so for a variety of reasons. Some people self harm as a way of (temporarily) regulating their emotions and feelings. Others will use self harm to express things they cannot speak about, to try to gain control or to punish themselves if they have suffered abuse.

Many people who self harm recover and don’t self harm again. Help is available from health professionals and from specialist organisations that provide information and advice.

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