Understanding Self-Harm

Self-harm is a behaviour or pattern of behaviours in which a person causes deliberate damage to their body over a short or long period of time. Self-harm is usually used by people during times of stress or intense emotions as a coping mechanism.

Self-harm is split into two different behaviours, self-injuring behaviours and harming behaviours. To understand self-harm, we need to understand what it means to harm oneself and which behaviours are harming behaviours.

Harming behaviours are behaviours which are undertaken deliberately, which have a negative effect on our health over a long period of time. Harming behaviours can include; smoking, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, sexual promiscuity, drug abuse and calorie restriction etc.

Self-injuring behaviours are more widely known and recognised as forms of self-harm. Self-injuring behaviours in which a person inflicts intentional damage to their own body. Self-injuring behaviours can include; cutting, burning, hair pulling, punching walls and starting fights etc.

To learn more about self-harm and the early warning signs, please continue onto the next page by clicking here.