What causes self harm?
Coping mechanisms like self harm are often associated with issues such as depression, low self esteem, anxiety or trauma. Although people have some short term relief from self injury, the long term effects of self harm can be quite damaging and make you feel worse.
The effects of self harm
The effects of self-harm depend on how someone is actually hurting themselves, but as a short term coping strategy it’s never going to address the underlying problem. For that, you might need a type of therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or counselling.
How to talk about self harm
We understand that opening up about self harm isn’t easy. It can be one of the hardest obstacles to getting better. For some ideas on how to get started take a look at our articles on how to talk to someone about self harm and going to your GP about self harm,
Alternatives to self harm and finding support
There are many alternatives to self harm, and replacing the urge to hurt yourself with new behaviours might take time, but it is entirely possible. If you’re feeling angry, channelling that energy into physical activities can help. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated, try to reach out to friends or family members or an online community like the one here at The Mix. If you just don’t feel anything, try spending some time outside, eating some food you enjoy or playing with your pet.
For some inspiration, check out our interview with Maddie Bruce: Recovering from Self Harm and head over to our Self-Injury Awareness Day page.
What to do if someone you know is self harming
If you’re worried that someone you know is self harming, read up on our five tips if someone you know is self harming and how to support someone who self harms. Friends and family play a vital role in supporting people through difficult times, so try to create an open and non-judgmental environment to encourage those who are struggling to reach out for help.
Remember you can always talk to The Mix for support in confidence and anonymously, we’re not here to judge, only to listen and help wherever we can.
Recovering from Self-Harm
For Self-Harm Awareness Day Maddie Bruce shared her experiences and advice for those who are dealing with self-harm and looking to recover. You are not alone. It’s time to start the conversation and destigmatise self-harm.
Find out what the rules of confidentiality are and what to do if you feel your trust has been broken.
Find out what your triggers are and learn how to control your urge to self-harm.
What will happen when you visit your doctor about self-harming? Here's what to expect.
Make sure you know how to handle things if someone confides in you about self-harming.
Mental health campaigner Natasha Devon asks what is self harm, why do people self harm and what kind of people it can affect.
Ellie tells us about her abusive childhood and how it led her to self-harm.
You might need to go to A&E if you’ve self-harmed or overdosed. The Mix explains what happens when you go to hospital for self-harm.
Not all self-harm is what you'd expect. Read Sharu's story to find out more about different kinds of self-harm.
Self-harm doesn't just affect the person who's doing it. Make sure you know who to turn to if you need advice.
How can I learn to accept and live with self-harm scars? Read Janet's inspiring story.
Want to know more about using skin camouflage for self-harm scars? Read this expert guide.
Rachel from selfharm.co.uk answers your questions on coping with self harm.
Find out more about the different types of self-harm and their long-term impacts.
Worried that you're self-harming again? Here's our guide to understanding a self-harm relapse.
There are many different forms of self harm. It can encompass a lot of different things people do to manage their emotions.
Caring for self-harm scars can be an opportunity for healing. Sian talks through the best skin care for scars & cream for self-harm scars.
It's not always possible to just stop self-harming, but there are ways you can help yourself take the first step towards recovery.
How to talk about self-harm and open up about what you're going through.
Our young ambassador, Rachel, talks about breaking the stigma surrounding self-harm scars
How should you deal with things if your partner is self-harming?
What could happen to someone if they overdose, either on purpose or accidentally?
Graphic self-harm content can make it even harder to recover.