What is Self Harm?

  • The dictionary definition of “self harm” range from “a non-fatal act in which an individual deliberately causes physical injury to the self or ingests a substance in excess of the therapeutic dose” to “deliberate injury to oneself, typically as a manifestation of a psychological or psychiatric disorder”.

    Self harm is called many different things such as self-injury, self-inflicted violence, deliberate cutting, self-abuse and even more extreme terms such as parasuicide (literally translated meaning near/resembling suicide) and self-mutilation however it is very personal to what you wish it to be called.  It is a common myth that people who self harm are suicidal or attention seeking.  It is actually not common for it to be a cry for help or suicide attempt without there being an additional mental health issue where as there is a stigma attached to someone who self harms as being mentally ill but this isn’t often the case Most self harmers are not trying to gain attention – in fact quite the opposite as it is a very private experience and most will try and hide their scars, bruises and marks. It is important not to only focus on the self harm itself but the reasons behind it in the first place – only once these issues are addressed with you will be able to address your self harm.