People who harm themselves are not stupid. They’re not selfish or insane or attention-seekers. They are people who take things out on their bodies, rather than sounding off about things as other people might.
Self-harm’s not about trying to kill yourself, although those who do self-harm are significantly more at risk of suicide than the average person.
Often people who self-harm do not really have a secure sense of self in the first place. Harming your body can be a way of dealing with frustration and destructive feelings but also of breaking through a feeling of being emotionally dead. It is not just a destructive act but can actually bring relief from mental torment. This shows how bad people can feel mentally if harming themselves physically (often by cutting) feels better. Self-harm can go on for years before people finally look for help. The sooner you can seek help the better.
Usually people who self-harm can get loads of benefit from confidential counselling. Talking about painful feelings in a safe environment gives people another option to self-harming. So, if you’re feeling like you want to hurt yourself, or do self-harm and want some help, give CALM a call and talk about the way you feel. We won’t judge you in any way – we’ll just try and help you find another way to cope with your worries.
Amended and accredited by Martin Seager CPsychol AFBPsS 10th June 2013