WARNING: The Embarrassing Bodies website contains images of an explicit medical nature and nudity in a medical context.

Embarrassing Bodies Down Under, 1:00am Thursday 7th May 2015 on Channel 4. Catch up for free on 4oD »

Conditions

Self Harm

Self-harm occurs when someone deliberately injures themselves, usually as a result of depression or low self esteem. It typically manifests itself as cuts or burns on the skin, though it can also include people swallowing dangerous chemicals or misusing drugs and alcohol. People who self-harm usually do it in secret, and they will often try to hide their injuries from others, and the act of self-harming can in turn lower self-esteem further (through visible injuries) which can turn in to a vicious cycle.

Whilst some people self-harm only once, many people do it on a regular basis and it is hard to know just how widespread the problem is. If you are self harming, or suspect that someone you know may be self-harming, then medical attention should be sought immediately, as there is a higher possibility of suicide, either deliberately or accidentally. The physical damage caused by self-harming can be treated with first aid and by A&E if it is very serious, but the medical staff who treat you will need to refer you for a mental health assessment. Go to NHS Choices to find out more about this process.

For more information please use the following links:

Young Minds
selfharm.co.uk
Mind
National Self Harm Network
NHS Choices – Self Harm
Harmless
The Samaritans

Channel 4 is not responsible for the content of external websites

Comments and Questions

You can share your experiences and thoughts with other Embarrassing Bodies site-users below. Comments & Questions are reviewed by moderators, but if you see anything on the site that worries you, please report it and one of our moderators will look at it as soon as possible.
Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

What can help self harm scars? Will it involve surgery, creams or steroid injections?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I used to self harm about a year ago I fel very ill And end up in a psychiatric ward for the first time in my life I was 21 when I fel ill. I dident know what to do or how to tell Any one that I thought I was loading my mind Flet so slow I truly hit rock bottom at that point Growing up was hard dident have it easy at all Was abused meantily physically and sexuly I was very young when this happen. So I thought every one go thew it So I never told any one. One day I flet that low. I thought about ending my life. Went to work done my shift wet home told my family I love them and il be back soon. I went some were to jump sat Thir for an hour cryed abit try to talk my self out of it. But I couldn't I just wanted the hurt to stop and be free. I was about to do it when I heard some one voice they pulled be back and call the police they took me to a and me got out on a 136. I was so angry with them for saving my life. So for a year and a half I was in hoptail slowing getting better. I started to talk and tell people how I feel and the hurt slowly when away started to feel me agin got out on tables. I look at my. Scars and I say to my self I'm a survivor and alway will be. And all of you guys are Thir is light at the end of the tunnel. Talking dose help phone some if you feel low don't suffer in silence. Together we can beat it. I have iv got a beautiful baby on the way now hopefully getting married soon. If I can do it I know you can xx





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I self harm and have told 5 friends and one adult. I don't self harm any less, maybe even more and I'm thinking about telling them I've stopped as they always ask about it and try to get me to tell my mom. I wouldn't suggest telling people unless you have cut too deep as it just makes it worse tbh xx





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I used to self harm a lot, but i haven't for over a year. Recently one of my deeper scars has become raised at one end, red and very itchy. I have no idea what has caused this as it has never done this before and is fully healed, normally flat to the skin and a purple colour. Any clue what has happened?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 31 just started self harming after years of wanting to my god what the hell am I doing I hate I've lost control after dealing with issues for 23 years it's just all caught up





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 17 and I have been self harming since I was 12 and my scars that are left behind are really bad. My mum and sister know I self harm but think I have stopped. I don't want to tell them I still do it cause they have already said I'm just attention seeking, what can I do? Also is there any way I can get rid of the old scar that are still really noticeable? When I'm out in the sun they go purple and red and I'm embarrassed incase they know they are from self harm, how can I get rid of them?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

While reading the problems that you have I notice that you deciding to self-harm because you have problems with seeking the attention. The best thing to do is to speak with your family about the feelings, needs and problems which you may have so they will have better understanding of you and because of that they are going to take more attention to you because they will know everything that you may be worrying about or need help with.

Hey I'm 14 years old (female) and have moderate/ severe depression and severe anxiety and frequently get panic attacks. Mostly it it linked to homophobia/ bullying at school which has been going on since my started school. Now I am self harming quite a bit but I don't know if I should talk to a doctor? My family don't know much about it either which makes me pannic a lot! What should I do?





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

I'm 14 and I self harm. I'v been feeling depressed for a while, I just don't fit in with my friends. My broken family drives me crazy, I'v lost interest in almost everything. I keep hiding my emotions and put on a happy face for the benefit of others, but inside I'm dying. I have no one who I can really talk to who understands me, they would just think I'm an attention seeker! Its summer now and I'm worried my mum will see my arm. I just don't no what to do? self harm is my only option! :(





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.


Please don't swear or be rude in your answers, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting answers. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

Hi Jade, Im 29 and I can tell you, what you are feeling is completly normal, I cant say I have been in that position, but I can tell you this: You are not alone, there are many people feeling the same or worse than you are, the best you can do is to be honest "say what you think and do what you say" and find ways to help othes feel better. Its amazing how by helping others you help yourself. Keep your head up, the world is waiting to see how bright you can be in the middle of darkness. Your ideas are valuable and can really make a difference in our planet. You just have to decide to make them real. If you want, talk to me, I listen.

Im often really down and just cant be bothered with anything, i always feel left out and my family stress me out all ive been thinking about is self harm, but my family always laugh at people who do and say theyre pathetic and how its just attention seeking, All i want too do is hurt myself but im so scared my family will find out i dont know what to do





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

OMG is all I can think reading this!!! I too am a self harder and have been for yrs but I'm trying hard now to come out the other side now and I doing a corse to become a mental health worker and my current paper is on self harm..... I really find it sad how young most of your are, it sad that at such an age you feel the world has treated you this badly that you need to turn to this. As a society we should be ashamed of our attitudes to mental health. I fort for a yr to get my gps to listen to me, I was going in weekly to daily having overdosed or self harmed cos I needed help....all they did is turn me away and called me an attention seeker. At my worse I was trying to kill myself two to three times a week!!! It took a final effort were I nearly died for them to get mental health services involved, but even then it did not get better cos I was told they can't help me until I stop trying to kill myself! Well is that not why I needed help because I was trying to kill myself and saw no future....it took me to sack my cpn and finally I was assigned a lady who was amazing! She just got me, helped me, listend to me and got me all the theropy and support I needed to come out the other side alive! Yes it took yrs and my mum died during all this but still she stood by me, supported me, and now I have my life to thank her for being the most amazing person I have ever met!! Now I want to spend my life fighting to get the system of mental health better and help people myself, this is why I find it heart breaking how young u all r. Pls trust someone who has come out of 5yrs of self harm and overdoses, it can be done but it's slow and hard, just find that one person who u can turn to. Good luck everyone xx





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.


Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your comment.



Please don’t swear or be rude in your comments, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting comments. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines

It looks like no one else has asked this question, so please fill in the rest of your details below.





This will be published. Surnames, nicknames or usernames are not allowed


Your email address will be kept confidential and will NOT be published – it is only being collected here in case Channel 4 need to contact you in relation to your answer.



Please don't swear or be rude in your questions, as they will not be added to the site. Please do not use your full name when posting questions. If in doubt, refer to the community guidelines

Questions submitted to the site will be answered by other site users, not by medical professionals, so if you have a medical concern, please book an appointment with your GP.

By posting on this website you are agreeing to abide by our community guidelines


Important Notice

The information provided on this website (including any NHS Choices medical information) is for use as information or for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. We do not warrant that any information included within this site will meet your health or medical requirements. This Embarrassing Bodies site does not provide any medical or diagnostic services so you should always check with a health professional if you have any concerns about your health.


If you want to embed our videos in your site, read our embedding T&Cs here


More Information

  1. Dr Pixie McKenna

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Pixie McKenna

  2. Consultation: Verrucas

    In Videos - Dr McKenna examines two patients with severe outbreaks of verrucas

  3. Dr Christian Jessen

    In Videos - Find out more about Dr Christian Jessen

  4. Consultation: Mole Check-Up

    In Videos - Dr Harper examines a patient's moles

  5. Quick Health Advice: Athlete's Foot

    In Videos - Dr Harper gives out some advice on how to avoid getting the particu…

  6. Quick Health Advice: Piles

    In Videos - Dr Jessen passes on some advice about the causes of piles and the p…

  7. Quick Health Advice: Penis Spots

    In Videos - Dr Christian discusses how to check for penile spots and what warni…

  8. Body Check: Urine

    In Videos - Dr Christian talks about potential health problems that can be spot…

  9. Quick Health Advice: Bad Breath

    In Videos - Dr McKenna gives out information on how to test for bad breath and…

  10. Episode 5

    In Episodes - Episode 5 featured conditions as diverse as Gynaecomastia (that's m…

  11. Doctor Responses: Haemorrhoids

    In Videos - Dr Christian tackles the most popular viewer questions about proble…

  12. Quick Health Advice: Excessive Sweating

    In Videos - Dr Pixie discusses the causes of excessive sweating and the treatme…

  13. Body Check: Moles

    In Videos - Dr Christian talks about how to check your moles for potentially da…

  14. Body Check: Stools

    In Videos - Dr Christian describes what different shapes and colours of poo can…

  15. Body Check: Semen

    In Videos - Dr Christian discusses the importance of semen and what it can tell…


Help Beat Cancer

Download our free mobile game to help Reverse The Odds in the fight against cancer.

Available on App Store, Google Play and Amazon App Store >