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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

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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.

I am 13 years old and self harm. I put this comment under a fake name so nobody would know. I got really angry when i saw that my friend had been self harming for attention. It hurt me and I also felt she was mocking and abusing the whole idea of self harm. I self harmed more. My mom saw alot of cuts on my arm and i told her I fell down and she genuinly believed me. I know my parents would get really really furious with me if i self harm as i have never told them my issues. how do i tell them without getting them mad? I would really appreciate any responses as i have no one to turn to.





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Hi I am also 13. If your parents would get mad at you for something that you need help on I would suggest talking to therapist and if you don't have access to one you can talk to your school guidance councilor. Before you tell him/her anything tell them about your parents and how you can't tell them. Of course they are going to tell your parents but from experience they are calmer when being told by another adult. I also have a question for you, do you have any violent thoughts? You might be put into a mental hospital if you do so you can get help from hurting yourself and others. I hope this kind of helps :)

Hi I'm 15 and I have self harmed like twice so I'm new but ll I do is burn my akin on my arm and its is all yellow and puss is coming off so I dnt know what to do because If I go to hospital they will ask me what happened and if they find out they will tell my grandparents / guardians also I have asked for help from my friend as I CNT help it ! But she don't know what to do cu I want to stop this but I know it's not that easy said than done so I dnt know and neither does she also I have 4 ppl in skl harassing me to see my burn because its over them , they are the reason I burnt my self plz advice plz !!!





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Hi, So I'm 16 and i've self harmed for the past 2 years by cutting. I have at least 30 scars on my left arm. And 10 on my right, They are all raised scars, and red. I was just wondering does anyone know how I can get the to fade or at least go white?





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I am entering my 5th year in recovery from self-harm (I'm 23 as of this posting). I went through several years of severe self-harming and left with a lot of scars. In the beginning of my recovery, all my scars were red even though they were no longer open wounds. The only thing that truly heals the red or sometimes purple scars is time. After 5 years of no longer self-harming, my scars are all white, the smaller ones are very faded, but the raised ones are still raised. Unfortunately, I never went to get some of the wounds stitched and they have left the most visible raised scars. You can buy scar reducer cream or oil but, like I said, the best healer is time.

If you get some scar treatment oils such as Bio-oil this could help improve the redness. Also I have heard that lemon juice helps but only on scars and not cuts, but I have never tried it on mine. Lastly, I know that there are treatments that a doctor can recommend to help improve it.

My raised red scars took a few years to fade, they went from angry red / purple to various shades of fading pink and eventually white. They're several years old now and are silvery-white. Massaging them can help, but it will take time for them to fade.

hi im 13 and one of my freinds self harms and she is quite under weight i am the only one she has told and i dont now wat to do





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It can be difficult for her to talk about it or stop doing it, so just be there for them and put her mind off of it. Dont pressure her to stop as it can be addictive. Try to make sure she looks after the cuts (cover them to stop infection/dont do cut too deep/use clean blades). Compliment her often, if you can. Raise her self-esteem. I hope this helps xxx

Thanks it does help but she is one of those girls who does do really deep cuts and sometimes she does loose quite a bit of blood I don't now if should tell some one

I'm guessing you are the same age. It is a lot if pressure on you right now. You are in no mans land. Whaling to keep your promise to your friend but don't want things to go really wrong. If she is deeply cutting it it dangerous especially near her wrists. Since she is under weight large loss of blood could be lethal. You are oy young and shouldn't have this much stress. You should phone child line they are very good and understanding. Seriously just have a wee phone call with them you can be quite relived.

my girlfriend selfs harms and it can get quite bad and its been getting worse lately and i dont know what to do can someone give me some advice





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be nice to her and try and talk her out of it some how goodluck friend :).

be nice to her and try and talk her out of it some how goodluck friend :).

It will be difficult for her but sit her down and talk to her about it. Make it clear that you won't tell anyone else if she doesn't want you to and also make it clear that you are trying to help. Try to find out why she does it and just stay calm

I'm 16 and I have recently descovered my friend (also 16 ) self harms. It was triggered over the beginning of the end of her relationship with her long term boy friend. She says now that it is not over him now. She doesn't know why she continues but says maybe because she is sad and angry I'm the only one who knows. She told another friend who claimed it was just attention seeking which it's not. And her relationship with her parents isn't bad it just like she never hugs them or sits close to them. They aren't close. She doesn't want to see a doctor as she doesn't want to be classed with mental issues. We live in a small remote town and rumours spread fast. She cuts on her tummy. When I first found out it was only at the bottom of her stomach but now she says it's her whole tummy. I've only found out in the passed month and have asked her to think about seeing a gp and to tell me if she feels worse like suicidel. She comes over to mine a lot recently so she isn't alone and I know she can't harm. I don't mean to sound harsh or horried but I'm stressed also with school and now I feel responsible for her. Can any one offer advice? It's 3am and I find I dwell on things at night and take forever to get to sleep and this has prolonged the issue. I just want to know if any one can offer some advice. I haven't told anyone not even my mum(she's a nurse) as I'm affair she'll tell someone at work meaning to help but it may spread about town and I don't want my friend to feel betreyed. We arnt very girly friends as in we don't talk about boys or our feelings. I just feel lost.





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Hi I'm 15, I don't really self harm, I just wore away the skin once on my wrist like 1inch using some metal and it was pretty bad and then I cut some of the back of my wrist then loads of small cuts on my ankle, they're not big, and only bled a little, but I feel absolutely shit. And I felt better this time after I'd done it, not calm and amazing or anything, just better and idk why I'm even posting this, I just wanted to know if it really is self harm?





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Yes it is self harm. Self harm is basically harming yourself in anyway. Most people do it to feel relief or even just to feel pain as they feel like they can't feel pain anymore. You should talk to someone if you feel ready to. Like I never told anyone about me cutting until I accidentally told my friend (don't ask how I'm a retard) but she didn't judge me like I thought she would and I felt so much better after telling her. And now I can go to her if I feel upset and it's helping me stop. So long story short yes it's self harm and If you feel ready to, tell someone you trust. You might be better off telling a friend first. If they are actually your friend they won't treat you any differently. Good luck

Hi i am 16 and i am a bad self harmer since i was of a younger age. I don't no what to do anymore about my condition because i am tearing my body away and now because i have so many scars from my rib cage down that i am getting badly self conscious with myself. Can you please help me and tell me what i can do please?





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Hello, I am 13 and I think I might have some mental health problems. A year ago I was suicidal, and self harmed a few times on my waist. The harm was quite bad, leaving scars for a few weeks however since this was a year ago I don't know if I should tell anyone about it. On the NHS website I have roughly a third of the symptoms of anorexia and a few of bulimia. I have very low self esteem which affects me and makes me feel really down. I have a few symptoms of schizophrenia, like auditory hallucinations, mood swings and my way of thinking. I have no idea what to do, I can't tell my parents, I honestly think I have a problem.





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Hello, I am 13 and I think I might have some mental health problems. A year ago I was suicidal, and self harmed a few times on my waist. The harm was quite bad, leaving scars for a few weeks however since this was a year ago I don't know if I should tell anyone about it. On the NHS website I have roughly a third of the symptoms of anorexia and a few of bulimia. I have very low self esteem which affects me and makes me feel really down. I have a few symptoms of schizophrenia, like auditory hallucinations, mood swings and my way of thinking. I have no idea what to do, I can't tell my parents, I honestly think I have a problem.





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





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