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Calderglen High School

Self Harm

What is self harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, painful memories or overwhleming situations and life experiences.

Self-harm has been described as a way to:

  • express something that is hard to put into words

  • turn invisible thoughts or feelings into something visible

  • change emotional pain into physical pain

  • reduce overwhelming emotional feelings or thoughts

  • have a sense of being in control

  • escape traumatic memories

  • have something in life that they can rely on

  • punish themselves for their feelings and experiences

  • stop feeling numb, disconnected or dissociated

  • create a reason to physically care for themselves

After self-harming you may feel a short-term sense of release, but the cause of your distress is unlikely to have gone away. Self-harm can also bring up very difficult emotions and could make you feel worse.

Even though there are always reasons underneath someone hurting themselves, it is important to know that self-harm does carry risks. Once you have started to depend on self-harm, it can take a long time to stop.

Below is a resource on self-harm from the mental health charity Mind.

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