Health: What You Should Know About Self Harm -

Health: What You Should Know About Self Harm

Sometimes a person may start self-mutilation, as in intentionally inflicting pain and harming his or her own body. It includes cutting, burning, or any other form of harm. Other forms of self-harm include consuming excess amounts of alcohol or drugs. Self-harm can be confused with an attempt to commit suicide but most people, self harm is a means to escape from the emotional pain. They distract themselves by willing to inject physical pain to overshadow the emotional pain.

Self-harm is the end result of an emotional build up in a person. When people are unable to express their feelings and are resistant to talk about it, self harm comes as a temporary source of relief.


Finding someone in the family or friends who self harms can be extremely disturbing and upsetting. People often show a range of emotions like anger, shock, confusion etc. when they hear about some self harming. A condition where a person intentionally harms himself is often baffling for people. It is important to know about the reason why someone is doing it. It is important to understand his/her perspective, to care, to sympathize with him. It is rarely done for “attention seeking”; it is a sort of a coping mechanism. Taking control of the emotions is satisfying for them.

Talking about how they are feeling, try to get to know the reason. And, if the person is not willing to talk, let them know that they have friends who would listen. To stop self harm is very difficult. It can take a while to stop. It can be an addictive activity. If someone wants to quit self harming, it is a gradual process. Inflecting less and less harm gradually can be helpful. It is known as self harm minimization when either the frequency or intensity of the self harm reduces over time. Opting for therapy can help a lot. Taking a professional’s advice on how to cope with the feeling can be a great help. Here are a few tips, which can be followed while dealing with someone who self harms:

  • Take about their feelings
  • Don’t judge them
  • Do not let them feel guilty about how others are feeling about it
  • Support them
  • When they share their feelings, be respectful and understand where they are coming from
  • Be compassionate
  • Do not give them warnings
  • Understanding it is difficult to stop self harming. It will take time for them to be okay.

Self harm is one of the serious issues these days. In this practical word, people often hurt someone or the other without even realizing their emotional and mental status. Some people may not be able to cope with these emotional breakdowns and start blaming themselves. They lose hope in life and try to harm themselves. If someone is facing or experiencing any of these problems, immediately consult a counselor or psychiatrist.


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