What is Self Harm?

Many individuals harm themselves for a purpose but are self-harm a mental illness? Is still a question. It doesn't come under the category of mental illness, but the behavior one has while harming is linked to several illnesses. It is an act of cutting oneself, or doing any injury intentionally on one's own body.

Self-injury includes different behavior like excessive body piercing, tattooing, or cutting oneself, causing tissue damage. It leaves marks on the body. Some individuals often pull their hair or bang head with the hammer or any sharp object. Commonly, the person who is causing harm to themselves will hide their behavior from the group and isolate themselves, leading to depression or anxiety.

People often harm themselves during the young teenage years because of constant neglect or abuse. If a person has experienced trauma previously, then they might hurt their body parts on purpose. As hurting is considered to be a sign of emotional distress, it can be life-threatening too. If the injury deepens a lot, then it can break the bones or hurt internal organs adversely.

Thinking about hurting oneself often causes feelings of shame and can cause severe injury than intended.


  • Self-isolation
  • Keeping sharp objects within reach
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Emotional instability leading to unpredictable actions
  • Statements of worthlessness or hopelessness
  • Wearing full sleeves clothes even on hot days
  • Unnecessarily rubbing an area

Self-harm is a symptom of several psychiatric illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, personality disorder, and substance-related disorder.

Causes of self-harm:

As mentioned previously, there is no particular cause behind a person hurting them. It can be a series of events or any specific incidents that must have affected the individual at worst. In most cases, it is seen that an individual more likely engages in self-injury due to a dysfunctional family.

When a person hates itself or feels bad about their body, then they try to punish themselves. Self inflicted injury is a life-threatening damage.


Treatment for self-harm includes psychotherapy, stress therapies, group therapies. Here is a list of effective therapies for self harm:

  • EFT
  • CBT
  • REBT
  • Client-centered Therapy

Self-help tips for avoiding Self-harm:

  • Identify triggers: Try digging out problems, and ask yourself what is bothering you. Is it a circumstance or situation that is making you depressed or anxious? You can explore your triggers with the help of your friend as well.
  • Talk to someone: When you are feeling an urge to hurt yourself, try talking about your problems to anyone around you. It will help you release your emotional pain and act as a healthy strategy for recovering.
  • Cultivate mindfulness: Don't let your mind wander in the past, and stay in the present. If you engage yourself in negative talks or memories, it will affect your current situation in a judgemental way.
  • Stay positive: Many people illtreat themself because of the negative vibes around them. Try reading positive success stories to boost your recovery. It's easy to recover from the mental state, and by the end, you will become a healthier individual.
  • Seek professional help: Visit a counselor or a psychiatrist, as they are the best person to reach out to. An individualized treatment like cognitive behavioral therapy will help you work on your uncomfortable thoughts and overcome negative feelings by establishing the right balance. Self-harm is even connected to different issues like borderline personality disorder, or depression. Hence, with professional help, you can learn more about your mental state.
  • Try releasing your problems: Find a beautiful private and relaxing place to release your problems. You can either scream a bit, and let out your aggression to feel relieved.

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