Self harm

Causes of self harm

Self-harm is not a mental health problem in itself. It can be a sign of underlying mental health conditions such as depressionanxiety or borderline personality disorder.

People say different things about why they self-harm

Some say that they have been feeling desperate about a problem and don't know where to turn for help. They feel trapped and helpless. Self-harming helps them to feel more in control.

Some people talk of feelings of anger or tension that get bottled up until they feel like exploding. Self-harming helps to relieve the tension that they feel. Feelings of guilt or shame may also become unbearable. Self-harm is a way of punishing oneself.

A proportion of young people who self-harm do so because they feel so upset and overwhelmed by difficulties that they wish to end their lives by committing suicide. At the time, many people just want their problems to disappear, and have no idea how to get help. They feel as if the only way out is to kill themselves.