Self-Harm Behaviors

What Are Self-Harm Behaviors?

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, can be described as any behavior used to hurt oneself on purpose. It is usually a response to the experience of intense, painful emotion with the intention of release and relief. Self-harm is different than a suicide attempt, though it can be lethal.

How Can Self-Harm Behaviors Impact Your Life?

Individuals often experience a sense of calm after engaging in a self-harming behavior, later followed by feelings of guilt as shame. The intention is usually to cope with intense emotions, but it can also be the result of wanting to feel something, believing they deserve punishment or creating a sense of control over their life. Self-harm can lead to social avoidance, permanent scars, feelings of hopelessness, and increased painful emotions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Self-Harm Behaviors?

Self-harm can manifest in a variety of ways. More commonly known behaviors include cutting, scratching, or burning ones skin. Self-harm might also look like picking at wounds, pulling out hair, or self-hitting. Individuals who struggle with self-harm may wear long sleeves or pants, even in hot temperatures, in order to hide signs of injury.


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