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ourself, or contemplating self-harm, is a sign of emotional distress. If a person continues to self-harm as a coping mechanism, these unpleasant emotions may become even more intense. Self-harm also causes feelings of shame. In most cases, there may be other underlying factors that cause self-harm:  


  • Eating disorders: Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia
  • Anxiety disorders: Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Personality disorders: borderline personality disorder etc.


Some signs and symptoms of self-harm include:

  • Scars, often in patterns
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, burns or other types of wounds
  • Having sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants, even in hot weather
  • Emotional unstable and impulsive 
  • Constant feeling helplessness, and worthlessness

Some of the examples that may be a result for self-harm/self-injury: 


There are effective treatments for self-harm that can help a person regain control. Psychotherapy is an integral part of every treatment plan. While self-harming is used in a way to cope with strong emotions, learning new ways to manage psychological pain will make you stronger in the long run. Talking to a trusted adult, acquaintance, or medical professional who is familiar with the subject, preferably a counsellor/psychotherapist, is the first step in getting support. 


If you’re concerned that a family member or friend is harming themselves, ask them how they are doing and be willing to listen to their response, even if it makes you uncomfortable. This could be a difficult topic to understand. One of the best things you can do is tell them that even though you don’t completely understand, you’ll be there to help. 


At Nuffield Wellness our trained and experienced Counsellor will guide and support you in learning new behaviours if self-injury has been the way of coping with difficult emotions. Book an appointment with us today.

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