Self-abuse or self-harm is when someone hurts themselves as a way of dealing with very difficult feelings, old memories or overwhelming situations and experiences. The self-abuse can be physical, such as cutting yourself, or less obvious, such as putting yourself in risky situations, or not looking after your own physical or emotional needs.
Ways of self-harming can include:
– cutting yourself
– poisoning yourself
– binging or under-eating
– burning yourself
– inserting objects into your body
– hitting yourself or walls
– exercising excessively
– scratching and hair pulling.
After self-abuse, you might feel better for a while and more able to cope. However, self-harm can bring up very difficult feelings and could make you feel worse – this is where counselling can help.
Self-harmers may feel embarrassed or ashamed of it and might be worried that other people will judge them or try to stop them. We can help you to carefully explore what is going on for you in a calm, safe and helpful environment.