Self-harm is a way of expressing deep distress and some people can't fully explain why they do it. Often it’s a way of expressing what cannot be put into words. Afterwards people can feel pressure has been released and they are better able to cope, although this may only last for a short while before they feel the need to self-harm again.
It can often be the result of difficult or painful experiences as a child or young adult. Perhaps, at the time, they felt they had no one to talk too, or to help them deal with things.
Research suggests that people who self-harm are more likely to have low self-esteem, be anxious, stressed and/ or depressed.
Self-harm can take many forms including:
scratching, cutting and burning the skin
swallowing things or putting things inside the body
taking unnecessary risks such as staying in an abusive relationship
eating disorders, including severe weight loss
punching the body
There is more information on self-harm on the following websites: