Self-harm involves deliberately harming one’s body to reduce or express distress and cope with overwhelming emotions. The pain is a way to transform an emotional state to a physical one. Self-harm may include cutting, picking, scratching, burning, biting and excessive body piercing or tattooing. Self-harm is usually done in private and is not typically considered an attention seeking behavior.
Self-harm is not necessarily a suicide attempt and often has nothing to do with wanting to die. It can be a symptom of an underlying mental health condition such as an eating disorder, depression, anxiety or borderline personality disorder. Young adults often report using self-harm to cope with their negative feelings because they do not know healthier ways to handle or express their distress.
Check out these FAQs about self-harm to learn more about the issue, including why young adults self-harm, how others can help and what services and supports are available to effectively address self-harm.
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