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Self harm

Self harm is when a person hurts themself, usually by cutting, but also by doing things like burning or hitting themself.

Some people self harm to try to give themselves temporary relief from overwhelming feelings. It can either make a person numb to these feelings, or it can be a way for them to express the emotional pain they are feeling.

Self harm is NOT about getting attention or manipulating people. Some people use it as a way to cope with with unbearable emotional pain and distress but really it's only hiding the problem and adding a new one.

People who self harm often don't feel very good about themselves. They suffer not only from harming but also from feelings of shame about their self harming.

If you know someone who is self harming, make sure that they know that you care and that it is OK to talk about it. Be respectful and and don't judge them. See the person as a whole person, not just someone who self harms. Be there to support them if they are able to see a GP or if they need to go to the hospital.

For more advice about self-harm and getting support, visit the Young Minds website.

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