What is self-harm?
- Self-harm or self-injury refers to hurting oneself on purpose.
- This can be done in a variety of ways. Some common methods include:
- Cutting- usually with a razor blade, but can be with any sharp object
- Burning- could be with a lighter, but also erasers, etc.
- Picking- picking one’s scabs in order to prevent them from fully healing, picking/pulling hair
Why do people self-harm?
- Generally indicates a lack of coping skills
- It is not necessarily a mental illness, but is often associated with some form of mental illness such as depression, anxiety, etc.
- Occurs when an individual has an overwhelming amount of emotion (anger, stress, sadness, etc.) and does not know how to deal with it
- Self-injury provides a release of that emotion
Where do people self-harm?
- Places that can be easily covered
- Common places include: upper legs (thighs), arms (both upper and wrists), stomach
What is a common age for someone who self-harms?
- Usually occurs in the teenage and young adult years
- Can also occur later in life
How do I know if my child is self-harming without catching them?
- Long sleeves/long pants in warm weather
- Unexplainable scars on thighs, wrists, arms
- Child spends a lot of time isolating
What should I do if I know my child is self-harming?
- Remove/hide sharp objects in your home
- Monitor your child or check in with them if they are in their rooms alone frequently- isolation is the perfect opportunity to self-harm
- If self-harm continues, talk with your child about seeking help