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Self Harm

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Self-harm occurs when someone deliberately injures themselves, usually as a result of depression or low self esteem. It typically manifests itself as cuts or burns on the skin, though it can also include people swallowing dangerous chemicals or misusing drugs and alcohol. People who self-harm usually do it in secret, and they will often try to hide their injuries from others, and the act of self-harming can in turn lower self-esteem further (through visible injuries) which can turn in to a vicious cycle.

Whilst some people self-harm only once, many people do it on a regular basis and it is hard to know just how widespread the problem is. If you are self harming, or suspect that someone you know may be self-harming, then medical attention should be sought immediately, as there is a higher possibility of suicide, either deliberately or accidentally. The physical damage caused by self-harming can be treated with first aid and by A&E if it is very serious, but the medical staff who treat you will need to refer you for a mental health assessment. Go to NHS Choices to find out more about this process.

For more information please use the following links:

Young Minds
selfharm.co.uk
Mind
National Self Harm Network
NHS Choices – Self Harm
Harmless
The Samaritans

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Comments and Questions

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

Hi everyone I am salf harm I have bee do it about all my life because I have be in care all my life and I wish someone can help me I don't won't to go to hospital and my doctor will never help me with there keep tell me to go to counselling I don't what to it does not work with me and than won't test me for Depression When my family tell me I had it and what can I do about this





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Im 15. Iv self harmed a few times and iv got a few scars but a few month ago I self harmed above my knee, its the length of my middle finger and it is about 3 centimeters in height. Its constantly purple and u can spot it a mile away. How can I fade it





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Hiya, Im 16, male. Previously when i was 13-15 I used to self-harm due to having severe depression and anorexia and other problems. My problem is that I have massive scars on my arms from cuts that went through to the muscle layer and I guess I was wondering if there was any way of me having it hidden, whether that involved make up or surgery I do not mind. Its a constant reminder which damages my everyday life.





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If I tell someone I self harm will I be put in some sort of mental hospital? I know this sounds really self centred but I self harm, I'm 13 and what WI'll people think of me, will I lose my friends? What will my family think? Maybe I should juSt end it all now.... 😦😢





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You won't be put into a hospital, but please tell your doctor, or a teacher, and they will refer you to more specialist help.

I self harmed about a year ago when I was 12, I'm 13 now. I had written an (alarming) letter to a friend/crush who told the school, who told my parents. I was then sent out of school to talk why I was depressed. I was not put in a Mental Hospital, but was scheduled for psychiatric treatment / visited a psychologist. To be honest I didn't really find that they helped, but reading books about depression, getting a hobby & having something that aspires you is good. You won't lose your friends as long as you don't tell them. My friends grew up that year thinking I was likely to cut myself again, which was not true. Most people that are depressed find some kind of sturdy burden, like alcohol addiction, drugs, odd fetishes or other characteristics. I found mine is a sexual frustration that I'm not sure is related to my (semi-former) depression but, I have an internet addiction. I describe the internet as a drug, or more-so a better alternative. Please, cutting isn't an answer, & suicide is most certainly NOT an answer either. There are other options, including finding the root of your depression as well as troubleshooting yourself to help your self-esteem. In other words, point out the good & the bad.

Hi guys, I self harm and I have since age 9, I'm 15 now. I do it because of my depression and anxiety. I also self harm because of my mom. She never has really been there for me, and that hurts... I have many scars on my wrists, thighs and stomach from when I cut. I have tried to stop, but everyday there is someone or something that gets me really depressed, I cut once or twice a week and my mom doesn't know about this. How do I talk to her about this? I'm afraid she'll think differently of me.





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I am 13 and self-harm due to OCD and anxiety. However, I keep all my problems secret. I haven't told anyone and pretend I'm okay. There are scars on my left arm, very faint but noticable. I last self harmed a month ago. I just feel so alone and really want to tell someone but I don't have a good relationship with my parents. I want to tell my form tutor, how do I tell her?





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Hi Lily, you could ask to talk to your form tutor in private and tell her then. If you think you might find it hard to say out loud, you could write it down on paper or on your phone and show it to her. I'm sure she will react kindly and helpfully. Best of luck. Hope things improve for you soon.

Hi, I'm 40yrs of age so I shouldn't self harm! I used to when I wad a teen and again when I was in my 20's. I have recently separated after a 20yr marriage and thought I was doing ok. My two children 11 and 8 are coping very well. It's not a bad break up and was my choice to leave him. So why have I a failed marriage and now failed again by starting to self harm? I can't go to the doctors because I have a fear of them! I don't think I need help as I've been through this before and probably come out the other end again. I'm just so angry with myself for starting it again. I should be happy as I said it was my choice to end the marriage





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Over the last couple of weeks me and my girlfriend have been become distant, whilst I am not as emotionally attached to her any more, sadly (in an un-arrogant way) she is hopelessly in love with me. I tried to end it recently, but I discovered she has been self harming. so I ended up getting back together with her, as I fear what she will do should we break up for good. I know that right now she has exams going on, as well as that her neighbour recently died so she is going through a lot of stress. But I feel unnecessarily going on with this dead relationship will only make things worse. does anyone have any advice with what I should do with her condition, should I tell her parents, her friends etc? another thing to mention is that when I confronted her about it, she swore never to do it again, but it must also be noted that this isn't the first time she has self harmed, she said that she did it around a year ago as well. And at this moment in time I am the only one to know.





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i used to self harm and i dropped it about a year ago with a therapist and medications but i am under a lot of stress right now and i started self harming again. i just don't know if i should tell my parents because it was really hard for my familly and me to overcome all that, i don't want to do it all over again it just brings too much pain for everyone and spends so much time and money that we dont have i just don't know what to do, should i tell them?





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Hi, I am looking for treatment for my self harm scars on my arms. The oldest is about 8 years and the youngest about 2. Some are quite deep and very white in colour. Ideally i need some form of laser treatment to remove but am at a loss to find anywhere that will cater for it. Can you recommend in/around London that would be able to help? Thanks.





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