Self-harm is any behavior used as a way to intentionally hurt oneself. It is more than just physical and is often used to cope with overwhelming emotional distress. People may self-harm as a form of self-punishment, to make emotional pain visible, or to stop feeling dissociated and numb. Common forms of self-harm include cutting, burning, hitting, punching, sticking objects into the skin, purposely not letting wounds heal, and taking overdoses. While self-harm can provide temporary relief, it can lead to serious injury.
If you are engaging in self-harming behaviors, it is important to seek help from a medical professional or therapist. Even if your self-harm is superficial, you should still seek help, as it is an indication that you are struggling to cope with stress and do not have the necessary coping strategies in place. Make sure to take action as soon as possible in order to avoid long-term patterns of self-harm.
Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Schema Therapy are the most effective treatments for self-harm.