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Self-harm is difficult to talk about but it's a common problem and you can beat it. Find out what self-harm means and what to do if you're affected by it.


What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when you hurt yourself on purpose. You usually do it because something else feels wrong. It seems like the only way to let those feelings out.

It is a very common behaviour and affects around 1 in 12 people with 10% of 15-16 year olds self-harming.

If you self-harm it is usually as a result of another problem. If can happen if you are feeling anxious, depressed, stressed or bullied and feel you don't have any other way of dealing with these issues.

Sometimes it feels like no one understands why you self-harm but lots more people today know about what the condition really means.


What to do about self-harm?

Take the first step - If you think you're affected by self-harm talk to someone, a parent, guardian or relative you trust, perhaps a teacher or youth worker? If you don't feel as though you can confide in anyone, talk to your GP.

Why talk to your GP? Self-harm can be a sign of other disorders that you need help with such as depression or anxiety and they can refer you to the right people for treatment. You may also be referred to Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) so that you can have an assessment for the right treatment for you.

Click here for a guide to CAMHS

Treating Injuries - You may well need treatment quickly for injuries from self-harming. Any injuries you have should be treated straight away and not left just because you hurt yourself.

Your GP may be able to treat the injuries themselves or may refer you to hospital where you will be treated by a doctor or nurse trained to work with children and young people who self-harm.

Improving the physical and emotional health and wellbeing of expectant mothers, infants, children and young people throughout Aneurin Bevan University Health Board Area.

(N.B: The Family and Therapies team at ABUHB is NOT responsible for the content on the webpage links that we refer to in our resource sections and linked information to external sites. All information was accurate and appropriate at the time the webpage was created.)

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