Self-harm

A greyscale image of a teenage girl with visible scars on her forearm.

Sometimes depressed or anxious feelings just well up inside you, making your life an unbearable stress. This stress may become so bad that you feel that the only way you can let people notice it is by doing something very definite - like trying to hurt yourself. Although you don't have to have a reason, problems that most commonly trigger this are:

  • parent trouble
  • parents breaking up
  • school work being too hard
  • worrying you're going to fail your exams
  • worrying you won't get a job
  • relationship problems with your boyfriend or your girlfriend
  • arguments with, or breaking up with, friends

Interestingly enough, many, many more people (especially girls) do something to hurt themselves rather than actually commit suicide. It is frequently a desperate call for help. Boys aren't so good at making that statement and tend to bottle it - and so have a higher rate of actual successful suicide than girls. That is girls make more 'attempts' than boys, but tend not to kill themselves as a final outcome, whereas boys make 'less attempts' but tend to actually succeed in killing themselves more often. Overall, in the U.K - the suicide rates in young people are going down.

Cutting oneself or taking an overdose are examples if self harm. Bulimia and anorexia are also types of self harm.