What is self-harm?
Self-harm, or known as self-injury or self-mutilation, is the act of purposefully inflicting pain and damage to our own body. This can include, but is not limited to, cutting, burning, scratching and other forms of bodily injury. Other forms of self-harm can include, but are not limited to, consuming toxic amounts of alcohol or drugs, or participating in unsafe sex.
Self-harm may temporarily release pent-up feelings of anxiety, guilt and shame, but those emotions will return and build up until they are dealt with through healthy coping strategies. Speaking with a counselor or therapist can help.
It is important to note that self-harm can be fatal. It can also leave permanent scars or cause infections. While it may not be suicidal behavior, self-harm can lead to suicidal thoughts or fatal injuries.