About Self-Harm

Most self-harm victims are not suicidal but many over time may become that way due to wanting the cycle to stop.

1 in 5 teen girls self-harm and 1 in 7 teen boys self-harm but those are only the ones that admit it. For everyone that admits it, there are just as many if not more that self-harm and do not admit it.

Things to do when approached by someone that is self-harming:

  • Remain calm and caring
  • Accept him or her even if you disagree with the behavior
  • Know that this represents a way of dealing with emotional pain
  • Listen with compassion
  • Avoid panic and overreaction
  • Do not show shock or revulsion at what they’ve done
  • Do not use threats in an attempt to stop the behavior
  • Do not allow him or her to recount the self injury experience in detail as it may trigger another session
  • Do get appropriate help for him or her from a qualified mental health professional
  • Do not tell them they need to stop, they are aware of that and some are not ready to stop yet
  • Understand the problem is not the self-harming but underlying coping problems and self-loathing

Types of Self-Harm:

  • Eating disorders
  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Substance abuse
  • Conduct and oppositional disorders

Behaviors of Self-Harm:

  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Interfering with wound healing (picking or reopening wounds)
  • Punching or hitting oneself or other objects
  • Inserting objects into the skin
  • Purposely bruising or breaking one’s bones
  • Certain forms of hair pulling

Content and artwork created by Tracy Lewis of Mercy & Grace Ministries - mercyandgraceministries.com