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Self-harm is a term used when someone injures or harms themselves on purpose.
Common examples include overdosing, hitting, cutting or burning oneself, pulling hair or picking skin or self-strangulation.
Self-harm is often used as a coping strategy when an individual experiences overwhelming distress and can be seen as an attempt to regulate intense affect.
Self-injury can be an attempt to feel more in control, to punish oneself, to release tension or to ‘feel something’ if the individual feels numb and disconnected.
People who engage in deliberate self-harm might also suffer from depression or have an eating disorder.
Deliberate self-harm is reflective of significant emotional difficulties that often require immediate attention and treatment.