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  • I feel totally lost and alone, unwanted, hurting physically and emotionally

  • I don’t want to tell anyone, they'll think I’m crazy

  • Everything feels so bad, I need to do something bad to myself

  • It gives me a rush, but then I feel disappointed, ashamed, stupid and sore

  • I’m disappointed in myself and scared about how my actions are spiralling out of control

  • It took time but now I can talk about how I feel

  • I want to get out of this cycle

  • I was so scared to tell anyone, but when I did it was such a relief

  • I feel so angry inside. I need to find something to do to let go of these feelings

  • No cutting for a week now. I'm going to try my darndest not to

  • I didn't want to die. I just want this pain to stop

  • Its not about attention-seeking. I go to great lengths to keep my scars hidden at all times

  • If you know someone who self-harms it's important to treat them with respect and care

  • I'm not certain I want to stop

More common than you think

Self-harm is a means of communicating what cannot be easily put into words or even into thoughts. It has been described as an inner scream.

One in ten people self-harm at some point in their lives; most are between the age of 11 and 25. It usually happens when you're in a state of high emotion and inner turmoil. Perhaps you've tried pushing angry feelings away and got to a point where it's hard to put them into words? Or you're feeling angry with yourself, others and completely trapped?

Some people self-harm regularly. It can becomes addictive as inflicting pain can briefly change your mood. Cutting, for example, releases endorphins, which can lift your mood, but only for a short time. It can feel like a quick fix distraction from intense inner turmoil, but in the long run it only makes you feel worse. People who self-harm can feel confused, guilty and ashamed and as a result find it hard to talk to others, which leaves them feeling even more hopeless.


Read about other topics

How do I know if my friend is self-harming?

What can help you or your friend