Self harm is a way of expressing distress, pain, anxiety, usually in private, by an individual. It can be a habit or addiction, it can be a coping mechanism and a way of controlling situation(s). When Self and Harm are used together, the reader conjures up a sole teen with a blade cutting their forearms or spelling words. This is not always the case, self harm can be burning oneself, or could be a person pulling out their own hair (trichotillomania), punching doors or walls in order for the self abuser to gain a sense of temporary release or relief. The reason or reasons a person may self harm can be different each time, it shouldn't be assumed the self harm is about the self same thing.
The road to recovery or stopping Self Ham is to get help or treatment for this and co existing psychological problems such as anxiety, low self-esteem, guilt, depression and breaking the cycle.
Mary Hammilton is a journalist in her 30's who is a recovered Self Harmer who recently gave a talk on Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4*, click on our pod cast to hear her story:
If you are a self harmer and need help or know of any one who suffers from a Self Harm addiction, then please share this article or contact Oxford CBT.
*This is an excerpt from the full hour radio show which can be listened to here with kind permission (pending) at BBC Radio 4 Woman's Hour