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Self-harm is the deliberate infliction of harm on one's own body.

About 5% of people harm themselves in this way. A person who self-harms usually does not intend to kill themselves. But they are at increased risk of attempting suicide if they do not get help.


Self-harm usually begins in adolescence or early adulthood. Some people may engage in self-harm a few times and then stop. Others engage in it more often and have difficulty stopping.


Examples of self-harm include:

  • Cuts (e.g., using a razor blade, knife, or another sharp object to cut the skin).

  • Punching oneself or hitting objects (e.g., against a wall)

  • Cigarette, match, or candle burning

  • Pulling hair

  • Pushing things through holes in the body

  • Breaking bones or bruising oneself

Why do people do this?

Some people use cuts as a coping tool. Some teenagers say that by hurting themselves, they are trying to stop feeling lonely, angry, or hopeless.


The desire to hurt yourself can be overcome. Counseling a psychologist can help with this. At Serenity, people who want to hurt themselves can find help and support.

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