Self-harm is a way of expressing very deep distress. Often, people don’t know why they self-harm. It’s a means of communicating what can’t be put into words or even into thoughts and has been described as an inner scream. Afterwards, people feel better able to cope with life again, for a while.

237 children were victims of frequent bullying: 18 (8%) of them self harmed. Of the 1904 who had not been bullied, 44 (2 %) had self harmed.

A person who self-harms is likely to have gone through very difficult, painful experiences as a child or young adult. At the time, they probably had no one they could confide in, so didn’t receive the support and the emotional outlet they needed to deal with it. The experience might have involved physical violence, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. They might have been neglected, separated from someone they loved, been bullied, harassed, assaulted, isolated, put under intolerable pressure, made homeless, sent into care, into hospital or to other institutions

Approximately one quarter of all school-children in the UK are bullied at some point during their school lives. Victimization is associated with behavioral problems during adolescence, but few studies have tested the assumption that exposure to bullying increases the likelihood that a child will self-harm. The authors hope this study will help to identify those at greatest risk of self-harm.

According to research, the majority are young women, although the percentage of young men seems to be on the increase. Self-harming behaviour is also significant among minority groups discriminated against by society. Someone who has mental health problems is more likely to self-harm. So are those who are dependent on drugs or alcohol, or who are faced with a number of major life problems, such as being homeless, a single parent, in financial difficulty or otherwise living in stressful circumstances. A common factor is often a feeling of helplessness or powerlessness with regard to their emotions.

Self-harm can be about trying to stay alive – a coping mechanism for survival, and to escape from emotional pain. The majority of people who self-harm are not suicidal, but a small minority will intentionally attempt suicide. Some suicides resulting from self-harming behaviour may be accidental, occurring when someone has hurt themself more than they
intended to.

Sources Taken from Mind.org.uk