Self-harm is when somebody hurts themselves as a means of coping with or expressing difficult feelings and dealing with emotional pain. Self-harm can take on different forms; often relief is sought by means such as cutting, burning, and overdosing. Any behaviour that inflicts personal harm as a means of coping with painful or difficult emotions, no matter how minor or severe, can be seen as self-harm. The UK has the highest rate of self-harm of any country in Europe, with estimates that over 400 in 100,000 people in this country self-harm.
Many different circumstances can give rise to self-harm, but it is common for people who self-harm to feel depressed, have low self-esteem, have relationship problems, have experienced traumatic events in their past, or feel isolated and powerless. In any of these circumstances self-harm can provide a way, amongst other things, to express emotional pain, deal with overwhelming feelings, turn invisible thoughts into something manifestly visible, punish oneself or regain control over oneself. However, there are of course no fixed rules as to why someone self-harms and the effect it has. For this reason, talking therapy can be an essential way for an individual, through discussing the particular circumstances of their own life, to understand their self-harming.
The mental health professionals at the portland practice have had experience in helping self-harming individuals address and resolve their painful emotions, and have offered treatment to those who self-harm alongside suffering from other mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.
If self-harming, or any other aspect of your mental health, is a problem affecting you or someone you know, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with the portland practice, and make an enquiry or arrange a consultation with our mental health professionals here.
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