A person who self-harms is likely to have gone through very difficult, painful experiences as a child or young adult. Self-harm is a common and often misunderstood problem. The Headroom video ‘Managing your condition’ is an example of a student’s experience at UCLan; her feelings, her ways of coping and continuing on her course.
Mind have a comprehensive and useful booklet on self-harm and it is for anyone who self-harms, their friends and family. It includes tips for helping yourself, accessing treatment and support for friends and family. It should give readers a greater understanding and knowledge of the condition and of what they can do to help overcome it.
National Self Harm Network explains self-harm as ‘primarily a coping strategy and can provide a release from emotional distress and enable an individual to regain feelings of control. Self-harm can be a form of self-punishment for feelings of guilt. It can also be a way to physically express feelings and emotions when individuals struggle to communicate with others. It is therefore important that individuals that self-harm are able to express these feelings, thoughts and emotions in other ways whenever possible. It can be difficult to share the reasons behind the self-harm with others and to gain the help and support that may be needed.’