Jane Chugg-White CBT

Self Harming Behaviour

Self Harm can manifest itself in a variety of different ways. It is often a way of getting relief from; or coping with intense and overwhelming feelings.  

For those with complex trauma histories who have learned to numb or dissociate as a way of dealing with the traumatic event, self harm can help to bring them back into the here and now.

There is often misunderstanding about self harm, and it is often seen as attention seeking. It is very rarely and arguably never attention seeking; it is a way of dealing with and coping with intense feelings. It is also often interpreted as a suicide attempt. Death can happen as a result of serious self harm; however this is not the intended outcome of self harming behaviour (unless the intention is suicide). People who self harm often say that self harming is a way of keeping them alive as it is the only way they can cope with their feelings.  

Self Harm through a person cutting themselves and/or burning themselves tend to be the methods that are most publicised and known about.  However there are many other ways and forms of self harming behaviour.

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