Information for the public
Self-harm is a sign of distress that usually involves a person poisoning or injuring themselves. Self-poisoning involves overdosing with medicines or swallowing a poisonous substance. During acts of self-harm, it is common for people to feel separate or disconnected from their emotions and pain. Self-injury may involve cutting parts of the body, swallowing objects, inserting objects into the body, burning, hanging, stabbing, shooting and jumping from heights or in front of vehicles.
The nature and meaning of self-harm vary from person to person. People may harm themselves as a way of coping with overwhelming situations or feelings. While an individual episode may be an attempt to end life, acts of self-harm are not always clearly connected to a desire to die. People's motivations are often unclear and the reason a person harms themself may be different each time.
If you are self-harming, it is best to talk to a healthcare professional who will be able to help you.