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Self-Harm: What we Need to Know


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008 Self-Harm: What we Need to Know

Self-harm is a way of dealing with very strong emotions. For some people it gives the relief that crying may provide for the rest of us.

Some self-harming people feel so angry and aggressive they can’t control their emotions. They become afraid that they may hurt someone, so they turn their aggression inwards to get relief.

People who self-harm are often labelled as ‘attention seeking’. However, a person who self-harms may believe this is the only way to communicate their distress, and self-harm can be a hidden problem that goes on for years.

About ten per cent of admissions to UK medical wards are as a result of self-harm. Women are at the most risk of self-harming between the ages of 15 and 19; men, between 20 and 24.

About half the men admitted to hospital for self-harm and a quarter of women have drunk alcohol in the hours beforehand. This is extremely worrying as self-harm is a symptom of something very deep rooted and requires immediate attention.

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