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There are lots of reasons why people deliberately hurt themselves, which is often referred to as self-harm. This might mean cutting, burning or scratching your skin over and over. Self-harm is most common in adolescence and young adults. You might harm yourself as a coping mechanism because it provides temporary relief from distress. You might self harm when you are feeling really anxious, depressed and overwhelmed or just not feeling like you are worth anything. Self-harm is NOT the same as making a suicide attempt as the intent is most often to feel pain, but not to die. However, self-harming behaviour might be life threatening and there is an increase in suicide among those who self-harm.

If you are cutting yourself, you are probably having trouble coping. You are not alone. But like using drugs, self-harm only makes things feel better in the short term. In the long term, the problems are still there. It is important to reach out. Get support from someone you trust - family, friends, a youth leader or a school counsellor. Talk to your family doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you get treatment. 

Additional Resources

Check out the Canadian Mental Health Association website to learn more.

More information for youth on self harm:

http://www.mentalhealthcanada.com/ConditionsandDisordersDetail.asp?lang=e&category=61

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/sites/default/files/SelfHarm2010web.pdf

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm

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Drugs and Alcohol

Using alcohol sometimes starts out as fun... Find out more »

 

Stress

Most teenagers feel stressed out at times... Find out more »

 

Criminal Charges

If you are in trouble with the law there are ways to get help... Find out more »

 

Depression

Don't wait for depression to go away on its own... Find out more »

 

Self Harm

I'm really suffering inside... Find out more »

 

Abuse

Sometimes children and teens are unsure if their experiences were sexual abuse... Find out more »

 

Bullying

Everyone has the right to be free from bullying... Find out more »

 

Eating Disorders

Young people can get caught up in food extremes that aren't healthy... Find out more »

 

Anxiety/Panic

So what can you do about anxiety? Find out more »

 

Suicide

So what can you do about these thoughts? Find out more »

 

Facing Sexuality

It is perfectly normal to question your sexuality... Find out more »

 

Facing Strange Thoughts

Sometimes my thoughts don't seem real... Find out more »

 

Behavioural Disorders

Having trouble getting along with friends and family... Find out more »

 

Autism

What should I know? Find out more »

 

ADHD

ADHD Find out more »

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