Experiencing self-harm

Sometimes people deal with emotional distress and pain by hurting themselves physically.

This is usually an attempt to find some relief from emotional distress – the person focuses on the physical pain rather than their distressing thoughts. It can also be a way of telling others that the person needs some help.

Self-harm includes behaviours where people physically hurt themselves, but it can also include use of alcohol, drugs, food and as well as behaviours which might cause injury. Self-harm is often very distressing for the friends and families of the person, as well as the person themselves.  

If you or someone you know is harming themselves, we strongly encourage you to seek professional help.  A professional can help someone to understand what is causing their distress, and help them to develop alternate strategies to support them. 

It’s important you keep yourself safe:

  • In an emergency, call 000
  • If you need to talk right now, contact Lifeline or beyondblue

Getting help