Self-injurious behavior involves some form of deliberately harming your body. It’s usually an unhealthy way to express painful emotions, frustration, or anger. It often involves cutting or burning oneself. It can be linked to a variety of mental disorders including depression and eating disorders. Therapy is an effective way to discover the origins of these harmful impulses and to find healthy ways to express them.
What to look for
Self-harm tends to be more common in teens and in early adult years. Many people who engage in self-injurious behavior often do it a few times. Others however, have trouble stopping.
Examples of Self-Injurious Behavior includes:
- Cutting yourself (such as using a razor blade, knife, or other sharp object to cut the skin)
- Punching yourself or punching things (like a wall)
- Burning yourself with cigarettes, matches, or candles
- Pulling out your hair
- Poking objects through body openings
- Breaking your bones or bruising yourself
People typically engage in such behavior as a way to cope with a problem or to gain a sense of relief. Some will say that they hurt themselves to stop the feeling of being lonely, angry, or hopeless.