Self-harm can take many different forms. Often, people cut, burn, or hit themselves, but self-harm is any act of deliberately harming the surface of your body. Self-injury is not typically meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, people often use self-harm as a way to cope with emotional pain. Self-harm can be dangerous, even though life-threatening injuries are not usually anticipated. Counseling is an excellent way to help you deal with intense emotions and learn more efficient coping skills.

Signs and symptoms of self-injury may include:

  • Scars
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, or other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing of an area to create a burn
  • Keeping sharp objects on hand
  • Wearing long sleeves or long pants, even in hot weather
  • Difficulties in interpersonal relationships
  • Behavioral and emotional instability, impulsivity, and unpredictability
  • Statements of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness



Mayo Clinic, 2018