The Effects of Self-Harming

Hey guys! Today I am writing about the effects of self-harming. This is an issue I come across quite a lot, practically among teens. A lot of people who self-harm are doing so as a form of an emotional release, unhealthy coping mechanism for a situation, or a particular feeling or others may be feeling numb or empty inside.

However, a lot of people who self-harm are unaware of the effects of it to our bodies and to ourselves, therefore I have put together some of the physical and psychological effects of self-harming.


Physical effects

Some of the physical effects of self-harm include:

  • Permanent scars
  • Disfigurement
  • Infection
  • Injured tendons, nerves, blood vessels, and muscles
  • Haemorrhaging
  • Permanent numbness or weakness in certain parts of the body
  • Organ Failure

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Psychological Effects of Self-Injury

Just because you can’t see the harmful psychological effects of self-injury doesn’t mean they aren’t happening. Not only do strong emotions tend to drive people to self-harm, the self-harm itself, in turn, may cause strong emotional reactions. And, unfortunately, self-harm is a temporary measure that not only creates problems but also doesn’t solve the problems that drove the person to self-harm in the first place

Some of the psychological effects of self-injury include:

  • Irritability
  • Social Isolation: A desire to be alone in order to self-harm or to hide the evidence of self-harm. This often leads to feelings of loneliness.
  • The stress and difficulty of having to lie to those around you about the self-injury
  • Using self-injury to deal with any emotional stress instead of building positive coping techniques
  • An overwhelming desire to self-injure to the point where it feels like you can no longer control the behaviour
  • Low self-esteem and self-hatred
  • Depression

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Self-harming is an unhealthy coping mechanism that does not solve anything, as you can see above, it just adds more to the problem. If you self-harm or get thoughts to self-harm, seek out help. Go to your doctor and confide in them, they will be able to guide you to professional help.

Or go directly to a Counsellor or psychotherapist who will be able to teach you knew healthy coping mechanisms to deal with your emotions, problems etc. They will also be able to help you stop the self-injury to yourself with techniques and motivation work. Check out my post on “How to go about attending Counselling”, for more guidance to counselling, available here:

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Niamh-Psychotherapist xx 

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