The act of deliberately inflicting pain upon ones self without means to commit suicide. This can be done in a variety of ways both conscious and sub conscious. Self - injury (or self harming as it is also known) is done mainly to relieve emotional pain, like to release a pressure building up inside a person, and they feel they can't communicate efficiently enough to relive the pressure and resort to harming themselves to relive it. It can also be done as a sub conscious or even conscious attempt at seeking attention. This may be because the sufferer feels lonely or depressed.
Self-injury may also be a result of a tension or stress building up on a person who may relieve this stress by biting nails or pulling hair etc. Small, everyday habits.
Self-harm is commonest in young teenage girls. There are MASSIVE amounts of peer pressure on these girls now from friends, family and the media obsession with 'perfect people' It is not just a problem with teenage girls however, it is found in teenage boys, adults and elderly. The national statistics are 1/10 people self harm at one point in their life. Self-harming can include:
-Cutting/ scratching (any part of the body)- scratching can be subconscious
-Burning (can be done with a flame or friction burn. For example of friction burn, rubbing oneself with a pencil rubber until a burn is made)
-Biting (biting lips and fingernails can be subconscious but biting skin is more of a conscious decision)
-Pulling out hair (Trichotillomania) - this can be subconscious
-Exposing self to heat and cold extremes
-Even piercing oneself several times, for the pleasure of the pain, not for the beautification.
Self harming can be taken too far and if you self harm, its a good idea to keep a first aid box nearby, and keep the object you are using as clean as possible.
Self-harm can lead to loss of limbs etc due to gangrene and infection and accidental death. People who self harm are statistically also more likely to commit suicide.
Jane cuts herself with a razor. jane is a self-injurer/self-harmer