According to the NSPCC, self-harm is the fourth most common concern that children and young people contacted ChildLine about. As one in 10 people have self-harmed, studies suggest self-harm is more prevalent in females.
Self-Harm is a term used when someone intentionally causes injury to their body, usually as a coping method to deal with emotional distress or a way or controlling traumatic situations. As the physical pain of self-harm might feel easier to deal with that the emotional pain they are feelings. Although the exact reasons why children harm themselves is never easily worked out.
Self- Harm can occur in a variety of ways so it is important to spot the warning signs and stop them harming before it becomes worse. Once they start, self-harm can become a compulsion and the urge to continue becomes stronger. Although, finding signs can be difficult as they can be easily hid or the child could lie about how they got certain marks. Children who self-harm usually wear long sleeved clothing, especially when it is hot.
Physical signs of harm;
Emotional Sign of harm;
- Becoming withdrawn
- Unusual eating habits
- Drinking or taking drugs.
The NSPCC states that Self-harm is often used as a coping mechanism and that it can sometimes be a way for someone to punish themselves for something they have done. It can also make them feel like they are in control of something in their life. When a person self-harms, it becomes addictive very quickly, although the relief is short lived when the feelings are replaced with guilt and immediate pressure.
As soon as you spot any sign of self-harm, it is vital you take action and begin supporting the child in any way you can. It is important you are sensitive and emphatic towards the situation as the child is self-harming for a reason and a reason that should take particular precaution. So try to find the underlying cause of what is happening and what triggers need to be avoided. By addressing, the particular causes may be more effective that actually removing what is actually hurting them. Prevent self-harm by talking to the child and supporting them rather than taking drastic measures.