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Self-harm often involves cutting, but it may also involve purposely bruising, injuring, or burning oneself. People who self-harm may:

  • Feel the urge to self-harm because of overwhelming guilt, anger, or emotional hurt.
  • Use self-harm as a release for emotions that they don’t know how to deal with.
  • Experience emotional vacancy and may use self-harm as a way to “feel.”
  • Not have a planned set of positive coping mechanisms for stressful and emotional situations.
  • Make an attempt to hide scars and injuries by wearing long sleeves or avoiding social situations.

Self-harm is not uncommon, but it is a signal of emotional pain. Self-harm is often indicative of deeper issues, such as depression, trauma disorder, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts. The support system of family and friends is a powerful tool in self-harm situations, as is psychotherapy.

Resources and support

Local groups and programs can help you navigate the challenges of self-harming. Explore these resources:

How we serve you

If you’re a member of Cardinal Innovations, there are services to assist you with self-harm. Learn about a service type or find a provider specializing in self-harm.

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