There are lots of reasons why people deliberately hurt themselves, which is often referred to as self-harm. This might mean cutting, burning or scratching your skin over and over. Self-harm is most common in adolescence and young adults. You might harm yourself as a coping mechanism because it provides temporary relief from distress. You might self harm when you are feeling really anxious, depressed and overwhelmed or just not feeling like you are worth anything. Self-harm is NOT the same as making a suicide attempt as the intent is most often to feel pain, but not to die. However, self-harming behaviour might be life threatening and there is an increase in suicide among those who self-harm.
If you are cutting yourself, you are probably having trouble coping. You are not alone. But like using drugs, self-harm only makes things feel better in the short term. In the long term, the problems are still there. It is important to reach out. Get support from someone you trust - family, friends, a youth leader or a school counsellor. Talk to your family doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you get treatment.
Check out the Canadian Mental Health Association website to learn more.
More information for youth on self harm: