Youth and Self-Injury

People cope with difficult thoughts, feelings, or situations in different ways. Some people cope by injuring themselves on purpose, and it may be the only way for them to feel better. Self-injury may seem frightening, but it's important to look beyond the injuries and see what's really going on.

What is self-injury? Self-injury means that someone hurts themselves on purpose but doesn't intend to end their life.

Common acts of self-injury include cutting skin, burning skin, hitting yourself to the point of injury, and preventing wounds from healing.

Self-injury itself isn't a mental illness, but may be a sign that someone needs care and support. In some cases, self-injury can be a sign of a mental health problem. People self-injure for many different reasons. Learn more here.