Ask Jigsaw: I’m self harming. What should I do?

Ask Jigsaw: I’m self harming. What should I do?

Monday, 07 December 2020

I have recently started to cut my wrist and I’m not exactly sure why. I am an extremely shy person and could possibly have social anxiety. At first I thought it was a way of asking for help without actually talking to people but now that I have done it I am extremely scared of anyone finding out and am now terrified of what might happen. I don’t know what to do and need help. I am a very young person and shouldn’t even be considering on self harm. What should I do?


Hi Sarah,

Sometimes there’s no particular reason why people start to self-harm. It can quickly become a habit that’s difficult to break on your own.  

Why self-harm continues

Self harm can be a way to cope when things are difficult. Intense emotions can be overwhelming and for some people, self-harming releases this pressure. 

There is a stigma about self-harm that can stop people from asking for the help that they deserve. Opening up about self-harm might make you feel vulnerable, open to other people’s judgement, or scared that you will be stopped from self-harming again.  

Jigsaw Clinician
In order to reduce self-harm, it needs to be replaced with other coping strategies.

How to reduce self-harm

Self-harming can serve a purpose. In order to reduce self-harmit needs to be replaced with other coping strategies. There are lots of different coping mechanisms that you can try. For example, apps like Calm Harm give useful alternatives when you feel an urge to selfharm. 

Speaking to someone about what you’re going through is the most helpful place to start. Dealing with self-harm alone can be lonely and overwhelming. Check out some tips on how to ask for help.  

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Who to ask for help

Talking to an adult you trust will help you to feel safe in opening up about your experience of selfharm. This could be parents, a teacher, a coach or a friend. You don’t need to know all of the answers, and it’s likely that they won’t either, but together you will be in a stronger place to make a plan.  

There are also professional supports that you can speak to, like Pieta HouseThey are specialists in self harm, and offer a free 24/7 helpline (1800257247). They also offer free counselling which under 18’s would have to have parental consent to access.  

Anxiety in Social Situations

I’m hearing that you would like more support in dealing with social situations. Speaking to people can be difficult for a number of reasons, and it certainly doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. This article could be helpful for you to find ways to manage those feelings of anxiety when dealing with other people.  

Take care,  


Jigsaw Clinician

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