Ask Jigsaw: Talking about self-harm | Advice for young people | Jigsaw

Ask Jigsaw: Talking about self-harm

Ask Jigsaw: Talking about self-harm

Thursday, 12 November 2020

How do you open up to someone about self-harm? I’ve been contemplating telling my mam or sister for the past few days but I’m afraid they’ll think I’m stupid for turning to such a bad stress relief. I want to turn myself away for it.

I’ve been self harming for a few months now and no one has found out and it’s been great, but I’ve realised that in the end it’s not great and i need to tell someone. My anxiety is just getting worse and I can’t go through a full day without having 2-3 panic attacks. I just want to “get better”.


Hi Emily,

First of all, well done on recognising the importance of talking about what’s going on for you. It sounds like you have been holding on to this for a while and it can be a heavy burden to carry.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background
Jigsaw clinician
At Jigsaw we usually find that parents are relieved to know the truth.

You are not alone in using self-harm as a way to cope, it does not mean you are stupid. But as you know, it would be helpful to look at other ways of coping with stress or managing anxiety.

Talking to parents

Although parents can be upset that their loved ones are self-harming, at Jigsaw we usually find that they are relieved to know the truth. In many cases they already suspect that something is not ok. Once they know, they can begin to find ways to help you cope with things.

There is no right or wrong way to let your mam or sister know what’s going on. There are a few suggestions here about how to ask for help. You could also show them this Ask Jigsaw answer as a way to open up the conversation. If they are unsure how to respond, direct them to this article for more information.

I’m so glad that you have decided to focus on getting better Emily. Talking to your mam or sister is a really good first step towards this, and I believe that you have the strength to do it.

Take care,


Jigsaw clincian


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