Ask Jigsaw: Why do I have the urge to self-harm?| Advice for young people

Ask Jigsaw: Why do I have the urge to self-harm?

Ask Jigsaw: Why do I have the urge to self-harm?

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Why do I get the urge to cut myself when I amn’t suicidal?

-Iwanttofeelbetter 

 

Hi Iwanttofeelbetter,

I understand why it would be confusing to get the urge to hurt yourself when you aren’t having thoughts of suicide. However, there are many reasons why someone might think about or carry out self-harm.

An icon of a paper and pen on a teal background
Emma
Jigsaw clinician
We can feel guilty and ashamed of thinking about or carrying out self-harm, which can create a cycle of behaviour.

It can act as a coping mechanism or a way of ‘releasing’ overwhelming feelings. Other reasons people might have the urge to self-harm could include:

  • Finding it difficult to communicate feelings
  • Having a negative body image, or a feeling of ‘hating’ themselves
  • Feeling numb
  • To punish themselves
  • To feel in control
  • To provide a distraction from problems or difficult feelings

We can feel guilty and ashamed of thinking about or carrying out self-harm, which can create a cycle of behaviour. It can also lead to feeling isolated and alone.

What you can do

Having the urge to self-harm can be a distressing experience, and you don’t have to go through it alone. Read more information here on what to do when you have the urge to self-harm and  information on support services who can help.

It is really helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, like a family member or a friend. You can also talk to a member of the Jigsaw Online team on our Live Chat service, or send us an email.

If the urge to self-harm becomes overwhelming or difficult to resist, you can link with crisis volunteers by texting HELLO to 50808.

I hope the information goes some way to explain why you might have the urge to self-harm.

Take Care,

Emma

Jigsaw Online Team

 

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