Why do people self-harm?

Self-harm is when someone intentionally damages or injures their body. Also known as self-injury, it can take on many forms, such as cutting, burning, hitting, or scratching.

Risky behaviour that can be harmful is also considered self-harm behaviour. Binge drinking to the point of blacking out or vomiting regularly, restricting food intake, or overeating could be considered risky.

How to deal with anger

Anger is a feeling we all experience. It’s an emotional state that comes with thoughts and often physical feelings as well.

Anger can usually be summed up with the expression ‘that’s not fair’. It comes with a sense of injustice. Maybe you feel you or someone else has been treated unfairly. Anger can be a great motivator, prompting us to make changes and tackle inequalities.

The past year has been challenging for many, and can cause a lot of anger. We often feel angry when we have no control over things. We can feel stressed, or under a lot of pressure.

There is nothing wrong with feeling angry. It is our response to feeling anger that can cause problems for us.

Why we feel angry

Feeling angry often comes with physical sensations. Things like our heart beating faster, feeling hot or clenching our fists.

Anger can be difficult to express and manage. Particularly because a lot of us have been taught not to show it. We can be made feel guilty or ashamed about being angry, despite it being a necessary emotion.

This is unfair as well, and can further sustain feelings of anger. Until we learn how to manage it a different way, this keeps going in a circle.

We learn a lot about how to express emotions from our family. Think about the habits you may have picked up over the years. Do people close to you release anger in a healthy way?

Ask Jigsaw: Guilty for feeling sad

when I feel a negative feeling like anger, sadness or loneliness. I always feel so guilty and overall stupid for having those feelings because I know that I have had a pretty okay life compared to those who in the world who have suffered from so much pain and hurt that they didn’t deserve.

But I was just wondering is it normal to feel your feelings are not valid and unimportant? I just think I have always had some sort of just a numbness in my heart that I’ve just gotten used to, so any different feeling to that numb feeling is followed by guilt. I am grateful that I’m here everyday though. Just its something I think about all the time and I had to ask. Thank You


Hi Chico093,

I can tell from your question that you are a very thoughtful, caring, self-aware person. Your question is actually something we hear a good bit at Jigsaw and something that many young people struggle with.

Ask Jigsaw: Parents separated

My Mam and Dad separated recently and my Dad moved out. I am really angry with him for loads of different reasons. I have access with him on Saturday’s and its really awkward, we sit in McDonald’s and he asks really awkward questions about school and my Mam, I have told my Mam that I don’t want to go anymore and she says i have to go or else she will get in trouble with the court.

Its really getting to me because i think neither of them care about how i am feeling, they just care about the court and doing what they think they have to do, I done think anyone really cares about me and its getting me down

– Louise

Hi Louise,

When parents are separated it can bring up lots of emotions for people. We may feel relief, sadness, anger or fear about what will happen. It means change in terms of practical arrangements and often can have an impact on our relationships with parents.

Watch: Realising it’s not just me

Lauren is a 20 year old health and social care student from Clondalkin.

When her anger and anxiety started to impact on her life Lauren decided to go to a Jigsaw service for support. However, she worried what people around her would think. Once she started telling her family and friends about her mental health, Lauren realised ‘it’s not just me’. We all need help and support at different times. Here, Lauren talks about her experience of going to Jigsaw.


Ask Jigsaw: Moody and snappy at home

I often become very angry and sad at home, my parents normally give out to me to being moody or snappy but I don’t know why do it. I feel like I am being treated unfairly but when I look back on the situation I don’t know why I got so angry or what the problem was to begin with. Sometimes I blame it on hormones but I don’t know if it is something else instead. I was wondering if there was a way to stop getting angry and have a better relationship with my family?


Emotions can be complicated things. Sometimes there is a really obvious reason for why we feel sad or angry. Sometimes it can feel like strong emotions erupt out of nowhere. Often when emotions seem to come from nowhere, it is due to a buildup of lots of small things over time that affect us.