Self-harm can be a way of both expressing and managing the physical and psychological pain you are experiencing. 

Many people say that self-harm serves a purpose. This can be to do with the idea that feeling physical pain seems easier than dealing with intense emotional or psychological pain. 

Or it’s a way of feeling something when they feel emotionally numb.

Self-harm can be quite controlled and deliberate with the specific purpose of causing pain and/or injury. Some forms of self-harm are easily hidden as ‘normal’ behaviour, such as overwork, over-training or taking extreme risks. Others are more visible such as cutting or bruising yourself.

Even if it feels like it is helping you manage at the time, the problem is it will only work for a short period and doesn’t address the route issues.  Self-harming behaviours can also escalate over time, as both tolerance and desire for pain increases. In some cases it can lead to permanent injury, disfigurement or accidental suicide.

If you are using self harm to help you tolerate and contain distress, learning some self help tools will offer you more healthy and helpful ways to achieve the same goals.