Self-harm is the act of deliberately injuring oneself, most often through cutting. The behavior is also called non-suicidal self-injury, or NSSI. It is generally often a sign of intense anxiety or distress. A person might harm themselves to numb emotional pain. They might also self-injure to maintain a feeling of control when they lack agency in other parts of their life.
Self-injuring behavior is not the same as a suicide attempt. Though some individuals who self-harm may attempt suicide, in general, acts of self-harm do not indicate a desire to end one’s life. However, they can still endanger one’s mental and physical health. If left untreated, the behavior may continue for many years.
Therapy can help individuals who wish to stop NSSI. However, if you or a loved one is experiencing a crisis, you may need to seek emergency help. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 to speak with someone right away.
Read more at GoodTherapy.org