Self-Harm has been receiving more and more attention in recent years. Many people would never think that someone would harm themselves, but it's more common than you think. Since 2001, studies have shown that there many more Teenage Girls that Choose to self-harm than there are boys. So what exactly causes one to self-harm, and how can we help stop it?

Causes of self-harm

There are many different reasons that someone would choose to self-harm. Some people see it as a punishment to themselves for doing something that they think is wrong. Others may choose to harm themselves because they feel immense amounts of emotional pain and need a physical outlet for it.

For others, it's sort of the opposite. There's so much going on around them that they need an emotional outlet. It's tricky to try to figure out why exactly someone chooses to self-harm, and it can be even trickier to find out what has pushed them to make that choice.

In recent years, we've seen an increasing amount of stress among teenagers. School is much harder than it has been in recent years, there are still a lot of societal expectations to compete with, there are still a lot of bullies in the world, and more people realize that they have a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression. All of these factors can contribute to a person's need to cause harm to themselves. Teenagers are more susceptible to choose self-harm because of all of the emotions and hormones that they deal with.

Recognizing the signs

The easiest way to tell if someone is self-harming is if you see things such as cuts, burns, and bruises, generally on wrists, arms, and thighs. If someone is acting out in ways, they haven't before, such as picking up drug or drinking habits, wanting to be alone, and sudden weight loss or weight gain, they are showing symptoms of a much more emotional issue.

People tend to pick up these habits because of their depression, self-esteem issues, and lack of motivation. Some of these habits exhibit forms of a more emotional self-harm than a physical case, but they are still causing harm to oneself.

How to help

If your child or someone that you know is showing signs that they may be causing harm to themselves, there are steps you can take to help.

Showing understanding and trust is always important. Do not belittle the person's insecurities that are causing them so much turmoil. Talk with them, build their confidence, find out what makes them feel this way, and help them find new ways to cope. If you feel that you must tell someone else about it, choose that someone else very carefully. When trying to help someone who is self-harming, they need to know that they can trust you.