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Depression, self harm & suicidal feelings

Self-harm is purposeful injury or harm to oneself. Some people self-harm as a way of dealing with very difficult thoughts and feelings that they don’t feel able to cope with in more positive ways. Many young people self-harm and it is thought that around 10% of young people self-harm at some point (NHS Choices June […]

What parents and carers think are the reasons for self-harm

Many of the parents and carers who spoke to us had searched for some kind of explanation for young people’s self-harming. They didn’t always ask questions straightaway, sometimes they had to act urgently when the young person had taken an overdose or cut themselves deeply, but over time people tried to understand what had made […]

Depression and self-harming

Self-harm is defined as intentionally directly injuring one’s body surface, usually without intention* of suicide. Self-harm occurs relatively commonly, with some studies showing that up to 13-23% of people have engaged in this behavior in their lifetime. Self-harm is most common in adolescents and young adults, but can occur in people from other age groups. […]

Shared care, prescribing and self-medication

Successful healthcare for many trans and gender-diverse people can depend on GPs (general healthcare practitioners), specialist services and healthcare providers working together. Shared care agreements (SCA) work on the principle that there is communication and collaboration between a GP and specialist gender services (NHS or private) to provide joint care for patients. People talked about […]

Depression, self-harm and suicidal thoughts

This section includes people describing their experiences of depression, self-harming and suicidal thoughts which some people might find upsetting or distressing to read. All the material on this website is intended to support a better understanding of why these unhelpful behaviours in eating disorders happen, how to get help for them and to support genuine […]

Mental health problems and self-harm

We know that most young people who present to hospital following self-harm have mental health problems, especially depression, substance misuse, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. It is less clear whether this is the case for young people who self-harm in the community and do not seek help from the health service, although they do report […]

Looking for information, help and support about self-harm

When people discover that someone close to them is self-harming they often search for information and support. The parents and carers we spoke to told us about their experiences of this. Jane S found information about self-harm from several different sources. This helped her understand and support her daughter. Age at interview 54 Gender Female […]

Towards recovery from self-harming

Although self-harm in young people is common, it is generally not long-lasting. After a while most young people stop harming themselves, although a minority continue for a few years. The parents and carers we spoke to told us about things which they thought had helped the young person stop self-harming. Several parents talked about their […]

Self-harm or suicidal behaviour

A few of the parents and carers we spoke to told us about experiences of their children’s self-harming and suicidal behaviour. In this section, you can find out about their experiences. Self-harm is not uncommon in young people and trans and gender diverse young people are more likely to self-harm than other people their age […]

Discovering self-harm

We asked parents how they first discovered that their child was self-harming. This could be a sudden shocking revelation or a gradual realisation that all was not well. Erica only found out that her daughter had taken an overdose after she collapsed and empty blister packs were found in her room. Many parents had noticed […]