Alex's Answer

Is hitting yourself self-harming

Your Question

when i angry i punch and hit myself thats not self harm is it ???????????????????? because im not cutting myself 

Answer

Hi there, you are very welcome to Ask Alex.  

Thank you for reaching out to us. We understand that it’s not always easy to share how we’re feeling, but we also know how important it is to talk about our worries and concerns.  

You have shared that you when you are angry you punch and hit yourself, and you are questioning if this is self-harm as you are not cutting yourself. To answer your question, let’s first understand what exactly the term self-harm means.  

Self-harming is when somebody deliberately hurts or inflicts pain on their bodies. They do so as a way of coping with emotional or psychological distress. People often self-harm as they wish to punish themselves or relieve unbearable tension. Self-harm can take many different forms such as cutting, burning, biting, hair pulling, misuse of drugs, alcohol, food, over-exercising and like you have mentioned, punching, and hitting. Self-harming can give an immediate relief of pain, but it is only a temporary relief, and can lead to serious hurt or injury. By continuing to use this as a ‘coping’ mechanism, we are not learning effective ways of managing distress. Self-harming should not be dismissed, and the underlying issue of why a person is self-harming, needs to be addressed by a medical professional.  

There are support services available which provide expert guidance and assistance to young people who are going through challenging times and can help you to find healthier ways to cope with your emotions. You may have heard about a support service called Pieta. They specialise in supporting individuals dealing with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. They have experienced professionals who can provide help and guidance to overcome this difficult period in a person’s life. You can find more information on their website: www.pieta.ie. 

You may also find the following articles from our Childline website helpful: www.childline.ie/self-harm/ and  www.childline.ie/thinking-about-self-harming/ 

If you would like to chat about this in more detail, you are very welcome to chat to us through our freephone service on 1800 66 66 66 or through our webchat service, by clicking on the purple Messenger circle at www.childline.ie. Childline services are free and confidential, and are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.   

Thank you for reaching out to us.  

Take care,    

Alex   

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