Alex's Answer

What is self-harming

Your Question

self harming


Hello, welcome to Ask Alex, we are here to support you through whatever you’re going through. We are glad you reached out, as talking about self-harming is an important step towards healing.

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. Self-harm can take many different forms such as cutting, burning, biting, hair pulling, misuse of drugs, alcohol, food and even over-exercising. Self-harming can give an immediate relief of pain, but it is only a temporary relief. Self-harming should not be dismissed, and the underlying issue, why a person is self-harming, needs to be addressed, by a medical professional.

In Ireland, you have access to valuable support services which provide expert guidance and assistance to young people who are going through challenging times. They are trained to listen and help find healthier ways to cope with your emotions. Pieta specialises 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;

Another organisation which provides support to young people who are misusing food either by starving themselves or binge-eating is Bodywhys. They have a helpline and offer group support to both the young people and their families; You also have the right to medical and professional therapies supports. You can contact your GP to find out what supports are available in your locality. 

Please know, if you or somebody you know is self-harming, you or they don’t have to face this alone. The Childline Team is here for you 24/7. You can reach out to us at 1800 66 66 66 or through Live Chat at We are dedicated to supporting you, exploring your options, and helping you on your journey to recovery.

You are never alone, and there are people who genuinely care about your well-being. When you’re ready, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your GP, Childline, or Bodywhys. They are excellent resources that can provide you with the support and guidance you need during this challenging time.

Take care and remember, there is hope for a brighter future.

Warm regards, look after yourself


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