Self-harm: A warning sign of a mental health issue Self-harm: A warning sign of a mental health issue

Self-mutilation is a behavior in which a person intentionally harms their own body.

It is therefore important to detect when a person is engaging in self-harm in order to intervene on time, and if necessary, request the help a specialist. According to the website MedlinePlus, a person that engages in these types of behaviors does not have the initial intention to commit suicide; however, they are at a greater risk of making an attempt later on.

Self-harm tends to begin in adolescence or in the early adult years. Some people may engage in self-harm a few times and never try again; others, however, may do it more frequently, a sign of a serious mental health issue. Among others, examples of self-mutilation include cutting yourself with a knife, razor blade or any other sharp object; pulling out your hair; punching yourself or punching other objects; or burning yourself with cigarettes, matches or candles.

Overcoming the urge of hurting yourself is possible. Nevertheless, the recommendation is to support the patient in their recovery process, which consists of finding other ways to release the negative emotions that are the root of the problems or feelings of loneliness, anger or hopelessness.

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