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2019-06-12, 20:18


In my last post, I explained I was currently undergoing some training surrounding mental health. Here is what I learnt today:


It is difficult to get accurate data on self-harm prevalence because a lot of self-harm is kept secret. The best estimate of self-harm prevalence is one in every 12 to 15 young people. We know self-harm levels are higher among young people with emotional or conduct disorders than the average.  People generally find self-harm difficult to talk about, as can be seen in the study 'Talking self-harm YoungMinds/Cello (2012)':

  • 3 in 4 young people don't know where to turn to talk about self-harm

  • A third of parents would not seek professional Help if their child was self-harming

  • Almost half of GPs feel that they don't understand young people who self-harm and their motivations

Why self-harming? 

There are many different reasons why young people self-harm: Some people won't be able to explain why they self-harm - they might not know or they may not be able to express it in words.

  • Release of unbearable pressure

  • Jolt back to reality (when disassociating)

  • Escape from the unbearable emotional present

  • Deflection of emotional to physical pain

  • To have some control where this has previously been taken away

  • Self-punishment

 Signs and symptoms

 There are many signs and symptoms to look out for that may indicate a young person is struggling with their mental health. Below are some key things to be aware of:

  • A sense of physical release

  • Change in behaviour from what is normal for that young person

  • Not taking care of their appearance or hygiene

  • Absence or sickness (in adolescence, young people often experience physical symptoms of anxiety or stress before they necessarily can articulate the issue, such as being sick before coming to programme)

  • Socially isolated or withdrawing

  • Erratic behaviour or mood swings

  • Risk-taking behaviour

  • Anger and aggression

  • Not being able to concentrate and seeming distracted

  • Avoiding friends and activities they used to find fun

  • Seeming jumpy or nervous for no obvious reasons

  • Panic attacks

  • Tired

  • Change in appetite

  • Lack of aspiration or not being able to predict positive things happening in the future

Photo by Alvin Mahmudov on Unsplash

All the best, Leia

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  • Edited by Niklas 2022-02-08, 09:40
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