Encyclopedia > Self-harm

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Self-harm refers to intentional harm to one's own body. Self-harm is often (but not always) associated with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder or anorexia; with a history of trauma and abuse; and with mental traits such as perfectionism.

Self-harm should not be confused with suicide attempts. People who self-harm are not usually attempting suicide, but are trying to relieve the unbearable emotional pressure they are feeling. Self-harm is also very rarely attention-seeking behaviour. Many self-injurers are ashamed, embarrassed, and attempt to conceal their behaviour from others.

A common form of self-harm is shallow cuts to the skin of the arms or legs.

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