Self-harm, or self-mutilation, is the act of deliberately inflicting pain and damage to your own body and can include cutting, burning, scratching, and other forms of injury. The other forms of self-harm include consuming toxic amounts of alcohol or drugs, or participating in unsafe sex. While self-injury can look like attempted suicide, and some who self-harm go on to actually attempt suicide, many people who intentionally hurt themselves are simply taking extreme measures to distract themselves from their problems and release themselves from unbearable mental anguish.
If you self-harm, your inner turmoil may build up because you’re unable to express painful emotions. Self-injury may temporarily help release pent-up feelings of anxiety, but those raw emotions will build up again and again, as will any guilt and shame you feel, until you get to the root of the problem and learn healthier ways to cope.