Deliberate self-harm (also known as self-injury) refers to the attempt to inflict physical harm to one’s self and is often done in secret. Cutting, burning and ingesting toxic substances are the most common methods of deliberate self-harm, but other methods are also commonly used. It is more common among young people aged 11-25 years.
Deliberate self-harm varies with the individual. Some people deliberately self-harm regularly, while others may do it only once or twice and then stop. They may injure themselves in response to a specific problem and stop once the problem is resolved. Others may self-injure over a much longer period, whenever they feel pressured or distressed, and use it as a way of coping, particularly where they have not learned or cannot use more positive ways of coping.