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Symptoms of self-harm

COVID-19: Customer Update

We are now resuming face-to-face therapy for existing patients across our network of hospitals and wellbeing centres, as well as continuing to offer this remotely for new patients. Remote therapy, along with consultant assessments, can be accessed via our Priory Connect online therapy service and through Skype.

Inpatient services are still available across our network of private healthcare hospitals, with flexible options for pre-admission assessments being offered.

Self-harming can provide temporary relief from feelings such as anxiety, depression, stress or self-loathing.

The pain that is inflicted can release endorphins and a rush of adrenaline, which often become pleasurable to the sufferer and causes them to temporarily forget other negative feelings that they may be experiencing, although this is often short-lived, and the internal anguish often remains afterwards.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing symptoms of self-harm, it can be a very distressing time. It is important to realise that you don’t have to suffer alone, with Priory’s nationwide network of hospitals and wellbeing centres offering flexible options for self-harm treatment which can fit around school, college and work commitments.

Self-harming is a relatively common behaviour but it is often concealed from friends and family members, so it can often be difficult to spot. If you are worried that a member of your family or a friend may be self-harming, look out for an increase in spending more time on their own, watch out for any tablets which may go missing and any sharp objects including knives and scissors.

Self-harming may start in childhood and increase in frequency and severity in adolescence as the pressures of growing up coupled with bodily and hormonal changes in puberty take their toll.

Drastic changes in a person’s situation, such as end of a relationship, an increase in work related stress, or any other significant personal trauma can contribute to the intense emotions which lead to the urge to self-harm.

This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Adrian Lord (MBBS) in September 2020, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in September 2022. To view all Priory self-harm specialists, please click here.

Am I a self-harmer?
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What are the psychological symptoms of self-harming?
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Seven tips for dealing with self-harm
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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding mental health and wellbeing, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to submit an enquiry form. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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