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There are no fixed rules about why people self-harm. For some people, it can be linked to specific experiences and be a way of dealing with something that is happening now or that happened in the past.

Some people don’t understand the reasons for self-harming and that's OK. You don’t need to know this in order to ask for help.

Difficult experiences can cause someone to self harm. Common causes include:

  • Bullying
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Relationships
  • School and exams
  • Divorce
  • Bereavement
  • Illness
  • Domestic abuse
  • Confusion about feelings and sexuality

Visit Childline or the NHS website for help and advice if you or someone you know is self-harming.