Self-harm is when somebody intentionally damages or injures their body. It's usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.
Sometimes when people self-harm, they feel on some level that they intend to die. Over half of people who die by suicide have a history of self-harm.
However, the intention is more often to punish themselves, express their distress or relieve unbearable tension. Sometimes the reason is a mixture of both.
Self-harm can also be a cry for help.
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