If you are plagued by anxiety, a lack of self-esteem, depressive moods or a feeling of alienation from society, including family, friends and colleagues, you may seek relief by self-harming. This may mean that you cut yourself, or that you hurt yourself in other ways – through substance abuse (such as alcohol and prescription drugs), placing yourself in hazardous scenarios (choosing unsafe or unsuitable sexual partners), comfort eating, deliberately starving yourself of nutrients, scratching or picking at parts of your body, hitting a limb or other part of your body or even burning yourself.

Self-harming can give you immediate health problems – wounds can become infected, for example – and the damage done to your mental health is very concerning. I would urge you to seek help as quickly as you can. With psychological help and therapy, you can address your negative thoughts and damaging behaviour.