Tel: 08500 1 22 555

Parent Helpline: Option 1

Sufferer Helpline: Option 2

Self-Harm Helpline: Option 3

Eating Disorders And Self Harm

Self-harm is defined as someone deliberately injuring themselves physically. Some experts have expanded on this definition because most sufferers would agree that self-harming is about doing something to try to cope with what you are feeling – usually emotions and/or memories that are overwhelming and feel very out of control. Why people harm is very important because it distinguishes self-harm from things people sometimes do as an attempt to end their life. Self-harm is about trying to cope, and stay alive. 

Self harm and Eating Disorders

Amongst those who are suffering with eating disorders, self harm is very common.  In fact some people have argued that the two problems stem from very similar roots.  Certainly an eating disorder raises many difficult emotions and feelings, so it is not surprising that sufferers are prone to resorting to self harm in an attempt to cope with these.   Sometimes self harm is directed specifically towards a part of the body that is perceived as fat or unattractive. Whatever its form, self harm is not a long term solution and over time actually makes difficulties worse as it replaces any more healthy coping strategies.  Some people can feel totally caught in a cycle of harming and find it very difficult to get help largely because of all the difficult feelings they tend to be dealing with.

Help and Support For You

If you are someone who self harms or if you are caring for someone who harms themselves, please know that we can help and support you from a basis of real understanding and that it is possible to recover from the cycle of self harm.

EDA also has a wealth of information, practical suggestions and advice for you. Do get in touch and also see our publications page

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