Signs of self-injury
Many people use more than one method to inflict self-injury and may harm different areas of their bodies. The most common targets are the arms, legs, and the front of the torso. Since there is a lot of shame associated with self-harm, these are areas of the body that can easily be covered to avoid detection.
Emotional distress can trigger the urge to self-harm, and since everyone has a different tolerance for pain, some may be more prone to hurt themselves after a stressful or upsetting event. Some people who self-injure may only harm themselves a few times, but for many others, self-injury is a long-term behavior.
These warning signs don’t necessarily mean that someone may be harming themselves, but they are red flags to look out for, especially if they are recurring.
Fresh scratches, bruises, or puncture wounds
Numerous scars which may be in a pattern
Wearing long pants or long sleeves, even in very warm or hot weather
Continuous reports of accidental injury
Frequently in possession of a sharp object (in a pocket, purse, or backpack)
If someone who often has difficulties in interpersonal relationships, has a history of emotional and behavioral instability or is routinely unpredictable and impulsive is displaying any warning signs, it may indicate that they are engaging in self-injurious behavior.