Signs of Self-Harm

Professionals that support people are often worried that they don’t know what to look out for when they are worried about someone self-harming. We put together this resource with some signs that can indicate that someone might be harming themselves.

  • Appearing sad, moody, angry or quiet
  • Stressful life events, or trauma
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Seeming withdrawn
  • Losing interest in activities they used to enjoy
  • Unexplained cuts, marks, bruises or burns
  • Smell of antiseptic
  •  Sharp objects or first aid materials disappearing
  • Covering up with clothing, even in hot weather
  • Low self-esteem, or feeling worthless
  • Increased need for privacy or secrecy
  • Changes in eating or exercise patterns
  • Spending a lot of time alone
  • Taking an extra long time in the bathroom

It is important to remember that there may be a number of reasons that someone might be showing any of these signs, and that it might not necessarily mean they are self-harming. You can use this information, along with the information in our Starting the Conversation resource, to help you speak to the person you are supporting about your concerns.

Was this content helpful?

Thank you for letting us know!

Your feedback matters to us, if you have any other comments please let us know.

Privacy and data policy. This site can collect anonymous and identifiable personal data. Read our privacy and data policy on how to browse the site anonymously, otherwise click the button to accept anonymous data collection. We will ask your consent when we need to collect identifiable data. Our Privacy Policy and Cookies Policy