The act of deliberately harming one’s own body by means such as cutting or burning is referred to as self-injurious behaviour (SIB) and is used as a way of coping. Self-injurious behaviour is an attempt by a child to
For children who believe their distress is invisible, self-harm is a way of creating physical proof of their emotional pain and of maintaining hope that it will be noticed and addressed. For others, the physical pain from self-harm can be a way to distract themselves from the emotional pain they feel. Many of these children may not have learned healthy ways of identifying and expressing overwhelming negative emotions, such as intense anger, tension, or frustration; they find temporary relief from these distressing feelings through harming themselves.
Other mental health difficulties often occur alongside SIB, and a successful approach to freeing a student from it needs to address these difficulties as well, improve coping skills and practices, and resolve the underlying distress.
Children dealing with psychosis may
When students feel that the school environment adds to their feelings of distress and isolation or are embarrassed about their self-injurious behaviour, they may avoid attending school.