Darren’s experience with self-harm

Self-harm is the intentional act of harming or injuring our body. Anyone of any age or background can experience the urge to self-injure, and it is often related to experiencing other mental health conditions. Darren spoke to us about his experience with self-harm, and how he copes with the scars on his body.

Trigger warning: Graphic and upsetting language about self-harm


“From as early as 11 years old, I was already self-harming, usually hitting myself and then making excuses for having black eyes, etc. By the age of 16 I was cutting. I’m now 53 and still cutting. It’s a coping mechanism, not an ideal method but it’s helped me through difficult times. When I used to work and things got too much, I’d often go to the toilets to cut and release the pressure.  I don’t think anyone can actually understand it unless you are also a self-harmer. My worst scars are my wrists, which do embarrass me, they are very big and required stitches, yet I still went to work the next day. 

Because I’m a chronic self-harmer, it’s can be particularly difficult in the summer months; I’ve never liked to take my children swimming because I feel I am being judged.
Some people who I’ve encountered on my journey use vitamin E cream and some people have gone as far as getting them tattooed over. In some cases, foundation can help hide the scars. Luckily, I have never been asked about my obvious scars that I don’t hide; it would be pretty rude for people to do so. Early on, I used to say I dropped a piece of glass or made up some other excuse. However, over time I’ve managed to look at them as all the times I’ve survived, not something to be ashamed of.”

Self-harm is a complex topic, and there is no single reason why someone might injure themselves. Find support and further information on our website page.

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