General Article Can you grow out of self-harm?

Topic Selected: Self-harm and Suicide Book Volume: 400
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The short answer is ‘yes’.

But that’s not to say that it always happens, or that you don’t need any support when you’re self-harming, or that you just need to sit tight and wait for the urges to disappear with time. There are lots of ways that you can help the process along, because a lot of it is about what is going on in your brain.

So let’s think about the teenage brain.

When you’re a teenager your brain undergoes an intense process of growth and development. There was a similarly busy time of brain growth in the first three years of your life, when your brain was going crazy learning and processing the world for the first time, and then it settled down for a few years, and now you’re a teenager, a second wave of rapid change hits you.

Now I’m not a neuroscientist so I’m going to use the work of other people to explain and simplify some very complicated processes (thanks UNICEF and the Youthscape Centre for Research). But let’s think about the two of the biggest areas of the brai...

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