Main content

Hurting

Sally Marlow examines the worrying rise in self-harm and discovers that the reasons behind it are as varied as the people who do it.

Sally Marlow talks to some of the men and women who have self-harmed, and the experts who treat them, to find out what is driving so many people to self-harm.

Clinical guidelines define self-harm as any act of self-poisoning or self-injury carried out by a person irrespective of their motivation. However, research reveals a worrying association between self-harm and the risk of suicide.

While rates of self-harm are particularly high among teenage girls, the true picture is far more nuanced. Rates have gone up in all age groups and both genders and, more recently, in groups such as middle-aged men.

So what is driving so many people to hurt themselves, and what can be done to help them? The media is quick to point the finger at social media, but Sally discovers that the reasons behind this question are as varied and complex as the people who do it.

Producer: Beth Eastwood

Release date:

Available now

28 minutes

Featured in...

Subscribe to Seriously...

Subscribe to Seriously...

Get new documentary podcasts every Tuesday and Friday.

Seriously... Archive

Seriously... Archive

Even more seriously interesting documentaries from Radio 4.

Seriously... Reads

Seriously... Reads

Read more about some of the amazing stories in Seriously...

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey

Fi Glover and Jane Garvey roam the fields of broadcasting talking to interesting people.

Podcast