About self-injury What is self-injury? What is self-injury? Self-injury affects people of all genders, ages and backgrounds. It can be many things that people do to themselves in a deliberate and often hidden way like cutting, burning, overdosing, scratching, biting, hair pulling and breaking bones. Sometimes people think they are the only ones doing it but research shows that the UK has one of the highest rates of self-harm in Europe, with 400 in every 100,000 people harming themselves. These numbers are based on those that go to hospital or to their GP and as lots of people don’t seek help there are many more people that self injure than are counted in these official figures.