Self-harm is characterized by people who purposefully inflict injury or pain on themselves. It is usually associated with cutting, but the act can take many other forms.
Self-harming behaviors are signs that a person is experiencing deep emotional turmoil and is struggling to cope with the effects of that turmoil. Instead, they utilize their bodies to express their emotions, even if that means hurting themselves. But, by receiving treatment, women and men can learn new coping skills that will allow them to express their emotions in a healthier way while also uncovering the root cause for why the behavior began.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm
Despite popular belief, self-harm is not a mental health disorder. It is instead a symptom of internal conflict that a person might be experiencing. And, while self-harm can be a condition on its own, it can also be a symptom of several other mental health disorders like depression and anxiety.
There are many signs that someone is engaging in this behavior, but it is also important to know that it is not always easy to see that someone is self-harming themselves. That is because those who self-harm often go to great lengths to make sure their injuries are concealed.
Signs of self-harm are more apparent include the following:
- Wearing long-sleeved shirts or pants even when it is warm outside
- Broken bones without explanation
- Any noticeable injuries are said to be the result of an accident
- Keeping sharp objects or lighters close by
- Spending a significant amount of time alone
- Easily agitated
Statistics on how many people self-harm are not extensive due to the fact that these behaviors are typically done in private and many women and men do not seek treatment.
Self-harm tends to be associated with adolescents and teenagers, but adults can struggle with this behavior too. Self-injury is also frequently linked to those who have experienced trauma, as well as those who suffer from eating disorders.
One common misconception that people have is this behavior is done to draw attention to themselves. That’s not true in most instances. Another misconception is that self-harming is synonymous with suicide attempts, which is also untrue.
Self-harm is a way to seek relief from emotional pain. For some, it can be difficult to express their emotional pain, which is why that expression comes out in other ways. Those who harm themselves often find relief in the sense that they can then define their pain rather than be confused by it. Unfortunately, these actions can also give a someone false perception of power because while they cannot control their internal pain, they can control the physical injuries they inflict on themselves.
Types of Self-Harm
There are a number of ways that someone will harm themselves in an effort to obtain some sense of emotional relief. Most notably is cutting, which involves using a sharp object like a razor to cut the skin. Other types of self-harm include the following:
- Burning the skin
- Punching or hitting themselves
- Exercising to excess
- Abusing drugs and/or alcohol
- Starving themselves or binge-eating
- Poisoning themselves with chemicals
- Excessive scratching
- Head banging
- Purposefully breaking bones
Effects of Self-Harm
Self-harm can cause more than just negative physical effects. It can also cause immense psychological distress. Additionally, the feelings of shame that someone may feel after engaging in self-harm can cause them to resort back to the behaviors, ultimately resulting in a perpetual, dangerous cycle.
A few examples of the effects that can result from self-harm include:
- Permanent scarring
- Ongoing feelings of shame and embarrassment
- Social isolation
- Broken relationships
- Inability to focus
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal ideation
How to Choose a Treatment Center for Self-Harm
Getting treatment is extremely important, especially when self-harm is occurring. In addition to learning coping skills that can help them manage feelings of distress, treatment allows individuals to explore some of the reasons that may have impacted their decision to harm themselves.
It is important that the treatment obtained is individualized to meet the unique needs of the person. It is also imperative that the treatment center chosen offers the level of care that is most appropriate for where they are at in there recovery journey.
At Neuroscience Research Institute, we provide residential self-harm treatment as well as treatment at the partial hospitalization level. Our exemplary team at our residential self-harm treatment offers care for patients age 18 and older. Residents are welcomed into a safe and supportive environment where they can focus on their recovery from self-harm 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) provides daylong, structured self-harm treatment for women and men. At the end of the treatment day, you can choose to return home or take advantage of our on-campus housing options.
Types of Therapies Used to Treat Self-Harm
Everyone responds to treatment differently. For this reason, we take an individualized approach to the treatment we provide. Therefore, each patient will receive an individualized treatment plan that will guide them through their time at our treatment center.
Examples of the types of therapies that may be part of one’s treatment plan include the following:
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Group, individual, and family therapy sessions
- Experiential therapies
- Motivational interviewing
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT)
- 12–Step recovery principles
Beginning the Treatment Process
At Neuroscience Research Institute, we know that it is important to make the beginning of your recovery journey as seamless as possible. You have made a brave decision in getting treatment, and we want to make sure that you are comfortable as you begin.
The following is a brief overview of what you can expect as you get started.
- You can call us at your convenience and we will do a prescreening assessment over the phone
- We will explain our admissions process and answer any questions you may have
- Once you arrive at our treatment center, we will introduce you to our staff and other residents.
- We will take time to help you become acclimated to the treatment environment so that you feel comfortable
- You will complete psychological and medical evaluations
- Working closely with one of our team members, you will receive an individualized treatment plan that will guide you throughout the course of your self-harm treatment
Self-Harm Recovery Center in South Florida
If you or someone you love needs treatment for self-harm or another mental health condition, do not try to go it alone. At Neuroscience Research Institute, we can help treat symptoms of these problematic issues so that life can be lived to its fullest. Contact us right now to get the help you or your loved one needs today.