Self-Harm Treatment

Types of Self-Harm, Self-Harm Therapies, Inpatient Program & Dual Diagnosis Treatment

What is Self-Harm Cuts

Self-harm, also known as self-mutilation, is an act of someone hurting themselves intentionally. If you are feeling intense emotional pain, or suffer from a mental health condition, you are more likely to self-harm and need self-harm treatment. For some, it is a shout for help. According to APA, the condition — clinically known as non-suicidal self-injury or NSSI — is characterized by deliberate self-inflicted harm that isn’t intended to be suicidal. [1] However, self-harm can cause more damage to someone’s health and safety than it can also cause accidental suicide.

If you self-harm often you can possibly become suicidal or feel confined to a cycle of hopelessness, as self-harm is not a helpful way to deal with distressing emotions. Moreover, other major complications of self-harm include long-term scarring, infection, brain injury as well as organ damage.

Self-Harm Treatment
Self-harm can be both distressing for you and your loved ones. Contact us today at We Level Up for treatment options.

You may be self-harming to cope with upsetting feelings and thoughts. You may feel like self-harm relieve your feelings of guilt or shame. However, feeling relieved after self-harming is only short-term, and can result in a desire to self-harm again. In addition, a person who experiences a mental health condition is at a higher risk of self-harm.

Furthermore, some cases suggest depression can be a precursor to self-harm as well. People suffering from personality disorders may also be more likely to self-harm. In the same way, eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia increase the chances that you will do self-harm.

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Types of Self-Harm

Self-harm Behaviors and Signs

  • Cutting, burning, or hitting yourself
  • Abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Overdosing on prescription medications
  • Binge eating or starvation
  • Putting oneself in a risky situation

You may also self-harm because of the sudden death of a loved one, experience pain such as bullying, miscarriage, or any experience that brings you extreme sadness or anger.

Psychosocial Signs

  • Lack of interest in hobbies that you once enjoyed
  • Disengaging from social interactions
  • Having difficulties communicating with loved ones
  • Drastic mood swings

Behavioral Signs

  • Avoiding activities that expose the body
  • Interacting less or performing duties less well at home, school, or work
  • Having unexplained wounds or unlikely justifications for injuries
  • Hiding dangerous objects, like razor blades

Psychological Signs

  • Expressing feelings of depression
  • Expressing feelings of anxiety

Physical Signs

  • Overdosing on medicine and requiring medical attention
  • Physical signs of self-harm on the body like open wounds or cuts

Self-Harm Treatment

It is extremely important to speak with a counselor, psychiatrist, or doctor if you do self-harm. These healthcare professionals can help you find what is causing you to self-harm and work through your thoughts. Early intervention can also minimize damage caused by self-harm and decrease your risk of future episodes. You may also find supportive people who you feel comfortable with, who you can talk to, and who will listen to you without judgment.

If you think someone you care for is engaging in self-harm, it is important that you offer them support. Encourage them to get professional help and continue checking in with them to see how they are going.

Self-Harm Treatment
If you think someone you care for is engaging in self-harm, it is important that you offer them support and show them that you care about their wellbeing.

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Treatment and Therapy for Self-Harm

Diagnosis for self-harm treatments is based on a physical and psychological evaluation. You may be referred to a mental health professional with practice in treating self-injury for evaluation. A mental health professional will also evaluate you for other mental health disorders that may be linked to self-injury, such as depression or personality disorders.

There are different approaches to managing self-harm, similar to mental illness. They include the following:

Self-Harm Recovery

Self-harm describes the action of intentionally injuring or poisoning oneself, regardless of motivation or suicidal intent. Types of self-harm can be divided into two groups: self-injury (including such acts as self-cutting, ligature-tying, and self-battery) and self-poisoning (by taking an overdose of legal prescription or over-the-counter medications, for example, analgesics such as paracetamol).

Risk factors for self-harm with both non-suicidal and suicidal intent include age, gender, mental health diagnosis, coping strategies, previous self-harm, acute stress response, relationship with family and friends, as well as social deprivation.

The risk of attempted and completed suicide is significantly higher in those who have engaged in self-harm, with one study estimating that 50% of young people that had completed suicide would have previously self-harmed. A history of self-harm has been demonstrated to be one of the primary indicators of completed suicide. [2]

Self-Harm Treatment
There are effective treatments for self-harm that can allow a person to feel in control again.

In some cases, the effective treatment for an underlying condition that triggers self-harm is medication, such as an antidepressant or anxiety medicine. Your psychologist may recommend treatment, but only a doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe medicines.

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

This is a type of ‘talking therapy’ and it usually involves efforts to change your thinking patterns. This therapy may include Learning to recognize one’s distortions in thinking that are creating problems, and then reevaluating them considering reality.

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2. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT)

A primary goal of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) is to reduce self-harm.

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious and debilitating psychiatric condition characterized by instability in relationships, emotions, identity, and behavior. Affecting 2-6% of the general population, BPD is associated with high rates of self-harm (both suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-injury), mortality by suicide, and consequent heavy use of public health resources, making it one of the most expensive psychiatric disorders to treat. Psychotherapy is recognized as the first-line treatment for BPD, of which dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) has demonstrated the strongest empirical support. [3]

Self-Harm Treatment
The type and length of self-harm treatment will depend on your individual circumstances and the severity and complexity of your condition.

3. Psychodynamic Therapy

Counseling helps to stabilize feelings and thoughts by identifying the cause of the emotional stress and then it will teach skills to help address distress.

Psychoanalytic and psychodynamic psychotherapies are indicated to be effective in reducing suicidal behavior and to have short-term effectiveness in reducing self-harm. They can also be beneficial in improving psychosocial well-being.

4. Family Therapy

Family factors are particularly important risk factors associated with fatal and non-fatal self-harm among children and adults. Family therapy focuses on the relationships, roles, and communication patterns between family members.

In actuality, a lot of individuals who self-harm are trying to reach out for help. If someone is self-harming, it’s important that he or she seeks help immediately since this behavior can become addictive and hard to break. Individual therapy, along with family therapy, can help create a supportive environment. It can be a signal to family members that something is wrong, and can help bring them together for the greater good of the person who is suffering or ​depressed.

When an Inpatient Program is Necessary?

There are a wide variety of therapeutic, social, and environmental interventions that have shown some promise in reducing self-harm in in-patient settings.

Inpatient services are highly specialized, reserved for the treatment of patients with the most severe mental health disorders. Patients at risk of self-harm are almost always placed under constant observation. You may need treatment from a doctor for serious physical injuries after a self-harm episode. In severe cases, you may be required to go to the emergency department.

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Residential Treatment Facilities for Self-Harm

There’s no one best way to treat self-injuring behavior, but the first step is to tell someone so you can get help. Treatment is based on your specific issues and any related mental health disorders you might have, such as depression. Because self-injury can become a major part of your life, it’s best to get treatment from a mental health professional experienced in self-injury issues.

If you injure yourself severely or repeatedly, your doctor may recommend that you be admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care, or if you’re struggling with dual-diagnosis, residential treatment can be your best option. Residential care, often short-term, can provide a safe environment and more-intensive treatment until you get through a crisis.

Here at We Level Up New Jersey, we believe that you, our guests, should be treated with dignity and respect. We also want to provide a comprehensive treatment program that encompasses all aspects of recovery. Our program is individualized, integrated, and specialized to meet the needs of our guests, and in particular, to address the needs of those who are experiencing co-morbid mental health issues.

Recovery in our residential treatment utilizes a multidisciplinary and multidimensional approach. In other words, we incorporate a variety of evidence-based treatments which provide you with opportunities for the best possible treatment outcome.

We focus our treatment on symptom reduction, as well as the development of healthy coping skills, in order for our guests to attain an independent life that is filled with purpose, health, hope, and fulfillment. We Level Up NJ also includes evidence-based therapeutic practice and support of family members and loved ones, friends, and the community at large.

Self-Harm Treatment
Mental health treatment is similar to treating chronic physical illnesses. Reclaim your life by seeking help.

Successful Goals For Lifelong Recovery

  • To provide treatment interventions that are evidence-based, and aimed directly at crisis intervention as well as long-term stabilization and recovery.
  • To help you recognize and understand the harmful consequences of maladaptive behaviors related to psychiatric disorders and chemical dependence.
  • To assist in the development of new skills, re-development of responsibility, accountability, structure and discipline, through a program of psychosocial rehabilitation.

Co-Ocurring Addiction & Self-Harm

Individuals that have had traumatic life events like abuse, neglect, and trauma pose a greater risk of self-harm along with substance abuse. In fact, self-harm and substance abuse are often intertwined. Being influenced by substances often lead to self-injury as well. [3]

Self-harm treatment can be much more complex when combined with addiction. Many who suffer from both behaviors need advanced care that simultaneously tackles both issues. In addition, dual diagnosis treatment grasps the various constraints that lead individuals to self-harm, this will help them discover the problems and cope more healthily.

At the We Level Up NJ treatment center, we provide world-class care with round-the-clock medical professionals available to help you cope. All working as a team providing primary SUD treatment along with primary substance abuse and co-occurring secondary Self-Harm Treatment for successful recovery. Make this your opportunity to reclaim your life. Call today to speak with one of our treatment specialists. Our counselors know what you are going through and will answer any of your questions. Your call is private and confidential and there is never any obligation.

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[1] – American Psychological Association
[2] DBT for Chronically Self-harming Individuals With BPD: Evaluating the Clinical & Cost-Effectiveness of a 6 mo. Treatment (FASTER-DBT) – U.S. National Library of Medicine, U.S. National Institutes of Health
[3] We Level Up – Mental Health Treatment  » Self-Harm Treatment