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.  However, self-harm can cause more damage to someone’s health and safety than it can also cause accidental suicide.
Complications of Self-harm
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.
Who is prone to self-harm? 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.
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.
- 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
- Expressing feelings of depression
- Expressing feelings of anxiety
- Lack of interest in hobbies that you once enjoyed
- Disengaging from social interactions
- Having difficulties communicating with loved ones
- Drastic mood swings
- Overdosing on medicine and requiring medical attention
- Physical signs of self-harm on the body like open wounds or cuts
Self-harm Treatment For You Or For Someone You Care About
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.
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 manage self-harm, similar to mental illness. They include the following:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy — 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.
Medicine — In some cases, the effective treatment for an underlying condition that triggers self-harm is medicine, such as an antidepressant or anxiety medicine. Your psychologist may recommend treatment, but only a doctor or a psychiatrist can prescribe medicines.
Psychotherapy — Counselling helps to stabilize feelings and thoughts by identifying the cause of the emotional stress and then it will teach skills to help address distress.
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.
Substance Abuse and Self-harm Treatment
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.
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.
We Level Up NJ Treatment Center trained experts to strive to stay on top of the latest alternative treatments, and we will give you the proper help to resolve self-harming habits successfully. 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.
 https://www.apa.org/monitor/2015/07-08/who-self-injures – American Psychological Association