What is self harm?
Self-harm, also referred to as self-injury, and there are different types of self harm that people try to hurt themselves and it occurs when a person intentionally injures their own body as a result of feeling overwhelmed. Self-inflicted wounds can range in severity from minor cuts to grave, potentially fatal wounds. When you hurt yourself, you are using it as a coping mechanism for difficult emotions, traumatic memories, or overwhelming circumstances and experiences. Self-harm typically do not intend to end their own lives but if they do not get assistance, they are more likely to attempt suicide.
What are the main reasons of hurting oneself?
In an effort to let others know they are struggling, some people self-harm. Self-harm is another way that some people try to deal with troubling emotions and thoughts. They may self-harm in an effort to cope with feelings of guilt or shame, or because they are lonely. However, the relief that comes from self-harming is only momentary and can give rise to a desire to do it again. A person who has a mental health condition is more likely to commit suicide or self-damage. Additionally, there is evidence to support the idea that depression may proceed self-harm. People who have personality disorders may also harm themselves more frequently.
Different types of self harm or self destruction:
- Reveal something that’s challenging to describe
- Transform abstract ideas or emotions into concrete reality
- Transform emotional suffering into physical suffering
- Lessen intense emotional reactions or thoughts
- Possess a sense of control
- Cutting oneself (such as using a razor blade, knife, or other sharp object to cut the skin)
- Punching either yourself or other people (like a wall)
- Using candles, matches, or cigarettes to cause personal burns
- Pulling out your hair and concealing potentially harmful items like cigarette lighters or razor blades
- Avoiding bodily-exposed activities
Behaviors that increase the risk factors of different types of self harm:
Alcohol and specific traumatic, personal, and clinical events can be self-harm risk factors. If a person has currently experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, or if they have a mental illness, their likelihood of self-harming may increase.
- Having friends who self-injure
- Life Issues like Emotionally abuse, experienced traumatic event
- Child maltreatment
- Neglect of children
- History of self-harm
- Drug abuse
- Physical illness
- Mental illness
What Mental Illnesses Include self harm in adults?
Self-injury or self-harm does not indicate a mental illness. Instead, it is a poor coping strategy linked to a mental health issue that is present at the root. Self-harming is linked to a number of diseases, including PTSD, eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder. Additionally, adolescents who hurt themselves frequently do so while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Young adults and teenagers are most at risk for self-harm. According to some experts, teens who have suffered trauma, neglect, or abuse are more vulnerable.
The mental health conditions most linked to self harm:
Self-harm is a form of self-punishment used to express disdain for oneself and cause pain. This occurs as a result of the close relationship between our feelings and emotions and the neurobiology of the brain. The most common reason why someone engages in self-harm is the presence of a mental health disorder. Following are the mental health conditions most frequently linked to self-harm:
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Disorders of Dissociation
- Borderline Personality Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
The mental health condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is brought on by experiencing or seeing a terrifying event. Flashbacks, nightmares, excruciating anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the incident are just a few possible symptoms. The majority of people who experience traumatic events might initially struggle to adjust and cope, but with time and good self-care, they typically get better. Self-harm may be used to mask and stifle feelings and memories connected to traumatic events.
Manic depression and bipolar disorder are both mental illnesses that cause extreme highs and lows in mood as well as changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. Bipolar disorder patients can experience extreme highs of happiness and vigor as well as extreme lows of melancholy, hopelessness, and sluggishness. The dramatic mood swings of bipolar disorder do not occur in a predictable pattern. Before shifting to the opposite mood, a person may experience the same mood state (depressed or manic) several times.
Problems with identity, perception, memory, emotion, and sense of self are all aspects of dissociative disorders. Dissociative disorders are brought on by trauma, typically in childhood, and have the potential to restrict and change the course of lives. Losing memory and feeling detached from one’s own emotions as if viewing oneself from outside the body are two examples of dissociative symptoms. People with dissociative disorders frequently self-harm due to the stress of healing and the self-hatred that frequently comes with the memories of the trauma that gave rise to the disorder.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Chronic borderline personality disorder is characterized by high rates of self-harm and suicidal behavior, mood instability, and difficulty with interpersonal relationships. Pervasive instability in moods, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior are hallmarks of borderline personality disorder (BPD). Long-term planning, family and work relationships, as well as a person’s sense of identity, are frequently disrupted by this instability. Initially believed to be on the “border” of psychosis and neurosis, people with BPD have trouble controlling their emotions.
Different therapies that helps to overcome the different types of self harm:
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
For those who self-harm, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) may be beneficial. CBT is a method of therapy that is organized and goal-focused. Unhelpful thought patterns like overgeneralization and all-or-nothing thinking can trap people, causing distress and challenging behaviors like self-harm. By addressing the underlying problems that cause the person to self-harm and assisting them in creating more constructive coping mechanisms, therapy can be helpful. A person does not need to have a diagnosed mental health condition in order to benefit from CBT, which can help with a variety of mental health issues. Additionally, this therapy can aid patients in overcoming social challenges, grief, and stress.
Specific issues that affect the psychological well-being of the family, such as significant life transitions or mental disorder conditions, are addressed in family therapy or family counseling. It can be applied as a supplementary strategy or as the main mode of treatment. It can be successful in treating issues with mental health that affect the entire family, like depression, substance abuse, chronic illness, and food issues, as well as more common issues like communication issues, interpersonal conflict, or behavioral issues in kids and teenagers. The goal of family counseling is to encourage communication and cooperation among family members in order to address the issues of one or more family members.
People can achieve a variety of goals with the assistance of group therapy. A therapist may occasionally advise group therapy over other types of therapy. This might be the case because it is a good fit for that person or works better to address their issue. People who struggle to function in daily life due to their mental health may benefit from therapy groups. Others might not need assistance right away but still want training or support. Finding new methods for preserving good mental health can be facilitated by the diversity of a group environment. Additionally, hearing about other people’s life experiences can help you put your own thoughts into perspective. People who participate in group therapy can find solace in the knowledge that they are not alone.