Self-harm is a clinical term that should be taken very seriously. While not a mental health disorder, self-harm can inflict physical damage on a person and be a symptom of another mental health concern.
Self-harm describes a variety of behaviors that lead someone to intentionally harm their own body to deal with emotional turmoil. This can happen in a number of different ways, including cutting yourself with a sharp object, but according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), it takes place anytime a person purposefully attempts to hurt themselves.
Having thoughts of hurting yourself is a sign that you’re experiencing severe emotional distress, but help is available. At Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital, we provide acute inpatient and outpatient self-harm treatment for adults age 18 and older.
Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm
Self-harm signs and symptoms can vary depending on age, history of mental illness, individual personality, and the form of self-harm you’re engaging in. It’s also common for a person who is displaying self-harming behaviors to make considerable efforts to conceal injuries.
The following are some of the most common self-harm signs and symptoms:
- Frequent agitation
- Trouble with focus
- Broken bones with vague explanation
- Missing hair
- Impaired motor skills
- Routine isolation
- Acting out uncontrollably, unpredictably, or impulsively
- Scars that occur in a visible pattern
- The presence of lighters or sharp objects nearby
Any of these self-harm signs and symptoms can be an indicator that you may need to consider pursuing professional self-harm treatment. Even though a person may not intend to inflict permanent damage on themselves with these behaviors, the chance of significant injury may exist until they seek professional help from a qualified self-harm treatment place.
Self-harm most commonly occurs during the teenage and early adult years, according to NAMI, but it can happen at any other point in life. Those most at risk of self-harm are people who have a history of neglect, trauma, or abuse.
These are some other statistics on self-harm in the United States:
- The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that women are more likely to use cutting to self-harm, while men are more prone to use hitting or burning.
- Despite popular belief, NIMH finds that most people who engage in self-harming behaviors are not trying to end their own life.
- The American Psychological Association (APA) states that the lifetime self-harm rate among American adults is around 5%, much lower than the adolescent rate of 17%.
- APA also reports that at least 35% and as many as half of self-injurers may be male, though due to different presentations of self-harm, that number is uncertain.
Potential Self-Harm Effects
The physical consequences of self-harm can sometimes be easy to spot, but emotional ramifications are common as well — and often much more difficult to discern.
Self-harm tends to be a discouraging cycle. By experiencing feelings of guilt or shame as a result of self-harm, a person may often circle back to those same behaviors. Examples of self-harm effects can include:
- Permanent scarring
- Low self-esteem
- Social isolation
- Suicidal ideation
- Frequent shame and embarrassment
- Chronic unemployment
- Financial struggles
- Onset or worsening of mental health conditions
- Damaged relationships with friends and family
- Abuse of alcohol or other substances
These self-harm effects are not guaranteed and will vary depending on a variety of individual factors. But by receiving comprehensive, evidence-based care at a self-harm treatment center, you can greatly reduce your risk for devastating consequences and begin to live a more fulfilling life.
Benefits of Self-Harm Treatment
By deciding to receive professional care at a qualified self-harm treatment place, you can begin to understand your symptoms, address the pain of your past, and chart a path to improved health and well-being.
Self-harm can be an isolating behavior. Especially if you’re hiding your struggles from others, that sense of seclusion can be overwhelming and leave you feeling like there’s no hope.
But at our self-harm treatment center, you’ll quickly understand that you’re not alone. There are others who are facing similar hurdles, and by discovering that your self-harming behaviors are shared by others, you can find solace in the companionship of fellow patients and address the patterns that led you down this potentially destructive path.
You’ll also benefit from experienced professionals who are looking out for your best interests. They’ll develop and guide you through a personalized self-harm treatment plan that can help you address the self-harming behaviors that are unique to you.
Why Choose Our Self-Harm Treatment Center
The most important element at any self-harm treatment place is personalized care. Self-harm can encompass a wide net of physical and mental destruction, and it’s critical that you find a provider who treats the person instead of the specific self-harm signs and symptoms.
At Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital, we provide round-the-clock care that will help you focus solely on your health. This process begins with a detailed assessment that will form the basis of your personalized self-harm treatment plan. That plan will take into account your inherent strengths and desired goals.
At the end of your time with us, you’ll receive a detailed discharge plan. This blueprint for aftercare may include community resources, alumni groups, and other follow-up services that can help you build on the progress you made during self-harm treatment.
Therapies Used in Self-Harm Treatment
At Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital, we’ll always consider the specific experiences and unique background that led you to us. Self-harm has different effects on everyone, and we want to identify your needs to guide you toward the best possible outcome.
Once we’ve developed your personalized self-harm treatment plan, your programming will include a variety of therapeutic interventions that will help you work toward recovery. These may include:
- Family therapy
- Recreational therapy
- Multiple types of group therapy
- Individual therapy
- Activities therapy
If self-harm is keeping you from being your best self, we’re here to help. Through the support and guidance of professional self-harm treatment at Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital, you can rediscover the fulfilling life you were meant to live.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Glenwood Behavioral Health Hospital.