How to Help Someone Who Self Harms

Self-harm is when an individual purposefully hurts themselves as a way to cope with emotional distress. If you see someone self-harming, it could be for a variety of reasons. These can be situational, such as they are struggling with relationship problems or are experiencing bullying. In other cases, they might be facing mental health problems such as depression or anxiety. It’s important that you never judge somebody who is self-harming as you have no idea what their circumstances are. Knowing how to help someone who self harms is important because this destructive coping mechanism can lead to dangerous consequences. 

What Constitutes as Self Harm?

It’s important to understand what constitutes as self-harm, because some behaviors may not fall into this category. For example, if you cut yourself accidentally during a manic episode, then it doesn’t count as self-harm; however, if you were to deliberately cut yourself, it does.

If you want to find out whether or not someone is self-harming, ask the following questions:

  • Are you cutting yourself to feel better?
  • Do you think your actions will help you feel better?
  • Are you trying to hurt others by hurting yourself?
  • Is your behavior causing pain and discomfort?
  • Does anyone else know about your behavior?
  • Have you ever tried to stop?
  • Have you ever talked to a doctor about your behavior?
  • Has anyone told you that you are harming yourself?
  • Why do you self-harm?
  • Are you having suicidal thoughts?

The most common reason people self-harm is because they are feeling depressed or anxious. This can often lead to feelings of hopelessness and despair. People who self-harm may also use substances like alcohol or drugs to cope with these emotions. Other causes include:• Feeling rejected or unloved.

  • Having an eating disorder.
  • Being bullied or being treated unfairly.
  • Experiencing trauma.
  • A desire to punish oneself.

Is Self Harm an Addiction?

People who self-harm typically feel trapped by their behavior, or experience negative emotions like shame or guilt. Some people who self-harm report that they feel addicted to the relief they receive when they injure themselves. In fact, research suggests that people who self-injure tend to have higher levels of substance use disorders.

How Do People Hide Self-Harm?

There are several ways people hide self-harm. Some people may not want others to see them because they feel ashamed or embarrassed, so they try to hide their scars by covering them up with makeup or clothing. Additionally, many people only self-harm at home in order to hide it. 

How to Help Someone Who Self Harms

There are several things you can do if you suspect someone you care about is self-harming. First, don’t panic. If you see signs of self-harm, try to stay calm and reassuring. It may take some time before you can talk to them about what they’re doing. Don’t force them to talk about it; just listen. If you suspect someone you care about might be self-harming, here are some things to consider:

  • Is the person aware of what he or she is doing?
  • Has anyone else noticed anything unusual?
  • Does the person seem distressed by the behavior?
  • Are there signs that suggest a more serious problem?

Is There Rehab for Self Harm?

It’s important to remember that self-harming behavior could be a sign of mental illness, and that official treatment should be pursued in most cases. Some treatment options available for self-harm include: 

  • If your friend has tried to hurt themself before, they may benefit from talk therapy. This could include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT). CBT focuses on changing negative thoughts and beliefs that lead to harmful actions. DBT teaches skills to manage emotions and behaviors.
  • If your friend shows signs of depression, you should encourage him or her to speak with a doctor or therapist. Depression can make it difficult to cope with everyday stresses and challenges.
  • If your friend seems to be struggling with substance use issues, you can refer him or her to an addiction specialist. Substance use can cause emotional distress and interfere with relationships.
  • If your friend is having trouble managing anger, you can suggest that he or she seeks anger management courses. These courses provide support and education to teach people how to deal with anger effectively.
  • If your loved one is experiencing anxiety, you should recommend that he or she seeks official treatment as well as joins an anxiety support group.

Neuroscience Institute offers a self-harm program that identifies and addresses the underlying causes of an individual’s self-harm while teaching them healthier ways to cope with distress. 

What Does Relapsing Mean in Terms of Self Harm?

It means that the person has started self-harming again following a period of remission. This could mean that they had a relapse triggered by stressors in their life or because of their mental health. 

Self Harm Treatment in South Florida 

Unfortunately, self-harm is very common, especially among teenagers and young adults. This is why it is important to know how to help someone who self harms, so the individual can get the treatment they need early on. To learn more about Neuroscience Institute’s self-harm program in South Florida, give us a call or visit our admissions page today. 

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