What is self-harm?
Self-harm refers to intentionally injuring oneself in an attempt to cope with trauma or underlying mental health conditions. Self-harm occurs in many forms, and it most commonly as cutting, scratching, burning, or self-hitting. Other forms of self-harm involve piercing and inserting objects under one’s skin.
People often engage in self-harm as a way to take control of their emotions during difficult situations and while suffering from mental health challenges. The pain from self-harm injuries may distract a person from issues in other aspects of their life, and with some people, self-harm provides a temporary calming experience. Unfortunately, these short-term motivations that cause a person to engage in self-harm do not address the underlying reasons that drive their self-harm behavior.
Risk factors for self-harm may include past trauma, difficult home life, physical abuse, emotional abuse, or sexual abuse. While self-harm affects people of all ages, the behavior is most common among younger teens. Most people stop self-harm behavior after just a few incidents. However, self-harm can be a long-term phenomenon, and people may continue the behavior into adulthood.
It is important to note that self-harm is different from suicide. In most cases, people engage in self-harm without the intention to end their life. However, self-harm behavior can lead to suicidal ideation and suicide attempts. Additionally, self-harm can lead to suicide due to unintentionally severe self-inflicted injuries. These unintentionally severe self-injuries often occur under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the individual misjudges the impacts of their actions.
If you or someone you know is ever in immediate danger from self-harm, call 911 immediately for in-person assistance.
What are the signs and symptoms of self-harm?
Signs and symptoms of self-harm often include physical markers of the injury. These markers may include scratches, bruises, and scars. Typically, scars from self-harm injuries occur in patterns and near the wrists. People may notice that individuals who engage in self-harm may consistently wear long-sleeved shirts in an attempt to hide signs of their self-harm behaviors.
In addition to the physical effects of self-harm injuries, people who engage in self-harm may also exhibit a range of emotional and psychological symptoms. Self-harm behavior often comes with low self-esteem and feelings of hopelessness. Additionally, people who engage in self-harm may exhibit impulsive decision-making and instability throughout multiple areas of their lives. People who engage in self-harm may have difficulty forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships.
When people engage in self-harm, they may feel shameful about their actions and experience feelings of guilt. These feelings often come soon after each self-harm incident. Unfortunately, the person may be unable to process guilt and shame associated with their self-harm, and these feelings may lead to further self-harm incidents.
How Aurora Behavioral Health in Tempe and Glendale can help manage self-harm behavior
Self-harm is often a sign of underlying mental health challenges, and people who self-harm require attention from behavioral health professionals. People who engage in self-harm can benefit from a range of evidence-based treatment programs at licensed behavioral health hospitals.
At Aurora Behavioral Health, we provide behavioral health treatment programs for people who engage in self-harm. We offer both inpatient services and outpatient services. Our inpatient services are appropriate for individuals who require immediate stabilization and 24/7 monitoring. Additionally, our inpatient treatment programs offer medication management. Our outpatient programs for self-harm behaviors include partial hospitalization programs and intensive outpatient programs. These outpatient programs are ideal for providing patients the care they need while maintaining home, school, and work routines.
Our treatment programs focus on helping people understand and cope with the underlying issues that cause self-harm behaviors. Additionally, clinicians help patients understand the behavioral patterns behind self-harm and learn to interrupt those cycles. Treatment sessions occur in group therapy settings and may contain a medication regimen.
Get treatment for self-harm behaviors at Aurora Behavioral Health in Arizona
If you or someone you know engages in self-harm, it is often necessary to get treatment from a behavioral health professional. Self-harm can lead to serious physical injuries, and the underlying mental health challenges that lead to self-harm typically worsen without proper treatment. Our team understands that each patient has unique challenges and needs, and we provide a customized treatment plan for each patient. We treat patients across Arizona at our Glendale or Tempe behavioral health hospitals.
The first step toward treatment is to contact our team. You can call us directly at 877.870.7012 at any time. A team member is available 24/7. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.
We can help answer any question you have about our self-harm treatment programs and our behavioral health hospitals. Additionally, a member of our team can help schedule you or a loved one for a free, confidential mental health assessment.