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Self-harm refers to the act of intentionally inflicting injuries on one’s own body. Because of overwhelming emotions, you may feel like you need a distraction or a temporary relief. In such cases, specialists recommend healthy coping mechanisms. However, many people resort to cutting, burning, and other ways that inflict injuries as doing so makes them feel they have better control over themselves and their lives. For others, it may just be a way of punishment, even if it is something they cannot control.

If you feel like you have similar urges due to any reason, it is best to seek help on time so that the issue does not worsen. Like other similar problems, people do not talk about self-harm widely or share their experiences. The general information regarding the issue is also limited. However, many reports that their issue resembles symptoms of substance abuse disorders to a great extent. Is self-harming an addiction? There is an ongoing debate about this topic, but patterns of addiction do exist in people who injure themselves.

Regardless, getting treatment immediately for self-harm addiction is essential to avoid complications. If you are thinking about getting help, going to therapy or joining a rehabilitation centre may be the best option. This article provides information on addiction to self-harm and its treatment.

Rehabilitation centres offer treatment for substance abuse, mental disorders, and many addictions. Contrary to widespread assumption, a person interested in self-harm recovery can also join a facility for therapy. Why get treatment at a centre? Rehabs usually offer programs with multiple therapies that you may not be able to get at the same time otherwise. If you have other problems, including physical health conditions, you can get medical care for them simultaneously. Additionally, there is an option for a customised plan too.

Customised programs include the primary course of treatment for recovery with other supporting therapies and any activities of your choice. For instance, you may be able to add swimming, fitness sessions, painting lessons, meditation or music classes to your plan. Most specialists believe holistic therapy and physical activities can increase the chances of recovery.

 An approach that combines primary treatment with the aforementioned supporting therapies may also prevent self-harm in the future by identifying the root cause of your issue. Many people are unaware of what drives them to injure themselves, and they cannot ignore the urges and continue to do so repeatedly. Why is self-harm addicting? There may be different reasons why a person may hurt himself. While some figure it out, others do not, and even if they do, the chances of stopping are low.

If you are unsure about your reason, a combined approach may assist you in understanding your self-harm triggers. Also, you will be able to learn how to control these triggers and their cause so that you stop gradually. Therefore, it is better to get self-harm therapy at rehab as soon as possible rather than wait.

Rehabilitation centres and treatment clinics use multiple strategies in the treatment of self-harm. A specialist usually performs a medical evaluation and recommends therapy based on symptoms, severity, and other potential health conditions such as:

Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy assists in recovery from self-harm by identifying the underlying issues and developing skills such as regulating emotions to manage them. You may also learn how to boost your self-esteem and build social skills. In the long-term, these skills will collectively prevent returning to self-harm.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

Behavioural therapies allow a person to recognise negative beliefs, behaviours, and thoughts associated with their problem and replace them with healthy ones. CBT for self-harm can also enable you to develop better coping mechanisms if you injure yourself due to distress.

Mindfulness-based Therapies

Mindfulness-based therapies improve general well-being by changing a person’s self-perception and understanding. Therefore, it will help you harm yourself due to a negative self-image.

Self-harm Support Groups

Joining a support group is generally recommended for people struggling to recover from their addictions. The fundamental purpose of a group is to connect people suffering from the same problem. This way, they have a platform to discuss their mutual concerns and learn from each other’s experiences. Additionally, the community healing experience can encourage people to stick to their treatments and stay motivated.

Medications

There are no standard medicines for the treatment of self-harm. However, if a person is diagnosed with mental illnesses, including anxiety and depression, a healthcare provider may suggest using medication such as antidepressants. Mental conditions may be one of the underlying issues for self-harm. So, treating them can effectively stop a person from hurting himself.

Wondering how to help with self-harm? There are multiple ways you can help a family member or a friend in recovering from self-harm. Usually, most people require emotional support to get professional help and continue the treatment. In addition, to support, you can also assist your loved one in the following ways:

Find a Support Group

Support groups provide a space where people can discuss their issues without judgement. While you can also talk to your loved ones when needed, a group may help them express their thoughts and feelings freely. As other group members have the same problem, they may be able to help with an issue you do not understand very well.

Limit Internet Usage

Multiple online spaces glamorise self-harm, and some websites may also provide information on different methods to inflict injury. Viewing such content may be very triggering for a person who struggles with self-harm. So, it is better to help your friend or relative by restricting time spent on the internet.

Joining An Activity

Physical activities like sports, swimming, or dancing can help people who struggle to express their emotions. If your loved one has similar problems, consider joining a dance class or planning a daily activity together.

Self-harm is a serious issue and requires medical attention to avoid further complications. Any delay can increase the possibility of a severe injury and may be life-threatening. Therefore, it is better to know the symptoms of self-harm, such as:

  • Inability to focus
  • Find it hard to resist the urge to self-harm
  • Viewing self-injury as a punishment
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Feeling numb
  • Getting agitated and irritated easily
  • Hiding self-harm scars or burns
  • Self-isolation
  • Relationship problems
  • Drug abuse
  • Changes in eating habits

If you or a loved one has any of the signs mentioned above, look for a rehab or a treatment clinic immediately.

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