Milder behaviors include skin abrading, in which the individual rubs the skin or scratches it severely, with the intent to cause bleeding and skin damage, she told Psychiatry Advisor.
The truth about self-harm
Ice burning is also sometimes practiced, especially in the Midwest. She noted that there are gender differences in the method of self-injury chosen, with cutting being more common in females and burning and self-battery more common in males. The average age of onset is 13 to 14, and a second age of onset is late adolescence — ie, age 18 to 19, Dr Muehlenkamp observed. It is important to encourage someone who self-injures to seek help. Although he or she may want to avoid discussing the issue, understanding the feelings and emotions that make him or her want to self-injure is an essential component of treatment.
In addition to better understanding what causes someone to self-injure, treatment also focuses on learning more adaptive ways of coping, so that the individual can find healthier and safer ways to solve his or her problems. Trying to force someone to change his or her behaviour before he or she is ready will only make the person increasingly resistant to treatment and cause frustration for you.
The young person needs you to be part of his or her support system now and when he or she is in treatment. Self- injury can become addictive and a habit, so it is important to be patient during recovery. Remember that the person needs to have healthier coping strategies in place before completely relinquishing his or her self-injurious behaviour. Being a positive influence while the young person is seeking professional help is important. Encourage him or her to avoid things that can be used to hurt him- or herself. Remind the person to do things that make him or her happy.
Help him or her connect with other people.
Self-harm | NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
Even just spending time with him or her and listening to what he or she has to say can make a difference. A variety of treatment options exist for youth who self-injure. Determining which course of action is appropriate for each individual should be done with the guidance of a trained health professional. Rather than treating the self-injury directly, medication helps with the underlying issues that are contributing to why someone chooses to self-injure. For more information on how to properly use medications, check out MedEd.
School supports: Sometimes certain adaptations can be made by the school to assist a student in coping with and managing his or her self-injury. Contagion and Self-Injury For someone who uses healthy coping strategies to deal with emotion, knowing that someone else self-injures is unlikely to make them start. If, however, someone has difficulty coping with intense emotions, he or she may be more likely to self-injure after finding out that someone he or she knows self-injures. Be attentive to what the young person watches and hears, and talk to him or her about how he or she is feeling.
Most often, young people who self-injure are looking for a way to deal with their emotions, and they will continue to self-injure until they learn more effective coping strategies. In this issue Mental Health Academy — Develop a foundation in mental health literacy for you and your students Community Highlight — Nova Scotia school-based mental health initiatives Welcome to another edition of the TeenMentalHealth.
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What are the symptoms of self-injury? Who is at risk for self-injury behaviours? How do you know if someone you love self-injures? How can you tell the difference between suicide and non-suicidal self-injury? Other forms of self-injury include excessive scratching to the point of drawing blood, punching self or objects, infecting oneself, inserting objects into body openings, drinking something harmful like bleach or detergent , and breaking bones purposefully.
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People who self-injure commonly report they feel empty inside, over or under stimulated, unable to express their feelings, lonely, not understood by others and fearful of intimate relationships and adult responsibilities. Self-injury is their way to cope with or relieve painful or hard-to-express feelings, and is generally not a suicide attempt. But relief is temporary, and a self-destructive cycle often develops without proper treatment. A lot of people who cut themselves also have an eating disorder. People who self-injure may attempt to conceal their marks, such as bruises, scabs or scars with clothing, and you may notice them wearing inappropriate clothing like long sleeves and pants in hot weather.
The diagnosis for someone who self-injures can only be determined by a licensed psychiatric professional. Self-injury behaviors can be a symptom other mental illnesses such as: personality disorders esp. The relationship between suicide and self-injury is complicated.
While people with non-suicidal self injury do not intend to completed suicide, they may cause more harm than intended, which could result in medical complications or death. In severe or prolonged cases of self-injury, a person may become desperate about their lack of control over the behavior and its addictive nature, which may lead them to true suicide attempts. If someone displays the signs and symptoms of self-injury, a mental health professional with self-injury expertise should be consulted. An evaluation or assessment is the first step, followed by a recommended course of treatment to prevent the self-destructive cycle from continuing.
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Self-injury treatment options include outpatient therapy, partial-inpatient hours a day and inpatient hospitalization.