Self-harm is difficult for many people to understand. It is a way of coping with deep emotional pain and distress, especially for people who feel they have no other outlet to express themselves. For those individuals, causing self-injury provides relief from painful feelings, but the relief is short-lived.
A self-harm reduction therapy program can provide the tools that help people cope with emotional pain in more positive ways. Call Illumination Mental Health today at 747.285.7504 if you or someone you care about could benefit from mental health counseling in Los Angeles, CA.
What Is Self-Harm?
It’s important to note that self-harming behaviors are not the same as suicidal behaviors. Though some people who self-injure may be at risk for suicide, it is typically considered a coping mechanism, not an indicator that the person wishes to end their life. That’s why self-injury is also called non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI).
Self-harm is the act of deliberately hurting oneself. Cutting is the most common form of self-harm. An individual uses a razor or other sharp object to make shallow incisions into the skin in areas with little risk of cutting a major blood vessel. The most common areas for cutting are the thighs, wrists, hands, and stomach.
Other forms of self-harm include burning, embedding objects like staples into the skin, or hitting one’s head against a wall or other hard surface.
Warning Signs of Self-Harm
People who self-harm try hard to hide their behavior. If their injuries leave scars, they are typically hidden in places where others don’t see them. However, there are several warning signs to be aware of:
- Keeping a collection of sharp tools, such as needles, razors, or bottle caps
- Always wearing concealing clothing, even when it’s not appropriate for the weather
- Frequent, suspicious injuries, cuts, and bruises from accidents no one else ever witnesses
- Bloodstains on their clothes, bedding, and towels
- Bloody bandages and tissues in the trash
People who self-harm may also show other signs of emotional distress. They may appear depressed, perform poorly in school or at work, or exhibit low self-esteem.
Warning Signs of Self-Harm
Several treatment options are available for people experiencing a mental health condition. The first step of mental health treatment is accurately diagnosing your condition: mental health disorders can often share a variety of symptoms, but keying in on your particular issue will make treatment more effective.
Residential treatment is often advised for people experiencing severe symptoms. It allows your treatment team to closely monitor your condition, provide detailed diagnostic information, and determine which treatment is best for your condition.
The most effective treatment for mental health disorders include:
- Psychiatric evaluation
- Targeted medication plans
- Individual and group therapy
- Integrative wellness services
- Genetic testing
- Recreational therapy
The best mental health treatment programs approach treating mental health concerns from several angles to ensure that you have the best possible chance of recovery. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to recovery, so having a variety of treatment options ensures that you’ll find the treatment that works best for you.
Confide in Someone
Self-harm reduction counseling in our Los Angeles, CA residential treatment center provides a safe, non-judgmental environment for individuals to talk openly about their self-injuring, including any past trauma that they may not be comfortable talking about with friends, family members, or parents.
Identify Self-Harming Triggers
Self-injury typically happens as a reaction to stress or anxiety. Using various therapeutic techniques, a therapist can help individuals recognize the stressors that trigger them to self-injure.
Those who self-injure can become more empowered in their choices instead of automatically reacting to uncomfortable feelings by learning to pay attention to their emotions.
Learn New Coping Skills
Our self-harm reduction therapy program in Los Angeles, CA, teaches residents coping skills to deal with stress and emotional pain more positively. Artistic expression, journaling, meditating, and exercising are just a few of the alternative activities that provide emotional release without the need to self-harm.
Find a Self-Harm Reduction Therapy Program at Illumination Mental Health
Illumination Mental Health offers a compassionate, non-judgmental self-harm reduction therapy program in Los Angeles, CA. We understand that self-harming results from emotional pain, shame, and frustration. While it may provide quick relief from painful feelings, the long-term results can be highly damaging.
If you have a desire to self-injure, or if you suspect someone you care about is self-harming, call Illumination Mental Health today at 747.285.7504. We are here to help.