Substance Use

Signs of Self Harm and Substance Abuse

self-harm scars on arm

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Self-Harm And Addiction Counseling

Self-harm is more common than you may think, particularly in drug addicts and alcoholics. And there’s no reason to be ashamed.

Asking for help is a sign of strength, and you are not alone.

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What Is Self-Harm All About?

Self-harm — or “non-suicidal self-injury,” to use the clinical term — involves intentionally hurting yourself. Despite its prevalence, the topic can make people very uncomfortable to talk about. One of the most common forms of self-harm is cutting oneself, usually with a razor blade or sharp knife.

Others hit or burn themselves on purpose. The physical effects of self-harm can be relatively mild, such as scratches and bruises. Or they can be much more serious, including wounds and broken bones.

It may sound disturbing to those who don’t engage in it, but at its core, self-harm is all about emotional distress. Harming oneself physically becomes a way of channeling difficult emotions such as anger, worry, and sadness.

Unlike pain under normal circumstances, the pain caused by the harm can feel like a release. For those who feel an unpleasant emotional numbness, physical pain allows them to feel anything at all.

Facts About About Self-Harm

A study from the American Psychological Association suggests self-harm is surprisingly common.

  • As many as 55 percent of those who self-harm also have eating disorders
  • Young people who were bullied are more likely to report-self-harm than those who have not
  • 15 percent of college students and 17 percent of teenagers have engaged in some form of self-harm at least once
  • Approximately 33 percent of study participants report having hurt themselves so badly, they should have sought medical attention; of those, only 5 percent actually did see medical attention
  • At least 35 percent of those who self-harm are male, although that number may be larger due to underreporting
  • About 47 percent of women that identify as bisexual have self-harmed; men who identify as gay or bisexual are more likely to have self-harmed than straight men

Self-harm can take place at any stage of life, although it’s most prevalent among adolescents and young adults. Also, self-harm is not a mental illness on its own and is not “diagnosable.” However, it’s a powerful indication of emotional dysfunction and the need for help. 

It’s important to remember that the acts of self-harm are intended to cause pain, but not death. However, self-harm is an indicator of suicidal behavior later in life. Drug and alcohol use can make self-harm worse and can lead to injuries that are more severe than originally intended. Self-harm is strongly associated with depression, anxiety, trauma/PTSD, borderline personality disorder, and eating disorders. 

Can Self-Harm Be Treated?

Zinnia Health is well trained in treating emotional disorders like self-harm, as well as substance use disorders. You don’t need to worry about being judged or made to feel embarrassed. We understand self-harm is a way of avoiding difficult emotions. We can help you discover a better, more effective way of addressing them. 

You may have a dual diagnosis of co-occurring mental health conditions that are contributing to your self-harm. If that’s the case and we believe medication can help, our clinical team will discuss it with you. Also, evidence-based therapy has demonstrated success in addressing self-harm.

Through cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, and rational emotive behavior therapy, our health staff will provide you with the tools to control your emotions, rather than allowing them to control you.

Also, we believe it’s important for you to heal your relationship with your own body as well. Zinnia Health provides wellness treatment options, such as yoga and meditation that allow you to develop new respect and regard for your body.

Get The Help You Need For Self-Harm And Addiction.

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Ready to get help?
(855) 430-9439
Why call us? Why call us