Self-harm is a mental health issue that disproportionately affects women. The intentional injury or mutilation of one’s body can provide a temporary relief from emotional distress, but can also become difficult to stop. At Rising Roads, we offer a comprehensive treatment program that helps women overcome self-harm behaviors and the underlying psychological factors that contribute to them.
Why Do People Self Harm?
Self-harm and non-suicidal injury can manifest in a variety of ways, including cutting, burning, scratching, or hitting oneself. Women who engage in self-harm often have underlying mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or substance use disorder.
PTSD and Self-Harm
Women who have experienced trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may engage in self-harm to cope with the intense emotional pain and distress caused by their experiences. Traumatic events can cause changes in the brain and disrupt the ability to regulate emotions, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety, and hopelessness. Women who have experienced trauma may feel overwhelmed by these emotions and may turn to self-harm as a way to numb their pain or release pent-up feelings. Additionally, self-harm can provide a sense of control or distraction from traumatic memories or triggers. However, self-harm is a maladaptive coping mechanism that can lead to physical harm, social isolation, and further psychological distress. Effective treatment for trauma and PTSD is crucial for addressing the underlying issues that contribute to self-harm behaviors and promoting healthy coping mechanisms for long-term recovery.
Substance Abuse and Self Harm
Substance abuse is a form of self-harm that can cause severe physical and psychological damage. Women who engage in substance abuse may be at higher risk of engaging in self-injurious behaviors, such as cutting or burning, because of the drugs on their mood, impulsivity, and judgment. Substance abuse can also exacerbate underlying mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, guilt and shame that contribute to self-harm behaviors.
Signs Someone is Self-Harming
Some common symptoms of self-harm behaviors in women may include:
- Repeatedly injuring oneself, often in the same place
- Hiding scars or marks from others
- Feeling a temporary sense of relief or release from emotional pain
- Feeling guilty or ashamed after self-injury
- Isolating oneself from others and avoiding social activities
- Expressing feelings of hopelessness
How to Stop Self Harm
By addressing the underlying issues that contribute to self-harm behaviors, women can learn healthy coping mechanisms and improve their overall quality of life. Our approach is rooted in evidence-based therapies such as dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and trauma-focused therapy. Our safe and supportive environment for women in both our residential and Intensive Outpatient Program to work through the underlying emotional pain and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Recovery from Self Harm and Self Injurious Behaviors
Recovery from self-harm is possible with the right treatment and support. Our compassionate and experienced clinicians work with each client to develop an individualized treatment plan that addresses their unique needs and challenges. To learn more about our mental health treatment programs, please fill out a form or contact our admissions team.