Self-Harm in Women

self-harm women

Self-Harm Awareness Month, observed in March, is an annual reminder of the struggles many people face behind closed doors. It’s time to broaden your understanding of self-harm, especially among women, and to explore the risk factors that may lead someone you care about to engage in this behavior.

Why Do People Self-Injure?

Self-harm, the act of deliberately inflicting injury on yourself, manifests in various forms, including cutting, burning or even hitting. It’s often misunderstood as a suicidal attempt or a mental disorder, though it is really an unhealthy coping mechanism. Women may resort to self-harm to temporarily escape intense emotional distress. Notably, it can also be a response to underlying mental health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

The reasons behind self-harm can be complex and profoundly personal. It might stem from a desire to externalize internal emotional turmoil or exert control over your body when you feel powerless in other areas of life. For some, the physical pain of self-harm brings a short-lived release from emotional suffering, leading to a habit-forming behavior. Feelings of guilt and shame further complicate the cycle, perpetuating the harmful actions.

Identifying Risk Factors

Self-harm can affect people across all demographics, though statistics indicate it is more prevalent among women. However, it’s crucial to note that the number of men who self-injure may be underreported.

Several factors increase the likelihood of turning to self-harm, including:

  • A history of childhood trauma or abuse
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental health challenges such as depression or eating disorders
  • Low self-esteem
  • Uncertainty surrounding your sexual orientation or gender identity

The intersection of self-injury and addiction is particularly notable. Substance abuse can escalate the frequency and severity of self-harm incidents, especially as intoxication lowers inhibitions and self-control.

How to Request Help

A comprehensive, compassionate treatment plan is vital for women who hurt themselves and abuse drugs and alcohol. An integrated approach will help you uncover the root causes of your self-destructive behaviors while fostering the development of healthy coping mechanisms and problem-solving skills.

At Rising Roads Recovery, we provide an empathetic, understanding and single-gender environment designed to promote a sisterhood among our clients. Our holistic approach recognizes the intertwined nature of mental health and substance misuse. We offer a supportive place where women can rebuild their self-esteem, learn healthy coping strategies, and embark on a path toward healing and self-discovery.

As we continue to observe Self-Harm Awareness Month, know that healing is within reach if you struggle with self-injury and substance abuse. Contact us at Rising Roads Recovery to learn more about our women’s-only mental health treatment program.

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