Self-Harm and Addiction: What You Need to Know

People who self-harm often use self-mutilation to deal with overwhelming emotions such as anger, self-loathing, grief, frustration, anxiety, and depression. It’s common to lump self-harm with suicidal behavior, but they are not the same and should be considered, and treated, differently.

What is self-harm?

Self-harm is when a individuals intentionally and deliberately hurt themselves as a form of outlet or release from a buildup of emotions. Suicide, on the other hand, is when individuals often intend to end the pain with death.

self-harm and addiction

Self-harm is clinically defined as “a self-inflicted and deliberate injury to the body tissue that causes pain, bruising, or bleeding without any suicidal intent and not for purposes that are considered socially acceptable like tattooing or body piercing.”

Self-harm can manifest itself by:

  • hair-pulling
  • biting one’s self
  • burning
  • head-banging on hard surface or head-butting
  • hitting
  • carving on limps or other body parts
  • scratching
  • skin picking
  • picking at scabs

Addiction and Self-Harm

Self-harm can actually be a form of addiction, as they get a sense of high or elation from mutilating or injuring themselves. It can provide them an outlet, a release, a sense of calm, and even a surge of endorphins. However, these are short-lived, and so they would repeat the behavior, causing a dangerous cycle that feeds off itself.

They may also explore substance abuse. Often, self-harm can be a diversion from their emotional pain, and so they may also resort to substance abuse to further numb their pain or suffering. However, this can make matters worse, with both in themselves can cause dangerous consequences. Together, the problem and risks can be compounded.

Treatment Options

Self-harming behavior can be difficult to spot, and therefore diagnose and treat. However, once noticed and diagnosed, it may also be indicative of an underlying psychological disorder, such as anxiety and depression. There are facilities that have a dual diagnosis approach to help those with self-harm problems also deal with their substance abuse issues. One of these facilities include Bridges of Hope.

For professional help in treating your self-harming loved one who may also be involved in substance or behavioral addiction, contact us at Bridges of Hope: 09175098826.

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