March is Self-Harm Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the often hidden signs of self-harm. Self-harm means harming yourself on purpose. Sometimes referred to as self-injury, self-harm is a symptom of extreme emotional distress. It is important to understand the signs and symptoms of self-harm in order to provide support for those affected.
What is self-harm?
Self-harm is a term used to describe any intentional injury or harm inflicted on oneself as a way of dealing with intense emotional distress. Self-harm can range from cutting, burning, scratching, hair pulling, to other types of self-injury that can cause physical and psychological pain. During Self-Harm Awareness Month, it is important to recognize the signs of self-harm and how to provide proper support for those affected.
Self-harm can be seen as a form of coping mechanism for those suffering from mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and trauma. It is often a way to express emotions that are otherwise difficult to express. In order to be supported in recovery, it is important to find a mental health treatment plan that works best for you. Professional support and guidance is essential in order to find the right treatment.
Self-harm can have a huge impact on an individual’s wellbeing and can lead to further complications if not addressed properly. During Self-Harm Awareness Month, it is important to raise awareness about the hidden signs of self-harm so that people can get the help they need.
Hidden signs of self-harm
It’s important to be aware of the warning signs and how to best help someone who is self-harming.
Some of the more common signs of self-harm may include:
• Unexplained cuts or burns on the body
• Wearing long sleeves or pants even in hot weather
• Isolating oneself from friends and family
• Expressing a sense of hopelessness or worthlessness
• Talking about wanting to die or take their own life
• Making plans for suicide or giving away prized possessions
It’s important to remember that these are only some of the potential signs of self-harm. Everyone is different and there is no one size fits all when it comes to understanding and supporting someone who is self-harming. If you or someone you know is showing any signs of self-harm, it’s important to reach out for help. Mental health treatment is available to those who are suffering, and there are many resources available to help.
How to support someone who is self-harming
It is important to remember that self-harm is a sign of distress, not an attempt to manipulate or attract attention. It is essential to create an environment of understanding, compassion, and support for someone who is self-harming. The first step in supporting someone who is self-harming is to listen without judgment. Avoid any negative remarks or criticisms, instead focus on validating their feelings. Show that you are listening by making eye contact and repeating back to them what they say. Let them know that they can talk to you and that you are there to help in any way you can.
Offer resources and guidance if needed. Ask the individual if they would like to discuss mental health treatment options with a qualified therapist. Reaching out for support can be difficult, but it’s essential to seek help if you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm. During Self-Harm Awareness Month, take time to learn more about the warning signs and how to provide support for those who are in need.
Most importantly, remind the individual that they are not alone and that their feelings are valid. Encourage them to express themselves through journaling, art, or other forms of expression that make them feel heard and validated. Lastly, do your best to stay connected with the individual and keep them feeling supported.
How to get help if you are self-harming
It’s Self-Harm Awareness Month and it is important to remember that if you are struggling with self-harm, there is help and support available. Here are some ways to get the help you need:
Reach out to a trusted friend or family member.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in your life, consider seeking out an online or phone support group.
Seek professional mental health treatment. Talk to your primary care physician or reach out to a mental health provider.
Professional mental health treatment can be extremely helpful in managing difficult emotions and reducing self-harm.
Seek therapy. Therapy can provide a safe place for individuals to explore their feelings and thoughts about self-harm, and learn strategies to manage difficult emotions and stress.
Practice self-care. While it is important to seek professional help, it is also important to practice self-care. This can include engaging in calming activities like journaling, art, yoga, or exercise.
Finally, it is important to remember that self-harm is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of strength to seek out help and support. During Self-Harm Awareness Month, it is important to recognize the signs of self-harm and reach out for support if needed.
At Recovery Ways we have over a decade of experience helping those who are struggling with self-harm and other mental health related issues. We offer a wide range of services including Residential and IOP therapy to help those in need. Please contact us today if we can be of assistance in getting your life unstuck and back to finding more purpose and joy. We accept most major insurances.