Self-injurious behavior, also known as self-harm, is a serious mental health issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It is the deliberate and intentional act of causing physical harm to oneself, often as a way to cope with overwhelming emotions or traumatic experiences. While it may provide temporary relief, self-injury can have long-lasting consequences and may indicate an underlying mental health condition that requires professional treatment.
At Columbia Associates, we offer self-injury treatment services in Maryland and Virginia to help individuals find relief from this harmful behavior. Through therapy, medication, and other evidence-based approaches, we work with clients to address the root causes of self-injury and develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Call 703.682.8208 today to schedule an appointment.
What Is Self-Injurious Behavior?
Self-injurious behavior is a term that encompasses a variety of actions where individuals inflict harm on themselves. These can range from cutting, burning, or hitting oneself to more subtle behaviors like deliberate neglect of health needs. It is a physical manifestation of psychological distress, with the individual often using it as a coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming emotions or traumatic experiences. For some, self-harm can provide a temporary sense of calm and an escape from distressing thoughts or feelings.
However, it’s important to understand that self-harm is seldom the problem in itself but often a symptom of underlying issues. It’s commonly associated with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, and eating disorders. Additionally, factors such as childhood trauma, bullying, or high levels of stress can increase the likelihood of self-injurious behavior.
Signs That Someone Is Engaging in Self-Injury
Self-injurious behavior is not always easy to detect, as individuals may go to great lengths to hide their actions. However, there are some common signs that loved ones can look out for:
- Unexplained cuts, bruises, or burns on the body
- Wearing long-sleeved clothes even in warm weather to cover up marks
- Frequent isolation or avoidance of social situations
- Changes in eating patterns, such as sudden weight loss or gain
- Unusual preoccupation with self-image and appearance
- Keeping sharp objects like razors or knives in their possession
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s crucial to seek professional help. Treatment can address the underlying causes of self-injury and provide clients with healthier ways of coping with negative emotions.
How Treatment Can Help
At Columbia Associates, our team of experienced therapists and mental health professionals specializes in providing compassionate and effective treatment for self-injury. Our approach focuses on understanding the underlying factors that contribute to self-harm and developing personalized treatment plans to address them. We use evidence-based therapies such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) to help clients learn healthier coping mechanisms and develop better emotional regulation skills. Medication may also be prescribed if deemed necessary.
If depression is a contributing factor to self-injurious behavior, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy may also be recommended. This non-invasive treatment has shown promising results in treating depression and reducing self-harm behaviors.
Call Columbia Associates for Help Today
Self-injury can be a challenging and overwhelming experience, but it’s essential to know that there is help available. Knowing the signs of self-injurious behavior can be the first step in getting the treatment you or your loved one needs. At Columbia Associates, we are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective care for individuals struggling with self-harm and other mental health issues.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 703.682.8208 or contact Columbia Associates online for more information or to schedule an appointment at one of our convenient locations in Maryland and Virginia. Let us help you find relief and begin your journey toward healing.