This is a great question, and self-harm is one of the mostly highly stigmatized aspects of mental illness. Per the American Psychological Association, about 5% adults self-harm with rates spiking in early adulthood. That’s about 16.5 million adults in the U.S. today. This still does not answer the question of as why do people self-harm?
Factors that Influence Self-Harm
There are many factors that may influence whether someone self-harms. These variables can occur throughout one’s life yet specific attention is given to the childhood and adolescent years as this is when brain development is most prominent. Below is a list of reasons as to why someone may engage in self-harming behaviors:
- Assist with emotion regulation
- Communicate with others how they are feeling
- Assert a feeling of self-control
- Punishment for recent or past mistakes
- Tension reduction
- Self-harm becomes a part of who they are and how they manage stress
- Social pressures
Can Therapy Help Self-Harm?
Yes, working with a therapist who is familiar with self-harm can help reduce the occurrence of self-harm in the future. Often, self-harm occurs as a person’s innate ability to cope has been overwhelmed. In some cases, one’s nervous system is stuck in fight/flight or freeze/collapse functions.
This usually occurs because of some level of, except for the peer pressure bullet point above. Trauma can overwhelm one’s nervous system and create an overall numbness to life. Self-harm, in this example, can be used to maintain a sense of reality and limit dissociation.
Denver Metro Therapy for Self-Harm in 80222 Zip Code
Altogether, self-harm can be a lot of shame and guilt associated with self-harm. At Revitalize Mental Health, we want to normalize self-harm and understand it has a function in a person’s life. We will work to understand how these behaviors came into existence and work with you to learn new ways to handle distress in the future.
Therapy for Self-Harm
We offer various therapy modalities to address self-harm:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Eye Movement Reprocessing and Desensitization Therapy
As noted above, self-harm typically occurs because of various reasons. A thorough mental health assessment will begin to highlight how self-harm functions in a person’s life. From there therapy can begin to address the underlying issue(s).
How to Begin Working With an Individual Therapist?
If you or someone you know struggles with self-harm and could benefit from a free consultation to see how working with an individual therapist could benefit their life, call now, or click here to schedule a consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!