When someone hurts themselves intentionally, they are engaging in self-harm. People may harm themselves for a variety of reasons, but often, self-harm functions as a way for someone to manage painful, difficult, or overwhelming emotions.
The effects of self-harm can be serious, and it is important for someone who is struggling with the behavior to seek support. Through self-harm treatment, you can learn safe coping strategies and take back control of your life.
Signature Psychiatric Hospital offers trusted inpatient treatment for adults age 18 and older who are struggling with self-harm. At our hospital locations in North Kansas City, Missouri, and Liberty, Missouri, we provide acute inpatient care so that patients can stabilize, manage crisis symptoms, and lay the groundwork for lasting healing.
Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm
The experience of self-harm may be unique for each person, with some people engaging in the behavior a few times and others relying on it over a longer period. Common self-harm signs and symptoms can include:
- Regular injuries, including cuts, burns, or scratches
- Scars or bruises that show a possible pattern
- Comments about feeling hopeless or worthless
- Appearing to be accident-prone
- Presence of sharp objects
- Covering up, even in hot weather
- Unexplained bandages
- Broken bones
- Social difficulties
- Impulsive or unpredictable behavior
Often, people who struggle with self-harm feel intense shame and go to great lengths to hide their actions from others. Though self-harm may cause significant distress, it can be difficult for someone to address it on their own. If you are struggling with self-harm, receiving care at a qualified treatment place can make an enormous difference for your long-term well-being.
Although self-harm can occur at any life stage, it’s most common among teens and young adults. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) reports that 17.2% of adolescents and 13.4% of young adults have engaged in self-harm.
The American Psychological Association shares the following self-harm statistics:
- The lifetime prevalence of reported self-harm among adults is about 5%.
- In two college studies, approximately one-third of students who engaged in self-harm reported injuring themselves badly enough that they should have received medical care.
- Research has shown higher rates of self-harm among young people who are gay or bisexual.
- Young people who experience bullying by peers are at higher risk for self-harm.
- In a three-year study, students who initially did not report suicidal thoughts but later engaged in self-harm 20 or more times were 3.4 times more likely to attempt suicide.
Additionally, experiencing trauma, abuse, or neglect can increase a person’s risk for self-harm, according to NAMI.
Potential Effects of Self-Harm
Self-harm can damage a person’s emotional and mental well-being and endanger their physical health and safety. Effects of self-harm can include:
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Worsening emotional distress
- Low self-esteem
- Serious physical injury
- Permanent physical scars
- Relationship impacts
- Avoiding social situations
- Spending less time on regular activities
- Suicidal thoughts
- Risk for infection
By receiving professional self-harm treatment, you can learn to manage negative emotions in healthier ways, which can protect you from further suffering and help you become stronger and happier.
Benefits of Self-Harm Treatment
Although self-harm itself is not a mental health disorder, it is a serious concern that deserves compassion and personalized support.
If you are struggling with self-harm, you might feel embarrassed or scared to talk about it with another person. You may also wonder how to broach the subject or worry that others might judge you.
Self-harm treatment can offer meaningful support in a nonjudgmental setting, which can help you address the underlying causes of self-harming behaviors. Working with trained mental health professionals in therapy, you can gain self-awareness and work to break negative thought patterns and unhealthy behavior cycles.
Participating in therapy can also help you learn effective coping strategies, improve your relationship skills and build your support system, and enhance your self-esteem.
Therapies Used in Self-Harm Treatment
At Signature’s inpatient self-harm treatment center, each patient receives customized care that caters to their unique needs and strengths.
If you are interested in receiving self-harm treatment, we encourage you to complete a free assessment, which will help us evaluate your needs and determine whether Signature may be the right place for you.
Depending on your needs, your individualized treatment plan at Signature can include:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- A family meeting
- Medication management services
- Elements of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Detoxification services for patients who are suffering from certain addictions
At Signature, we believe that patients can benefit from the unique strengths and abilities our staff members bring to the treatment process. We aim to provide patients with positive healing experiences that can continue to inspire them after treatment ends.
Finding the Right Self-Harm Treatment Center
Seeking self-harm treatment can be an important investment in your health and well-being. So, it may be helpful to know what qualities to look for when you’re choosing a treatment place.
Below, we outline key treatment features that can help you work toward healing and a healthier life:
- Support from a variety of professionals
- The right level or levels of care to meet your needs
- Individualized treatment for a range of behavioral health concerns
- Comprehensive aftercare planning
Signature Psychiatric Hospital, which has locations in Liberty, Missouri, and North Kansas City, Missouri, offers inpatient and outpatient treatment for adults who are struggling with self-harm. Our continuum of care also includes outpatient services for adolescents ages 13-17 who are engaging in self-harm behaviors.
At Signature, we treat a range of mental health disorders and addictions. And each patient can receive care from a multidisciplinary team that may include case managers, licensed clinical social workers, and medical professionals, among other professionals.
We want each person to continue their growth after they leave Signature, so we begin planning for a supportive discharge on the day patients are admitted to our treatment center.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Signature Psychiatric Hospital.