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Addiction to self-harm often begins when emotions become overwhelming. The person looks for ways to express or numb the pain and may engage in self-harm as a coping mechanism. When they continue to seek self-mutilation as a form of release, it forms an addiction. There is no specific or exact cause of this behavior. Several factors can cause self-harm. Some of those causes may be poor coping skills or trouble managing emotions. Self-harm is a dangerous behavior, and in some cases, can be fatal. If you are harming yourself, seek out a treatment center. Recovery is possible. 

Self Harm Addiction

Types of self-harm Behaviors:

  • Cutting
  • Scratching
  • Burning
  • Carving skin
  • Punching, hitting, or headbanging (self)
  • Stabbing skin 
  • Putting things under the skin 
  • Hair pulling 
  • Biting 
  • Skin picking 
  • Intentionally picking flesh wounds 
  • Etc. 

Signs and Symptoms of self-harm:

  • Scars
  • Fresh cuts, scratches, bruises, bite marks
  • The excessive tugging of the skin
  • Wearing long sleeves, even in hot weather 
  • Frequent accidental injury 
  • Few or no personal relationships 
  • Unpredictability 
  • Impulsivity 
  • Mood swings
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless, or helpless 
  • Depression and anxiety 
  • Avoidant behavior 

Self-harm addiction is a hard battle to fight, but it is one worth fighting. If you are facing this addiction, help is available. Reach out to a resource center. A residential program may be beneficial in helping you regain control of your life over your addiction to self-harm. 

Co-occurring Disorders

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Borderline Personality disorder 
  • Other personality disorders 
  • Other mood disorders 
  • Eating Disorders 
  • PTSD 
  • Substance abuse like drug abuse or alcohol abuse 
  • Suicidal behaviors or suicidal ideations

Types of Treatment Programs for Self-Harm Addiction 

When it comes to treating this addiction, an inpatient rehab program is sometimes needed to help break the cycle of addiction for people who self-harm. The round-the-clock health professional staff at rehab centers will guide the person through recovery as they learn life skills, safe coping mechanism options, and relapse prevention. Alternative treatment programs include intensive outpatient programs, cognitive behavioral therapy, equine therapy, family therapy, psychotherapy, medication, and support groups. If you are struggling with self-harm addiction or have a loved one engaging in self-harm behaviors, contact a behavioral health professional to discuss the best course of action for your recovery journey. 

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