Self-injury is the intentional act of hurting oneself without the intention of dying; it involves damaging oneself with the intention of tolerating an emotional state that cannot be contained or expressed in a more suitable way.
The most common self-injurious behaviors are impulsive, among which signs of cutting, burning, and piercing can be observed on the skin. The severity of the damage fluctuates from mild to moderate, and behavior occurs occasionally and can be ritualized and/or symbolic. It is observed more frequently in women with personality disorders, especially Borderline Personality Disorder, but can also be seen in people with a Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or eating and mood disorders. It is often witnessed in people with a history of childhood sexual abuse.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is it possible for a person who is self-harming him or herself to stop doing it?
Yes, but it is important that the sufferer follow a treatment protocol and find a different way to channel his or her emotions, as well as work to understand the origin of feelings they have difficulty tolerating. With specialized treatment self-injurious behavior tends to cease and the general well-being of the person will improve allowing a person to enjoy life and relationships.
How can I help to make a friend stop cutting him or herself?
The most important thing is that people know that self-injurious behaviors are a way to unload their emotions, and that there are other more adaptive ways of doing so. Being a source of support and not judging the person will help them to feel safe and seek treatment options to stop the behavior.
What disorders cause self-harming behaviors?
There are different conditions that include self-harming behaviors, such as Borderline Personality Disorder, eating disorders, Bipolar Disorder, among others, but the presence of self-harm does not determine the existence of any particular mental illness.
Is there a disorder that causes a person to self-harm for attention?
Although manipulation may be one of the motivations for self-harm, we must not devalue the behavior, as it is a maladaptive way of responding to the environment and emotions. The ideal is to find a professional who can help determine the nature of the self-harming behavior and the best way to move forward.
Are there people who feel relief by hurting their body?
Self-harm is used in different ways by different people; one of them is that doing so causes a sense of relief, as it is a way of unloading emotions and sensations in the body. However, this reason is not the primary motivating factor typically because there is a risk of hurting oneself significantly or irreversibly, which is not the ultimate goal of self-harming behavior.
Do you think that people who self-harm need to go to a psychologist?
Emotional or mental health problems (as well as physical problems) deserve personalized and professional attention, so seeing a psychologist or a mental health professional is usually the best way to address this kind of problem.
OUR TREATMENT MODEL
CADE offers a multidisciplinary treatment according to the characteristics and needs of the patient that is based on the patient´s diagnosis and an individual intervention plan.
A psychological or psychiatric disorder generally has a genetic or biological origin detonated by difficult and early or current traumatic experiences that lead the individual to become ill. Therefore, the clinical intervention in these disorders necessitates the multidisciplinary work of psychiatry, psychology, medicine, nutrition and complementary therapies. The treatment can be outpatient, inpatient or semi-inpatient based.