Self-harm is a difficult topic to discuss, but it’s important. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that self-harm has become increasingly common among teens in America.
It’s important to understand this behavior and its causes so that we can help teens who are struggling. This blog post will discuss self-harm, its potential causes, and some ways parents and other adults can help teens deal with these issues.
The Most Common Form Of Self-Harm
The most common form of self-harm is cutting or carving into one’s skin with a sharp object such as a razor blade or knife. This behavior is particularly popular among teenagers and young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, or other mental health issues.
Other forms of self-harm include burning oneself with hot objects such as lighters or curling irons; hitting oneself; punching walls; pulling out hair; scratching one’s skin until it bleeds; and ingesting toxic substances such as drugs or alcohol to harm oneself.
Getting Help For Self Harm
If you are engaging in any form of self-harming behavior, it is important that you seek help from a mental health professional immediately. A qualified therapist can help you learn healthier coping mechanisms and support your recovery journey. Additionally, there are also several hotlines available that offer crisis supports 24 hours a day if you need someone to talk to right away.
Furthermore, there are numerous online resources such as forums and peer support groups where individuals who have gone through similar experiences can connect and provide each other with much-needed advice and understanding.
What Is Self-Harm?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) defines self-harm as any intentional injury inflicted on oneself. This includes cutting or burning oneself and other forms of physical injuries, such as hitting or punching oneself. It doesn’t include suicide attempts or eating disorders, although those may be the underlying causes of self-harm.
Potential Causes of Self-Harm
Many potential causes of self-harm in teens include depression, anxiety, loneliness, trauma or abuse, bullying or peer pressure, feelings of alienation from family or friends, substance abuse problems, and difficulty managing emotions. It’s important to understand that there is no single cause for this behavior; it can be caused by a combination of factors that vary from person to person.
Ways to Help Teens Who Are Struggling With Self-Harm
If you know a teen who is struggling with self-harm, it is important to take action quickly. The first step is to talk openly about the issue and provide an open forum for discussion without judgment or criticism. This will allow the teen to feel comfortable talking about their feelings without fear of being judged or criticized by adults.
Additionally, it’s important to seek professional help, such as consulting a mental health professional, since they can provide guidance on how best to support the teen through their struggles. Finally, providing healthy outlets for stress relief, such as exercise and art classes, can also be beneficial in helping teens cope with their emotions in a healthier way than engaging in self-harming behaviors.
Self-harm is an increasingly common issue among teens today. While it is often difficult to discuss openly due to its sensitive nature, having open conversations about these issues is key in helping teens find healthy coping mechanisms instead of resorting to destructive behaviors like self-harm.
By understanding potential causes of self-harm and providing support through healthy outlets such as professional help and stress relief activities like exercise and art classes, adults can help teens struggling with these issues find healthier ways forward towards healing from their pain instead of further down a path of destruction.
Troy is a freelance writer, author, and blogger who lives, works, and plays in Boise, Idaho with the love of his life and three very talented dogs.
Passionate about writing dark psychological thrillers, he is an avid cyclist, skier, hiker, all-around outdoorsman, and a terrible beginning golfer.