For many people who are unable to express their emotions and thoughts clearly, self-harm seems like a way to express pain. The symptoms of self-harm, much like the acts themselves, can vary greatly between individuals, but many patients require help to recover completely.
Signs of Self-Harm
Some people are simply better equipped to cope with stress, relationship breakups, and expressing emotions. On the other hand, others truly struggle with these areas. Those who struggle with this are candidates for self-harm. The signs and symptoms of self-mutilation are not always clear as those who struggle with this mental illness become very skilled at hiding their scars and fresh wounds. Pay attention to the following behaviors to determine the likelihood of self-harm:
- Wearing long sleeves and long pants, even during the hottest parts of the year, to cover cuts or bruises.
- Frequent excuses about being clumsy or having cut themselves while cooking.
- Fresh cuts, burns, or other evidence of self-mutilation.
- Old scars and wounds in varying stages of the healing process.
- Depression, anxiety, and withdrawal from social situations.
- Many who self-harm find a sense of temporary relief when they cut or burn themselves, so you may notice a sudden mood improvement without an apparent cause.
It is important to note that eating disorders and even addictive drugs and behaviors can be considered forms of self-harm.
Help for Self-Harm
It is important to get your loved one treatment for self-harm. Treatment can end this emotionally and physically destructive habit. Self-harm can be highly dangerous, so treatment help is needed immediately.
Without treatment for self-injury, one’s behavior may intensify to the point where he does cause severe and potentially irreversible harm. Getting treatment for self-mutilation is just one of the steps toward becoming stronger and better able to cope with life changes, like a major relationship break-up.