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Treatments for Self Harming

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 15 Jan 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Self Harm self Harming self Harmer

There is no single means of treatment that is guaranteed to work in all cases of self harming or cases in which an individual inflicts behaviours such as cutting, burning, head banging, hair pulling and even poising on his or her own body. Instead, a combination of treatments geared towards protecting the self harmer’s physical and mental health is often employed to treat self harmers and help them cease their injurous behaviours. If a self harmer is in need of medical treatment, this will usually be organised first to guarantee that there is no threat to the individual’s life. When the individual’s physical health has stabilised, treatment then usually begins to address the individual’s mental and/or emotional health as well. In severe cases, residential treatment may be encouraged so that the individual can receive care and attention around the clock. There are several institutions across the United Kingdom that can provide this type of treatment as needed.

Medical Treatment

It has been estimated that up to 10% of admissions to hospital wards in the United Kingdom are the result of self harming behaviours, although since cases of overdose and other substance abuse/misuse are often included in these counts the statistics do become a little blurred. If, however, a self harmer hurts him or herself to such an extent that medical attention is needed, this medical care will be given before any other type of treatment is explored to address the root causes of self harming. Cleaning and treating wounds and burns, and investigating for bruises, broken bones and/or tissue damage are common means of providing care for cases of self harm. Most self harming behaviours are not done with suicidal intent, however some hospitals may choose to keep individuals who have self harmed under observation just to be safe. When the individual’s physical health has stabilised, counselling and/or therapy is usually then encouraged.

Counselling

Self harming is often related to conditions such as depression, low self esteem, feelings of powerlessness and feelings of being overwhelmed. When the root cause of self harming behaviours is actually emotional, then this basis must be addressed. Traditional counselling, sometimes known as talk therapy, allows those who engage in self harming behaviours to talk through their emotions and their decisions to self harm. The counsellor or therapist involved will likely be a source of support for the self harmer, and a behaviour modification approach may be able to teach self harmers how to make more healthy choices in the future. If clinical depression is diagnosed, medication may be prescribed, but there is no medication that simply stops self harming behaviours.

Residential Treatment

Both public and private residential facilities exist in the United Kingdom to help treat individuals who engage in self harming behaviours. Though all types of self harm are unhealthy, the individual involved will usually need to engage in these behaviours repeatedly for a long period of time, or engage in them to such an extent that there is a risk of long term health effects or even death before residential treatment options are broached. The Cassel Hospital (Surrey), Althea Park Specialist Service (Gloucestershire) and the Crisis Recovery Unit, Bethlem Royal Hospital (Kent) are but a few of the institutions offering residential treatment for self harmers.

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AmyPink6 - Your Question:
I would like some advise pleaseI have turrets syndrome and OCD so I am always stressed and I feel like I keep on messing up everything and my friends think that my life is perfect that my parents are the best parents in the world that my brother is amazing and there is nothing going badly in my life but that is not true my mum is in a different country half he year and she is the only one in my family who understands my turrets, my dad has anxiety and my brother doesn't talk to me. As a result of this my friends will always ask me for help or advise or if they need help with a friendship problem cause if me even more stress as well as that if I get bad grades in a test I will get badly told of. I have self harmed just not very badly forinsetence I have scratched my self a lot pulled out some hair and hit my head a bit but not much. I want to call child line but I don't know where to do it in privet does anyone have an idea on where I should call child line? Please I don't wasn't to get into self harming but I fear I will soon

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this, you can contact Childline via the link hereand it gives you all different ways to get in touch such as one-to-one counselling. Do you have a school's counsellor who you can confide in also? I hope this helps.
TeenIssues - 16-Jan-17 @ 3:18 PM
I would like some advise please I have turrets syndrome and OCD so I am always stressed and I feel like I keep on messing up everything and my friends think that my life is perfect that my parents are the best parents in the world that my brother is amazing and there is nothing going badly in my life but that is not true my mum is in a different country half he year and she is the only one in my family who understands my turrets, my dad has anxiety and my brother doesn't talk to me. As a result of this my friends will always ask me for help or advise or if they need help with a friendship problem cause if me even more stress as well as that if I get bad grades in a test I will get badly told of. I have self harmed just not very badly forinsetence I have scratched my self a lot pulled out some hair and hit my head a bit but not much. I want to call child line but I don't know where to do it in privet does anyone have an idea on where I should call child line? Please I don't wasn't to get into self harming but I fear I will soon
AmyPink6 - 15-Jan-17 @ 10:28 PM
@Kmc133 - I am sorry to hear this. Have you spoken to anyone or consulted with your GP?If you need to speak to someone, please talk to someone via the Childline link here. I hope this helps.
TeenIssues - 31-Mar-15 @ 2:07 PM
I self harm and I tried to stop for the sake of my relationship. It worked. For about 1 month. Today I relapsed and I'm not sure whether to tell my new boyfriend about it even though he has a history of self harm. If you feel upset or depressed, do t star self harming. Trust me, it's addictive.
Kmc133 - 29-Mar-15 @ 4:26 PM
Right I am a self harmer myself it is so addictive I just cant stop I have been through alot recently and it just made to cutting worse I got self consouse obout my self , I couldnt wear short tops or shors,skirts ,or go swimming ,incase anyone saw the wonds or scars or burns , people say its attetion seeking its not,not at all they dont know anything,they know what its like to be loved cared for ,not abandened ,but people dont understand they may say they do but they dont if they have never been through what you have been through,, but dont get me wrong ,not in a heartbeat do I think that self harming good or postive thing ,or anything besides a heartbreaking desprate act ,but there is a reason why I did it and why people still do it today. when I started I was cutting first I felt a warm sence of relief as all the bad things was flowing out of me but then I got addicted and it is a really bad habbit it really is take my word no one was there for me ,i had nobody to go to then peple saw a change in me and I finally told someone a expert and they help me and I am even so scared to go near a knife I still have them nasty scars ,is it realy worth scars talk to a expert dont go down the wrong road talk to someone ,tell some one you need help ,please.good look
mimi - 11-Jun-13 @ 9:41 PM
My best friend is cutting her wrists every day almost and she wants to stop. She asked me for help but I don't know what to do?
Lozza - 11-Nov-12 @ 11:48 AM
Is it possible that a 5 year old who constantly cut pieces of her hair, furniture and clothes could resemble symptoms of becoming a self-harmer?Especially because the pregnancy withthis little girl was basicly ignored and rejected.As a baby she had colic and was handled with little patience and acceptance.
Elizabeth - 12-Sep-12 @ 9:29 AM
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