A person who harms themselves by any method is likely to be suffering with self-harm disorder, which leads to self-mutilation, a major symptom of the illness. This is not a mental illness that is easy to recognize as people who suffer with self-harm disorder can go to great lengths to conceal their problem. The need to self-inflict injury very often stems from difficulty in processing a traumatic event or experience or extreme feelings of worthlessness associated with depression. People can also self-harm as a control mechanism when they feel they have lost control of their lives.
As with any mental health condition, there is no stereotypical case. Every individual has their own unique experience of mental illness and so there can be a huge variety of reasons why the condition developed. That said, there are certain vulnerable groups of people who are most commonly diagnosed with self-harm disorder including the following:
-People who have experienced physically, emotionally or sexually abusive relationships
-Someone who has a co-existing issue with alcohol or drug addiction, OCD or an eating disorder
-People raised in emotionally deprived families
-People who feel isolated and who lacks the communication skills to integrate socially
When a person with self-harm disorder is actively cutting, burning or injuring themselves in another way, they feel an initial sense of release. In essence the feelings of pain act as a distraction from intensely difficult emotions, thoughts and feelings. Self-harming acts as a ways for sufferers to control their pain, which is different to the pain associated with being sexually, emotionally or physically abused.
In some cases, self-harming can be a way of attracting attention but that does not mean the person is in control of the disorder. Causing intentional and conscious injury to oneself is an extreme way of getting noticed, making it the symptom of a much deeper underlying problem. Self-harm can also be a cry for help that the individual is not consciously looking for. One of the main characteristics of any mental illness is that they interrupt normal brain function, which leads to compulsive behaviors beyond the sufferer’s control.
CASA Recovery offers personalized mental health programs in San Juan Capistrano, CA for all mental illnesses including self-harm disorder. If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, contact us in confidence to find out more about mental health treatment and coping successfully in recovery. Contact CASA Recovery’s outpatient mental health facility and take the first step towards recovery from mental illness today.
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