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Connection Between Self-Harm and Mental Illness

Connection Between Self Harm and Mental Illness

Self-harm is when a person deliberately injures themselves by cutting or burning their skin.

People who practice self-harm don’t always cut or burn themselves deeply enough to cause serious injury. The longer the behavior continues, however, the more likely they are to cause themselves irreversible harm. While these actions are often associated with suicidal thoughts or behavior, more often than not, it’s a coping mechanism for those who are struggling with symptoms of mental illness. 

As a drug and alcohol treatment center in Pompano Beach, we understand the connection between self-harm and mental illness. Because people often abuse drugs or alcohol in an attempt to manage symptoms of a mental disorder, we’ve had experience with self-injury as a way to cope. 

How Are Mental Illness and Self-Injurious Behavior Related?

Self-harm or self-injury is also known as a self-harming disorder. While this disorder can be a solitary condition, it’s often tied to poor mental health. The connection between self-injury and mental illness has a lot to do with managing symptoms. Mental disorders usually affect moods, emotions, and behaviors, making it difficult for the individual to think clearly and lead a healthy life. When these individuals don’t receive treatment in a mental health program, they may try other ways of managing the effects of their disorders. 

People suffering from depression or anxiety may attempt to find a tangible way to control the pain they’re feeling internally; they may feel unable to control emotional struggles and may consider self-injury as a way to physically take hold of their problems. Regardless of the reason behind it, individuals struggling to stop self-injurious behavior should seek mental health treatment. 

At Banyan Treatment Centers, we’re also aware that many people turn to substance abuse in an attempt to cope with their mental health problems. When mental illness and addiction are both present, they should be treated as co-occurring disorders, also known as a dual diagnosis. At our rehab facility in Florida, we offer a variety of addiction treatments that cover a multitude of substance abuse disorders. These programs can help addicts recover from their addiction and learn how to properly cope with their mental disorder. 

Mental Disorders Linked to Self-Harm

Several mental illnesses are associated with self-harm. Most of these mental disorders cause symptoms like extreme sadness, feelings of emptiness, agitation, paranoia, fear, lack of concentration, and more. Without professional help, these symptoms can worsen, pushing the person to act out in ways they normally wouldn’t.  Mental illnesses associated with self-harm include: 

  • Major depressive disorder
  • Anxiety disorder
  • Paranoid schizophrenia 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Bipolar disorder 
  • Eating disorders
While self-harm may offer temporary relief for individuals struggling with their mental health, it’s a condition that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Without professional assistance, those who rely on self-injury for symptomatic relief increase their chances of suicidal thoughts and behavior. 

The connection between self-harm and mental illness can be dangerous. This kind of harmful behavior is how people struggling with their mental health may cope. Don’t let this happen to yourself or someone you love. If you’re battling an addiction or mental illness, call us now at 888-280-4763 for more information about our facility and special programs

Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Connection Between Self-Harm and Mental Illness
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