Urban Counsellor

Self-Harm and Suicidal Behavior Counseling

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Self-Harm and Suicidal Behavior Counseling

Self-harm is the deliberate act of causing physical harm to oneself as a way to cope with emotional pain, stress, or overwhelming emotions.

This behavior may manifest in various forms, including cutting, burning, scratching, hitting, or other harmful actions. Self-harm is often a visible expression of inner turmoil and emotional distress.

Know More About Self-Harm and Suicidal Behavior

Facts about Self-Harm & Suicidal Behavior

🔹Gender Disparities: Females are three times more likely to attempt suicide than males, but males are three times more likely to die by suicide when attempting it.
🔹Long-Term Consequences: Self-harm can have a wide range of consequences, from mild allergic reactions to severe injuries and accidental deaths. It often leaves scars, both physical and emotional.
🔹Mental Health Connection: Self-harm is frequently linked to underlying mental health conditions. Common co-occurring disorders include anxiety, depression, OCD, bipolar disorder, and a history of childhood trauma.

Symptoms of Self-Harm & Suicidal Behavior

🔹Impulsivity: Engaging in self-harming actions without careful consideration or planning.
🔹Helplessness & Hopelessness: Feeling overwhelmed by a sense of helplessness and hopelessness about one's life or circumstances.
🔹Worthlessness: Experiencing profound feelings of worthlessness and self-doubt.
🔹Poor Self-Esteem: Struggling with low self-esteem and self-worth.
🔹Visible Signs: Physical signs may include attempts to cut one's hand, visible scars, or the presence of sharp objects used for self-harm.

Causes of Self-Harm & Suicidal Behavior

🔹Emotional Regulation: Difficulty regulating, expressing, or understanding emotions can lead individuals to engage in self-harming behaviors as a way to cope with overwhelming feelings.
🔹Biological Factors: Genetic factors play a role, as individuals with a family history of mental illness are at a higher risk of developing these conditions. Neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain can also contribute.
🔹Trauma: People who have experienced trauma, whether physical, emotional, or psychological, are at an elevated risk of engaging in self-harm and suicidal behaviors as a way to cope with their pain.

Therapy for Self-Harm & Suicidal Behavior

🔹Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT aims to help individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and emotions that contribute to self-harming behaviors. It provides practical strategies for managing distressing thoughts and feelings.
🔹Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT incorporates cognitive techniques that teach individuals to regulate their emotions, manage distress, and improve interpersonal relationships. It focuses on balancing acceptance and change.
🔹Medication: In some cases, a therapist or psychiatrist may prescribe medication to address underlying mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, which can contribute to self-harming behaviors.
🔹Individualized Treatment: A certified therapist or mental health professional can provide personalized treatment plans that include therapy, coping skills development, and emotional support to help individuals develop healthier ways of coping with emotional pain.