Teens may harm themselves for many reasons, among which are: self-punishment, addiction to the endorphins released following an injury, inability to cope, desire to fit in with friends who engage in self harm, depression, and a feeling of emotional distance from parents. As with treatment for other destructive behaviors, teen self harm treatment begins with recognizing the problem. Whether your child inflicts injuries on himself or herself for one of these listed reasons or for a different reason, you can help. After you learn to recognize the signs of self harm, you can help your child obtain proper treatment.
Look out for Signs
Cutting and burning are the most common forms of self injury, but teens may also pull out hairs, pick at their skin, or even intentionally break bones. The largest sign that your child may need teen self harm treatment is a frequency of injuries; this may be true even if your teen always has explains for the injuries. However, many wounds can be hidden under clothing, making them much harder to detect. If you find sharp objects such as blades or box cutters hidden in your teen’s bedroom, there is a chance that he or she is using them for self harm; this is especially true if any have dried blood on them. Another sign is if your child frequently locks himself or herself in the bathroom or bedroom for unexplained periods of time. Finally, if you have any reason to suspect your teen’s friends of self injury, then your teen may be more likely to hurt himself or herself.
Self Harm Treatment
If your teen exhibits signs of self injury, therapy is likely the best answer. Teen self harm treatment is possible and can be highly effective; but if the problem is ignored, it may worsen. A good therapist can work with your teen to determine the root of the problem. Teens can learn coping skills and other important tools to manage their self-destructive behavior. The therapist may also recommend family therapy or communication changes that can bring you closer to your teen. In this process you may learn how to reach out to your child better and to show your love. With the proper help, you and your teen can get through this challenging issue together.
About the author: Robert Hunt is a recovering addict of 20 years. He has devoted his life to helping others suffering from chemical addictions as well as mental health challenges. Robert maintains many blogs on drug addiction, eating disorders and depression. He is a sober coach and wellness advocate and a prominent figure in the recovery community.
Follow me on Twitter @RecoveryRobert