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What Is Self-Harm Abuse in Adults?

Did you know that self-harm can happen at any age? In fact, self-harm abuse in adults becomes a problem for many people. To begin with, the act of self-harming can be scary to a person. As well, it can upset their loved ones. If you self-harm, do not give up hope. We offer a treatment program that helps cure this. We address any mental health concerns you have. Along with that, you receive non-judgmental support from experts. Then, you can become healthy in body and mind. 

What Is Self-Harm Abuse?

Self-harm is the act of a person harming themselves on purpose. Common methods include cutting and scratching. Self-harm was initially thought to be a rebellious act by teenagers. However, people of all ages can engage in the act. It is not meant as a suicide attempt. Initially, this can be hard for loved ones to understand. They may also mistake it for being attention-seeking. Self-harm abuse in adults or any age is not considered a mental illness. However, it is a sign of mental distress.

Forms of Self-Harm Abuse in Adults 

Self-harm abuse in adults can be done in many forms. Methods of self-harm include:

  • Cutting using a sharp object
  • Burning with matches, lighters, or heated objects
  • Scratching
  • Biting
  • Piercing of the skin with sharp objects
  • Inserting objects under the skin
  • Carving into the skin
  • Hitting one’s self
  • Banging one’s head against a surface

Some people favor one method and repeat it. In contrast, some use several methods. Some harm themselves where damage can be seen. Still, others try to hide things like cuts and bruises from view.

Dangers of Self-Harm Abuse in Adults

Self-harm can be dangerous. In fact, even one attempt can do damage. As well, damage can accumulate over time. Physical dangers include infected wounds. It can also produce permanent scars. Accidental severe injuries can occur. Along with that, it’s possible to cause fatal injury. This proves particularly true if the person does not seek needed medical help. Blood-born diseases can happen if people share cutting tools.

What is more, emotional damage can be done or made worse. People who self-harm often feel shame and guilt. In addition, if they already deal with certain mental challenges, self-harming can make them worse. This includes low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety.

Why Do People Self-Harm? 

A person who self harms is trying to express themselves. While the method may shock many, it is not without reason. Self-harming helps people express painful emotions. In addition, it allows them to feel less pain. They may be trying to stop feeling stressed. For some, it reduces feelings of depression. Many who self-harm report feeling numb. Self-injury provides a sense of something, even if it’s initially painful. They may prefer that to numbness. 

People self-harm because they don’t know what else to do. They do not have any healthy coping skills in place. Still, the act only provides temporary relief. The calmness soon disappears. Then, the person feels shame or guilt. Finally, the pain they wanted to relieve returns. For others, self-harm brings a feeling of control they lack otherwise. They may also be trying to punish themselves. 

Symptoms of Self-Harm Abuse in Adults

Symptoms of self-harm abuse in adults vary. It may be difficult for loved ones to recognize. The person doing it may pretend they had an accident. It’s important to look beyond what may feel like an excuse. Symptoms of self-harm abuse include:

  • Scars
  • Bruises
  • Scratch marks
  • Bite wounds
  • Burns
  • Cuts
  • Frequent “accidents”
  • Skin piercings
  • A collection of sharp objects

Some people wear clothing to hide evidence of self-harming. This includes long sleeves, pants, or jackets in hot weather.

The Link Between Self-Harm Abuse and Suicide

Self-harm abuse in adults can look like a suicide attempt. More often than not, it is not. However, engaging in the act can push a person closer to suicide. In fact, people who self-harm risk accidentally going too far. They may go past the point they intended to reach. As well, they may not realize they need medical attention. Conversely, if they are alone, they may not be able to reach out for help.

Those who self-injure are often already at risk for suicide. This is because self-injury is a sign of emotional problems. The person does not know how to use healthy coping skills. Because of this, their painful emotions trigger self-harm. They become trapped in this cycle. Moreover, the longer they remain in it, the more likely they are to consider suicide. 

Self-Harm Prevention Techniques 

Loved ones want to protect the people they care about. While they cannot prevent self-harm, they can offer support. Often, just knowing someone cares can lead the person to seek help. If self-harm abuse in adults affects a loved one, they can take action.

First, the person can offer a compassionate ear. Second, they can offer to help them find treatment. Third, they can offer to tell another loved one what’s going on. The more people in that person’s corner, the better. Help can come from family, friends, teachers, coaches, and medical staff. 

People who self-harm often isolate. A loved one can offer to spend time with them. Furthermore, they can take them out for a fun event. They can let the person know that things like therapy can change their lives. They are not alone. Additionally, they can always turn things around. 

Get Mental Health Treatment Today Near San Fernando Valley

Harming yourself on purpose isn’t something just teenagers do. In fact, self-harm abuse in adults has become more common. Riviera Recovery near San Fernando Valley understands this. Because of this, we offer compassionate, caring treatment. We can help you move past this dangerous habit. As well, we treat alcohol and drug addiction. Visit our admissions page now and find out how we can help.