What Is Self Harm?
Self-harm is when an individual cause deliberate injury to himself as a way to cope with stress or an attempt to express painful emotions. It is most often accomplished by cutting or burning the skin, but many teens get more creative about how they choose to cause injury. Self-harming behavior is often mistaken as a precursor or indication of suicidal feelings; however, participants do it as a form of personal therapy. They are seeking the rush of endorphins that flood the body after an injury, which leads to a temporary feeling of elation or numbness when faced with a difficult situation or uncomfortable emotions.
What Are The Reasons Teens Self-Harm?
Adolescent self-harm, like substance abuse, is not prone to any particular race or socioeconomic group, although girls are more statistically more likely to participate than boys. The reasons why teens self-harm are complex and varied and unique to the individual. Essentially, it is an outward expression of inner turmoil; however, there are certain triggers that may be a factor:
- Academic pressure or standards that don’t match teen’s current ability.
- Inability to connect with peers, being bullied or feeling “invisible.”
- Desire to fit in with a peer group that encourages dangerous or “edgy” behavior.
- Association with peers who are engaging in self-harm themselves.
- Negative body image.
- Severe depression or generalized anxiety.
- Major life event that results in loss of control, such as death, divorce or a major move.
What Will A Therapeutic Boarding School Do For My Self-Harming Teen?
Teens that do not respond to outpatient efforts to help them get their disorder under control may need a more intensive and structured environment in which to heal. In such cases, therapeutic boarding schools are a valuable resource for parents and can be a life-changing experience for their teen. Time spent in a full time facility has many advantages in addition to reducing the usual daily triggers, including:
- Individual, group and family therapy helps teens identify the root of their pain and bring it out into the open where it can be safely addressed.
- Cognitive behavior therapy helps teens learn healthier coping methods for dealing with emotional pain and stress.
- Interactive and recreational activities that help each teen develop and recognize his strengths, while working on his weaknesses.
- Guidance for parents or caregivers on how you can most effectively support your teen as he heals.
If your teen is engaging in self-harming behavior and has failed to respond to your efforts to help him, we would like to talk to you about your options for getting him back on track. Contact us today for a free consultation at Liahona Academy (1-800-675-8101.)