Self-Harm/Nonsuicidal Self-Injury (NSSI)
Self-harm/NSSI include any deliberate act of self-injury. The underlying cause of self-harm is typically some kind of inner turmoil or emotional pain. The physical pain becomes a way to cope by releasing tension and bringing a sense of calm. Though an individual partaking in self-harm does not usually mean to kill him or herself, such actions can escalate to attempted suicide.
Examples of self-harming behavior include:
- Cutting or burning oneself.
- Pulling out hair.
- Punching oneself or objects, such as a wall.
- Breaking bones or bruising skin.
Physical signs that someone you love may be self-harming:
- Scars on the body, fresh or old.
- Excessive scratching or picking.
- Finding sharp objects where they shouldn’t be.
- Keeping objects that are capable of inflicting pain on hand.
Emotional signs that someone you love may be self-harming:
- Difficulty with interpersonal relationships.
- Turning inward and isolating.
- Depression or lack of motivation.
- Self-loathing and a desire for punishment.
- Low self-esteem.
- Impulsivity and unpredictable or unstable behavior.
Depending on the frequency and severity, self-harming behavior can be dangerous and require urgent attention. As an issue that requires much sensitivity, my primary concern is to provide a space where you can comfortably and safely explore what is causing you distress and leads you to engage in self-injury. Together, we identify and develop alternate healthy coping strategies to work towards ceasing the need to self-injure.