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Self-harm treatment is a crucial aspect of mental health care that addresses the underlying issues and triggers causing individuals to engage in self-injurious behaviors. It encompasses therapy, medication, support groups, and other interventions to help individuals cope with their emotions in healthier ways. Through tailored treatment plans designed to address each person’s needs, self-harm treatment promotes healing and provides effective tools for long-term recovery.

What Is Self-Harm?

Self-harm, also known as self-injury or self-mutilation, refers to the intentional infliction of harm on oneself. This can include cutting, burning, hitting, biting, scratching, pulling out hair, and more. Self-harm is often used as a coping mechanism but is not a healthy or sustainable way of managing difficult emotions and one’s mental health. 

In one study conducted on adolescents and college-aged individuals, researchers found the following rates of self-harm behaviors:

  • 7.7 percent in 6th through 8th graders
  • 13.9 percent to 21.4 percent of high schoolers
  • 38 percent to 40 percent of college-age students

In another study that examined who self-injuries, it determined lifetime rates of adolescents that engaged in self-harm were between 15 and 20 percent. The average age of when self-harm behaviors began was around 13 or 14. In addition, about 6 percent of adults reported self-injury and harming behaviors that started later in life, not as an adolescent.

Why Do People Self-Harm?

People engage in self-harm for various reasons, including:

  • Coping with emotional pain: Self-harm can provide temporary relief from overwhelming emotions such as anger, sadness, anxiety, or guilt.
  • Communicating distress: Some individuals use self-harm as a way to express their internal struggles when they feel unable to articulate them verbally.
  • Seeking control: Self-injury can make individuals feel like they have control over something in their lives when other aspects can often feel chaotic and out of their control.
  • Managing numbness: Some people may self-harm to feel something physical when they are emotionally numb and disconnected.
  • Punishing oneself: Feelings of guilt, low self-esteem, or low self-worth can lead individuals to believe they deserve to be punished through self-inflicted harm.

As a sense of release: For some, the physical pain caused by self-mutilation serves as a distraction from emotional pain and provides a momentary sense of relief.


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What Is Self-Harm Treatment in Georgia Like?

In Georgia, self-harm treatment involves a comprehensive approach and different treatment programs that include:

  • Initial assessment: The first step in self-harm treatment is conducting an initial assessment to evaluate the individual’s mental health history, current struggles, triggers for self-harming behaviors, and overall well-being. This assessment helps clinicians develop a better understanding of the individual’s needs.
  • Personalized care plan: A personalized care plan is created based on the initial assessment findings. The care plan outlines specific goals, interventions, therapies, and strategies to treat self-harming behaviors.
  • PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program): PHP is a structured outpatient program that provides intensive therapeutic support during the day while allowing individuals to return home in the evenings. It offers a higher level of care than outpatient therapy but does not require full-time residential status.
  • IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program): IOP offers more flexibility than PHP while still offering comprehensive treatment and support. This level of care is beneficial for individuals who may not require the intensity of a PHP but still need structured therapy sessions to address self-harm behaviors.
  • Evening IOP: Evening IOPs are designed to accommodate individuals with daytime commitments such as work, school, or family responsibilities. These programs offer the same level of care as IOPs. 
  • Virtual IOP: Virtual IOP allows individuals to access therapy sessions remotely through telehealth platforms, providing convenience and accessibility without compromising the quality of care.

Signs and Symptoms of Self-Harm Behaviors

Signs and symptoms of self-harm behaviors often vary from person to person but often include:

  • Unexplained scrapes, bruises, cuts, scars, or burns on the body.
  • Hiding injuries by wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts, even when it is hot outside.
  • Finding knives, razor blades, or other shop objects hidden in unusual places.
  • Engaging in secretive or isolated behaviors.
  • Expressing feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, or distress.
  • Increased irritability or mood swings.
  • Difficulty managing stress or coping with emotions.
  • Changes in eating habits such as overeating or undereating.
  • Avoiding social activities and hobbies that were previously enjoyed.

Effects of Self-Harm

Self-harm can have a range of physical, emotional, and social effects on individuals. Physical effects can include scarring, infections, and nerve damage. In situations where individuals abuse substances to engage in self-injury, there is a risk of overdose. 

The emotional effects of self-harm often involve increased feelings of guilt and shame while experiencing emotional numbness and dissociation from one’s self. Some people also experience short-term emotional relief. Socially, it can be difficult for individuals to develop and form healthy relationships with others. Instead, people will often isolate themselves to keep their self-harm behaviors a secret.

How Is Self-Harm Treated?

Self-harm is treated using various therapeutic approaches and medication management, including: 

  • Psychiatry and medication management: A psychiatrist assesses the individual’s mental health and may prescribe medications to manage underlying conditions such as depression or anxiety that may contribute to self-harm behavior.
  • Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy helps address underlying issues, develop coping strategies, and learn healthier ways of managing emotions.
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT is a type of therapy specifically designed to help individuals regulate emotions, cope with stress, improve relationships, and reduce destructive self-harming behaviors.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT helps individuals identify negative thought patterns contributing to self-harm behaviors and replace these thoughts with more positive ones.
  • Group therapy: Group therapy provides individuals access to peer support, learning from others’ experiences, building social skills, and reducing isolation.
  • Family therapy: Including family therapy sessions can help improve communication, address issues related to the individual’s self-harm behavior, and help family members learn how to support their loved one.
  • Holistic therapies: Holistic therapies such as art therapy, mindfulness, yoga, and meditation help individuals develop skills to help them alleviate stress, focus their minds, and promote improved mental health and well-being.

Benefits of Self-Harm Treatment

Self-harm treatment offers numerous benefits to individuals struggling with self-injurious behaviors, including:

  • Improved emotional well-being
  • Enhanced self-awareness
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Coping skills development
  • Reduction in self-harming behaviors
  • Increased social support
  • Developing, building, and strengthening healthy relationships
  • Improved quality of life

Begin Self-Harm Treatment in Georgia Today

You are not alone when you are ready to take the first step to a brighter future with self-harm treatment in Georgia at NoVu Wellness. Our caring and compassionate team provides personalized care and support tailored to your specific needs, goals, and objectives. Contact us now to start your path to improved mental health and well-being.

Treatment Philosophy

At Novu Wellness, we believe that each individual suffering deserves mental health recovery. Our specialists work with each client using a trauma-informed approach to help you manage and recover from the symptoms of mental health disorders.

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Our mental health specialists have years of experience in treating the debilitating symptoms of mental health disorders and can help you live a life full of possibility.