Self Harm

Self-Harm is an addiction and yet it is not always recognised as such. People that self-harm are normally denying or blocking some issue in their past life and like all addictions they act out as a way of making themselves feel better. By self-harming they are changing the way they feel.

Self-harming does make people feel better; the act releases endorphins, a brain chemical, which can bring on a sense of well-being and relaxation. Self-harm can be a way to get a release from intense emotions that can seem overwhelming and impossible to survive. A self-harmer might typically cut, burn or scratch themselves. The objective of self-harm might be to quell intense rage or anger or even to distract themselves from other physical pain.

Self-harmers are not necessarily trying to gain attention but this is often a way of letting others know that there is emotional pain or distress and a covert way of asking for help.

Self-harming becomes addictive because there is a feel good factor. It appears to work. But of course the need to cause injury to oneself escalates.

At Addiction Care we offer counselling and therapy for people addicted to harming themselves. Recovery begins by committing to stop the behaviour and instead the client is helped to identify the emotions and talk about the issues. Whilst there may not be an immediate solution to the emotive issues there is a release in talking about them.