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Is Self-Harm Addictive?

You may already be familiar with the concept of self-harm, but you may wonder: Is self-harm addictive? And in cases of teen self-harm addiction, what can parents do to help their children? Teen self-harm addiction is a growing concern that has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. More and more young adults are struggling with this addiction and desperately searching for ways to cope with the emotional pain they are feeling. Often, teens turn to self-harm behaviors as a means of coping with their anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. As such, parents, teachers, and caregivers must understand what teen self-harm is, how it develops, and whether it is addictive. Call 877.466.0620 to speak with someone from the caring and compassionate team at Destination for Teens about self-harm, our teen self-harm addiction treatment across California, and how we can help your child and your family.

What Is Teen Self-Harm?

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), self-harm is also called self-directed violence, and it encompasses suicidal and non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), as well as self-harm with unclear intent.

How Can You Recognize Teen Self-Harm Behaviors?

Teen self-harm is any behavior that involves intentionally harming one’s body. Some common forms of teen self-harm include:

  • Cutting the skin
  • Burning oneself
  • Biting, scratching, or hitting oneself

Almost always, self-harm behaviors are used as a coping mechanism, allowing teens to deal with their emotional pain and distress. While some may view these behaviors as attention-seeking or manipulative, it is essential to remember that such behaviors usually reflect significant inner turmoil and should be treated with understanding and compassion. Many teens struggling with self-harm also struggle with substance abuse, eating disorders, suicidal ideation, or other harmful behaviors. It is important to recognize that self-harm is a serious red flag and should be taken seriously. Once underlying mental health conditions are identified, it is important to seek help immediately.

Is Teen Self-Harm Addictive?

Research indicates that many teens struggling with self-harm develop an addiction to the behavior. This addiction may develop due to the sense of relief or release that teens may feel when engaging in these behaviors. Furthermore, since self-harm behaviors release endorphins, teens may crave that physical and emotional response. As such, parents and caregivers must recognize the signs of self-harm addiction and seek professional help for their teens.

How to Help a Loved One Struggling with Teen Self-Harm Addiction

If you know a teen struggling with self-harm addiction, it is essential that you offer non-judgmental love and support. Encourage the teen to seek professional help and provide reassurance that they are not alone. Offering them a safe and supportive environment can help them to feel less alone in their struggles. It is important to discuss concerns openly and honestly with the adolescent. Parents or caregivers should also educate themselves on self-harm and addiction to provide valuable support. It would be beneficial to consider self-harm addiction treatment for teens in this situation. Self-harm addiction treatment for teens typically involves a comprehensive approach combining psychotherapy, behavior management, and a milieu of therapeutic interventions. The treatment will vary depending on the severity of the addiction and the underlying mental health conditions. Holistic treatment approaches often include methods such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which have been shown to be effective in treating self-harm addiction.

Find Teen Self-Harm Addiction Treatment in California with Destinations for Teens

Teen self-harm addiction can be incredibly challenging for adolescents and those around them. However, there is hope, and addiction treatment can lead to recovery, healing, and a bright future. Parents, caregivers, and friends should continue to be compassionate, supportive, and knowledgeable about self-harm behaviors. With the right approach, teens struggling with self-harm addiction can learn adaptive coping mechanisms, build resilience, and ultimately lead a healthy and fulfilling life. Contact Destinations for Teens today at 877.466.0620 to learn more about self-harm addiction treatment for teens in California.