Teen Self Injury Disorder Description
Teen Self Injury Disorder is an anxiety disorder characterized as an impulse-control disorder, in which teens seek relief or escape from their emotional and mental strife by physically harming themselves. Teens with Self Injury Disorder suffer from anxious feelings of guilt, embarrassment, shame, and low self-worth, in addition to the overwhelming compulsion to hurt themselves. Therefore, these teens often inflict pain upon themselves as punishment for these harsh feelings of themselves as well as a sort of outward expression of their inner, invisible pain. While sometimes carried out as a sort of “cry for help,” it’s also very common for these harmful acts to be carried out in secrecy.
Teen Self Injury Disorder Symptoms
It’s important to note that because teens with Self-Injury Disorder often hide their actions from others, it can sometimes be difficult for loved ones to know that the harmful acts are occurring. Especially when teens are harming themselves in secret (which is often the case), it leads to a dangerous cycle of teens feeling negative feelings such as guilt as shame, which leads to them believing that they will gain relief from this harmful act. Then, after they’ve harmed themselves, while they might experience short-lived relief, they’ll then feel increased guilt and shame, which only intensifies and repeats the cycle. One of the dangers of Teen Self-Injury Disorder going untreated for too long is that over time, the severity of the harmful acts can also increase.
Some of the common symptoms exhibited by teens with Self-Injury Disorder include: strange scars or marks on the body; consistent fresh scratches or bruises; wearing unseasonable clothing to cover-up skin; agitated repetitive behaviors; and/or consistent dismissal of cuts or injuries.
It’s also important to recognize that it’s extremely common for Teen Self-Injury Disorder to be present as a Co-Occurring Disorder. Research shows that adolescents are about five times more likely to harm themselves if they’re already struggling with anxiety and/or depression symptoms. Furthermore, it’s very common for Teen Self-Injury Disorder to co-exist with Teen Eating Disorders, where each aggravates and triggers the other.
Teen Self Injury Disorder Treatment
During Teen Self Injury Disorder Treatment at Paradigm San Francisco, therapists first ensure teens’ physical safety, by making sure teens aren’t able to continue harmful behaviors, during their time with us. During treatment sessions, therapists work with teens to address the anxiety, stress, and pain they’re experiencing, which is triggering the compulsive thoughts to hurt themselves. While sometimes, the beginning of this process can be challenging, especially in cases where teens have been hiding their harmful behaviors and attitudes, what we find is that usually doesn’t take long for teens to also experience relief in knowing they’re no longer facing this struggle on their own or in secret. Additionally, while working to help teens process their deeper underlying emotional struggles, they also help teens to learn new coping techniques and strategies for dealing with stress and triggers, when they arise. This helps teens regain confidence and feel empowered, no longer being at the whim of their urges. Lastly, therapists will also work with teens to help them learn healthier and more supportive ways to view themselves, so that they can move on to live their happiest, healthiest lives.
Paradigm San Francisco
At Paradigm San Francisco, we provide holistic residential teen self injury disorder treatment. Within our teen self injury disorder treatment plans, we incorporate a number of different approaches and strategies, including: family sessions, peer group sessions, academic support classes, multi-family group days, and daily individual therapy sessions. We also offer the widest selection of Expressive Arts therapy programs of any treatment center in the country, including Drama Therapy, Art Therapy, Writing Therapy, and more.