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Non-Suicidal Self Injury Treatment

We Treat Nonsuicidal Self-Injury and Deliberate Self Harm

Deliberate Self Harm (DSH) or Non-Suicidal Self Injury (NSSI) are behaviours like cutting, poisoning, and others, used as a release or outlet for suffering, not as an attempt to take one’s life, although this may tragically be their unintentional result. DSH behaviours may also include hair pulling, biting, burning, head-butting, hitting, carving, scratching, skin picking, and intentional interference with wound healing.

DSH can leave permanent scars and damage to skin and tissue, but for sufferers, the physical pain acts as an outlet for painful emotions and can often have an endorphin-releasing effect. After the release, however, comes the shame, pain, and self-loathing that begin the cycle anew, leading many to diagnose DSH as an addiction. The secrecy involved in DSH can result in it going undetected for years.

Signs and Symptoms of Self Harm

There are a number of signs and symptoms associated with DSH, both physical and emotional. Many people who engage in DSH will have more than one of the following:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Loneliness
  • Guilt
  • Isolation
  • Substance abuse
  • Eating disorders
  • Impulsivity
  • Recklessness

DSH is often seen as a coping mechanism to deal with overwhelming emotions or situations. It may be used to numb emotional pain, relieve boredom, release anger, or punish oneself. DSH is usually done in secret and is often not talked about. The person may feel shame, guilt, or embarrassment about the behaviour.

Treatment of Self Harm

DSH is a sign that something is not right and you deserve to get the help you need to feel better. There are a number of treatments available for DSH, including:

  • Psychotherapy
  • Co-Bi-Neuro-Behavioral Therapy
  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medication

Freeman House Recovery is a leading provider of mental health and addiction services in South Africa. Self-harm is just one of the addictions that we treat. Our team of highly skilled and experienced clinicians will work with you to identify the underlying causes of your addiction and develop a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs. If you or someone you know is struggling with self-harm, we urge you to reach out for help today.

For more information on our programmes, please call us.