Self-harming, from a teen’s perspective, is a solution, not a problem. Sometimes a teen will say they engage in SIB, self-injurious behavior (cutting, burning, head banging, etc), to numb out feelings that are overwhelming. It is actually a distress tolerance skill, just not a healthy one. It can lead to more serious behaviors and for some, after a while, can be a precursor to suicidal ideation/ rehearsal. It is important to understand that why this can be very serious, and all SIB needs to be evaluated and treated (taught better coping skills), it is not a reason to panic. Other teens say they are already so shut down, so numb that the only way that they can feel is to cause themselves physical pain. In either case, these teens are unhappy and don’t know what alternatives they have.
At Mindful Healing, we address the underlying behavior/problem, provide a safe place for them to share their pain and give them hope and tools to manage their distressful emotions.
Click here to register for our Webinar video on “Managing Depression Without Self-Harm Even if Therapy Hasn’t Worked Before.”