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Self-injury is the intentional act of harming your own body, such as cutting or burning. The more familiar term, “cutters”, refers to individuals who cut or hurt themselves in various ways. This type of behavior is actually known as deliberate self-harm syndrome and the injuries may range from minor cuts that can heal quickly to deep wounds that can leave permanent scars and the possibility of inflicting serious and even fatal injuries.

Self Harm is not meant as a suicide attempt but rather an unhealthy way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration. While self-injury may seem as if it’s bringing a momentary sense of calm and releasing tension, it’s usually followed by guilt, shame and the return of painful emotions. If you are feeling the need to inflict ANY type of physical harm on yourself, it is extremely important that you seek treatment.

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Self Harm / Self Mutilation (also known as “cutting”) occurs primarily in teenage children or even adults between 13 and 30. While cutting is the most commonly identified, self mutilation may develop in many forms including burning or picking their skin, pulling their hair, hitting their heads and even breaking their own bones. ANY type of physical harm that is self induced is a sign of a condition known as deliberate self harm and immediate professional counseling is critical.

Individuals inflict wounds to themselves as a way of releasing stress or trauma. In fact, many may feel like they have no choice and feel that self harm is the only they know how to cope with feelings like sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage. It may seem to them like relief but it’s only temporary and it doesn’t fix the underlying injury. And it also creates its own problems. Because self-injury is often done on impulse, it may be considered an impulse-control behavior problem. Self-injury may accompany a variety of mental illnesses, such as depression, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder. Through therapy, education and support, Rebecca Ginder helps empower individuals to identify healthier ways to cope with emotional stress and trauma.

Most people who self-injure will try to keep what they are doing a secret. They often feel ashamed and feel they have nowhere to turn for help. It is a heavy burden and ultimately, the secrecy and guilt affects relationships with friends and family members as well as personal self esteem. Rebecca Ginder is specially trained to help individuals dealing caught in the grips of deliberate self harm. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, call today for help and to understand more.

Rebecca Ginder - Delray Beach Addiction Counselor