When a person is struggling with self-harm, it can feel like an immense challenge to get to a place of healing. But healing is possible. At Maple Heights Behavioral Health in Fort Wayne, Indiana, our team is dedicated to helping adults age 18 and older develop the coping skills they need to overcome the challenges they’re facing and become well again.
What Is Self-Harm?
Self-harm occurs when people intentionally inflict pain or injury on themselves. When many people think of self-harm, they tend to think of cutting. While this is a common form of self-injury, there are sadly other ways in which people physically hurt themselves, such as by burning, biting, scratching, pulling out hair, picking, and breaking bones.
Self-harm itself is not a clinical mental health disorder. However, when someone is purposely hurting themselves, they may be experiencing deep emotional pain that they’re not sure how to manage. They may begin to inflict physical pain as a way of easing the emotional distress. Physical injuries are something they can see, and the physical pain is something they can control, whereas the internal emotional pain is not visible or as controllable.
If someone is engaging in self-harming behaviors, it could also be a sign that they are suffering from a clinical mental health disorder. For example, the emotional pain that can come from anxiety, depression, and experiencing trauma may lead someone to physically hurt themselves as a way of coping.
It is important to note that if someone is self-harming, it does not mean that they want to end their life. However, even though they may not want to die, some of the behaviors they engage in could put their life at risk, which is why it’s so important that they get the help they need.
Common Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm
Typically, when someone is self-harming, they want to keep it a secret. So it can be difficult to determine if someone is struggling. However, there are some signs and symptoms that could indicate that someone needs help. Depending on the type of self-harming behavior a person is struggling with, the signs and symptoms will vary.
Physical signs that a person may be engaging in self-harm can include:
- Wearing pants or long-sleeved shirts even if the weather is warm in an attempt to hide marks or scars
- Frequently having noticeable injuries that are explained as being the result of accidents
- Spending a lot of time alone
- Withdrawing from family and friends
- Dropping out of activities or walking away from hobbies they used to enjoy
- Often having objects with them that are capable of causing physical pain
- Having unexplained broken or fractured bones
Outside of the physical signs, there can be emotional symptoms a person experiences that could possibly mean that they are engaging in self-harming behaviors. These symptoms may include:
- Moments of panic
- Frequently feeling stressed
- Feelings of shame and guilt
If someone is showing any signs that they may be hurting themselves, it is important that they have someone to talk to. When a person is self-harming, they might feel ashamed or guilty about what they’re doing, or they might simply not want anyone to intervene. But because of the inner turmoil they are likely experiencing that has led them to hurt themselves, it is important that they have the ability to get help.
How Can Inpatient Self-Harm Treatment Help?
Getting self-harm treatment from a team of experienced professionals can make an extremely positive difference in a person’s life.
At our self-harm treatment center in Fort Wayne, Indiana, our team is dedicated to helping people overcome the struggles they are facing. By receiving treatment in our inpatient program, patients are able to enter a safe environment where they are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, giving them the support they need when they feel the urge to self-harm. By entering inpatient self-harm treatment, people also have a chance to step away from the stressors of their daily lives and instead focus solely on themselves and their healing journey.
What to Expect from Inpatient Self-Harm Treatment
At Maple Heights Behavioral Health, we strive to provide individualized care that truly meets each person’s unique treatment needs.
When you enter inpatient care at our self-harm treatment center, you are given an individualized treatment plan that outlines what you can expect while participating in programming.
As part of your individualized treatment plan, you may receive the following services:
- Medication management
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Family therapy
Medication management services are available for patients who need to have medication incorporated into their plan of care. The need for medication is determined on a case-by-case basis based on a person’s symptoms. Registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and nurse practitioners provide medication management services on a daily basis.
Individual therapy sessions involve one-on-one meetings with a social worker or licensed professional counselor. These sessions give patients an opportunity to talk through their personal struggles in a confidential setting with a compassionate professional who can offer support, encouragement, and guidance. The amount of individual therapy sessions a patient has while in self-harm treatment will vary depending on their needs.
Group therapy sessions occur daily in our inpatient treatment program, and they may be led by therapists, nurses, and behavioral health technicians. During these sessions, patients meet with other individuals who may be experiencing similar challenges, offering a space for them to share support with one another. This can also be a time for patients to practice the various skills they are learning while also processing their experiences together. The types of topics discussed during group sessions will vary but may include:
- Coping skills
- Life skills
- Education on psychiatric disorders
- Medication education
Family therapy is offered when it will be helpful for the patient. These sessions are led by social workers and licensed professional counselors and provide a time for families to come together and talk through the ways in which a person’s self-harming behaviors are impacting them. It can also give family members an opportunity to learn more about what may have led their loved one to begin participating in these behaviors.
Additionally, detoxification services are available if a patient is struggling with an addiction in addition to self-harm.
Admissions Process for Inpatient Self-Harm Treatment
At Maple Heights Behavioral Health, our team believes in the importance of making the admissions process as simple and streamlined as possible. Once you have made the decision to get treatment, you should be able to place your focus on becoming well again and not have to feel intimidated by the process of beginning treatment.
Our intake coordinators are available 24/7 to connect if you believe that you or a loved one might need inpatient self-harm treatment. Prospective patients can call our facility or come to us in person. We do not require appointments, but if someone prefers to schedule one ahead of time, we are happy to do so.
When you arrive at our facility, you will meet with one of our qualified team members who will walk you through a detailed assessment. The purpose of this assessment is to let our team gain a full understanding of the symptoms you are experiencing so that they can best determine whether our program will be able to meet your needs. In addition to learning about the symptoms you’re experiencing and the concerns you may have, they will ask you questions about your medical history, your social interactions, your home life, any behaviors that are causing you concern, any past traumas, your work and education history, and any previous treatment experiences you may have had. These assessments are highly confidential, and the information we receive from them is used solely to help us know if we can provide the specific treatment you need.
Once the results of the assessment have been reviewed, our team will work with you to put together a plan for your care. If we believe that another treatment center may be a better choice for meeting your specific needs, we will provide you with appropriate referrals.
If you would like more information about self-harm treatment, or if you would like to learn more about the services we offer at our inpatient self-harm treatment center, we encourage you to call us today. Our team of caring and compassionate professionals is ready to help you as you take the first step toward a brighter future.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Maple Heights Behavioral Health.