Do You Feel Guilt Or Shame After Engaging In Self Harm?
Have you been struggling with self injury for a significant amount of time? Perhaps you began hurting yourself when you were much younger, but the habits and rituals have followed you into adulthood. Now, you may wonder if there are healthier outlets to dealing with your pain.
Maybe you’re absolutely capable of going through the motions of your daily life, holding down a job and getting everything done. But, on the inside, you’re struggling to make sense of your emotions and focused on the next time you can engage in self harming behavior.
You may be cutting, putting objects in your skin, pulling out your hair or burning yourself. Or, perhaps you’re breaking bones, swallowing poisonous liquids, picking your skin or causing bruises. Regardless of the method you’ve chosen, you’re highly aware that your behaviors are intentional. At the same time, you feel a tense compulsion that makes them seem impossible to stop.
Your pattern of self harm may be a way to distract yourself so you don’t have to cope with your negative thoughts and feelings. Maybe you feel a sense of control when you’re engaging in these behaviors. Or, maybe you’re punishing yourself.
Are you tired of living with shame or guilt? Are you hoping to learn coping skills so you can navigate your emotions in a healthy way?
Self Injury is More Common Than You Think
There are several reasons someone may self mutilate. Because the behaviors often start at a young age, they are typically associated with trauma or abuse, an unstable family life and overwhelming emotions. If a person is not equipped with the tools to understand and express these emotions, self harm becomes a go-to for relief.
Self harm rituals and habits can feel very private and even shameful. However, you are not alone. According to statistics, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 7 men have engaged in self injury. These numbers have grown larger alongside a cultural rise in bullying during the teen years, when you’re figuring out who you are as a person. For those who were bullied or had negative life experiences at a young age, self injury can be a common coping skill.
As an adult, you may have curbed some of your behaviors. However, there are a number of stressors that can trigger a pattern of self harm. For example, perhaps you’re feeling pressure at work or your relationship is suffering. Maybe you think you’re “not good enough” and you’re overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacy. And while self injurious behavior offer some relief, you know it’s only temporary. Once the initial release subsides, you may feel shame or guilt, which stirs the need to further self injure—and you can feel trapped in a vicious cycle.
The good news is that, through self harm therapy, you can learn new coping skills to help you regain control of your emotions. By addressing the source of your pain, you have the opportunity to heal and become whole.
Self Harm Treatment Can Help
Self Harm Treatment Can Help
Self injury is often a hidden behavior, which makes vocalizing and acknowledging it difficult. For that reason, it’s important you feel comfortable with the therapist you’re working with.
In sessions, I build a therapeutic relationship based on trust. When we begin our work together, you’ll enter a safe space to discuss and experience your emotions without blame or shame. We’ll devise a plan to help minimize the self injurious behavior and increase more positive coping mechanisms.
A large part of self harm therapy is examining distress to find its root. Identifying those feelings as they arise and putting them down on paper will allow us to look at what triggers the urge to self injure. Once we have that internal roadmap, we’ll review alternative ways to cope with stress, and you’ll be equipped with tools for success outside of our sessions.
I have worked with many people who engage in self harm, and I have seen them evolve into healthy, emotionally balanced adults. In fact, I am one of these individuals—I, too, have engaged in self harming behaviors, so this work is personal to me.
I understand that it’s scary to come into an office and admit to self injury. But you’re here because you know it’s not healthy, and you’re looking for alternative ways to handle your emotions.
I’m here to help.
You May Still Have Questions About Self Injury Counseling…
If I admit to harming myself, I will be judged.
My office is a safe place, and I accept you as you are. I know that your self injurious behavior is a way to deal with your emotional pain. I’m here to listen to you and help you learn the tools you need for this habit.
As someone who has engaged in self harm and works with people who do as well, I make sure there is no judgement in this office. What I care about is offering you the help you need to work through your emotions.
What I’m doing is working for me.
It may feel like it’s working for you at times, but you’re still on this page. There must be some change you’re curious about. While that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to change your behavior, yout curiosity has led you to think there may be a different way to deal with your emotions.
Deep down, you likely know your pattern of behavior is not leading to any long-term relief, and it’s not a healthy coping mechanism. There are different ways to deal with your emotions, and I’m here to show you how.
I will have to face my past, and I’m afraid.
Yes, you will. Maybe not right away, because we’ll first work on safety and trust. We’ll formulate a plan to decrease the behavior and increase your self esteem and self efficacy. But then yes, we’ll address why you’re behaving this way and look at old traumas.
It’s good to be curious about the legacy of your past, as well as how you are currently processing it in the present. By shining a light on where your thoughts come from, you can practice new ways of thinking so you don’t default to a negative coping mechanism.
Together, we’ll work through your pain and create new, positive ways of coping so you can live a whole and joyous existence.
You Can Live A Healthy And Positive Life
You are not alone in your shame or guilt. I encourage you to call me at (814) 329-5304 for a 15- to 30-minute consultation to discuss how self harm treatment can help.