Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment

Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder is an Impulse-Control Disorder in which adolescents repetitively physically harm themselves. Most likely in the form of cutting or burning.  These harmful behaviors arise as an impulsive response or coping mechanism to deal with severe forms of underlying stress, anxiety, fear, and a feeling of loss of control, often in response to past trauma.  The adolescents become addicted to the harmful behaviors. And thus, are unable to resist the urge to harm themselves. Even despite having a knowledge and awareness that it’s unhealthy. Or even a sincere willingness and desire to want to stop.

Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder


Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder usually brings adolescents into a negative cyclical thought pattern, which begins with overwhelming feelings of stress, anxiety, and/or low self-worth. These feelings lead to an urge to harm themselves. The harm  follows a temporary relief from the act. The act is followed by even more intensified feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-worth. Which then triggers them to harm themselves once again.  Therefore, even though the outward harmful behaviors might seem to be the most severe or grave aspect of the teens’ experience, it’s very important to understand that those acts are only symptoms of the underlying stresses and conflicts at work.  Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment, then, serves to help teens to “escape” from these negative thought patterns. Furthermore, they need to thoroughly address the underlying sources of emotional stress and anguish that they are experiencing.

Talk Therapy

Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment involves several different steps in a process to eliminate the teens’ harmful behaviors while also addressing the underlying causes.  One of the most immediate and fundamental aspects of treatment can occur relatively quickly through means of Talk Therapy sessions. In which where therapists help the adolescents to understand what thought patterns and belief systems are currently in place.  Often, because the teens have been so overwhelmed by the severity of their emotional stress, they lose the perspective to notice what triggers and situations are leading to their harmful behaviors.

And secondly, therapists can work with the teens to break down and evaluate the falsity of their belief systems that are currently in place. Which includes those that are leading to the teens’ overwhelming feelings of low self-worth.  In these ways, therapists help to interrupt the negative thought patterns which have led to the impulsive behaviors. And begin to help the teens implement more healthy and true thought patterns instead.  Over time, Adolescent Self-Harm Disorder Treatment will allow for therapists to help teens  end their harmful behaviors. As well as to gain some relief and feel supported in their current emotional struggles. Also to recognize their own triggers and stressors, and to be empowered with healthy coping mechanisms that they can implement in the future.