Did you know that approximately 17% of all people will self-harm during their lifetime?┬áPeople who suffer from self-injury disorder feel ashamed and alone. They may not know where to turn for help or what treatment for mental health they should choose. Understanding the condition and available treatment options is essential. You’re not alone if you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have a self-injury disorder. Learn more about self-injury disorder, including the symptoms, causes, and treatment options.

What Is Self-Injury Disorder?

Self-injury disorder, also known as self-mutilation, is a mental health disorder characterized by the act of physically harming oneself. People who suffer from self-injury disorder often feel overwhelmed by negative emotions. This negative mindset causes people to hurt themselves as a way to cope with their feelings. Self-injury can take many forms, including cutting, burning, hitting, or even head-banging. People who suffer from self-injury disorder often feel ashamed and embarrassed by their behavior, making it even harder to seek help. Treatment for mental health and self-injury disorder is available and can be very successful.

What Causes Self-Injury Disorder?

The exact causes of self-injury disorder are not fully understood. A combination of factors causes self-injury disorder, including genetics, environmental, and psychological influences.

Genetic Factors

There is evidence to suggest that self-injury disorder may be partially genetic. Studies have shown that self-injury disorder tends to run in families. People with this condition are more likely to have other mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, and borderline personality disorder. While more research is needed to confirm the genetic link, it is clear that self-injury disorder is a complex condition with multiple possible causes.

Environmental Factors

Trauma and abuse can take many forms, from emotional damage to physical abuse. While the effects of trauma can vary from person to person, research has shown there may be a link between trauma and self-injury. Self-injury may be a way of numbing emotional pain. For some people, physically harming themselves may provide a sense of control or release that they otherwise feel lacking in their lives. Self-injury can be a way of expressing emotions that are otherwise difficult to define. While more research is needed to confirm a connection between trauma and self-injury, it’s clear that both can have a profound and lasting effect on a person’s life. Understanding environmental factors can help create an effective treatment for mental health strategy.

Psychological Factors

Low self-esteem is often at the root of self-injury. People who injure themselves often feel that they are not good enough and will never be able to meet the demands of the world around them. Feelings of inadequacy can lead to a sense of isolation, loneliness, and perfectionism. People who self-injure typically have high standards for themselves and those around them. They may feel they are the only ones who can meet those standards. Feeling like you’re not good enough can lead to feelings of frustration and anger, which can lead to self-injury.

What Are the Symptoms of Self-Injury Disorder?

The most apparent symptom of self-injury disorder is the act of self-injury. Some other signs and symptoms that can be an indication of self-injury disorder can include:

Physical Signs

People who self-injure often have self-harm injuries like cuts, bruises, or burns on their bodies. They may also wear long sleeves or pants, even in warm weather, to cover up their injuries.

Emotional Signs

People with self-injury disorder often feel overwhelmed by negative emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and shame. They may also have a low opinion of themselves. Always seeming down or speaking poorly about oneself can be signs of self-injury.

Behavioral Signs

People with self-injury disorder often engage in risky behaviors, such as drinking alcohol or using drugs. They may also engage in self-destructive behaviors, such as cutting themselves or binge eating.

If you notice any of these signs and symptoms in yourself or a loved one, it is crucial to seek treatment for mental health.

What Are the Complications of Self-Injury Disorder?

Self-injury disorder can lead to several serious complications, both physical and psychological. Infections, scarring, and health issues caused by substance abuse are examples of physical complications. Psychological difficulties can include anxiety, depression, and eating disorders. In some cases, self-injury can even lead to suicide.

Treatment for Mental Health

Treatment for self-injury disorder often includes a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and hospitalization. A well-rounded approach to care can address the various causes and help a patient better understand their condition.


Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for mental health, including self-injury disorder. It can help people to understand their condition and to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that is particularly effective in treating self-injury disorder. CBT can help people to identify and change negative thinking patterns and behaviors.


There is no medication specifically approved for the treatment of self-injury disorder. Treating some of the related symptoms can help address self-injury. Prescribing antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can help manage symptoms.


People with non-suicidal self-injury disorder may require hospitalization. Inpatient treatment is usually voluntary. It may be necessary to involuntarily hospitalize someone who is a danger to themselves or others. If you or a loved one is suffering from self-injury disorder, it is vital to seek treatment for mental health. Treatment can be effective in managing symptoms and preventing complications.

Need Help With Self-Injury Disorder?

Self-injury disorder can control your life if you do not find the proper mental health treatment. Are you ready to get help fighting against self-injury disorder? Therapy can help you get your life back on track. Contact Comprehensive Wellness Centers for more assistance today, and learn more about the treatment for mental health.