Self-harm is a general term that can include a wide range of intentionally damaging behaviors, including but not limited to cutting or scratching one’s skin, burning oneself, pulling out one’s own hair, intentionally breaking one’s bones, and drinking caustic or otherwise harmful liquids. Also referred to as self-mutilation and self-injury, self-harm is a troubling maladaptive behavior that exposes a person to significant immediate and long-term danger.
Some men and women engage in self-harm as a way of punishing themselves or attempting to establish a sense of control in what may feel like an out-of-control existence. Others may be struggling with a mental health disorder and may be harming themselves in order to give a physical presence to emotional or psychological torment. Regardless of what prompts an individual to engage in self-harming behaviors, professional treatment may be essential in order for the person to overcome this dangerous compulsion and learn to deal with stresses and other negative experiences in a healthier manner.
At Riverview Behavioral Health, we have considerable experience working with individuals whose lives have been disrupted by the compulsion to engage in self-harm, and we have develop specialized programming that has helped these individuals end this behavior. At Riverview, men and women can get the comprehensive care that will empower them to pursue much healthier futures, free from the pain and damage of self-harm.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
Discovering that someone you care about has been intentionally harming him or herself can be a confusing and distressing experience. Please know that there is nothing abnormal about having an unpleasant reaction to such a discovery. However, it is also important for you to understand that the situation is not hopeless, and you should not feel helpless. Your loved one needs professional care, and you can play a vital role in the effort to get him or her the help that he or she needs.
Your first priority should be to determine if your loved one is in immediate danger of suicide. By definition, self-harm is not a suicidal behavior, but self-harm can be an indicator that a person has been considering ending his or her own life. As difficult as it may seem, you need to express your concern, emphasize your love and support, and ask your loved one if he or she has been thinking about suicide.
Contrary to a persistent myth, asking a person if he or she has been thinking about suicide will not put ideas into his or her head or otherwise raise his or her risk. In fact, your willingness to broach this difficult subject can be a life-affirming act that can let your loved one know that he or she has support.
If your loved one is in imminent danger, summon an emergency responder, get him or her to a hospital, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255). When your loved one is safe from immediate harm, you can begin your efforts to get him or her into treatment.
Research treatment options that have helped others whose symptoms and behaviors are similar to what your loved one is experiencing, and identify programs that appear to have the types and levels of services that your loved one may need. As noted above, self-harm can be a complex challenge, and your loved one will need to complete a thorough assessment and receive an accurate diagnosis in order to receive the most focused and appropriate care. To get the information that you need, contact mental health support groups in your area, consult with your family doctor if possible, and call any programs that you believe will be capable of providing the services that your loved one needs.
Share the information that you have collected with your loved one. Continue to express your love and support, and offer to provide any support that will remove barriers to treatment. Volunteer to provide transportation, accompany him or her to appointments, arrange for childcare, and do whatever else you can to help your loved one to focus on his or her health.
Ideally, you should not attempt to accomplish all of this on your own. Get help from a small group of close friends or trusted family members. Together, you can support each other, share information and resources, and ensure that your loved one remains safe. Remember that you cannot be of optimal support to your loved one if you are neglecting your own needs. Getting help for yourself will be better for you and for your loved one.
Finally, remember that treatment is just one step in what may be a long process. Plan to be a source of ongoing support for your loved one before, during, and after he or she is in treatment.
Why Consider Treatment at Riverview Behavioral Health
Ongoing untreated self-harm can expose a man or woman to myriad dangers, including immediate damage and long-term devastation. First, regardless of intent, self-harm can cause significant medical problems and can even be fatal. Broken bones, cuts, burns, head trauma, and other effects of self-harm can compromise a person’s health and either directly or indirectly contribute to infections, organ damage, cognitive impairments and a host of other negative outcomes.
The compulsion to harm oneself is also evidence of emotional turmoil and a possible mental health disorder, conditions that may only worsen as the individual continues to engage in self-harm. As a person’s physical and mental health continues to deteriorate, he or she may turn to alcohol or other drugs in a misguided attempt to cope, which can have the unintended effect of exacerbating his or her suffering. The cumulative impact of this continued distress can undermine the individual’s ability to form and maintain healthy interpersonal relationships, perform to expectation in school or at work, pursue a satisfying career, and otherwise participate in a productive independent lifestyle.
Getting treatment to overcome the compulsion to harm oneself can provide an individual with a wide range of benefits, including the ability to heal from past damage, the opportunity to avoid future harm, and the guidance and support to pursue a healthier future.
Types of Treatment Offered at Riverview Behavioral Health
Licensed to operate 62 beds, Riverview Behavioral Health is conventionally located in Texarkana, Texas and provides superior mental health treatment to individuals of all ages. With a mission to truly improve the lives of every person who seeks our care, we uphold our commitment to supplying exemplary treatment in an atmosphere of respect while maintaining a high regard for each individual’s healing journey.
For adults aged 18 and older, we are pleased to offer high quality inpatient services that aim to stabilize distressing symptoms of mental health disorders. Our staff of expertly trained professionals has extensive experience in treating those who are grappling with such concerns, and the interventions we include in our programming are proven effective in helping men and women become healthy in mind and body once more.
To partake in the acute inpatient services that Riverview Behavioral Health has to offer, we invite you to complete our admissions assessment so that our staff can determine if our treatment is right for you. Once done, and if the care we supply is appropriate, you will be able to engage in a blend of the following therapeutic supports while at our center:
Medication management services: When men and women come to Riverview Behavioral Health for treatment, they are often grappling with symptoms of mental disorders that can be quite difficult to manage with just coping skills alone. For those who are struggling with some of the mental health disorders that can prompt a person to engage in self-harm, certain medications may be beneficial. For this reason, we are pleased to offer medication management services that are facilitated by our onsite psychiatrist. The need for medication will be thoroughly assessed, and any medications prescribed will be closely monitored to ensure their safety and effectiveness while an individual is in our care.
Medical care: While Riverview Behavioral Health is not a medical hospital, men and women will receive basic medical care and attention from our medical doctor, nurse practitioner, and experienced team of nurses who are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We offer this form of care so that those who are seeking to overcome the compulsion to engage in self-harm are able to achieve and/or maintain good health for the duration of their stay with us.
Individual therapy: To afford the men and women we treat with the individualized attention they need to overcome the compulsion to engage in self-harm, individual therapy is offered one time each week while they are at our center. Licensed mental health professionals conduct these sessions, which can serve as a time to talk about experiences from the past, process current feelings and emotions, and develop goals for the future.
Group therapy: At Riverview Behavioral Health, we include group therapy in the personalized treatment plans for each individual who has been struggling with self-harm. Held every day and led by both licensed mental health professionals and recreational therapists, group therapy is an integral part of the care we offer. Designed to foster camaraderie among patients, provide support in a communal setting, and allow men and women to encourage one another and practice skills, we supply process groups and a number of other groups that can cover the following topics:
- Anger management
- Anxiety management
- Co-occurring disorders
- Coping skills
- Crisis intervention
- Medication education
- Psychoeducation on mental health disorders
- Stress management
Family therapy: At least one time per week, patients at Riverview Behavioral Health can participate in family therapy sessions with their loved ones. These sessions can mend damaged familial relationships, help family members begin to understand one another better, and assist all who attend in understanding the process of healing from the strife that may have been caused by self-harm.
Family program: Riverview Behavioral Health offers a family program every other Friday. This program includes psychoeducational opportunities, process groups, and a chance to give and receive support to and from other family members and close friends who also care about someone who has been engaging in self-harm. By making this sort of program available, we have found that the men and women who complete treatment at our center return to their respective homes with a stronger foundation of support.
The aforementioned interventions are those that help patients at Riverview Behavioral Health develop the skills and confidence needed to manage the compulsion to engage in self-harm in a healthy and productive manner. Depending on the needs of the individual, certain methods of care may be added or removed from his or her treatment plan so that only the most favorable treatment outcomes result.
In choosing to come to Riverview Behavioral Health, those suffering from the untreated and unmanaged compulsion to engage in self-harm can reclaim their lives and learn to function in a manner that supports good health. From the moment an individual walks through our doors and right up until it is almost time to leave our center, thorough discharge plans are created for each client so that the proper supports and additional services are in place. Through working in close collaboration with our patients, our staff identifies follow-up services and other forms of support that will enable the men and women we treat to continue making strides in their healing journeys.
If you or an important person in your life has been suffering from the compulsion to engage in self-harm and would like to become well again, look no further than Riverview Behavioral Health. Here, you can realize a life that is no longer compromised by mental illness so that you can thrive in becoming the healthy and productive person that you are destined to be.