You’re not alone because many people struggle with self-harm. Maybe you feel like hurting yourself helps relieve stress or intense emotions. Or perhaps it started as a way to feel something – anything – when you felt numb. Whatever the reasons, self-harm can seem hard to stop once it becomes a habit. But there are healthier ways to cope with emotional pain. With the right tools and support, you can leave self-harm behind.


According to SAMHSA;

Self-harm or NSSI is more common amongst women than men. A person who self-harms usually does not mean to kill themselves, but they are at higher risk of attempting suicide and dying by suicide if they do not get help.



At Still Mind Florida, we understand the profound impact self-harming behaviors can have on your life. We offer compassionate and comprehensive support to help you overcome these challenges. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing a safe and nurturing environment where you can explore the underlying issues contributing to self-harm. You’ll discover new skills to manage stress, express your feelings constructively, and nurture your body and mind. It’s possible to break free from self-harm. The first step is deciding you want more for yourself.
The rest is gathering courage, patience, and the willingness to try something new.

Call us today; (561) 783-5507

Types of Self-Harm

Self-harming behaviors include:

  • Cutting yourself
  • Burning yourself
  • Intentionally hitting or banging body parts
  • Hair pulling that will cause hair loss
  • Self-interference with wound healing
  • Restricting food intake or severe overeating
  • Engaging in risky behaviors that threaten one’s safety

Self-harm injuries in Adolescents;

According to The Journal of Pediatrics paper published at the National Library of Medicine;

Rates of nonsuicidal self-injury surged dramatically from childhood into adolescence, especially for girls. Specifically, 3 times as many ninth-grade girls reported engaging in nonsuicidal self-injury compared with ninth-grade boys. In addition, there were grade and gender differences in behavioral methods of NSSI engagement; older youth and girls report higher rates of cutting or carving their skin.

Understanding Self-Harm: Why People Engage in Self-Injury

Self-harm is often a coping mechanism, though not a very effective one. People engage in self-injury for a variety of reasons, including:

  • To relieve intense emotional pain. When feelings like sadness, anger or anxiety become overwhelming, physical pain can provide temporary relief. Self-harm releases endorphins that can create a numb or calming effect. However, this is only a short-term “fix” and does not resolve the underlying issues.
  • To punish themselves. Some people self-harm because they feel they deserve to be punished. They may believe they are bad or worthless. Self-injury can reinforce these negative self-beliefs. But you deserve compassion, not punishment.
  • To gain a sense of control. Life can feel unpredictable and overwhelming at times. Self-harm provides a way to take control of something, even if it’s inflicting pain on yourself. But there are healthier ways to gain a sense of mastery and control in your life.

The key is to address the emotional and mental factors that drive people to self-harm, while also learning coping skills and self-soothing techniques that provide relief without self-injury. With time and effort, more constructive coping mechanisms can replace self-harm as a default response to stress or difficult emotions.

Trauma or PTSD

Underlying trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can also contribute to self-harming behaviors. The emotional pain from traumatic experiences may feel unbearable, and self-harm acts as an escape. Addressing the trauma through counseling or therapy is essential for learning to cope in healthier ways.


With support, the condition and the desire can fade. Replacing it with self-care, coping strategies, improved self-esteem, and healing from trauma may help you leave it behind for good. There are always alternatives, so keep fighting, and don’t lose hope!

Signs of Self-Harm

Some signs that a person may be self-harming include:

  • Physical signs like cuts, burns, bruises, or scars, especially in places that can easily be hidden by clothing. The injuries may appear newer or older.
  • Signs of hair loss or damage to areas like the scalp or eyebrows.
  • Frequent comments about feeling worthless, hopeless, or like a burden. Expressions of shame, guilt or self-hatred.
  • Withdrawal from friends and family or not wanting to participate in activities that were once enjoyed.
  • Changes in eating habits, either eating much more or less.
  • Expressions of not wanting to live for much longer.
  • Giving away possessions or making final arrangements.
  • Changes in behavior like increased irritability, aggression, or risk-taking.

Learning New Skills to Manage Difficult Emotions

Develop alternative coping strategies

Self-harm is often a way to cope with painful or distressing emotions, so finding healthier alternatives is key. Some options to try include:

  • Exercise like walking, yoga, or jogging. Physical activity releases endorphins that improve your mood.
  • Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. Taking some deep breaths can help you feel calmer in the moment.
  • Call a friend or loved one. Social support can help you work through difficult feelings.
  • Engage in an enjoyable distraction like reading, crafting, or cooking. Take your mind off the painful emotions.

Build your emotional regulation skills

Being able to manage distressing emotions healthily takes practice. Some skills that can help include:

  • Identify your triggers. Learn to recognize situations, places, or people that trigger the urge. Have a plan to avoid triggers when possible and cope ahead of time.
  • Notice the signs. Pay attention to physical sensations, thoughts, and feelings that come up. Notice how they intensify and try to intervene early.
  • Delay the urge. When the urge arises, try waiting 10 or 15 minutes before acting on it. The urge will often pass and you can use coping strategies. The more you delay, the easier it will get.

Connect with professional support

A therapist can help you in many ways to find solutions:

  • Address underlying issues that contribute to your urges like depression, anxiety, trauma, or borderline personality disorder.
  • They will guide you on coping strategies.
  • Offer accountability and encouragement. Making progress in therapy can help keep you motivated.
  • Explore medication options if needed. Medication, combined with therapy, may help improve your symptoms.


Continuing Your Healing Journey: Resources for Long-Term Support For Self-Harm

Online Communities

Connecting with others struggling with the condition can help reduce feelings of isolation and provide support. Search for online communities, forums or message boards related to self-harm recovery and join the conversation. Share your experiences, ask questions and offer support to others. Many private Facebook groups and subreddits on Reddit also exist for those in recovery.


Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) are two types of talk therapy shown to be effective for self-harm recovery.


You don’t have to keep punishing yourself. There are healthier ways to cope when life gets tough. It takes courage to make a change, but you have that courage within you. Start small by reaching out to someone you trust. Let them know you want to find a therapist to talk to. Getting professional help is a huge step forward on your journey toward healing.

Don’t be afraid to call us from (561) 783-5507, we are here to help!

With time and effort, you can break free of self-harm for good. The old scars will fade as you discover new ways to handle stress and process difficult emotions. You deserve to be happy and whole. Your future is filled with hope and possibility once you make the choice to walk a different path.