Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

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Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Admin on Wed Mar 01, 2017 9:03 am

The behavior of self-harm cannot be cured because of its lasting effects. It's a constant struggle for a self-harmer to not self-harm even after treatment.


Last edited by Admin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:24 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Ozzy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:02 am

Self-harm is curable. The first step is to identify what caused this behavior. Those who self-harm might have a mental disorder, such as, depression, bipolar disorder, or borderline personality disorder. Once the mental disorder is addressed and properly treated, it will be easier to cure self-harming (Tracy).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Philly on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:11 am

I agree with Dr. Ozzy. Medication and/or forms of psychotherapy can be used to treat the mental disorder. The client may go through cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), or group psychotherapy to identify triggers or past experiences that may have caused one to self-harm. Medication treatment is generally not used on those who self-harm that don’t have a mental disorder, but most likely will be needed if the individual has a mental disorder (Tracy).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by CallieFromSickMinds on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:12 am

My name is Callie. I am 15 years old. I am a self-harmer and currently in the recovery process. I was admitted into Sea Pines to get treatment. As someone who has dealt with and is still dealing with self-harm, specifically cutting, I don’t think self-harm is curable. Even during my therapy session when my therapist told me she could help me stop cutting if I want to stop, I wasn’t “sure I [could] stop” because it seemed to just take over and it was my new norm (McCormick 77). I’m constantly fighting my urges to cut and at times I give in.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Philly on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:13 am

Hi, Callie. I appreciate you taking the time to speak about what you went through. Unfortunately, the average age “young people who intentionally injure themselves...is 14 to 16, with some as young as 8,” so it’s definitely not abnormal for a 15 year old, specifically a girl, to walk into our facility for self-harm treatment (Schodolski). As you stated, you are currently in the recovery process, thus you haven’t reached the end of treatment yet. Treatment takes time, and when you get to that point where your urges to cut stop, your self-harm will stop.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by CallieFromSickMinds on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:14 am

It’s true that the act of cutting will stop, but it’s not true that the urges will. Overtime the urges will subside, and overtime I will have an easier time controlling the urges, but the urges will never be gone.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Ozzy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:15 am

You are very lucky to be held in an in-patient treatment facility then. This allows the doctors, nurses, therapists, and staff members to watch your behavior and remove sharp objects, thus removing anything that may entice you to cut.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:15 am

Actually, removing the painful stimulus, in this case a sharp object against skin, associated with an unpleasant physical reaction “leads them into a short but intense state of euphoria” (DeAngelis). This leads people who self-harm to want more because it feels good, like “the euphoria they feel to that created by drugs” (Pool).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by CallieFromSickMinds on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:15 am

As my therapist once said, “‘There are all kinds of things in the world you could use to hurt yourself...turn into weapons. Even if you wanted to give them all to me, it wouldn’t be possible...I can’t keep you safe...Only you can” (McCormick 126). I can be admitted to the best treatment facility in the world; I can have the best doctors and therapists in the world, but if I’m not willing to change then none of that matters. In addition, taking away sharp objects may do more harm than good. Some people hurt themselves because they feel “dead inside; by cutting [they were] attempting to feel alive,” so by removing the only thing keeping them breathing may cause them to further hurt themselves or even lead to suicide (Schodolski).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Ozzy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:16 am

As doctors, we always want to make sure our patients are comfortable and willing to proceed with the proper treatment assigned to them. Once the patient accepts the help given, the treatment staff can proceed with the necessary course of action to make sure the patient is aware of how to deal with any obstacles, such as triggers and urges, that may arise in their everyday lives. If I may ask, what prompted you to start cutting? Are/were you suicidal?

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:17 am

It’s a very common misconception that people who self-harm are suicidal. As mentioned earlier by Callie, for many, self-harm is a way for them to feel alive and a way for them to not kill themselves. “Instead, experts concluded, cutters are teens caught up in a habit that to them is alternately a crutch and a curse” (Pool). Luckily it’s a curse that can be broken.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by CallieFromSickMinds on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:17 am

When I first began to cut I thought it was a one time thing until I started to depend on it whenever I felt stressed, nervous, or guilty. I felt like I was a burden to my parents and my brother; I felt like it was my fault that my parents were stressed; I felt like it was my fault that my brother had asthma. Cutting was my way of punishing myself and releasing all the emotional pain. I could’ve found a better way to cope with all this, but all it took was “a special craft knife with the word EXACTO on the handle...next to the skin on my palm” to completely turn my life upside down (McCormick 3).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Ozzy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:18 am

I’m not your doctor nor have I done an assessment on you so I can’t diagnose or prescribe you with anything, but I have patients who come in feeling the same way you feel and some of them have been prescribed antidepressant medication along with some form of psychotherapy. Some are still in the recovery process, but those who have recovered are doing very well.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:18 am

Antidepressants can actually cause youths to self-harm if given in high doses. In fact, “the Food and Drug Administration has for years required antidepressants to carry warnings that they may increase the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children and adults under age 25” (Painter). Medication shouldn’t be prescribed so casually like it’s going to make all your problems go away because it’s not. It’s better to stay away from increasing the dosage of antidepressants if it’s not in dire need.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Philly on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:19 am

After seeing both sides I can understand why you believe self-harm is incurable; there are lasting effects after successfully completing treatment. Although Dr. Ozzy and I may still hold our view that self-harm is curable, we should discuss ways in which we can prevent self-harm from beginning in the first place. Callie, do you have any ideas to prevent kids your age from self-harming?

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by CallieFromSickMinds on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:20 am

The topic of self-harm should be talking more openly in school. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject to talk about. At least for me, I wish it came up as a topic of conversation, that way I would have felt more comfortable telling school administrators about what I was going through. Fortunately, now more “administrators, teachers, and other school staff members...confront” this issue because “the behavior is becoming more prevalent among teenagers” (Galley).

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Ozzy on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:20 am

It’s difficult to gauge who self-harms because of “the veil of secrecy and shame around the behavior,” but I agree with Callie (Galley). If schools are more open to talking about self-harm, there might be a decrease in self-harming behavior or an increase in kids reaching out for help.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Dr. Philly on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:21 am

There definitely needs to be more research done on self-harm before anyone can make a final assessment about it. Self-harm is such a complicated issue that even us doctors are ignorant about.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 12, 2017 1:21 am

Thank you all who have commented on this post. I hope you have a great day.

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Re: Self-harm cannot be cured, but it can be treated and prevented.

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