Self-harm refers to any form of self-injury. Adolescents who engage in self-harm use it to cope with feelings of inadequacy, anger, depression, loneliness, and self-consciousness.
Most self-harm acts include cutting or scratching with a sharp object. In a ritualistic way, teens carve words or symbols into their skin to express their feelings of alienation, loneliness, anger, hurt, or low self-worth. Other types of self-harm include:
Long-term self-harm can lead to severe repercussions for teens. These include:
There are a few signs that your teenager is self-harming, but the most common ones are:
Often teenagers turn to self-harm to relieve the pressures they feel from the circumstances of everyday life. Some of the typical pressures include:
#1. Chasing Popularity: Many teenagers feel the pressure to fit in with their peers. Instead of chasing popularity, we suggest teens pursue hobbies or passions where they can meet like-minded peers.
#2. Family Dynamics: Teens in families that lack trust, compassion, guidance, and communication skills often deal with feelings of anxiety, ostracization, and negligence. It sets them up for emotional distress when interacting with their parents or other family members. We recommend families take some steps to improve lines of communication, like family therapy.
#3. Anxiety and Stress: Teenagers face a lot of pressure and stress trying to find their place in the world. It can lead to self-harm to cope with these feelings. Instead, we suggest teaching teen boys healthy coping skills for dealing with stress and pursuing goals.
#4. Dissatisfied With Their Body Image: Many teenagers view photos of the “ideal body” through social media, magazines, and tv. This can lead to self-harm practices like poor nutrition or overexercising to build their self-worth and control their bodies.
#5. Educational Achievements: When teenage boys experience the pressure of pursuing academic achievement, they often struggle with feelings of inadequacy and unhappiness. Some schools provide students with counseling, peer-to-peer support systems, and educational programs to alleviate stress.
#6. Playing on a Sports Team: Teenage boys experience pressure to play sports and win. If they fail to win or make it on the team, it can cause them to feel self-conscious or inferior. They may push their bodies beyond the breaking point as punishment for not meeting specific benchmarks. We suggest teaching teens that the value of sports extends beyond winning. Instead, they can learn to value sports for its comradeship and opportunities for growth.
#7. Internet: They can find websites, forums, and social media groups that support and glamorize self-harm. These sources provide information on the different methods of self-harm and hiding it. Overconsumption of digital media takes teens away from healthier activities and coping mechanisms. Thus, we recommend that teens unplug and reduce digital media activity.
You can use a few methods to help your teenager stop self-harm. Some of these methods include:
There are many things you can do to help your teenager stop self-harm. If your teenager is harming themselves, there are effective treatments and therapies that will help them work through their pain. At Clearfork Academy, we offer various services that help teens and young adults overcome addiction, self-harm, and other mental health-related issues. Our program functions to provide lasting change for those affected by these problems. Our qualified clinicians provide expert-driven counseling, medication management, adventure therapy, individualized treatment plans, medical detoxes, and relapse prevention strategies. With us, your child will have the right access to care and establish who they are and their place in this world. Our goal is to instill hope and motivation for teens to become their best selves. If your teen is currently struggling to manage their mental health needs, get help today. To learn more about our comprehensive treatment program, contact Clearfork Academy today by calling (817) 259-2597.
Originally from the Saginaw, Eagle Mountain area, Austin Davis earned a Bachelor of Science in Pastoral Ministry from Lee University in Cleveland, TN and a Master of Arts in Counseling from The Church of God Theological Seminary. He then went on to become a Licensed Professional Counselor-Supervisor in the State of Texas.
Austin’s professional history includes both local church ministry and clinical counseling. At a young age, he began serving youth at the local church in various capacities which led to clinical training and education. Austin gained a vast knowledge of mental health disorders while working in state and public mental health hospitals. This is where he was exposed to almost every type of diagnosis and carries this experience into the daily treatment.
Austin’s longtime passion is Clearfork Academy, a christ-centered residential facility focused on mental health and substance abuse. He finds joy and fulfillment working with “difficult” clients that challenge his heart and clinical skill set. It is his hope and desire that each resident that passes through Clearfork Academy will be one step closer to their created design.
Austin’s greatest pleasures in life are being a husband to his wife, and a father to his growing children. He serves at his local church by playing guitar, speaking and helping with tech arts. Austin also enjoys being physically active, reading, woodworking, and music.