7 Symptoms and 7 Best Ways To Tackle Self Harming Behavior In Teenagers


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Starting from social media addiction to obsession with taking selfies- teens around the world today are hit with what experts call as a mental disorder- and they’re not alone. Many adults too are victims of some form of mental issues and chronic anxiety, not to forget stress.

Probably the most concerning aspect of all the mental disorders that affect the teens today is self-destructive behaviour. As the term signifies, self – destructive ability is a condition wherein the affected individual tries to harm oneself by means of dangerous methods such as blades, knife, teeth and candle as an outlet to release negative emotions and beliefs.

Need To Tackle Self Harming In Teenagers:

While the thought itself is scary for parents, self-harm can be handled better using certain approaches. Child counseling is particularly effective. What is even scarier is the fact that your teen could be affected by this condition and you may not realize it at all.

We bring you the basics of se

lf-harm – Reasons why do teenagers self harm and some tips that can help you detect if your kid has been indulging in such behavior.

Common Risk Factors Associated With Self Harm Behavior:

Every action has a cause behind it, and that’s what you have to look for if you doubt your kid indulges in self harm activity. Here are a few common causes of self harm in teenagers and events that drive teens into this kind of behavior.

1. Depression owing to family issues.
2. Rape or any form of physical abuse, particularly in childhood.
3. Negative body image.
4. Peer pressure at school (bad grades, lack of self-esteem).
5. Loss of a family member.
6. Stressful family events like divorce or conflict.
7. Loss of a boyfriend/ girlfriend or social status.
8. Knowledge of other friends indulging in the same behaviour.

[ Read: Teenage Behaviour ]

Common Signs And Symptoms To Watch Out For:

Every mental health condition does bring with itself a series of signs and symptoms. As a parent you just have to look for these signs. Here we have listed down the common signs to look for if your teen is a victim of self-harm behaviour.

1. Finding razors, knives, scissors and other materials that could cause harm near your kid’s bedside or his room. Check the premises that are also easily accessible to your child
2. Finding cuts and bruises on your teen’s body- particularly the arms.
3. Your teen suddenly develops a liking for baggy clothing.
4. Your teen starts to wear full-sleeved clothes despite the warm weather.
5. Your child spends long hours in the bathroom.
6. Avoiding social situations and gatherings- tends to stay isolated.
7. He refuses to talk about any situations that involve stress or pain.

What You Can Do To Tackle The Situation?

If you do find the existence of the above signs and symptoms in your kid – Relax! There’s no need to get alarmed. The first step you could do to get your kid out of this behavior is to not make a big deal out of it. Here is some advice for parents of teenagers who self harm that will help to get them out of this tendency:

1. Create a positive atmosphere at home- you are your kid’s role model.
2. Treat him normally- making him feel like a broken toy that needs to be fixed will only worsen the condition.
3. Remove all sources of triggers- family drama needs to stay in the bedroom.
4. Suggest activities that have lower levels of violence and do not trigger stress (tearing paper, holding an ice cube, sucking on lemon peel), etc.
5. Get him involved in physical activity- a particular sport could be a good outlet for his energies and would give him a new goal to work towards.
6. Get a pet- pet therapy works wonders for almost all patients who are depressed or have anxiety problems.

It is important to understand that teenage is a difficult phase in your child’s life. As a parent you have to deal with the same carefully and assertively. Be a friend to your child rather than a parent. That helps solve most of the problems during this time period.

Share your views or ideas on how to tackle self harming in teenagers with us:

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