Researchers from Clients’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota examined over 280,000 teen visits to trauma centers and found that the rate of those related to teen self-harm had risen from 1.1 percent in 2008 to 1.6 percent in 2012.
The increase might seem small, but it tells us that we’re not doing enough for struggling teens because the rate is still increasing. This means that parents need to be especially vigilant of the causes, signs and treatment options of teen self-harm.
Causes of teen self-harm
“Kids are under extreme stress — lots of competition, fear of failure, lots of social pressures …” -Dan Reidenberg, executive director of SAVE
There’s no simple answer to what causes teen self-harm. Multiple factors cause adolescents to want to harm themselves. According to Mayo Clinic, teen self-harm can be born out of an issue with regulating, understanding and expressing emotions.
The rate of teen self-harm seems to be higher in females. Teens are especially subject to turning to self-harm as a way to escape stress from school or life issues, such as past traumatic events. Those with mental health issues like depression, anxiety, borderline personality disorder and many others are more likely to develop self-harming behavior.
Signs of teen self-harm
It’s important to be able to recognize when your child is struggling to the point of self-harm. If a behavior as destructive as teen-self harm continues unnoticed, it has the potential to transform into something much more life threatening.
Some common signs of teen self-harm include:
- Fresh cuts, bruises or other wounds
- Distancing from others, spending a lot of time alone
- Wearing clothing that covers the arms and legs, even in very hot weather
- Emotional/behavioral impulsivity and instability
- Difficulty in forming relationships
How to get help
Teen self-harm is extremely dangerous and needs to be treated immediately. Various therapies and programs exist in order to treat individuals struggling with teen self-harm, but it can be difficult to find the right fit for your child.
blueFire Wilderness Therapy is here to help. We are a therapeutic wilderness therapy program that helps struggling teens, ages 11 to 17, get past their obstacles and develop healthy life habits. We cater to individuals that have behavioral, psychological and emotional issues, such as depression, anxiety and teen self-harm.
For more information on how blueFire Wilderness Therapy can help your child with teen self-harm, call us today at 844-413-1999.