Self-Injurious Behaviors

Self-Injurious Behaviors

Self-Injury or self-mutilation refers to various behaviors an individual intentionally does for the direct purpose of harming his or her body. Self-injury can include cutting, burning, swallowing toxic substances, self-bruising, scratching, pulling hair, etc. A Pathways Christian counselor can help parents and teens address the underlying issues that lead to self-injury and assist in teaching more positive coping strategies for dealing with negative feelings.

One or more of these signs may be present

Unexplained bites, burns, cuts, or other injuries

Missing hair

Not eating, overeating, or throwing up after eating

Drug, alcohol, and other addictions

Excessive exercising

Unsafe driving


Problems with the law

Unexplained physical symptoms

What should I do if someone I love suffers from self-injurious behaviors?

Be gentle and respectful in any confrontations. Evaluate the response for anger and defensiveness. Watch for blame shift where the person hurting themselves may try to say you are at fault.
You may choose to bring someone to assist you in the confrontation for backup. If the person is in immediate danger, call 911 or notify the authorities. Pathways provides caring counseling and can help with these types of behaviors. Call us , Email us or  Contact Us to request an appointment. Day and evening counseling sessions are available, and we would be happy to answer all of your questions.