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Self-Harm and Depression

Self-Harm and Depression

Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions. Millions of people all over the world have experienced a depression severe enough to be considered clinical. Coping with depression can be especially difficult because the nature of the condition makes it hard to think about and do the things that would be most likely to help. Many people who live with depression could benefit from depression disorder treatment, especially those who engage in self-harm. Learning more about depression, its symptoms, and the ways it can be treated can empower you or your loved one to make decisions about mental health care. Contact Greater Boston Addiction Centers at 877.920.6583 for more information.

What Is Depression?

Most people know what it feels like to be really, really sad, down on yourself, or feel like nothing in life is working out. For most people, these feelings are temporary and connected to events or situations such as losing a loved one, failing a class at school, or not getting a promotion. For people with depression, though, these types of feelings are long-lasting and not necessarily connected to any particular event or situation. People who live with depression have a mental health condition and usually need help in order to cope with it.

Researchers have studied depression for a long time and have discovered many medications and treatments that can help. However, a definitive answer to the question of what causes depression is still a bit murky. Most scientists believe that depression is caused by chemicals in the brain that don’t behave as they should, but the brain is a very complicated organ, so nailing down exactly what, why, and how has not yet been accomplished.

What Is Self-Harm and How Does it Relate to Depression?

Self-harm is a symptom that can be experienced in a number of different mental health conditions, including depression. Self-harm is when a person hurts themselves on purpose. Some people report that harming themselves relieves emotional pain and anxiety or that it helps them to cope with overwhelming feelings. People experiencing depression sometimes say that self-harming helps them feel less numb or empty. Some types of self-harm are:

  • Cutting or deeply scratching with a sharp object
  • Pulling hair out
  • Burning the skin with a hot object
  • Biting or picking at skin
  • Picking at scabs so that they won’t heal

Is Self-Harm the Same as Attempting Suicide?

Even though it can be alarming to find out that someone you care about has been hurting themselves on purpose, it is important to understand that self-harm is not necessarily the same as trying to commit suicide. Sometimes people who are hurting themselves may cause an injury much more severe than they intended, though, especially if they were drinking alcohol or using drugs at the time.

Self-harming and attempted suicide are both signs of emotional disturbance and should be taken seriously. A person who has hurt themselves on purpose definitely needs to seek some help from a mental health treatment professional. It is also important to understand that people who are living with mental illness may be suffering and need help and support in order to manage their condition. Always be supportive of a loved one who is living with depression or any other mental illness.

Greater Boston Recovery Centers Can Help With Depression Disorder Treatment

At our treatment centers, our clients participate in a wide variety of programming that is designed to ensure that each individual gets the help they need in a way that will work for them. If you or someone you love has been struggling with depression or self-harm, reach out to us today at 877.920.6583 or via our online form.