Self Harm Relapse

Getting Help to Continue Your Self Injury Recovery

Recovery from self-harm is a process, and self harm relapse sometimes happens. In this article, we look at why self-harm relapse happens, how to prevent it, and how to overcome it. We also let you know where to turn if you find yourself in a pattern of self-harm that you feel unable to get out of.

Keep reading to find important resources for recovery from self-injury behaviors, as well as more information on the effective programs for self-harm recovery at Icarus in New Mexico!

What are the Ways to Overcome a Relapse of Self-Harm?

Treatment for Self-Harm Relapse

Self-harm is a complex issue that affects many people. It can take the form of non-suicidal self-injury, self-mutilation, eating disorders, or substance abuse. Unfortunately, relapse can be common for those who self-harm, often due to a lack of understanding about why self-harm has occurred and what coping strategies are available to help manage it. Understanding why self-harm relapse happens is critical for helping people reach a more positive outcome.

People self-harm for many different reasons. For some people, self-harm may be used as an attempt to cope with overwhelming emotions, negative feelings, or difficult situations. Without effective coping strategies, self-harm may become a default response to stressors, leading to repeated episodes of self-harm or other forms of self-destructive behavior.

Psychological issues such as depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem can contribute to the risk of self-harming behaviors. It’s important to recognize these patterns so that appropriate treatment and support can be provided in order to reduce the chance of relapse occurring again in the future. Self-harm can sometimes lead to a suicide attempt.

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Self Harm Relapse Warning Signs

Self-injury tends to be self-perpetuating and can lead to a vicious cycle of emotional distress, self-harm, and more self-injury. If you have self-harmed in the past, you are more likely to self-harm in the future. It’s important to recognize the signs of relapse so that appropriate interventions can be put into place.

Warning signs include increased feelings of hopelessness or despair, preoccupation with self-harming thoughts, avoidance of social situations, and an increase in negative self-talk. Additionally, changes in sleep patterns or appetite may indicate that a person is struggling with mental health issues and should seek help as soon as possible.

Relapse is not inevitable but it can be difficult to break free from self-harming behaviors once they have become entrenched. Professional counseling and support are essential for making a lasting change when it comes to self-harm.

Coping Mechanisms to Prevent Self-Harm Relapse



When it comes to self harm rehab and recovery from self-injury behaviors, relapse is always a possibility. However, there are certain coping mechanisms that can be employed in order to stop people from relapsing.

Staying Connected with People and Support Systems

One of the most important things to do is to stay connected with other people who have also gone through self-harm recovery. These people can provide support and understanding and can help to keep you accountable. Additionally, therapy can be extremely helpful in managing urges to self-harm and developing healthy coping mechanisms.

Practical Ways of Preventing Self Harm

There are also some practical things that you can do to make it harder to self-harm. For example, keeping yourself busy with positive activities, removing any sharp objects from your environment, and wearing long sleeves or gloves when you feel like you might hurt yourself.

Self Care Activities

Having self-care activities planned out in advance can also be helpful. Taking a soothing bath, doing yoga, or going for a walk are all activities that can help to distract you from self-harm urges.

Regular Journaling

Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you to work through them in a safe way and allow you to express yourself without physically harming yourself.

Journaling can also be a great resource for self-reflection and self-discovery. A journal is a great way to explore what triggers your self-harming behavior so that you can start to find healthier ways of dealing with it. Writing down your experiences will also help you to look back on them and gain insight into what may have triggered self-harm in the first place.

Practice Self Compassion

If you practice self-compassion, you will begin to see that you deserve to not harm yourself. This is a lifelong journey, but it is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself.

It is important to remember that relapsing is not a failure; it’s part of the process of self-healing. However, having healthy coping mechanisms in place and staying connected with others who can offer support and understanding can go a long way toward preventing relapse. With the right tools, self-harm recovery is possible.

Mental Health Issues that can Cause Self Harm Relapse

Mental Health Issues that can Cause Self Harm Relapse

Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are all major contributors to self-harm. Mental illness can cause individuals to feel overwhelmed, out of control, and unable to cope with the everyday demands of life. This can lead to an inability to self-soothe or find healthy coping mechanisms, resulting in self-harming behaviors.


Depression is a condition that often leads to self-harm due to intense feelings of sadness, guilt, or worthlessness. When depressed people are feeling this way they often want quick relief or numbness from their emotional pain and self-harm becomes a means of escape.


Anxiety disorders also commonly lead to self-harming behavior as a means of self-soothing. Anxiety can cause individuals to feel overwhelmed, powerless, and unable to cope, which then leads them to self-harm as a way of coping with their symptoms.

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is a mental illness characterized by extreme swings in moods, energy levels, and behavior, which can also lead to self-harm due to its manic episode’s intense emotions and feelings of impulsiveness. When someone is in the midst of an extreme manic episode they might engage in self-harming behaviors as a way of releasing the built-up tension or emotion that has been experienced.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

People with PTSD often experience self-harming behaviors as a way of self-soothing or self-regulating their emotions. PTSD and trauma disorders can be caused by a traumatic event or experience, such as abuse, and the self-harming behavior can help to temporarily distract and release the intense negative emotions associated with that memory or experience.

Drug addiction Leading to Self Harm

Drug addiction Leading to Self Harm

Drug addiction can have far-reaching consequences, and one of them is self-harm. Self-harm is any type of intentional physical injury to oneself and is a form of psychological distress that can be associated with drug abuse and addiction. Substance abuse can lead to self-harming behavior in individuals who are attempting to cope with the emotions and effects of their addiction.

Drug abuse can lead to feelings of emptiness, hopelessness, and despair, which can trigger self-harm. Individuals struggling with drug misuse may turn to self-harm as a way to express their pain or cope with the signs and symptoms of substance use disorder. Additionally, when an individual is in a state of intoxication or withdrawal, they may have an increased risk of self-harming.

Programs of Therapy for Self Harming

Therapy is a powerful tool in helping someone overcome the urge to self-harm. It can provide tools and strategies that empower the individual to replace their maladaptive coping skills with healthier ones, as well as give insights into why they are engaging in self-harm. In therapy, individuals can learn about the triggers and stresses that contribute to their self-harming behavior, and can then work to create strategies to help them cope with these challenges.

Therapies for mental health can also help individuals recognize the physical and emotional effects of self-harm, as well as how their actions are impacting those around them. This insight can be critical in helping someone understand why they no longer want to engage in this behavior, and cultivate healthier alternatives to cope with life’s difficulties.

A therapist can also help individuals create a safety plan or contract that they can refer to when they are tempted to self-harm. This plan will typically list coping skills the individual can use instead of engaging in self-harming behavior, as well as contact information for friends and family members they can reach out to when they feel the urge to self-harm.

Why Attending a Treatment Center can Help with Self Harm

Why Attending a Treatment Center can Help with Self Harm

Self-injury, also known as self-harm or self-mutilation, is a dangerous behavior that can manifest as an unhealthy coping mechanism for intense emotions. Attending a trauma center can be instrumental in providing you with the necessary resources and support to stop self-harming.

At an inpatient trauma treatment center such as our setting at Icarus, you are able to access specialized care for your mental health concerns. Professionals at these centers are highly trained in recognizing the signs of self-harm, as well as providing appropriate interventions that can help an individual move away from this destructive behavior. These trauma centers may provide a wide range of services such as individual and group counseling, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), pharmacological treatment, crisis intervention, and community support.

The Benefits of a Safe and Supportive Atmosphere

In addition to providing the necessary resources, attending a trauma center provides an environment of safety and understanding. You can talk openly and honestly with professionals about your feelings and experiences without fear of judgment. Being able to access this support system in a safe space can help you feel more encouraged to take the necessary steps to stop self-harming.

Attending a trauma center may also provide you with access to resources that can help them find healthier coping strategies. Professionals at these centers can provide guidance to individuals on how to deal with the emotions and stressors that cause them to self-harm in a healthy way. For example, therapists may encourage you to express your emotional pain through writing, drawing, or other forms of creative expression as an alternative form of release.

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Find Healthier Ways of Overcoming Self Harm Relapse

If you or a loved one are someone who self-harms, don’t get stuck in a cycle of self-harm relapse. Know that there are effective solutions to break this pattern. Icarus accepts most major forms of private health insurance, and some Medicaid policies, and will always provide resources to the best of our abilities if we cannot help for any reason.

Make the confidential call and speak with Icarus Behavioral Health to get options for recovery, and find a warm and supportive community of healing to walk with you every step of the way!

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