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Drug Abuse and Self-HarmSelf-harm, also referred to as self-mutilation, self-injury, or self-abuse, is the deliberate, repetitive infliction of non-lethal damage to one’s self. Examples of self-harm in Anchorage include:

  • Cutting
  • Burning
  • Punching, hitting, bruising oneself or breaking bones
  • Infecting oneself or picking at scars and wounds to prevent healing
  • Poking or inserting objects into skin

While acts of self-harm appear to be suicidal, the individual’s intent is not suicide, but to use self-mutilation as a coping mechanism or mood regulator. Self-harm can be used to distract an individual from emotional pain, stress, anxiety, or other troubles in Anchorage. By creating physical pain, the self-harming individual can forget about his or her psychological pain and concentrate on the physical problem, which he or she can control. Self-injury is also performed by people who have difficulty expressing their emotions. While unable to release emotional turmoil, the individual can physically express his or her emotions by inflicting anger, hatred, confusion and other feelings on his or her body. The infliction of self-harm can release pain and tension that an individual cannot put into words. Self-harming activity puts the individual in control so that he or she can relieve guilt or even punish him or herself. And for some individuals in Anchorage, self-mutilation is a way to experience any feeling at all; it is a way to feel alive instead of numb or empty.

Why Self-Harm Stems from Mental Health Issues

The need or impulse to inflict harm on oneself does not just happen because of a bad day. An individual has intense feelings of self-loathing, guilt, rage, emptiness, loneliness, fear, or sadness that influences his or her decision to begin harming him or herself, and these feelings often derive from a serious mental health issue, like depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or addiction. Humans are trained to cope with pain and problems in healthy ways: talking it out, distressing, etc. But sometimes, emotional pain can be too overwhelming for a person in Anchorage to handle, and other coping mechanisms are sought.

Drug abuse is another common way for people to cope with physical and psychological pain in Anchorage. Just like the physical sensation of pain from self-injury, drugs and alcohol allow individuals to escape, forget, or numb themselves to their pain; the individuals, again, are in control and have the ability to find relief or punish themselves with pain.

Drug abuse can lead to the development of mental health issues and can lead to significant problems in an individual’s life. Therefore, self-harm can be the result of a drug abuse or addiction problem. Self-harm and mental health issues can also initiate drug abuse in Anchorage. Unresolved mental health issues, emotional pain and the guilt, shame, loneliness and physical pain of self-harming behaviors can lead a person to drug-seeking behaviors in order to cope.

Getting Help for Self-Harming Behaviors and Drug Abuse

Getting help for self-harming behaviors is difficult, as is getting help for drug abuse or addiction. People feel shame and guilt for their behavior and want to keep it secret in Anchorage. Others may be in denial that they need help. Drug abuse will only make the symptoms that trigger self-harming behaviors worse. Getting help for self-harm, mental health disorders and drug abuse is imperative because the combination of behaviors can cause immense harm to one’s physical and emotional health as well as greatly interfere with one’s wellbeing.

Find Treatment for Self-Harm, Drug Abuse and Mental Health Issues

If you or a loved one needs help for self-harming behaviors, drug abuse, or other mental health issues, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline now. We are here to listen and to help you find the treatment and recovery services that will work for you. Call today.