March is self-injury and self-harm awareness month. I would like to take this opportunity to let you know what self-harm is. Typically self-harm is anything someone does to intentionally injure themselves to deal with emotional pain. Examples of self-harm include behaviors like cutting, banging your head, or burning of the skin. The feelings of these physical pains can help the individual to deal or cope with emotional pain. However, these behaviors are unhealthy coping mechanisms that can lead to more dangerous consequences. Self-harm can often be a symptom of mental illness like major depressive disorder, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Approximately 4% of adults self-harm with an increased incidence amongst college students of 17-35%. There is treatment available. If you or someone you know self-harms, read through this helpful guide and take the first step to feeling better. The most effective treatment is multimodal therapy. Multimodal therapy often consists of medication, talk therapy, and an actively engaged patient. Some patients may require inpatient therapy to get the help that they need. If you have further questions, please feel free to call our office.