Signs & Symptoms of Self-Harm OCD:
The most common symptom of self-harm OCD is intrusive thoughts about harming oneself. These thoughts can be extremely distressing, and may feel impossible to control. You may also have intense fears about accidentally harming yourself, or about losing control and harming yourself intentionally. Other signs and symptoms of self-harm OCD can include:
- You may go to great lengths to avoid anything that could potentially trigger your OCD, such as avoiding sharp objects or places where you could hurt yourself.
- You may engage in safety behaviors, such as keeping a list of emergency contacts close by at all times, in order to reduce your anxiety about harming yourself.
- Intrusive thoughts about death or self-harm: You may have intrusive thoughts about harming yourself or even dying. These thoughts can be so distressing that you feel the need to engage in compulsions, such as checking for sharp objects, in order to ease your anxiety.
- Common compulsions include checking for sharp objects, avoiding places where you could hurt yourself, or asking others for reassurance that you won’t harm yourself.
- You may avoid people, places, or things that trigger your OCD symptoms. For example, you may avoid knives or other sharp objects, or you may avoid places where you could hurt yourself.
- OCD can cause significant anxiety. You may be worried about harming yourself or others, or you may be afraid of losing control and doing something harmful.
Self-harm OCD is a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) in which individuals are obsessed with the idea that they may harm themselves or others. People with self-harm OCD may have intrusive thoughts, images, or urges to hurt themselves. They may also engage in compulsive behaviors to try to prevent themselves from harming themselves or others.
What To Do If You Have Self-Harm OCD
If you think you might have self-harm OCD, it’s important to seek professional help. A mental health provider can talk with you about your symptoms and give you a diagnosis. He or she can also provide treatment that can help reduce your OCD symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Treatment for Self-harm OCD
The gold-standard treatment for sufferers of self-harm OCD is ERP (Exposure and Response Prevention Therapy). This is a form of CBT whereby the patient engages in exercises that gradually expose them to their fears in a planned and strategic way.Research demonstrates that this is the most effective way of treating self-harm OCD and is successful in more than two-thirds of cases.
CBT that incorporates mindfulness is also considered to be an effective way of treating Harm OCD in the latter stages of treatment. This treatment aims to change how you see and react to your thoughts, so you take them less seriously. Mindfulness will help you feel more relaxed and able to cope when the thoughts arise.
Some see medication as a last resort, but for others it is an effective way to manage their symptoms when combined with appropriate psychotherapy and behavior change. Medication (most commonly SSRIs) can be used in conjunction with other treatments and is most effective when combined with ERP.
Self-harm OCD is a serious condition that requires professional treatment. If you think you might have self-harm OCD, reach out for help today. With treatment, you can learn to control your OCD and live a happier, healthier life.
OCD can be a very debilitating disorder, but with proper treatment, people with OCD can lead happy and successful lives. If you or someone you know is struggling with OCD, please reach out for help. There are many resources available to help people with OCD, and treatment can make a big difference in quality of life.