Self Harm & Age
The answer is, it depends. What type of self harm are you engaging in? If they mistake your self harm for a suicide attempt, they could have you committed to a mental institution. People can be committed to mental institutions when they are deemed imminently dangerous to themselves or to others.
Many teenagers who engage in self harm do so by cutting themselves. In the majority of cases, these are not suicide attempts but rather maladaptive behaviors intended to relieve emotional pain. Self harm of this nature typically will not require inpatient hospitalization.
When people are mutilating their bodies to relieve their emotional pain, they need professional help. They are suffering.
It’s important to realize that there are right and wrong ways to deal with the emotional pain. Self harm is the wrong way. It is always the wrong way. Talking about one’s problems in counseling and learning the proper strategies for fixing them, is the right way.
I hope you will have the courage to speak to your parents about this problem and to ask for their help. Make them aware of how you’re feeling and that you want help. We live in a culture where some erroneously think that getting counseling means that they are weak or a failure, yet they don’t drill and fill their own teeth. Too many people fail to realize how much of a positive difference mental health treatment can make in their lives. It could make all the difference in the world. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle