Self-harm is on the rise, especially among young women. While there are many possible reasons for this troubling trend, leading researchers and psychologists believe that trauma is the key factor in driving these vulnerable young women to want to hurt themselves.
If you or a loved one are suffering from thoughts of self-harm or are dealing with the effects of trauma, it is important to get help and develop coping skills before the problem gets worse. At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, our women’s trauma treatment programs are focused on helping women develop coping skills and heal from the trauma they have experienced. This involves a multi-step approach that aims to teach women how to identify the effects of trauma and build new, healthier ways of coping. For more information, reach out to our team of experts today at 855.773.0614.
What Is Trauma, and Why Is It Important to Understand?
The research on the effects of trauma on the body is extensive, dating back to the early 1900s. Recently, however, psychologists and researchers have been making major strides in understanding what trauma does to the body and why so many young women are suffering from anxiety, self-harm ideation, and depression.
Many young women today experience trauma regularly, starting at a very young age. Whether it is fear of judgment from peers at school or on social media or overcoming the expectations of society, trauma is inherent in every young women’s life.
According to one of the most renowned books on trauma, The Body Keeps The Score, the main cause of trauma in our modern society is not being accepted for one’s own true identity. For many young women, the social pressure to be something they are not is immense. This pressure has a huge effect on the mental (and physical) health of young women who are constantly stuck in a physical state, enhancing the risk of stress, anxiety, and self-harm.
The Effects of Trauma on the Body
Trauma can be experienced as a single event or as ongoing exposure to traumatic experiences. Modern psychologists are beginning to discover that sustained trauma can damage the body’s ability to reach a calm, rational state of mind. This points to the fact that trauma can permanently alter the mindset of young women and lower their ability to calm down and think rationally. This causes many women to feel like they have no control over their lives and that suicide is the only way out.
This traumatic experience throughout many young women’s youth can profoundly affect the state of their bodies and minds. A few of the main negative consequences of this widespread trauma include:
- Inability to regulate emotions
- Getting stuck in fight-or-flight mode
- Consistent anxiety
- Poor sleep quality
- Decreased overall health
- Reduced immune system strength
All of the effects of trauma contribute to young women having a difficult time feeling at ease and comfortable in their own skin. This turns into a vicious feedback loop of depression, anxiety, and, often, suicidal ideation.
It’s important to note that self-harm is often not linked to suicide but as a way to cope with internal distress. Self-harm can create a release and provide a temporary release from chronic stress and anxiety. However, the long-term consequence of self-harm is quite damaging to both mental and physical health. Often, professional treatment is necessary to help young women overcome the effects of trauma and build new, healthier ways of coping.
Discover Self-Harm Treatment at The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®
Healing trauma requires getting to the source of the problem and being open to healing. Self-harm treatment programs offer women the opportunity to learn how to turn off the fight or flight system and find a sense of peace. Many women who engage in self-harm feel like they are constantly in a state of emergency, and treatment programs can help them to feel more in control. The programs can also provide women with support and guidance as they work through their issues. Treatment modalities may include group therapy, 1-on-1 therapy, and more hands-on, experiential techniques such as recreational therapy.
If you would like to learn more about the deep-seated effects of trauma on young women and how our self-harm treatment services can help you learn how to develop a healthier, more balanced mindset, reach out to our friendly team of experts today at 855.773.0614.