Relationship between self harm and substance misuse

Addiction and Suicide: How Substance Abuse Is Related to Self-Harm

relationship between self harm and substance misuse

PM runs an NHS service for adults who self-harm and is to declare, either in relation to this study, or more generally. While drug abuse is not considered self-harming behavior, in many cases the two behaviors appear together in an addict. The relationship between addiction and suicide is complex. who are depressed to use drugs and alcohol to try to self-medicate the symptoms.

Drugs and alcohol can slow reaction times and decrease nerve endings, making self-injuring behaviors very perilous while under the influence. For example, someone who cuts may cut too deep, causing serious or even fatal wounds before realizing the depth or severity.

Alcohol and drugs can also exacerbate feelings of depression and anxiety, leading to more severe methods of injurious behavior even including suicide.

relationship between self harm and substance misuse

Warning Signs Those who regularly engage in non-suicidal self-injury NSSI say that it offers temporarily relief from overwhelming emotions and negative thoughts as much as 90 percent of the time, as reported by Current Psychiatry. It is important to understand that although this seems like it might be helpful, it is not a healthy outlet for relieving stress and should be treated.

relationship between self harm and substance misuse

It can be a symptom of a greater issue and many who suffer from NSSI also may have substance abuse problems as well. Some of the warning signs of this condition are: Social media sites are also flooded with cases of self-harm, and some even glorify it. Cases of celebrity self-mutilation continue to pop up, and self-harming behavior seems to be rising everywhere.

Excessive visits to pro-self-harm websites could be a warning sign for a bigger problem. If you or someone you know is presenting these warning signs, it is time to get help. Treatment Options Self-harming behavior can be difficult to notice, diagnose and treat.

Only recently has the disorder really hit the public eye.

Addiction and Suicide: How Substance Abuse Is Related to Self-Harm

Self-harm is common in adolescence where it often co-occurs with common mental disorder 4. Fortunately, however, for the majority of young people, self-harm appears to be a transitory phenomenon 5. Resolution of self-harm may occur as a result of learning new strategies for dealing with difficult emotions 6.

Changes in social and affective processing occurring during adolescence may also play an important role in the resolution of self-harm 7. Yet, evidence is growing that self-harmers have other serious health risks that may persist into adulthood 8. For example, in adolescence, self-harm has been linked to eating disorders 9reckless driving 10 and substance use 11 In young people, substance use is an established correlate of self-harm 13but it is unknown whether teenagers who self-harm are at increased risk of dependent use of alcohol and drugs in their adult years.

The existence of a prospective association between adolescent self-harm and adult substance dependence would add weight to the importance of detecting and intervening with self-harmers during their adolescent years. Aims of the study In this study, using a repeated measures cohort of a representative community sample of adolescents, we set out to determine whether there is a prospective association between adolescent self-harming behaviour and substance dependence in adulthood.

One of the functions of self-harm is affect regulation. Alcohol and drugs are also commonly used to relieve emotional symptoms, and we therefore specifically hypothesized that adolescent self-harmers would be at increased risk of substance abuse and dependence in adulthood. While mature defense mechanisms are generally assumed to operate to protect self-esteem, immature defense mechanisms are thought to operate through rigid and extreme distortions in order to preserve the integrity of the self.

Whereas the use of immature defense mechanisms is rather associated with disturbed personal and interpersonal relationships, the use of mature defense mechanisms is associated with mental well-being 22, The aim of this study was to investigate the association of a history of SA and SHB with defense mechanisms in OUD patients to establish a base for determining appropriate therapeutic approaches to reduce SA and such behaviors that influences patient management adversely.

relationship between self harm and substance misuse

Participants were interviewed about weeks after the last use of the substance, i. Study inclusion criteria were as follows: Sociodemographic and Clinical Data Form: This form was prepared in accordance with the clinical experience and information gleaned from the literature with respect to the aims of the study.

The semi-structured form consists of sociodemographic data including age, gender, marital status, education status, occupation, place of residence, economic status, and family structure, and of clinical data including duration of disease, number of hospitalizations, and psychosocial stress etiology at disease onset.

The DSQ is a self-assessment scale consisting of a total of 40 items and 20 defenses that evaluate empirically the reflections of unconscious defense styles on the level of consciousness. In the test described by Andrews et al. The 20 defensive mechanisms in the questionnaire are grouped in three dimensions, namely immature, neurotic, and mature defenses.

The Link between Self-Harm and Drug Addiction - The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake

Immature defenses are projection, passive aggression, acting out, isolation, devaluation, autistic fantasy, denial, displacement, dissociation, splitting, rationalization, and somatization; neurotic defenses are undoing, pseudo-altruism, idealization, and reaction formation; and mature defenses are sublimation, humor, anticipation, and suppression.

The Turkish validity and reliability study of the questionnaire was performed by Yilmaz The scale was developed by Beck 27 in to measure the risk of depression in adults with the change in severity of depressive symptoms and their level.

Its validity and reliability in the Turkish language was confirmed by Hisli 28 in The cut-off point of the inventory was set at It is a item Likert-type self-assessment questionnaire that is frequently used in depression studies. Every item is related with a behavioral characteristic of depression. The items are scored from 0 to 3 according to the severity of the depression.

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The total score ranges from 0 to This is a self-assessment inventory developed by Beck et al. It consists of 21 items and is a Likert-type scale scored between The reliability and validity for Turkey was confirmed by Ulusoy Statistical evaluation was performed using version 22 of the SPSS software package. Among patients with OUD, 37 patients were excluded from the study for having the following comorbidities: The average number of siblings was five.

No association was found between SA history and other mature defense mechanisms Table 2. Logistic regression analysis showed that passive aggression subscale scores and younger age were the determinants for a history of SHB in patients with OUD Table 3. On the other hand, the SA history was determined by younger age, low idealization, projection, devaluation, splitting, rationalization, suppression, denial, dissociation, somatization, and BAI scores Table 4.

It was further reported that in alcohol dependent patients with SA history, scores for sublimation, anticipation, and suppression and for total mature defense style were lower, and a low score for anticipation and younger age were determinants of SA history.

This observation was attributed to the earlier therapy-seeking behavior of alcohol-dependent patients with a history of SHB or SA. In our study, passive aggression subscale score and younger age predicted the SHB history; and low idealization, projection, devaluation, splitting, rationalization, suppression, dissociation, somatization, and BAI scores together with younger age determined the SA history.

The finding that younger age determined the history of SHB and SA in patients with OUD indicates earlier treatment-seeking in these patients, as reported in alcohol-dependent patients.

relationship between self harm and substance misuse

In addition, it was detected that idealization, projection, devaluation, splitting, rationalization, suppression, denial, dissociation, somatization, and BAI scores determined the history of SA, and that the SHB history was predicted by passive aggression.

This suggests that OUD subjects used more complex defense mechanisms than did patients with alcohol dependence. In the current study, scores for the passive aggression and somatization subscales of immature defense mechanisms were found to be higher in OUD subjects with a SHB history. The immature factor subscale score was higher. Passive aggression is the expression of angry and aggressive feelings towards others by influencing them indirectly and negatively, e.

Somatization is a defense mechanism to relieve anxiety and distress for which no reason or source is known by attributing these to a known concrete reason, source, or situation The reason for a higher utilization of passive aggression and somatization in patients with a SHB history may be their inadequate ability to express their problems verbally in an appropriate manner, to seek help, and to use problem-solving techniques effectively.

The anticipation subscale score in our study was higher in patients with SHB.

Understanding the relationship between substance use and self-injury in American Indian youth.

The anticipation defense mechanism is defined as a realistic calculation of the problematic and negative outcomes that may be encountered in the future and to make purposeful plans accordingly, considering the bad possibilities and being prepared for difficulties based on the worst possible outcome SHB is considered by some researchers as a coping mechanism or affection stabilization strategy as it helps to alleviate strong feelings and to reduce tension The use of SHB as a coping mechanism for helping to alleviate strong feelings and reduce tension may be related with the use of mature defense mechanisms by these group of patients 1.

In our study, no relationship was found between other mature defense mechanisms and a SHB history. In fact, patients with SHB stories have stated that they are acting in this way to reduce tension, to stabilize affection, to improve their mood, and to move away from the discomfort of dissociative experiences 13, It is known that a depressive profile is associated with low mature, high immature, and highly neurotic defense mechanisms, whereas the anxiety profile is related with high immature and highly neurotic defenses On the other hand, in our study, a SA history was only associated with higher immature defense mechanisms despite higher BAI and BDI scores, while against our expectation, no association of SA history with mature or neurotic defense mechanisms was found.

Patients with a diagnosis of substance use disorder were reported to be more likely to use rationalization, denial, suppression, and projection defense mechanisms than do healthy controls 36, A Turkish study reported that individuals with substance addiction were more likely to use autistic fantasy, sublimation, pseudo-altruism, and isolation In another study comparing patients with and without alcohol dependence, the former group was less likely to use neurotic defense mechanisms, some immature defense mechanisms splitting, somatization, projection, acting outand only humor among the mature defense mechanisms compared to the healthy control group It was emphasized that the use of immature defense mechanisms is related to the severity of dissociative experiences, addiction, and childhood trauma, and that these patients had more psychological problems.

Patients with substance use disorders who often use mature defense mechanisms may need the substance as a way of coping with the anxiety caused by their conflict, resulting in an increased severity of addiction Nevertheless, such a relationship was investigated in patients with alcohol-use disorder