Self harm in teens is not uncommon but can be very disturbing. Many teens will try to keep their self harming a secret and for some it is a problem that has been developing or ongoing for many months, or even years. Self harm can be treated and as with many disorders, treatment begins by understanding the teenager and the reasons that triggered the self harm in the teenager in the first instance.

What is Self Harm in Teens?

In teenagers, heightened hormones can make life challenging and confusing. Combined with the hormonal changes, peer pressure and societal issues can weigh heavily on a teenager as they struggle to fit in and succeed. When teenagers feel down, distressed, anxious or confused, emotions can become extreme. When emotions are exaggerated and out of control, acts of self harm may begin. The most common reason for self harm in teens is when they are stressed or anxious. Understanding the triggers for each teen is most important.

The underlying reasons for self harm in teenagers can be complicated. Self harm does not necessarily mean that the teenager wants to commit suicide, and it is not always about seeking attention. Self harm somehow alters how a teenager may feel inside and sometimes because the person feels disconnected, it is the only way they are able to feel some connection. Physical pain can sometimes override the emotional pain. Fortunately self harm is treatable.

Meet the Team


Teenagers who self harm tend to have a low ability to cope with life or may have inappropriate self coping skills. Very often a teen who has not been taught proper tools to deal with the many emotional issues, peer pressure, school pressure and so on in a teen’s life, may self harm as a way to release pressure. Sometimes it is a cry for help or some form of attention seeking but this is very often not the case.

Signs and symptoms of self harm in teens may include

  • Visible scarring on arms or other part of the body
  • Fresh or open cuts and other wounds
  • Excessive rubbing to cause a burn
  • Frequent holding of sharp objects for no reason
  • Obsession with sharp items
  • Wearing long sleeves, even in warm weather to cover up scars or wounds
  • Difficulty communicating generally and overall difficulty with interpersonal relationships

View Our Facility Gallery


Self harm may not always be used to attempt suicide or draw attention. Self harm is more often an emotional release to deal with pain, anxiety or other mental pressure – the physical pain somehow overrides the emotional pain. Getting to the source of the problem and ascertaining why a teenager is self harming is vital in both prescribing and succeeding in the correct course of treatment. There are no medications that can treat or cure self harm in teenagers. The conventional method of treatment is by means of a course of therapy with a program designed to treat the individual and address the root cause of the problem. Medication may simply be used to relax a patient during the course of therapy.

Beachside Treatment Center and Teen Self harm

Beachside Treatment Center has a qualified and experienced team of professionals to properly and fully evaluate and treat teenagers who self harm. As a specialist mental health facility, Beachside Treatment Center provides individualized programs designed specifically for teenagers, delivered in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The Beachside Treatment Center team treats each case individually to ensure the very best results with a focus on long term recovery rather than simply a quick fix solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Our dedicated team is ready to answer your questions.
Give us a call, or request a call back: