Parasuicidal Behaviors: When Despair Turns Inwards Admin April 30, 2024

Parasuicidal Behaviors: When Despair Turns Inwards

Parasuicidal Behaviors, or Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), involve acts of intentionally harming oneself without the conscious intent to end one’s life. These behaviors can take various forms, and while they may not be suicide attempts, they are serious cries for help. They signal deep emotional pain and a desperate struggle to cope with overwhelming feelings.

It’s important to understand that Parasuicidal Behaviors are complex and should never be dismissed as attention-seeking or manipulative. They stem from underlying distress that requires professional support. The good news is, with the right help and treatment, individuals can learn healthy ways to manage their emotions and develop a life worth living beyond self-harm.

What Do Parasuicidal Behaviors Look Like?

Parasuicidal Behaviors can take on many forms. Some of the most common include:

  • Cutting: Using sharp objects to create cuts on the skin.
  • Burning: Inflicting burns with hot objects or substances.
  • Scratching or hitting oneself: Causing bruises, marks, or other injuries through scratching or hitting.
  • Risky behaviors: Engaging in dangerous activities that carry a high risk of physical harm, such as reckless driving, substance abuse, or unsafe behaviors.

Beyond the Surface

It’s crucial to remember that the focus should not be on the specific method of self-harm, but rather on the intense emotional turmoil and lack of healthy coping mechanisms that drive these behaviors. Parasuicidal behaviors are an outward expression of deep inner pain that needs to be addressed.

Finding Support in Dubai

The compassionate Psychiatrists at American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City understand the complex nature of Parasuicidal Behaviors. We offer a safe, non-judgmental space to explore the underlying causes and develop effective coping skills to help break the cycle of self-harm.

Why Do People Engage in Parasuicidal Behaviors?

It’s important to understand that Parasuicidal Behaviors are not about seeking attention or being manipulative. They are a desperate attempt to cope with overwhelming or unbearable emotions. Here are some common reasons why people might engage in these behaviors:

  • To manage overwhelming emotions: When feelings like intense sadness, anger, emptiness, or guilt become too much to bear, self-harm can serve as a harmful way to release them or distract from the emotional pain.
  • To feel something: In moments of emotional numbness or dissociation, the physical pain from self-harm can provide a way to feel grounded or break through the numbness.
  • To regain a sense of control: When life feels chaotic or out of control, self-harm might offer a temporary and misguided sense of control over one’s body or the pain being experienced.
  • To punish oneself: In some cases, self-harm stems from deep-seated feelings of low self-worth, self-hatred, or a distorted need for self-punishment.

A Maladaptive Coping Mechanism

While Parasuicidal Behaviors might provide momentary relief, they are ultimately a harmful and ineffective way of managing emotional distress. There are healthier and more sustainable ways to cope with difficult emotions.

Finding Compassion in Dubai

The Psychiatrists at American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City understand the complexity of Parasuicidal Behaviors. We offer a compassionate space to explore the root causes, develop healthy coping mechanisms, and find lasting ways to manage intense feelings.

Myths and Misconceptions

Unfortunately, Parasuicidal Behaviors are surrounded by misunderstandings that can lead to judgment, shame, and a reluctance to seek help. Let’s challenge some of the most common and harmful myths:

  • Myth: “It’s just attention-seeking.”
    • Reality: While seeking help might be a side-effect, Parasuicidal Behaviors are primarily a desperate plea for help, a sign that someone is struggling to cope with overwhelming emotions. Dismissing it as attention-seeking is harmful and invalidates the person’s pain.
  • Myth: “People who engage in NSSI want to die.”
    • Reality: Parasuicidal Behaviors are distinct from suicide attempts. While there can be overlap in some cases, engaging in self-harm does not necessarily mean someone wants to end their life.
  • Myth: “Only teenagers do this.”
    • Reality: While Parasuicidal Behaviors may be more common in adolescence, they can affect people of all ages. Anyone struggling with overwhelming emotions might turn to self-harm as a way to cope.

Challenging Stigma in Dubai

These myths perpetuate stigma and prevent people from getting the support they need. At American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City, we believe in compassionate, non-judgmental care for individuals struggling with Parasuicidal Behaviors. We provide a safe space to address the underlying distress and learn healthier ways to manage difficult emotions.

When to Seek Help

If you or someone you care about is engaging in Parasuicidal Behaviors, seeking professional help is essential, no matter how “severe” or “infrequent” the self-harm may seem. Remember, these behaviors signal deep emotional distress that needs to be addressed.

Urgent Help Is Needed If:

  • Self-harm is frequent or escalating in intensity.
  • The injuries caused by self-harm are severe or require medical attention.
  • Thoughts of suicide accompany the self-harming behaviors.

Time is of the Essence

Even if the situation doesn’t feel urgent, reaching out for professional help is a courageous step towards healing. The Psychiatrists at American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City offer specialized, non-judgmental support for individuals struggling with Parasuicidal Behaviors. We’ll work with you to understand the root causes, develop healthy coping skills, and build a life beyond self-harm.

Treatment and Support

Finding the right treatment and support is crucial for overcoming Parasuicidal Behaviors and building a healthier, more fulfilling life. Here’s what that might involve:


  • Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT): Teaches emotional regulation skills, distress tolerance techniques, and how to replace harmful behaviors with healthier coping mechanisms.
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): Helps you identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to self-harm.

Other therapy approaches may also be beneficial, depending on individual needs.

  • Medication: Sometimes used to address underlying mental health conditions like depression or anxiety, which can worsen or trigger Parasuicidal Behaviors.
  • Support Groups: Connecting with others who understand your experience can offer validation, reduce feelings of isolation, and help you learn new coping strategies. Support groups are also available for family members and loved ones.

Finding a Path to Healing in Dubai

The road to recovery from Parasuicidal Behaviors may have its challenges, but know that you don’t have to walk this path alone. At American Wellness Center in Dubai Healthcare City, our compassionate Psychiatrists specialize in treating Parasuicidal Behaviors. We offer personalized treatment plans to address the underlying causes and develop effective tools for managing difficult emotions and building a life worth living. Contact us Today!