Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19

LAST UPDATED ON 03/15/2021

As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, there are certain restrictions in place regarding on-site visitation at Carolina House Eating Disorder Treatment Center.

  • These restrictions have been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • Options for telehealth visitation are continuously evaluated so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff receives ongoing infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance is provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit

Causes & Effects of Self-Harm

Carolina House provides leading self-harm treatment to ensure long-lasting recovery for a healthier and more satisfying life.

Understanding Self-Harm

Learn about self-harm treatment

When an individual feels compelled to pinch, cut, burn, or tear his or her own skin, pull out hair, hit himself or herself, and/or prevent wounds from healing, he or she is engaging in self-harm. Also sometimes referred to as self-injury or self-mutilation, self-harm may also be characterized by hitting oneself with an object, purposefully running into hard surfaces, breaking one’s own bones, or knowingly consuming toxic substances. This type of behavior is often a result of stress or severe emotional pain. By harming oneself, an individual may experience temporary relief, and may feel that he or she has taken a modicum of control over his or her life. However, these positive emotions are often followed by feelings of shame and guilt.

Continued self-harm can bring on a number of dangerous effects if the behavior is allowed to continue. Unfortunately, many of those who struggle with the desire to harm themselves also struggle with eating disorders. For these individuals, the behaviors connected to their eating disorders can bring on extra consequences throughout all areas of their lives. Luckily, there are treatment options that can help these individuals work through both their self-harming ways and their disordered eating habits. Obtaining treatment such as this can improve the lives of those who have been afflicted by these conditions by providing them with the proper coping skills needed to help them defeat their dangerous behaviors.


Self-harm statistics

Research has suggested that roughly one in seven males and one in five females participate in self-harm. The actual prevalence of the rates of self-harm are not entirely known because many people who participate in these behaviors do so in private and work hard to conceal their injuries.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for self-harm

No conclusive causes for this behavior have been confirmed. However, studies suggest that a number of genetic and environmental risk factors may play into the development of self-harm, including the following:

Genetic: Self-harm can stem from symptoms linked to other mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, which are known to have genetic impacts on an individual if these disorders run throughout his or her family. Therefore, when a genetic predisposition for these disorders is present, it is more likely that someone will struggle with these symptoms than someone who does not share this same genetic background.

Environmental: Specific environmental influences can bring on emotional and/or psychological symptoms that are connected to mental illnesses. For example, extremely stressful home or work environments can cause an individual to self-harm. In addition, traumatic events can also trigger the development of this disorder, especially when an individual does not have a strong support system.

Risk Factors:

  • Lack of sufficient support system
  • Having unstable emotions / mood
  • Confusion pertaining to one’s sexuality
  • Experiencing the unexpected death of a friend or loved one
  • Exposure to trauma / experiencing trauma
  • Having inept coping skills
  • Preexisting mental illness
  • Poor impulse control
  • Family history of mental illness
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of self-harm

Self-harm does not often occur around others. This form of unhealthy coping is often conducted behind the scenes and away from friends, family members, or loved ones so that the afflicted individual does not receive unwanted advice or opinions about his or her behaviors. If you believe that a friend or a loved one is participating in self-harming behaviors, it is imperative to take note of the many signs and symptoms listed below:

Behavioral symptoms:

  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Wearing pants and/or long-sleeved shirts to conceal wounds
  • Declined involvement in activities that were once enjoyed
  • Dismissing injuries as accidents

Physical symptoms:

  • Burn marks
  • Patches of missing hair
  • Bruising
  • Cuts
  • Broken bones
  • Scratches or scrapes

Cognitive symptoms:

  • Intrusive thoughts about wanting to self-injure
  • Experiencing a sense of detachment from one’s surroundings
  • Lack of impulse control
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to focus attention

Psychosocial symptoms:

  • Loneliness
  • Pervasive feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and/or worthlessness
  • Defeatist attitude
  • Increased feelings of anxiety when one is not able to self-harm
  • Guilty feelings

Effects of self-harm

The effects of harming oneself can include short and long-term effects. From a physical standpoint, individuals can struggle with the following effects if their self-harming behaviors continue:

  • Bones that do not heal properly
  • Unintentional death
  • Vital organ damage
  • Organ failure
  • Anemia
  • Damage to one’s nerves
  • Infection
  • Hemorrhage
  • Scarring or permanent damage to tissues

Other parts of an individual’s life can also be affected by self-injury. A greater risk for the following effects remains if self-harm persists:

  • Decline in quantity and quality of relationships with others
  • Greater risk for using or abusing substances
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Increased conflict within interpersonal relationships
  • Intrusive thoughts about self-harm
  • Overwhelming compulsions to injure oneself
Co-Occurring Disorders

Self-harm and co-occurring disorders

Self-harm is often symptomatic of another mental health condition that is occurring. Those who struggle with eating disorders also sometimes suffer from the desire to engage in self-harm. In addition to eating disorders like bulimia, binge-eating disorder, or anorexia, below are some of the many mental health disorders that can produce self-harm behaviors as symptoms:

  • Borderline personality disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Depressive disorders
  • Bipolar disorder
Think you might have an eating disorder?

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Treatment Modalities

I was in a very dark place before I finally decided to get help. I'm so thankful I choose Carolina House. It saved my life. For the first time in years, I finally feel happy again.

– a former resident
Marks of Quality Care
Why does this matter?
  • American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)
  • Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • International Association Of Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP)
  • National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA)