Self-Injury, or “cutting” refers to any sort of self-harm which involves inflicting injuries or pain on one’s own body. Once seen and treated as a suicide attempt, trained mental health professionals now define the act of cutting as an unhealthy coping mechanism designed to immediately alleviate tension, anxiety, stress and depression. In other words, when reality feels overwhelming, some turn to cutting themselves, several times a day, with sharp objects in order to relieve their inner pain.
Concerns should be raised in any of the following situations:
Regardless of someone’s background, the common link in all self-injurers is the need for consistent, relationship-oriented support, nurturance and guidance. In addition to the constant struggle with the desire to cut one’s own body, eating disorders, hair pulling, piercing, tattooing and skin burning are other conditions that may co-exist with cutting.
If you or someone you know is inflicting pain upon their body, the following resources and services are available to help.