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Discussion Forums
Self-Mutilation

Cutting and burning yourself comes from two different places: feeling such intense emotional pain that physical pain actually feels good (especially since it gets the endorphins flowing through your system), or else you feel so detached from your body and the world that you want the physical pain just to reassure yourself that you're really alive. Like eating disorders, self-mutilation has a high correlation to sexual abuse (remembered or repressed). Although self-mutilation can co-exist with suicidal thoughts or ideation, it's really a separate issue, even if it involves cutting on the inner arms. In fact, self-mutilation can act as a self-protection, a release from intense emotions that otherwise might drive someone toward suicide. A lot of people can't understand that, but real life is full of paradoxes.

If you're cutting or burning, even if it doesn't endanger your life, it's a sign to you that something inside is wounded and wants healing. Some part of your mind knows this and is trying to tell the rest of you. It's OK if you have no clue what it is, or why you do it, but please at least respect this cry for help from a deeper part of yourself. Start by talking to one person you can trust. If there's no one in your life you can trust, go to the discussion board anonymously, and start keeping your eye out for someone who might be understanding or helpful. Please also try to find a counselor because self-mutilation is a symptom of something that won't just go away on its own. There are good and bad therapists, as well as therapists you'll click with and ones you won't. Find one you feel good about.

—Gail




Facts & Stats

The prevalence rate of self-mutilation in the general population of the US is estimated as 1 to 2%.

There are higher rates of self-mutilation among college students, institutionalized individuals and survivors of childhood trauma.

The most commonly used instruments are knives, scissors, razor blades, broken glass, pins, belts, fists and walls.

--The above info is from The Bio Behavioral Institute

It's estimated that one out of every 200 teen girls regularly practices self-injury. At least 11,000 boys per year also deliberately harm themselves.

13% of 15 and 16-year-olds have carried out an act of deliberate self-harm.

About half of all self-injurers have histories of sexual and/or physical abuse.

--The above info is from Shine.com