Self-Injury

Self-InjuryWhat is Self-Injury?

Self-injury, also known as cutting or self-mutilation, occurs when someone intentionally and repeatedly harms herself/himself. The method most often used is cutting but other common behaviors include burning, punching, and drinking something harmful, like bleach or detergent.

Who does it?

It's estimated that about two million people in the U.S. injure themselves in some way.  The majority are teenagers or young adults with young women outnumbering young men. They are of all races and backgrounds.

Why?

Often, people say they hurt themselves to express emotional pain or feelings they can't put into words.It can be a way to have control over your body when you can't control anything else in your life. A lot of people who cut themselves also have an eating disorder.Although they usually aren't trying to kill themselves, sometimes they're unable to control the injury and die accidentally.

How can I help myself?

Know that help is available. Treatment is available for people who injure themselves. To learn about it, try talking to a professional person around you, someone like your school counselor. If you're not comfortable with that, think about contacting your local mental health association or checking out the S.A.F.E Alternatives website.


Fact Sheets

Cutting
Self-Injury

Resources

S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)
www.selfinjury.com
Information Line: 1-800-DONT CUT

References

S.A.F.E. Alternatives website. 
http://www.selfinjury.com

Mental Health America’s mpower: musicians for mental health is a campaign that works to educate youth and young adults about mental health through music. For more information, visit www.mpoweryouth.org.