Teen Self Injury Treatment | Paradigm Malibu

The Rise of Teen Self Harming

Posted on 05. Jul, 2013 by in Self Harm

She enters the room and closes the door. She’s alone for the first time with her pain. Another day filled with fear, hate and isolation. Alone in the room she screams inside with pain. Out comes the blade and then the warmth of the blood trickles down her skin. She finally feels relief. She is 13.

Cutting, self mutilation or self hurting is on a sharp rise with America’s youth, especially with girls. Teen self injury treatment is available, but we still ask why is it that so many of our youth are finding relief in hurting themselves? The statistics are alarming. In the July 2012 issue of Pediatrics, the official journal of The American Academy of Pediatrics, it was reported that in a recent survey:

Overall, 8.0% of the  youth reported engaging in NSSI (Nonsuicidal Self-Injury); 9.0% of girls and 6.7% of boys reported NSSI engagement; 7.6% of third-graders, 4.0% of sixth-graders, and 12.7% of ninth-graders

But the question remains why?  For those who cut or injure themselves, they are taking the emotional pain that they feel they can’t control and turn it into a manageable physical pain. This transference of pain gives them relief  from the mental anguish so that all they have to deal with is physical pain, which they know will go away. Cutting also releases endorphins in the brain that provide relief from the pain and a gives one a feeling of well being. It is the release of endorphins that might explain why the behavior becomes compulsive.  Cutters are usually not suicidal, they see it as a way to cope with their emotions. Some sign to be on the lookout for are:

  • Noticeable unhealed scabs
  • Wearing long sleeves or pants in hot weather
  • Wearing wristbands or an excessive amount of bracelets
  • Isolation
  • Change in normal activities
  • Missing sharp objects or sharp objects in their room
  • Blood on clothes
  • Not wanting to go swimming or be exposed in a bathing suit

If you are a cutter and need help the first thing to do is to tell someone. If you are unable to speak to someone you know contact a self harm hotline like 1-800-DONT-CUT (1-800-366-8288) or the Boys Town National Hotline (NOT JUST FOR BOYS) 1-800-448-3000. If you are a parent looking to help a loved one, do research and seek professional guidance. There are many agencies able to help, check the internet or your local directory for assistance in your area.

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