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Self-injury, including cutting, is increasing in our culture. We frequently see teens and young adults who have injured themselves intentionally.


The numbers tell us that girls and women injure themselves intentionally more than boys and men.


The behavior can be a mild as scratching ones’ arm lightly with the fingernails, or so severe and ingrained that it leads to psychiatric hospitalization to prevent serious harm.



Many believe self-injury is a relatively new phenomenon. Others believe it has been occurring for a long time, but had not attained public attention until recently.


We believe the latter is true. And we see that public attention has also escalated self-injury, especially cutting. We see the subject treated in films, music, the Internet and other media. People so disposed no longer have to “invent” the behavior. Awareness makes it an option.


Contrary to what many might think, the majority of people caught in the self-injury web are not suicidal. Instead they use it as a way to cope with overwhelming feelings or a way to feel something while gripped with depression. Some people say they cut to keep from becoming suicidal.


Cutting and other forms of self injury seem to respond well to talk therapy if the client feels safe and trusts the therapist.


Here are some other web sites offering perspectives on self-injury:



The following links will take you to the other pages on self-injury.



Continue on through the topic to Self-Injury Causes.


Go from Self-Injury to Counseling Appointment.


Return to our Albuquerque counseling web site Home Page.