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Self Injury and Cutting: What You Need to Know

If you believe someone you love may be self-harming or cutting, it's important that you know as much about the warning signs, risk factors, and how to seek help. Keep reading to learn the essential details of cutting and self-harm and how to get help today.

What Is Self-Harm?

Self-harm, also known as self-injury, is when someone hurts themselves on purpose. Some people feel an impulse to harm themselves by burning themselves, cutting themselves, pulling out their hair, or picking at their wounds to prevent healing.

Hurting yourself, or thinking about self-harming, is a sign of emotional distress. These uncomfortable feelings can grow even more intense as a person continues to use self-injury as a way to cope.

Results of self-harm can be serious. About a third of students said they had hurt themselves so badly that they should have sought medical care, but only five percent did.

Unlike suicide, the end goal of self-harm is to inflict pain on oneself and not death. However, self-harm can lead to severe and, in some cases, fatal injury.

What Is Cutting?

A common form of self-harm is cutting, where a person deliberately hurts themselves by cutting or scratching their body with something sharp.

What Are the Warning Signs of Self-Harm?

Warning signs of self-harm include: