Self Harm and Injury: What is Self-Injury, Really?

Self-injury can be done in a number of different ways. The more common methods are

  • cutting: intentionally cutting your skin on the arms, legs, wrists, genitalia, and other parts of your body using razors, knives, sharp glass, or other objects;
  • rubbing your skin harshly with erasers or other objects to burn your skin;
  • scratching or scraping your skin;
  • picking at your existing wounds or scabs;
  • hitting your head against a wall or other hard objects;
  • burning yourself with matches or cigarettes.

Often the wounds are shallow, but sometimes teens can cut deep and create serious damage.

If your teen is engaged in self-injury he’s typically not trying to commit suicide, yet the physical harm that results can be serious. Wounds can become infected, deep cuts may require stitches, and self-inflicted blows to the head may cause concussions. The wounds he self-inflicts may even be life-threatening.

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