Truly understanding why teens self-harm is difficult. Think of it this way: the physical act of hurting her body provides a temporary sense of relief. The teen now focuses on the injury as the reason for her pain and feels a sense of control. In addition, the injury releases endorphins into the blood stream, which creates a sense of well-being.
Self-harm describes any deliberate action intended to cause physical pain. Adolescent males engage in this behavior too, but it is most often females who hurt their bodies in an attempt to deal with difficult feelings or situations. Cutting or scratching the skin with razor blades or other sharp objects is the most common form of self-injury.
Other ways to self-harm include:
- burning the skin with a cigarette, match or lighter
- hitting the chest or extremities
- banging the head against the wall
- pulling hair from the head, or other places
- re-opening or picking at wounds
- biting or pinching the skin
FAQ on Teens and Self-Harm, Cutting and Self-Injury
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