Cutting | Teen Ink


November 28, 2009
By Testing...1,2,3... SILVER, Urbana, Illinois
Testing...1,2,3... SILVER, Urbana, Illinois
7 articles 7 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
“I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." Van Gogh

Imagine for a moment that today is the 4th of July. There is a barbeque going outside on the deck of your house and half of your family is swimming in your pool. It’s almost 90° outside and you would like to join your family and friends for the party but won’t dare to step a foot outside, with your luck you will probably suffer a heat stroke. You are wearing some jeans and a long sleeve shirt. Oh, and forget about any chance of stepping into the pool. Skin exposure is your worst nightmare. Why all of the trouble? You are hiding a dirty little secret, signs of self-mutilation which envelope your precious body. Up your legs, down your arms, and across your stomach. Can you imagine?

Deliberate self-harm, self-mutilation, self-injury(SI), self-abuse, Para suicidal behavior, and non-suicide self-injury are all names in which self-injury is known by. Self-injury is what a person does to themselves to help him or her deal with some sort of emotional pain. Self-injury comes in many forms. Some of these behaviors include cutting, picking, scratching, burning, hitting oneself, and even pulling out one’s hair.

The most common form of self-injury is cutting. Cutting is extremely serious because it can lead to death. If a person cuts deeply enough, they can potentially reach a vein and bleed out to death. Self-injurious behavior like cutting has become so prevalent among teens that it has been nicknamed the “new age anorexia.” According to, one in every two-hundred girls regularly cuts themselves.

More girls and women compared to boys and men regularly self-injure. Doctors believe this is because women are socialized to internalize their emotions while men externalize them. Still, more than 11,000 boys in the United States cut themselves, also according to

Cutting at Auburn’s Freshman Campus, according to counselor Mrs. Ott, “ is not daily but often.” Several of times throughout the year she may encounter students who do self-injure. She says, “ our primary concern is safety.” The adults try to focus on why the child is participating in this behavior, specifically what is bothering him or her and how they can deal with his or her situation in a positive matter.

People who self-injure often suffer from other conditions, most often, anorexia and other eating disorders. A very common diagnosis given to people who self-injure is Borderline Personality Disorder or BPD.

Cutters do not intend to kill themselves. The act of cutting and bleeding makes the self-injurer “feel alive,” or in control. While people with anorexia control their food intake, the source of their pain, cutters control their internal pain by making themselves bleed on the outside.

People who cut are not looking for attention. Most cutters try very hard and are careful to hide their secret because they are embarrassed and ashamed about what they are doing or have done.

Cutting is a psychological response to an underlying problem. Most cutters have suffered some sort of abuse, emotional or physical.

Not all cutters are the same. Some cutters cut all over their bodies while others chose to remain in a specific area. Some cutters also cut deeper than others. Cutters do not all use the same instruments as well.

Warning signs for cutters include unexplained cuts or scratches on the body, constant wearing of long sleeved shirts or pants especially during hot weather, and less or no longer allowed contact with the person’s body, like a simple hug.

If you are a self-injurer or suspect someone you know is self-injuring do not be afraid to ask for help. Speak with a parent or trusted adult. If this is not an option you can call these numbers or visit the listed sites.

Covenant House Nine Line : 800-999-9999

(Web site:

Youth crisis hotline for talking about any problem
Kid Save: 800-543-7283

Gives information and referrals to kids in crisis
Youth Crisis Hotline: 800-448-4663

No problem is too big or small
Teen Line:

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This article has 7 comments.

AliSanto said...
on Nov. 7 2013 at 10:57 am
AliSanto, Danville, Vermont
0 articles 2 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
dont let your fears destroy your dreams ~ sarah burke

I whish more people would understand about cutting. it is a serious thing. i have all of the same obsticals. this is very well written. 

on Apr. 10 2012 at 6:04 pm
shapeshifter56 GOLD, Cave Creek, Arizona
14 articles 0 photos 136 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Instead of waiting for the storm to pass, learn to dance in the rain."
--Unknown Author

Very well-written. I wish more people understood about cutting.

on Nov. 3 2010 at 6:52 pm
wind.and.rain.again BRONZE, Amherst, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What is it you wish to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

i mean "right" not "write"

on Nov. 3 2010 at 6:51 pm
wind.and.rain.again BRONZE, Amherst, Massachusetts
4 articles 0 photos 50 comments

Favorite Quote:
"What is it you wish to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

very well written! thanks for helping to get the word out about cutting. im not trying to be mean, in fact this is just in generalnot about this piece of writing at all but the diagnosis "Borderline Personality Disorder" doesnt seem write. cutting may be a certain kind of illness but not all cutting is a disorder if that makes sense. keep writing!

on Apr. 9 2010 at 10:41 pm
emo_nerd951 BRONZE, Clover, South Carolina
3 articles 5 photos 39 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle." -unknown

I can relate to this topic.  People do not realize much about this topic either. good job. keep writing

on Feb. 8 2010 at 6:26 pm
ofpaintedroses GOLD, Berne, Indiana
12 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
"How long is forever?"
"Sometimes just one second."

wow... you will definitely need to speak-reason with- a couple of my friends...

on Jan. 9 2010 at 10:53 am
ThatTubaChick, Monticello, Arkansas
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
A world without music is a world of madness. by: Unknown

This is an extremely well written article. I can completely relate to this article. The whole thing about causing pain on the outside to soothe the pain on the iside is how I feel all the time. I hate how many people Self-Injury affects. You are an amazing writer Keep up the good work. :]