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  1. #1

    Self-destructive behavior seen in more adolescents

    Self-Destructive Behavior Seen In More Adolescents
    October 22, 2003

    (The Cox News Service) -- Self-abuse, self-mutilation and self-injury are sometimes referred to as the "new age anorexia."

    These self-destructive and often mutilating behaviors occur frequently in adolescents. It was reported in one study that the incidence of self-mutilation occurred at an estimated 1,800 out of 100,000 adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35.

    A common example of self-mutilating behavior is cutting the skin with a knife or razor until pain is felt and/or blood has been drawn. Other examples are burning the skin with metal or a lighted cigarette or picking the skin. These problematic behaviors are to be distinguished from tattooing or body piercing behaviors that are not typical of self-mutilation.

    Those individuals seeking body adornment differ, psychologically speaking, from individuals practicing self-abuse as an attempt to escape from intense emotion or to achieve some level of focus.

    Many individuals practicing self-abusive behavior report doing so in an attempt to relieve stress, pain and escape from fear or anxiety. Self-abusers who cut themselves are sometimes referred to as "cutters." Cutting sometimes has a "contagious" component, with group cutting occurring in settings such as prisons or even in school settings.

    Cutting seems to appear more often in females than in males. Cutting also often co-exists with other problems such as eating disorders. Self-injurers are not usually planning suicide. However, tragedies, including serious medical complications or death, can and do occur.

    Many reasons have been proposed to explain why people practice self-abusive behaviors.

    Biological, psychological and social explanations have all been proposed as reasons to explain self-mutilation.

    Like many problematic behaviors where the perceived need for control exists, self-mutilation and self-injurious behavior serves to express, validate or regulate emotional problems such as depression, tension, pain or anger.

    Many treatment strategies are available and successful in treating self-injurious behavior.

    Medication can be helpful in treating symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, which often accompany self-injurious behavior.

    Individual and group psychotherapy are often useful in helping individuals explore alternatives to self-mutilation.

    Family therapy and support groups can be of assistance for both the self-injurer and their families.

    Copyright 2003 The Cox News Service.

  2. #2

    Self-destructive behavior seen in more adolescents

    That just makes me feel so sad.

  3. #3

    Self-destructive behavior seen in more adolescents

    On the positive side, drug abuse among teens seems to have been going down.
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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