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Cutting and Self-Mutalation Facts, Statistics, & Help

Posted by in Uncategorized | 9 comments
Cutting and Self-Mutalation Facts, Statistics, & Help

As a school counselor, I am very concerned about the growing trend I am seeing in cutting, self-injury and self-mutalation.  The largest number of readers posting on ScottCounseling come here as cutters, parents of cutters and former self-mutilators seeking to help current cutters.

The act of cutting involves an individual intentionally making cuts, scratches or marks on various parts of the body to cause self-inflicted pain. The primary purpose of cutting is not to end ones life, but to reduce or replace emotional pain with physical pain.

Statistically, cutting occurs most often in female teens and young female adults.  One such study, done by the British Medical Journal, estimated that 13% of teen between the ages of 15-16 were participating in some form of cutting or self-injury behavior.  In the United States, it is estimated that one in every 200 females between the ages of 13 and 19 have tried cutting or are currently cutting.  Typically cutters come from homes where physical abuse, alcoholism or sexual abuse has occured.  However, cutters also come from homes where the parents and family system is very functional and working.

Medical Health America and Discovery Health report that during the past decade, 1%, or over 2 million people in the U.S. have been involved in cutting or self-injury behavior.  Parents, friends and other concerned individuals should encourage the “cutter” or “self-injuring” individual to seek medical (family doctor) help.

If you or someone you know is in crisis now, seek help immediately. Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to reach a 24 hour crisis center or dial 911 for immediate assistance.

Discussion Topics:



  • Jessiah says:

    i need more stats for an english progect):

  • party poison says:

    I am a former cutter. I just told my mom last sunday and she took the three blades I still had away. I would like you to understand that cutting is not a trend. I don’t mean to be rude or anything like that I just want everyone out there to know it is a serious problem and it should be taken as one. I think about cutting everyday i think about how much I want to get rid off my stress and emotional pain by cutting, and I think about the 256 scars on my legs and arms from cutting. I will probably have to live with these scars for the rest of my life but it tells my history, almost like a story.

  • irene says:

    I started cutting in 1988. I was twelve. It was not discussed. I kind of wanted my parents or maybe a teacher to see evidence on my arms and know that something was not right, something I couldn’t pinpoint myself, but I felt like a freak. I was diagnosed with Bipolar when I was nineteen. I hadn’t cut for several years between grade 9 and that winter. I didn’t believe I was diagnosed correctly for about 3 or 4 years. By then, I was in an emergency room for a broken ankle from a hockey injury, and the nurse was drawing blood and asked me, ‘Honey, are you a cutter?” I had never heard that term before. She explained that many people self injure. I wanted to cry with relief. I had felt for over a decade that I was one of the only people to do this, whatever compelled me, I was an isolated freak. It was shortly after that when SI came into the media, the internet, out of the shadows on a large scale. I certainly felt less isolated, but at the same time, I tried to rationalize Why Now? Granted, there was no internet and the safe anonymity it provides to find peers, to get support when I started. I hope to God it’s not a trend as some have suggested. I mean, that people are doing it lightly so to speak when others are truly pathologically addicted and afflicted to this horrible pattern. I feel like a fool sometimes anyway, because I am thirty seven, and when I do go on these sites, most people are young enough to be my children. I wonder if there are people my age who still struggle like I do? Is it discussed because there is less stigma, and thus more peer support? I fear I will never “get past it’ and wonder if there are other people who did it with the ferocity I did, and if they still relapse, people my age, if they still relapse like I do?

  • Racalatta says:

    Hi Shelby. I’m a former cutter myself. Send me an email with yours, we can discuss and maybe I can help.

  • Racalatta says:

    Hey Shelby, I’m a former cutter. Leave me your email and maybe I can help.

  • Emma says:

    i have ur same prob. only diff is my parents found out and now think i have stoped. Golly i wish i knew wat to say to you! Well, just hang in there!!!!

  • stella says:

    hey your not alone :) I’m in the process of trying to stop. It’s HARD!! If ya feel like it give me a holler at HANG IN THERE!

  • stella says:

    hey your not alone :) I’m in the process of trying to stop. It’s HARD!! If ya feel like it give me a holler at HANG IN THERE! ull make it!

  • JK says:

    Hey hun I can tell you from experience that you can quit. I used to have a cutting disorder that started when I was about 12 or 13 and now I’m 17 and free from it. I know you dont want your parents to know… but I’m gonna encourage you to tell them. I told mine and my parents are the type that are very judgemental, but you really should tell them because you might need to go to the doctor and get put on depression medication. Theres no shame in it. If you need that kind of help then you need it. Plus your parents can make sure that you arent cutting. And I also encourage you to tell another trusted adult. I dont know if you are a christian or not, but I can tell you right now that the best way to get out of an addiction is to give it to God. That is the only way I stopped cutting. Im not suggesting church, Im just suggesting you spending time with God talking and giving this crap over to Him. And I would also suggest that you identify why you are cutting. And then once you know why let yourself cry or whatever it takes to help you get over it. Talk about it with a friend or parent. Its gonna be ok, but you are right when you say that you need help. :) Im prayin for ya girlie :) luv ya! And so does God whether you believe in him or not :)

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