Commonly recognized as a problem stemming from a psychological disorder, inflicting damage to oneself or in other words “self-injury” seems to have become more of a social trend than psychological issue considering the large population of people who use cutting as a form of expression and rebellion.
The act of “self-injuring” which emerged in the 90’s in rock and heavy metal bands was recognized as a way of expressing social identity and “disaffection from society”, as well as a way to support and identify with other members of such groups.
In today’s society, self-injury has become a popular activity among teens across the nation. Furthermore, with the social stigma attached to “cutting” drastically decreasing since the 90’s, more and more teens are succumbing to self-injury.
Cutting is sometimes (but not always) associated with depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviors. It can also be a sign of mental health problems that cause people to have trouble controlling their impulses or to take unnecessary risks. Some people who cut themselves have problems with drug or alcohol abuse.
Cutting can be habit forming. It can become a compulsive behavior — meaning that the more a person does it, the more he or she feels the need to do it. The brain starts to connect the false sense of relief from bad feelings to the act of cutting, and it craves this relief the next time tension builds. When cutting becomes a compulsive behavior, it can seem impossible to stop. So cutting can seem almost like an addiction, where the urge to cut can seem too hard to resist. A behavior that starts as an attempt to feel more in control can end up controlling you.
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Teen Cutting Information