The Reason Why People Self Harm


Person who is harmful to himself.

By Abby Talbot –

Eye brows are raised and judgments are made when people see self mutilation for what it really is.

Dr. Kathleen Young, a psychologist in Chicago is often asked about self-mutilation. For instance why people do it and why it happens.

“Broadly speaking self injury is the act of attempting to alter a mood state by causing physical harm serious enough to cause tissue damage to your body,” saidYoung

Young also said, “Self mutilation happens for multiple reasons and there is no cure that will work 100 percent, truthfully therapy and depression medications are the best solutions if someone you knew started developing symptoms and revealed self injury.

Young also stated that that there is a difference between attention-getting (behaviors) and true self harm. She said there were a few reasons that a person who does not fit the category of self harm, such as a person who causes injury for sexual pleasure, body decoration, spiritual enlightenment or ritual, and fitting in or being cool.

True self-harming behavior, according to Young, is seen in teens who also suffer from depression and mental illness.

Teens Health website published a story this year addressing teens addiction to cutting and why they do it.

“Some people do it for attention, others do it to hide behind their emotional pain with physical,” said Gabby Myers a senior at Penn Manor.

There are many reason why teens and adults participate in self mutilation. Most people who cut are girls according to the teen health website, but guys as well may self mutilate.

The major reason why people cut is because of emotional stress, relationship problems, problems at home and emotional pain that the people who cut would rather feel in physical pain, said psychologists. They want emotional relief.

For some, cutting is a way of feeling in control. When it in fact it is exactly the opposite.

PubMedHealth, another website aimed at helping people with self-harm issues and mental illnesses published an article in 2010 stating that cutting is more then a bad way of dealing with stress, sometimes it is accompanied by mental illness.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)  is a disease in which people go through long-term patterns of unhealthy, uncontrollable, overly powerful  emotions and can be accompanied by self-harming behaviors.

Abandonment at an early age of life, sexual abuse, poor communication between family members and any other issues dealing with family are the most common factors of this disorder.

BPD is more common in women just like cutting is, men as well are just as capable of acquiring the disease. The symptoms of BPD which are also experienced before a person gets addicted to cutting are very similar. The person starts to feeling abandoned, extremely impulsive and gets mad quickly, according to PubMedHealth.

Maddi Eckenrode junior at Penn Manor has heard about BPD and found it interesting.

“I feel like the people that cut don’t realize that it could be more serious then just a bad day or week, most of those people probably have BPD and should get help for themselves,” said Eckenrode.

UPMC Life Changing Medicine, is a website recommend by Young for teens who want more information about self injury.

UMPC published an article about self harm and the sometimes genetic reasons behind it. Self-mutilation is often associated with psychiatric disorders that may be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.

UMPC stated that self-mutilation can be hard to diagnose because usually in most cases of self harm the person hides the self inflictions because it is not social acceptable and because they feel guilty and ashamed.

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