Many kids today struggle with addictive self-harm behaviors. In the United States, as many as 35 % of adolescents intentionally inflict harm to their bodies. This is called self-harming, self-injury, or self-abuse. Often, people who take part in this type of behavior have some underlying emotional trauma or disorder. They harm themselves by either cutting, burning, or punching something. They may throw themselves against an object such as a wall. Others may be pulling out hair or biting themselves.
These kids do these things as a way of coping with emotions such as pain, fear, self-loathing, sadness, rage, or guilt. The addictive self-harm behaviors take away these feelings temporarily. As a result, they often repeat the action on an ongoing basis. Because this is usually a sign of deeper problems, these kids need help to overcome this condition. Also, self-harming behavior can result in serious injury or loss of life if severe blood loss occurs or infection sets in.
According to the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:
Myths and Facts About Self-Harm
The act of self-harm is surrounded by many myths or misconceptions that can hinder a person’s ability to get the help that they need. These misconceptions often add to the sense of shame that a person may already have regarding their actions. One of the more common myths is that self-harm is an attention-seeking act. The fact is that people who do self-injure do so in secrecy. They do not advertise that they do this, and they often feel shame.
Another myth is that self-harming is something that only girls do. This is false, and the facts show that as many as 40% of individuals who self-harm are male. Many people believe that only teens self-harm. While a majority of self-harm cases involve teens, adults can and do self-harm as well. Usually, people think that someone who inflicts self-harm is attempting to commit suicide. Again, this is false, as people use self-injury as a way to manage their emotions and stress and prevent themselves from committing suicide. The misconception that self-harm is just another term for cutting is also confusing. While cutting is a form of self-harm, there are many other ways in which a person can injure themselves and still fall within this umbrella term.