It's more common than you might think. More than one in every two hundred college students cut themselves. The act of cutting, often associated with other kinds of self-injury, is deliberate injury inflicted by a person upon their own body without suicidal intent. These acts may be aimed at relieving otherwise unbearable emotions, and/or sensations of unreality and numbness. The illness is listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) as a symptom of borderline personality disorder and depressive disorders.Most cutters focus on their wrists, arms, and legs. 0ften utilizing razors knives, or other sharp objects although some prefer to burn their skin with lit matches or cigarettes. Understanding the psychology behind the act of cutting can be very difficult and complex. Many people who cut themselves aren't seeking physical injury per se, as much as they are looking for a means of feeling in control of-or better about-a difficult situation. For people who self-injure, cutting can offer the relief that others may find from a good cry or the use of drugs or alcohol, or strenuous exercise. This is because cutting can actually release pleasure-inducing endorphins for people who choose to cut.Unfortunately, cutting can be habit-forming and addictive, leading to compulsive self-injury. Physically, this can lead to scars on the body or serious infections. And, although cutting is generally not a suicide attempt, cutters may accidentally go too deep and hit a critical blood vessel, resulting in severe blood loss, or even death. resulting in severe blood loss, or even death. Emotionally, people who cut are not coping with life's stressors in an healthy way, and are in need of psychological assistance to help cope with this behavior. If you or someone you know is cutting, it's vital to seek guidance and treatment from your doctor or your college's mental health center.
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Last Updated:December 20, 2012