Verified by Psychology Today. Teen Girls: A Crash Course. Molly is a high-performing year-old teen girl in her junior year of high school.
Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night. Emma told her mom that their cat had scratched her. Her mom seemed surprised that the cat had been so rough, but she didn't think much more about it.
It can be hard to imagine why anyone would want to cut themselves or hurt themselves on purpose. And for parents who discover their teen is engaging in self-injury, it can be confusing, terrifying, and downright frustrating. Self-harm can be fairly common among teens.
There are few things more disturbing for a parent than finding out that your child is intentionally hurting herself. Experts call it self-injuryand as many as a quarter of all teenagers do it. The most common form of self-injury is cutting or scratching the skin with anything that causes bleeding.
Cutting is a type of self-harm in which teens deliberately cut or scratch themselves with knives, razor blades, or other sharp objects, but not with any intention of trying to commit suicide. Other self-harm behaviors can include head-banging, branding or burning their skin, overdosing on medications, and strangulation. These behaviors are more common than you might think and affect up to 16 percent of teenagers and young adults.
Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Teens are the most vulnerable to how social media can affect their emotions, self-image and self-esteem. Many are self-harming to relieve their stress.
Self-Harm is an increasingly pervasive symptom of emotional distress among adolescent girls. Because it involves physical damage to the sufferer, cutting understandably evokes distress and fear in others. Viewed on a continuum, self-harming behavior can easily—though not always accurately—be interpreted as a precursor to suicidal behavior.
It is hard not to, as 15 years of self-injury have rendered them more scar than skin. I know that sounds strange — to cause pain to feel better — but it worked. Sometimes, if I was feeling anxious in school, all I had to do was go in to the bathroom and look at my scars. Just seeing them comforted me.
Chris Nicholson does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. The show, which worked with charities Samaritans and Mind on the episode, broadcast a special edition, which looked closely at the journey of the character Lily Drinkwelland her friends Peri Lomax and Yasmine Maalik — as well as their parents and guardians — and explored themes of self harm and cutting among teenage girls. It came as a recent report showed there had been a steep rise in incidents of self harm among teenage girls.
Cutting — using a sharp object like a razorblade, knife, or scissors to make marks, cuts, or scratches on one's own body — is a form of self-injury. It can be hard to understand why anyone would hurt himself or herself on purpose. Learning that your own teen is doing it can leave you feeling shocked and upset — and not sure what to do or how to help. For most, cutting is an attempt to interrupt strong emotions and pressures that seem impossible to tolerate.