Also part of the UPMC family:

Self-Injury

Self-injury can also be a symptom for psychiatric conditions like borderline personality disorder, anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia. Those who injure themselves may do it to help control emotional pain. Others may use it as a cry for help. Whatever the reason, self-injury should be addressed immediately.

Self-injury can include:

  • Making small cuts to the body (usually the arms or legs)
  • Punching or hitting
  • Biting, ripping, tearing, or burning skin
  • Falling, jumping, or bone-breaking

Dangers of self-injury may be severe and can include:

  • Loss of blood
  • Infection
  • Emotional effects, including feeling as though you are addicted to injuring yourself
  • Death

Facts About Those Who Self-Injure

  • More girls than boys cut, and girls who self-harm also tend to have an eating disorder.
  • Some self-injurers have a history of sexual, physical, or verbal abuse.
  • Self-injurers can be kids who are sensitive, perfectionists, or overachievers. The self-injury begins as a defense against what’s going on their lives. They think they have failed in one area, so they feel harming themselves is a way to gain control.

How to Get Help

If you are hurting yourself, or if someone you love is showing symptoms of self-harm such as unexplained cuts and scars, withdrawal, severe depression, or drug or alcohol abuse, call SAFELine at 814-456-SAFE (7233).