any specifics. But in the August issue of Self magazine, the former Disney darling and new X Factor judge gets uncharacteristically candid about cutting. These days, Demi has turned to much healthier methods to cope with her emotions. Related: Demi Lovato's One Dating Deal Breaker. "I make time for. Cutting isn't new, but this form of self-injury has been in the spotlight more in recent years. Learn more about it and ways to help a teen who cuts. Self-harm is on the rise, with figures suggesting around 15 per cent of young people engage in practices such as cutting, burning or taking.
Demi Lovato on Why She Cut Herself :
For some, the physical pain of cutting can seem preferable to emotional pain. For others, mental health conditions that affect personality can cause relationships to feel intense and consuming, but unsteady.
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Many say they feel "addicted" to the behavior. Some would like to stop but don't know how or feel they can't. Other teens don't want to stop cutting. Most of the time, cutting is not a suicide attempt. But sadly, people often underestimate the potential to get seriously sick or hurt through bleeding or infections that go along with cutting.
Why Do Teens Cut? Teens cut for many different reasons: Most teens who cut are struggling with powerful emotions. To them, cutting might seem like the only way to express or interrupt feelings that seem too intense to endure.
Emotional pain over rejection, lost or broken relationships, or deep grief can be overwhelming for some teens. And many times they're dealing with emotional pain or difficult situations that no one knows about. Pressure to be perfect or to live up to impossible standards — their own or someone else's — can cause some teens unbearable pain. Some teens who cut have been deeply hurt by harsh treatment or by situations that have left them feeling unsupported, powerless, unworthy, or unloved.
Some teens have experienced trauma, which can cause waves of emotional numbness called dissociation. For them, cutting can be a way of testing whether they can still "feel" pain. Others describe cutting as a way of "waking up" from that emotional numbness.
Self-inflicted physical pain is specific and visible. For some, the physical pain of cutting can seem preferable to emotional pain. Emotional pain can feel vague and hard to pinpoint, talk about, or soothe.
When they cut, teens say there is a sense of control and relief to see and know where the specific pain is coming from and a sense of soothing when it stops.
Cutting can symbolize inner pain that might not have been verbalized, confided, acknowledged, or healed. And because it's self-inflicted, it is pain the teen controls.
A sense of relief. Some people believe that endorphins might add to the relief teens describe when they cut. Endorphins are the "feel-good" hormones released during intense physical exertion. And they can be released during an injury. Others believe the relief is simply a result of being distracted from painful emotions by intense physical pain and the dramatic sight of blood.
Some teens say they don't feel the pain when they cut, but feel relieved because the visible SI "shows" emotional pain they feel.
Though it only provides temporary relief from emotional distress, the more a person cuts, the more he or she feels the need to do it. As with other compulsive behaviors, the brain starts to connect a momentary sense of relief from bad feelings with the act of cutting.
Whenever the tension builds, the brain craves that relief and drives the teen to seek relief again by cutting. So cutting can become a habit someone feels powerless to stop.
The urge to cut — to get relief — can seem too hard to resist when emotional pressure is high. Other mental health conditions. Cutting is often linked to — or part of — another mental health condition. Some teens who cut are also struggling with other urges, obsessions, or compulsive behaviors. For some, depression or bipolar disorder can contribute to overwhelming moods that might be difficult for a teen to regulate. For others, mental health conditions that affect personality can cause relationships to feel intense and consuming, but unsteady.
For these teens, intense positive attachments can suddenly become terribly disappointing and leave them feeling hurt, anger, or despair too strong to cope with. Other teens struggle with personality traits that attract them to the dangerous excitement of risky behavior or self-destructive acts. Some are prone to dramatic ways of getting reassurance that they are loved and cared about.
For others, posttraumatic stress has had an effect on their ability to cope. Or they're struggling with alcohol or substance problems. Some teens are influenced to start cutting by another person who does it. For example, a teen girl might try cutting because her boyfriend cuts.
Group peer pressure can play a role too. Some teens cut in groups and might pressure others to cut. A teen might give in to group pressure to try cutting as a way to seem cool or bold, to belong, or to avoid social bullying. Any of these factors may help to explain why a particular teen cuts. Self-harm includes the stereotypical cutting of oneself but also goes far beyond that to any action a person can use to purposefully harm oneself.
Ways to self-injure are most-commonly inflicted on the arms, hands and wrists of the individual but other body parts, such as the thighs or the stomach, are also commonly reported as self-mutilation sites. Seventeen percent of the respondents reported self-injurious behavior. According to that study, the ten most common ways to self-harm were: This method of self-injury was seen in more than half of all students who reported participating in self-harm.
Watch interview on Dermatillomania: The Secret of Compulsive Skin Picking Impact with objects — this self-harm behavior included banging or punching objects to the point of bruising or bleeding. Cutting — while cutting is often considered synonymous with self-harm, this way of self-mutilation only occurred in just over 1-in-3 students who reported self-harming. Cutting is more common among females.
Impact with oneself — this self-injury method includes banging or punching oneself to the point of bruising or bleeding. Ripped skin — this way of self-mutilation includes ripping or tearing skin.
Carving — this way of self-harm is when a person carves words or symbols into the skin. This is separate from cutting. Interfering with healing — this way of self-mutilation is often in combination with other types of self-harm.
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