Understanding Teens Who Self Injure Essay

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Understanding Teens Who Self Injure Imagine being sixteen years old and taking a razor to your arm because you feel so much pain inside that cutting is the only way to escape it. For a lot of people this idea seems strange and incomprehensible, but for many teenagers this is their reality. In a society with so much abuse, neglect and crime children are facing things that they never had to face in the past. Adolescents who are lacking more positive coping skills are turning to self-injurious behaviors to ease their pain and frustration. In recent years the issue of self-injurious behaviors or SIB (White Kress, 2003) has increased in popularity. The general public is starting to take a special interest in the issue as more…show more content…
?The object wasn?t to make myself bleed to death, just to let go of the ugly feelings holding me hostage-- feelings that would leave me at the sight of blood? (Pederson, as quoted in Zila & Kiselica, 2001). SIB includes a wide range of behaviors including head banging, hair pulling, skin cutting, self-hitting, and skin burning. SIB is typically found in early adolescence but can become a chronic behavior that carries on into adulthood. Most research focuses on females who self injure because it is found that, while males do self injure many more females do it. We also need to take into consideration that females tend to be more help seeking than males; so many more males may be self-injuring than we know. Zila and Kiselica define the typical self-mutilator as female, adolescent or young adult, single, usually from upper- middle class family and intelligent. It is found that one in four teenage girls cut (Barnard, 2004). SIB can be classified into four categories: Stereotypic SIB, Major SIB, Compulsive SIB and Impulsive SIB (White Kress, 2003). Each of the four categories corresponds with and tends to be more prevalent with various DSM-IV mental disorders. The following will describe each of the four categories in detail. Stereotypic SIB The kind of behaviors that can be classified under Stereotypic SIB include head banging, self-hitting and slapping, self biting, and hair pulling. These kind of
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