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University of South Florida Lakeland Stephanie Clark
WHAT IS CUTTING?Cutting is the most common form of a syndrome of behaviors known as Self-Injury (SI)“Cutters” slice or scratch the skin witha sharp object to draw bloodSI is not a distinct disorder, but asymptom of other disorders
WHAT IS CUTTING? DSM-IV-TR lists SI as a symptom of Borderline Personality DisorderIt is also associated with: • Depression & Anxiety • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder • Eating Disorders & Substance Abuse • Schizophrenia
WHO CUTS?• Cutting is most common in adolescence & young adulthood, but can occur at any age• Many cutters share traits associated with: Low Self-Esteem or Perfectionism• Most cutters are female, but some are male• Many have histories of &
HOW CAN I TELL? Unexplained wounds or scars Blood stains on clothing, towels, or bedding Sharp objects among the person’s belongings Frequent “accidents” Covering up legs & arms, even in hot weather Isolating in the bedroom or bathroom
IS CUTTING A SUICIDE ATTEMPT? No, the intent of cutting is not to die But the relationship between cutting and suicide is complex:• Cutting can be life-threatening• Suicide risk is greater for self-injurers• 40% - 60%
IN THEIR OWN WORDSFemale, 15 Male, 19Began to SI at age 14 Began to SI at age 13Female, 17 Female, 16Began to SI at age 12 Began to SI at age 16
THEN WHY DO THEY DO IT? Manage Stress & Emotional Pain“So i can breath. So i can feel the release ofall the built up anxiety” Counter Feelings of Numbness“Its the only way I know Im alive, the onlyway I know my feet are on the ground.”
THEN WHY DO THEY DO IT? Achieve a State of Euphoria“Nothing feels as good as cutting. Nothinggives me that rush.” Communicate the Un-SayableIm taking all my emotional scars andbringing them to the surface.”
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP? Deal with your own feelings. Learn about the problem. Don’t judge. Offer support and encouragement, not ultimatums. Encourage communication and listen. Plan family activities to prevent isolation
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS? Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) Cognitive-Behavioral Techniques + Distress tolerance techniques + Techniques to regulate emotion + Mindfulness (a Buddhist meditative practice)
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?Talk therapy +Medication(for the underlying disorder) & Self-Injury can be LIFE-THREATENING Please seek PROFESSIONAL HELP
YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE THIS WAYYou are not CRAZY.You are not ALONE.You can STOP.You can be FREE.You can SURVIVE without cutting.
HELP US HELP YOU• Tell someone - Your parents, a teacher, the guidance counselor, a friend• Seek professional help - You can’t do this alone• Build a tool box and fill it with tools.
SOME TOOLS FOR THE TOOLBOX1. Develop a Self-Injury Safety Plan2. Use Affirmations3. Carry an “Anchor” Click on the tool box for more information
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ONLINE RESOURCESPsyke.com Click on links to launch websiteSelfHarm.netSelf-Injury.netSelf-Injury-Help.comRecover-Your-Life.com
NATIONAL HOTLINESSAFE (Self Abuse Finally Ends) 1-800-DONT CUTNat’l Adolescent Suicide Hotline 1-800-621-4000Nat’l Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALKYellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention 1-800-SUICIDE 1-800-999-9999Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000Nat’l Youth Crisis Hotline 1-800-448-4663