Cutters: Self-Abuse Quiz

Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

How much do you know about cutting, a baffling disorder that appears to be on the rise? Test your knowledge with this self abuse quiz.

Teens who cut themselves are often likely to be anorexic as well.

Health-care professionals say that anorexia, another form of self-abuse, often coexists with cutting. In a 1986 survey of self-injurers, eating disorders were often reported.

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People who cut themselves are trying to get attention.

On the contrary, people who cut try and hide it because they are embarrassed and ashamed and feel guilty about their cutting. Studies indicate that cutting is a psychological response to an underlying problem. Victims often experienced physical or emotional neglect as children. The earlier the abuse began, studies show, the more severe the cutting. Sexual abuse victims are the most likely of all to cut.

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More women than men tend to self-injure.

Studies show that more women than men tend to be self-injurers. It's believed this is because women are socialized to internalize anger while men externalize it. It's also believed that because men are socialized to repress emotion, they may have less trouble than women keeping things inside when overwhelmed by emotion.

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Medication often will put an end to self-injuring.

Medication may help with some of the symptoms associated with the underlying problem, but it will not solve the problem of self-injury. People who self-injure suffer with multiple issues, ranging from depression to post-traumatic stress disorder to bipolar disorder. Just as an alcoholic needs to stay away from alcohol, a "cutter" needs to find other healthier ways to cope with stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. This often can take years of therapy.

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Self-injury affects about 10 percent of American teenage girls.

Experts estimate that 10 percent of teenage girls secretly cut their skin and that this form of self-abuse seems to be on the rise as teens encounter more pressures and stresses.

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People who self-injure intend to kill themselves.

On the contrary, "cutters" report that the act of cutting — and bleeding — helps them to "feel alive." This is not to say that some people who engage in self-abuse don't intend to commit suicide.

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It's often difficult to tell when someone is self-injurious.

Because of their shame and guilt over their behavior, self-injurers often wear concealing clothing to hide their scars, including long-sleeve sweaters in the summertime. Often, parents are horrified when they discover the scars, which can literally cover the entire body.

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The best way for parents to handle children who self-abuse is to remove all sharp objects immediately and then punish the child.

Health-care professionals agree that punishment does not work. A child who wants to cut will succeed. It's not uncommon for cutters to hide sharp objects in obscure places, including underneath the carpeting. The best approach is to acknowledge the child's pain, assure the child you love her, and seek professional help.

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Self-injurers cut themselves because they're trying to release tension.

Cutters typically report that they experience a great release of tension from overwhelming emotions after they cut themselves.

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People who self-injure often have an underlying condition known as borderline personality disorder.

Health-care professionals say it is not unusual for a person who self-injures to receive a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder, characterized by "peculiarity in thought and perception, impulsive behavior and interpersonal dysfunction." In fact, it is a very common diagnosis.

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