Teens self-mutilate, embed objects in skin
September 7th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

Teens self-mutilate, embed objects in skin

Metal. Plastic. Crayon. These are just some of the materials that teenagers have used to injure themselves by puncturing their skin with objects, or putting objects into the wound after cutting. This is called self-embedding behavior, and some teens do it as a way of coping with tough times.

A new study in the journal Radiology found that 11 patients aged 14 to 18 engaged in this behavior out of 600 patients who had received treatment for removing foreign objects embedded in soft tissue.

There were a total of 76 foreign objects among the 11 patients. They had embedded objects in their arms, ankles, feet, hands or neck; some had objects in multiple body parts. The image above shows the objects removed from one patient.

Doctors successfully removed 68 of the foreign objects with a technique called image-guided foreign body removal. With ultrasound, researchers detected objects that X-rays could not, and performed small incisions to remove the objects leaving little or no scarring.

The X-ray of an elbow shown here comes from a 17-year-old girl who had embedded staples (shown by the straight arrows), an unfolded paperclip (curved arrow), and graphite fragments (arrowheads).

One 18-year-old in this study had embedded 35 objects in his body over a period of two years, including staples, the tooth from a comb and a fork tine.

About 13 to 23 percent of adolescents report a history of non-suicidal self-injury, but the real number could be much higher because the shame and guilt associated with these acts lead to under-reporting, the study said.

Self-embedding is a less common form of self-injury than cutting, said Joseph Garbely, chief medical officer at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was not involved in the study. Teens who engage in self-mutilating behaviors tend to have low self esteem and problems dealing with their feelings, he said. Some come from abusive households. Others are doing it to rebel, or to imitate peers, or to regulate difficult emotions.

Generally, the purpose of self-embedding and other forms of self injury is to take away unpleasant feelings, he said. When engaging in this behavior, the body releases chemicals called endorphins that, at least temporarily, regulate painful emotions.

Most teens will stop these behaviors on their own, Garbely said. If the behavior persists, however, it may be an indication of a serious mental illness such as borderline personality disorder, bipolar disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Self-embedding is generally not a suicidal act, but a person can develop skin infections or worse: Bone infections or deep muscle infections. Objects may also travel inside the body and get near vital organs, study author Dr. William Shiels told Time. Getting these objects removed early is important.

Parents who notice this behavior in their children should not react with disgust or incredible concern, Garbely said. If there is no immediate health risk, they should not take their kids to the emergency room; instead, they should seek the assistance of a mental health professional, he said. Family therapy is often effective, as issues of abuse, neglect, or fighting among parents could be prompting the teen to self-mutilate.

If the teenager is not willing to see a therapist, the parent should find a mental health professional who has experience dealing with self-injury issues to get further advice for individual situations, Garbely said.

soundoff (323 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Teens have misfiring brains. (That's actually been scientifically proven.)

    That means parents have to keep a short leash, until they get past that age range, and get their brains functioning properly again.

    September 8, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Trash

    Personally I don't smoke,drink,over eat,and I do exercise every day and my doc is rather impressed with my physical and mental shape. And honestly,I have been there too,I've been diagnosed with chronic depression and anxiety,but did I ever cut myself or imbed myself with things? No,cause I'm not a little girl about stuff,its called grow a backbone and deal with it. So what your parents yelled at you,everyone's parents do. So what they smacked you around,their parents did it to them too,and they turned out alright. The media is the problem...and poloticians...they've put it in the minds of kids today that its okay to run from your problems or do things to hurt yourself instead of bein an adult and just dealing with them. Imbedding,cutting yourself,taking pills,trying to commit suicide? 60 years ago those kinds of things would've put you in the crazy house,because at least back then you probably really were crazy. Now its almost cool to go and mutilate yourself when you have a problem just for the attention...quit being conceited and grow up and deal with your problems.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom

      maby im the only one here? but uhhh ive already made it plain to my folks if you hit me you better expect to get hit back "smaking around" a kid solves nothing as my old man found out, i will NOT be pushed around by anyone family, friends or parents i dont have a criminal record and i dont drink or smoke or do drugs just i dont like to be toutched at all i dont even like shakeing hands

      June 11, 2011 at 17:33 | Report abuse |
    • disgusted with humanity

      ...not everyone deals with their emotions in the same way. some people emotions are so intense that they don't know what else to do to feel a sense of relief. its not about "growing a pair"...its about not having enough outlets available and not having enough people out there that are ready willing and able to put forth a conscious effort to help these people through their intense emotions. It disgusts me that humanity is so uneducated about the topic, yet they feel the need to make rude remarks about the people who practice self-mutilation. people who self harm are NOT the problem in society...its the people who are too pig headed to actually pick up a book or talk to someone who has went through this type of struggle in their life, that make this world a horribly cruel place to live in.

      April 16, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse |
  3. Redeye Dog

    I completely can relate to this behavior! When I was a teen having to cope with all the stress, I conducted multiple embedding routines on a daily basis for years. It occurred on about every chance I got where I could get away to a location where I knew I could complete the procedures without interruption.

    For me, it was the Whopper at Burger King and the Big Mac at McDonald's! Man, eating those created an endless supply of endorphins which I continue to enjoy today!

    September 8, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. JRandolphJD

    I don't see how physical pain can relieve other emotional pain. It's all the feeling of pain. Like the article said, it temporarily releases endorphins that make the person "feel" good. I, for one, have never felt good from any pain coming from a puncture or similar wound when it was accidental. However, I guess it is much like the temporary release of a feel good hormone like dopamine that folks feel from drugs. At any rate, past understanding why folks may do it, it still carries dangerous side-effects, sometimes serious, just like drugs. So teenagers have yet another form of 'drug' with which to deal with emotions that 1) They will have for all of life, and 2) They will never learn to deal with it they continue to use these types of responses. Better get used to dealing with all your problems with drugs or self-hurting or else teach yourself how to truly cope sober. I'm just saying.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frank

      It's the same reason why people take heroin or many other kinds of drugs -it makes you feel good because of the chemical and psychological response.

      September 9, 2010 at 02:33 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      its the chemical release of the brian ive had days where i couldent wake up or was about to pass out (a day and a half without sleep and in school) so i gave my friend 5 bucks to punch me in the face the reason was the addrenalin would wake me up, the teens are doing something similar only their doing something a little diff like cutting and the chems in ur brain will regulate the other chemicals causing the strong emotions (of course ur talking to a guy whoes friends go around tazzering eachother for fun)

      June 11, 2011 at 17:37 | Report abuse |
  5. CNP

    I've never heard of this, but I was once a self-mutilator. (At 28 I still fight the urge to hurt myself when I get overwhelmed.) I was one of the youth that didn't do this for attention, but for emotion regulation. I tend to feel emotions strongly, and sometimes I had too many feelings to deal with at one time. It was like a busy city street in my head and I couldn't pick one sound out from another. Or, I had strong feelings, but I couldn't express them. For example, I was at the mall with my mom and brother one time, and my mom and I had a little tiff. I wasn't the kid to raise my voice at my parents – let alone in public – so I picked up a pin I found by a mannequin, and carved a small star into my hand while my mom and brother continued shopping. It calmed me down. It kept me from crying.

    More than a decade later and only a handful of people know I used to hurt myself and still struggle with it. They only know because over the past couple of years I've been able to ask for help and they are my core group of loved ones. I've never been embarrassed about hurting myself, but I know people react negatively to topics like this. As I got older, I became frustrated by people's reactions to self-harm stories, because this was my way of dealing. I'm not saying it was healthy, but this was my drug, my smoke, my cocktail, my fist through the wall, my screaming, my comfort food. Where I come from, all of the other options are OK to talk about and are even acceptable ways of dealing with your problems. But, when you mention cutting, people think you need to be locked up or that you're going to kill yourself.

    I think people just need to accept the fact that we all have emotional triggers, and we all respond to those triggers differently (and the way we react is largely conditioned by the environment we have been exposed to). In my opinion, I think most of the ways we react are not healthy. I think it takes a conscious effort (and some years and wisdom) to accept when you are emotionally triggered and go through the steps of identifying why you were triggered and how you can deal your feelings in a calm, non-destructive manner. It's far from easy, but it's healthy and will eventually become your natural way to react.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JRandolphJD

      Very well said. That was the point I was trying to make. Thank you for that, as you are one with experience and history with this issue. It sounds like you are finding positive "sober" ways to respond to emotions without your 'drug'. May God bless and continue to help you.

      September 8, 2010 at 13:15 | Report abuse |
  6. Trash

    I don't have any sympathy for these kids who freakin cut themselves and mutilate themselves...I was always gettin messed with at school,I was fat,no girlfriend,sucky at football,a real jerk to most people,and to top it off I was smarter than everyone else,so all those kids who would bust their butts to get a B,and I slept in class and made As,hated me too. My parents were the same parents theirs were to them,if I did wrong I got slapped upside the head,or beat. It happens I didn't boo hoo myself to sleep,I just kept on goin because I'm not a coward. I was unhappy with myself,so I did something with my life,I joined the Marine Corps and now I'm on my own and doin fine.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FormerSI

      And I will bet 50$ in 20 years you will be a raging alcoholic, wife beater, and end up face down in a ditch. You, and your complete arrogance and lack of compassion literally make me sick to my stomach.

      May God have mercy on your self-absorbed soul.

      September 8, 2010 at 14:34 | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      Well this will probably make you throw up then: In 20 years I bet I'll be more successful than you will ever be. I don't drown myself in a pool of pity when things go wrong,not like you, I pick myself back up and kick the dust off and keep movin. I don't let anything keep me down,especially not myself. And that's all it is, all this imbedding,cutting,mutilation,its all just a big pity party for those who are too weak to handle life. If your too weak,then so be it,but don't make the rest of us look bad because you ended up just being a waste of your parents chromosomes...

      September 8, 2010 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • FormerSI

      Hm, for some reason, I believe otherwise. Please, don't waste your time trying to convince me via comments on CNN, that you are going to be successful. You lack compassion and empathy, and that is a huge problem. Goodluck in life, Trash, and once again, may God have mercy on your soul.

      September 8, 2010 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Yeah, you sound like your life is just brimming over with love and joy.

      September 8, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Your choice of username says it all about your mentality. Have fun being cannon fodder.

      September 9, 2010 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      That's my last name deuche bag...and yes it is filled with love. Why SHOULD I care about these idiots? "Oh my poor little life, I got yelled at today by my parents...boo hoo,I'm gonna go cut myself cause its too much to handle..." Whatever man...my parents beat me,they yelled at me,they confined me to my room,they kept me in the house for days,but I didn't crack...I stood my ground because I have metal,I have courage,pride,dignity,and I refuse to let the actions of others bring me down. At the end of the day,I'm the only one that has to look at me in the mirror,I'm the only one that knows who I am on the inside,not my parents,not my co-workers,ME,so why would I let any stupid bull crap they tell me drive me to do masochistic rituals just to "let out the pain"? I'm not cruel and heartless for not pitying these kids,who also happen to be my peers,because I go through the same crap as they do (maybe even more) and I survive without drugs,alcohol,or hurting myself.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Ah, so your family is trash, too? Got it.

      September 9, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Ur an idiot i had a girl who used to cut herself and you know what i think could have easily stopped it? if her pig headed dad didnt think exactly like you do. Its not a mentall disorder they do this because its the way they learnd to cope. Youd be suprised how some one reacts when you take the damn knife away and have them sit down and talk to you.

      June 11, 2011 at 17:44 | Report abuse |
    • Priest

      It's always a relief when someone with oivobus expertise answers. Thanks!

      December 25, 2011 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
    • fcjudbbeq

      wwgAaW ryawuydmomnz

      December 25, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse |
    • pqlqrwvk

      SdqAhA xflukannvhaq

      December 28, 2011 at 07:47 | Report abuse |
  7. TheMovieFan

    One thing not mentioned in this article is the danger of creating an allergic reaction. Prolonged exposure to an object may make the person allergic to what it is made of. Jewelry made with nickel can cause an acquired allergy with normal piercing.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Ed

    What kind of world has been created where kids do the things they do these days. I'm shocked, is all I can say. What can parents do?

    September 8, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PhD

      Pay attention to your kids. Spend time with them. Talk to them. Let THEM talk. Listen to what is said beyond words. Look for signs of change – in appetite, dress, language, friend circles, and behavior. I am sure i will be throttled on this string for having said these things but it is my strong opinion as a professional and a parent that unless you are in tune with your kid you are doing them a grand disservice as a parent. It is your job and your responsibility to be there for them, guide them, HELP them and LOVE them and PROTECT them with all your might. Yes they are the next generation. They are also innocent, scared, and at the end sum, quite helpless. They are your CHILD. Give them what you got *and* what you didnt get. And if you dont know how, PLEASE ask for help.

      September 8, 2010 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      You are asking the right question...Keep investigating. Once you peel back the vail on how the world really is, you'll understand.

      September 9, 2010 at 02:49 | Report abuse |
  9. PA101

    If it were possible, each and everyone of you who say there is nothing wrong with this, or say the parents are to blame for the kid being messed up, should go visit a mental health facility. I've worked with teens who do this. It is not entirely something they do for attention, it's not to show they can control the pain or because they feel unloved. They have a mental imbalance that makes them think it is normal to do this, and no matter what is told to them, they will continue to do this until they get help. It's like having PICA. You can't stop eating the things you eat, even as you say you don't want it. A mental imbalance will make anyone do things they think is all right to do. Sometimes medications can help, most times it just slows the mind down just enough to keep it from happening as often as it once was. And parents are not to blame for this. I mean, was your parents responsible for your need to eat dirt, mud pies, or glue when you were a child? Of course they weren't. With someone who buries things inside their body, or even having PICA, they can't stop what they do. HOPEFULLY, they will grow into a state of mind that will help them to cease doing these things, but it's NEVER a guarentee.

    September 8, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Trash

    The thing about it is I do know what these kids go through on a day to day basis,because the kid who are doing it happen to be my peers. I'm only 19,and the ironic thing is that of all the people I've known who cut or imbedded or whatever to deal with their emotional stress,the ones with the HARDEST LIVES are the ones that DON'T hurt themselves physically. The kids who do it are just emotional wussies who just want the attention and to be coddled,nothing more,so I have no sympathy for them.

    September 8, 2010 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • FormerSI

      I'm sorry, but you probably have NO idea what struggles these kids with "good lives" have endured. Please do not judge – you look like an ass.

      September 8, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      Really I don't? Who has a harder life? The kids who parents yell at them and belittle them and beat them? Or the kids who don't have parents,who end up working two jobs,still going to school,just to feed their 7 brothers and sisters because they are too young to work? Those kids don't have time to mess around with cutting or imbedding themselves,or doing drugs because THEY HAVE to be the adult in their families,and a mature adult doesn't do drugs or cut and mutilate themselves,they face their problems. 5 year-olds hide from their problems,they go run to daddy and mommy when there is a problem,and the only difference between these young adults and that 5 year-old is that they can't hide behind mommy's skirt anymore,so now they just hurt themselves to hide from it.

      September 8, 2010 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
    • FormerSI

      I realize these children didn't ask to be put in that situation.. but neither did kids that have a "stable" life..

      September 8, 2010 at 16:25 | Report abuse |
  11. Chasaty

    Yeah, those kids usually grow up to be serial killers.

    September 8, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Warhammer


    September 8, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. FormerSI

    I showed my boyfriend my scars for the first time yesterday. I was really nervous, but I thought it was time he knew that I used to hurt myself. He rubbed my scars, told me he loved me, and said he wanted me to open up to him about these things. I could not have asked for a better reaction, and I am so thankful I have him in my life.

    Those struggling with SI – there is hope, and I am living proof.

    September 8, 2010 at 14:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CNP

      I, too, had positive reactions with my loved ones. The constant feedback I've received is "Can you try and talk to me before you hurt yourself?" That has been the biggest deterrent for me, I think because I no longer feel like I have to hold everything in, or even try to sort it out. I can just vent and rattle on and sort things out – out loud. Nothing has to make sense, but the funny thing is, is it usually starts to piece itself together once I get it out of my head.

      September 8, 2010 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
  14. Papa Pat

    So they die of terrible infections – their call. Good riddance.

    September 8, 2010 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brandon

      Once again. 90% of the kids cutting or Embedding have been sexually assaulted or mentally abused at a young age. They have no one to talk to and no way to stop the Pain they feel in there heart.

      As a Adult male when something breaks my heart i want to hit a wall with my fist. I know it will hurt and i know it could injury me long term. It's a human instinct that I’ve been able to overcome as i grew in to a adult.
      Children have not had the experience or the teachers to overcome these hurdles in there short life.

      I'd also like to point out that this was never supposed to be a huge issue "OMG we must save the children!!!" This report was made to inform parents or other adults of another problem that is easily taken care of by just informing adults to watch for this.

      It's such a huge step back for humans when people such as your self acts like this.

      September 8, 2010 at 17:17 | Report abuse |
    • Sarah

      Wow. What an ignorant and hateful thing to say.

      September 8, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
  15. Peebo

    As a liberal, I think the government should immediately start to supply sterilized paper clips, staples, and other objects for these kids to embed. After all, they are going to embed anyway, so we might as well make it safer. As we now have a socialized medicine system, it will also reduce the governments costs by preventing infection.

    September 8, 2010 at 16:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brandon

      Bark bark Ruff Ruff Buch Bark Bark Ruff Bush Bark Bush Ruff Ruff Bush

      I hope someone you care about comes down with something so horrendance they would normally not beable to pay for the medical they need. They will be saved by the So called socialized medicine and when you smile that they are saved i'm gonna call you a COMMIE

      September 8, 2010 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      I'm hoping this is just a hyperbolic and sarcastic statement to prove a point...

      September 8, 2010 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
  16. Roth

    Funny, I never hear about kids in India or China embedding. You would think that they would have worse lives than kids in the US. Maybe there is a different cause than kids having a terrible life. Maybe it has to do with lack of discipline and single parent households.

    September 8, 2010 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brandon

      When your whole culture accepts being hungry and poor and mistreated then you don't feel so alone.

      When you are the only one not smiling and all your friends are happy to go home to there family but you can't think about what might happen when you walk in the door, then you’re alone in the whole world. Add that on to a society that teaches our kids that if you’re not accepted and loved by many then you are worthless and should be put down.
      The closest culture to American culture is Japan. They are the only ones to really clone our existence and in some ways pass us.
      They also have the highest suicide rate by the Young.

      Think before you make rude posts

      September 8, 2010 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  17. Trash

    No one asks for what they get in life. I didn't ask for what I got,hell if I had a choice I would've asked to be an all star athlete,but that's not what I got. There's a saying that goes: 10% of our life is the problems we face,the other 90% is what we do about them. So you tell me,should be stay strong and move forward,or drown ourselves in self pity?

    September 8, 2010 at 17:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frank

      You must not understand a d@mn thing about child and youth psychology. Physical and emotional violence perpetrated on a person by a trusted authority figure causes lifelong mental and emotional scars, many times ruining a person mentally and emotionally for life. Physical scars fade -emotional onces don't.
      But what would you care? You're in the business of violence, death and destruction. Let me guess, you joined up for the school $$, right? What a joke.
      Just know that if you ever end up mentally, emotionally or spiritually wounded and develop a case of PTSD, just know that Uncle Sam isn't likely to bail you out. Then you'll know what it feels like. What goes around comes around. But luckily there are organizations and individuals who have more compassion than you in this world and you might not end up being a lost cause -or go on a murderous rampage.
      Have a nice day.

      September 9, 2010 at 03:00 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Just know that one of the lovely possible side-effects of abuse, albeit extremely severe abuse, is disassociative identity disorder (DID) -aka multiple personality disorder.
      So think before you trivialize abuse.

      September 9, 2010 at 03:04 | Report abuse |
    • Trash

      A)I'm not in the business of killing people,I'm in the buisness of bringing the same freedoms idiots like you have to everyone on this planet,protecting the innocent. If someone is a threat to that,then I do what is neccesary to aleviate that threat.

      B)I have definitely been beaten by "trusted" authority figures throughout my life,and I'm fine,I'm just not a pansy.

      C)I joined to kill the purpetrators of 9/11 and to get away from college,not to go to it,because I definitely could've gone to college whether I joined or not,but I didn't want to.

      D)Most of the people in these other countries appreciate us more than a good portion of americans,there are some true patriots here in america that I appreciate quite a bit,but there are some people who know nothing about it and just talk.

      There's a reason the Spartans used to kill those who were unfit for their ranks,and I'm starting to see why that is everytime I see stupid things like this and the people that support them,you will never learn,you will just be a parasite that continues to plauge the progress of humanity.

      September 9, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      "A)I'm not in the business of killing people,I'm in the buisness of bringing the same freedoms idiots like you have to everyone on this planet,protecting the innocent. If someone is a threat to that,then I do what is neccesary to aleviate that threat."

      Are you actually a human being or a propaganda bot? If this was the 30s, you'd be fresh out of the Hitler Youth and signing up for the SS.

      "bringing freedom" = killing men, women and children; razing homes, villages, towns and cities to dust; wiping out whole families; destroying the infrastructure; raping the people and the land of resources -all to benefit the fat cats up top who depend on mindless drones like you to do their dirty work. You are nothing but cannon fodder for a system that will chew you up and spit you out when it is done with you.

      And don't talk to me about 'freedom'. There is currently no such thing as true freedom on this planet. All you are doing is helping to expand a global capitalist cabal. Be proud, slave.

      "B)I have definitely been beaten by "trusted" authority figures throughout my life,and I'm fine,I'm just not a pansy."

      You are a sad little boy who will now become a murderer. So you are either an extremely screwed up person inside or you are a flat-out sociopath getting your thrills.

      "C)I joined to kill the purpetrators of 9/11 and to get away from college,not to go to it,because I definitely could've gone to college whether I joined or not,but I didn't want to."

      NEWSFLASH: IRAQIS, AFGHANIS AND PAKISTANIS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11. Not to mention the fact that Bin Laden is a CIA lackey who is either dead or 'disappeared'. All you are doing is advancing the cause of global capitalist consumer fascism. Good job, slave. *throws you a treat*

      "D)Most of the people in these other countries appreciate us more than a good portion of americans,there are some true patriots here in america that I appreciate quite a bit,but there are some people who know nothing about it and just talk."

      Oh, I'm sure those little brown foreign people LOVE it when the glorious white men comes in and sets them 'free'. After all, us brown folk are too stupid to do it ourselves. You know, we're just a bunch of stupid primitives. Thank you, white man. Thank you, Christopher Columbus, Jr. Oh, and GOD BLESS AMERICA.

      "There's a reason the Spartans used to kill those who were unfit for their ranks,and I'm starting to see why that is everytime I see stupid things like this and the people that support them,you will never learn,you will just be a parasite that continues to plauge the progress of humanity."

      Don't even try to bring up the Spartans. They're long gone. There's no honor involved here. Oh, and it's kinda funny that you're bringing them up because Spartan kings used to be the first into battle. You don't see your beloved Bush on the first lines, do you? Nope. Because you're a slave. And your master is thousands of miles away; drinking and coking it up without a care in the world. He sends his regards, though. 😉

      Bleat on, sheep.

      September 9, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
  18. manonfetch

    I am an adult in my 40's and have been a cutter for thirty years. I hide it. It is like an old fashioned pressure cooker, the kind grandma used to make jelly – all the pressure builds up and cutting lets some of it out so I can keep going. It lets the worst of the darkness out without screaming or drawing attention to myself or hurting someone else. I own a house, pay my own bills, and take care of my mom. I am not 'soft,' I had a typical childhood with good points and bad. But for some people, cutting or some other form of self mutilation is just as much a tool of modern life as a microwave. Cutting and self mutilation are NOT the same as tattoos or piercing. I have a tattoo and pierced ears. That sort of thing is for self enhancement and can feel great. Cutting and self mutilation come from a place of pain.

    September 8, 2010 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Greg

    Nobody understand their pain.

    September 9, 2010 at 01:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Frank

    I am a 20 year old male and I have done some cutting. I've scarred the phrase "Love Your Hate" (an AFI lyric) into my thigh plus cut up my hands. I have struggled with severe suicidal depression, social anxiety disorder, being neurotic and possible bipolar disorder. I'm not really into cutting, honestly, because I find that it does almost nothing for me in terms of mental or emotional pain. I do like pain, though, oddly. I am a masochist. I would say that there are definitely connections between self-injury and S&M psychology. Self-injury is a form of therapy to many people, just as BDSM is. It's a total psychologal thing. Physical pain can help you center yourself and find yourself. It can help you overcome or at least dull the inner pain.
    However, I don't think that people, especially young people, cutting themselves is necessarily a good thing. There are many risks with this sort of action. If you are in mental, emotional or spiritual pain – SEEK HELP. Never be afraid to ask for help. There are people who care. At least share how you feel with someone you trust.
    Now, you people who are mocking people's REAL pain are simply disgusting. You people are the ones who drive people into depression and to suicide. Apathy is the reason why things like this go on.
    And just because we live in the West and have a home and food in our belly (not all of us do; we are not all middle class suburbinites) does not mean everything is peachy. Modern Western civilization is extremely sickening. I won't get into all of the examples as to why that is but it's plain to see if you open your eyes. Depression and suicide have reached pandemic proportions in the West. America is the most drugged nation on the planet. Ask yourself why that is.
    And please have some empathy for people. You know that quiet weird kid who always sat in the back of the class with no friends? That's very possibly a life in danger. Don't make it worse.
    Lastly, don't make fun of the Goth and Emo subcultures. Those communities -among others- save lives.


    September 9, 2010 at 02:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Frank

    I might also add that people who suffer from emotional and mental issues tend to be quite gifted and intelligent. Just think of how many of the world's artists, thinkers, movers and shakers suffered from severe inner turmoil during their lives. Sadly, many of these talented souls lost the battle with their demons and took themselves out of this world prematurely.
    People who are struggling inside aren't necessarily f*cked up -many times the truth is that they experience and process emotion on a much deeper level than others. They must be shown support and guidance on how to harness the energies within and use them for a constructive purpose.
    Honestly, a big cause of this pandemic of mental and emotional darkness is the fact that our society does not encourage people to express themselves. We are only encouraged to be produce and consume units -to be spokes on a wheel and shut up. We must encourage others to be like butterflies and show us their uniqueness. I know it's corny but it's true. We have to start making use of the right brain, which is the seat of the artist in us all.
    The first thing we MUST do is GET ART PROGRAMS BACK INTO THE SCHOOLS ASAP. Then we can go from there.

    Peace X2.

    September 9, 2010 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. cutter

    Cutting has been, and unfortunately continues to be, a calming technique that woks better for me than anything else I have available.
    I cut on areas of my body that are not publicly exposed.
    I am in my late 30's.
    I am not motivated by suicidality to cut, rather I cut when my coping is overwhelmed. I have used it in the past to deal with higher levels of stress than I would otherwise have been able to tolerate, allowing me to juggle school and overtime work.

    Leaping to conclusions with no effort to comprehend the phenomena makes you look like an ass.

    September 9, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Lando

    they are just really excited to get their rfid chips in might have gone a little overboard

    September 10, 2010 at 14:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Lando

    if you have a kid doing this show em the women in africa with plates in their lips and suggest that be their next mutilating experience should turn em off to mutilation sure turns me off to them. Or let them know they won't even be able to work at mcdonalds looking all goofy and mutilated and the military won't even take em to put them in harms way.

    September 10, 2010 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frank

      We're not talking about piercings and tattoos here (which are NOT mutilation!).

      Anyone with a brain wouldn't join the military, anyway.

      September 10, 2010 at 17:56 | Report abuse |
  25. jimntonic

    Punk Chic

    September 11, 2010 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Tralalalala

    GET A LIFE!!!

    September 11, 2010 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Crystal

    They didn't show the ethnicity of the crazy kids . They should try that next time . They sure aren't black !

    September 12, 2010 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply

    I can't say I am shocked at the lack of compassion displayed on this board, but I must say that I am appalled.

    I am going to say right away that I have been struggling with self-mutilation for several years. It began in High School with cutting, and even now, in my mid twenties, it is a struggle to not deal with my problems that way any more. I have been to therapy, I have been medicated, I have been yelled at and mocked and everything, but the one thing that has stopped me from pulling razors over my flesh was the compassion, kindess, and listening ears of the people who love me the most.

    I did not begin cutting to 'get attention' or because I was 'emo'. I kept all of my cuts well hidden, and was mortified that someone might see them. I did not belong to a clique or group that thought that cutting was cool. In fact, my friends were the sort who would mock cutters. I have to sadly admit that I joined them in mocking because I was afraid of being discovered. I never intended to kill myself, but I still have scars on my legs and upper arms from many different kinds of blades: from a razor i disassembled to a hunting knife of my dad's.

    Why did I cut? What was the reason for hurting oneself?

    I am a victim of sexual abuse, once in my childhood and once later in high school when the cutting began. I felt like my body was dirty and useless and ugly and I wanted to hurt it. If I was cutting myself, I could seperated my mind from my body. I could feel like I was outside of myself, looking down, and that I was free for a few moments. I felt so guilty about the abuse, and also guilty for any thing I had ever said or done to hurt another person. The cuts were my punishment to myself. The cuts were also my salvation.

    I have also been diagnosed as manic depressive. Whenever I am feeling in the depressive swing of things, it takes a MASSIVE amount of effort to convince myself that cutting is not the answer. It often leads to me having to call someone so that I dont do it. Sometimes, it is a daily, even hourly, struggle. But I perservere.

    I cannot stant people who have no idea what it is like to be in this mindset telling me that they 'know' i must just be 'goth' or 'emo' or starved for attention. I was none of those things. I was a hurt girl struggling to find some escape and control.

    And, if my culture had been more accepting, if it wasn't such a stigma to ask for help, if people didnt start freaking out and assuming things and calling me names if I told them I struggled with cutting, if I had known I could ask for help and not be mocked by the sorts of people who post on this thread; I would have far fewer scars and far fewer regrets.

    Compassion, people. It saves lives and minds.

    September 13, 2010 at 17:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Charles

      There are people that care. Glad you are doing your best every day to not hurt yourself. Everyone counts and is important in this world.

      September 20, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
  29. NIkki

    Most of these comments just show the ignorance of most people. People who cut usually do NOT do it for attention nor do they do it because they don't have any friends or because they failed a test. I've been a cutter for four years. I'm a good student and have friends and was voted Prom/Homecoming Queen, so you can dismiss the idea that were all mutated freaks as you all think. No one knows about my cutting and I hide it well. Stop bashing people when you don't even know the cause. Everyone has a tough life, I know that. I do it for reasons i don't even understand most of the time. I would never call someone crazy or think I'm better than them. Relax and do the same, you never know what can happen to you tomorrow.

    September 13, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Re: Joe


    September 15, 2010 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. BruceNY

    I think I'll take advantage of this article and ask if anyone performed or even heard of this behavior. When I was about 14, I used to take my mother's photography flash, look straight at it , and flash my eyes for a couple of hours. I think I did that for a couple of years before it stopped working. I still remember the soothing feeling the moment the flash blinded me, but it wasn't just about the light, I had to hear the charging noise (that whistlely sound) and the "pop" when the flash went out, so disposables weren't satisfatory enough. Did anyone ever do that or am I the only light-eater here?

    September 15, 2010 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Russ

    This story brought a weird little memory from my early teens rushing back to me. Even as the reasonably well-adjusted and affluent white kid I was then, I carry a very faint scar on my right hand to this day from repeatedly rubbing it enough to wear away the flesh during a band trip, as the other kids were doing the same thing and dared me to join in. I never participated more than the one time though, because dang it, it HURT like the dickens!

    In my opinion and in my experience, many of these self-destructive behaviors that kids do (and they DO them) are directly related to peer pressure. Our closest friends often become our worst enemies.

    September 17, 2010 at 07:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Christina Sponias

    We must prevent self-injury by preparing all parents to really help their children have a balanced development, and a decent life. We have also to transform our cruel world into a place where happiness won’t be pure utopia.

    September 19, 2010 at 15:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Nettieboo

    As a child of trauma, I hurt myself as well. Lord knows I wish I could've got some help but my mother thought my behavior was normal. Now I am an adult with manic depression and bipolar disorder. People can be so cruel and judging by some of the comments posted, not only are they cruel but CLUELESS!!!!!

    September 20, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Charles

    I just want to thank all those that shared their personal stories. I have heard of this behavior and it is sad to think that an individual's only solace is to cause themselves pain. Bravo to those that have been able to successfully manage this problem and to those that are still struggling please reach out for help.

    We always talk about lack of affordable healthcare or coverage but fail to realize that the state of mental health care is way worse.

    September 20, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. nailed

    I once ate a brillo pad. That was horrible to my whole digestive track.

    September 23, 2010 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Cal

    This can be none other than demonic activity and the work of Saten.

    September 26, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Ed

    Good heavens people!!! You cut yourself? Man oh man, if you are stressing that much, go fire up a doobie. Dead serious. Get stoned, watch some Scooby Doo and laugh. Shave your eyebrows off. Put on some really bright lipstick if you are a dude, and go to the grocery store, act like you aren't wearing lipstick! If you are a gal, put on a fake moustach! Life is way too short to be so stressed out that you want to cut on yourself. DO NOT DRIVE under the influence of drugs.
    Try praying too.

    September 27, 2010 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Ms.Lady

    i totally agree with dave, most of children are lacking and seeking attention therefore they are easily influenced. to all my parents if u working all the time and not soending time with your kids, you may wonna take some time out and show them that you love them, that u are there for them, hold them. be the parent, the friend and the confidant....

    September 29, 2010 at 14:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Bob G

    its a social phenomo...nono.....nomeno..... its widespread!!
    may they rust in peace

    October 13, 2010 at 07:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Keely Bresse

    Nice list of boxers. But please don't ever include floyd mayweather! He just runs in the ring.... Lol


    July 6, 2015 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. dbmckenna

    I don't agree. Read:

    August 9, 2017 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. soot

    I’m 38. This isn’t just teenagers.

    January 22, 2018 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
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