Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Do You Really Understand What Leads a Teen to Cut or Self-Injure?

Teen girlTest your knowledge on self-injury: Take the True or False Quiz 

Self-injury is:

1) A suicidal behavior. False. It is an attempt to self-soothe, control emotions, communicate what is difficult to say, or control and punish oneself through trauma reenactment. It helps a teen avoids suicidal feelings that are unbearable. This is an attempt to stay alive, to stay connected to something and not check out for good.

2) An addiction. False.  It is addictive-like in that it helps people feel better, though temporary, and it often increases in severity and intensity over time.


3) Any type of physical harm. False. The thing that distinguishes self-injury from other forms of physical harm is the elevated mood a teen experiences after self-injury.

4) A behavior that means a person is psychotic. False. The person is in her right mind but tormented with issues enacted through self-harm.

5) More than an attention getter. True. Some people think this is just a way to get attention when actually it is a cry for help and indicative of emotional pain.

6) A way to feel alive.  True. It breaks emotional numbness and reconnects the person to her body after a dissociative experience. She feels something, often feels alive due to the physical pain.


7) A sign that a teen can’t feel pain. False.  Even though the self-injurer may not feel pain while inflicting the wound, he or she will feel pain afterward.

8) A way to express what can’t be spoken. True. Even though this is indirect communication, self-injury communicates a need.

9) A form of self-loathing. True. It serves as a punishment for having strong (usually negative) feelings.

10) Something that a teen will typically outgrow. False. The teen needs help and new coping skills taught.  The most effective treatment is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). In the DBT model, self-injury is viewed as an ineffective way to solve problems. Therefore, the goal of DBT is to stop self-injury, and teach better problem-solving and distress tolerance. It is a structured treatment that incorporates cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Previous Posts

Gratitude: How It Changes Us in Positive Ways
I've been keeping a gratitude journal for the past weeks. Each day, I write down 3 things for which I am thankful. Focusing on gratitude changes a person. If you want to know how, watch my blog to learn about the many benefits of ...

posted 7:00:39am Nov. 23, 2015 | read full post »

What's Your Relationship Deal Breaker?
My daughter was talking to us about relationships the other night. We asked about one young man she knew and her instant response was, "Too needy!" For her, that was a deal breaker. As I thought about this, we all have those deal breakers that ...

posted 7:00:06am Nov. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Exercise More, Lose Weight? Not Really!
Eat less, exercise more. That is the weight loss mantra, right? The role of exercise in weight loss is often misunderstood. The State of Texas knows this first hand. They spend 37 million dollars on grants to help children in poverty reduce ...

posted 7:00:29am Nov. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Move Over "No Shave", It's No SHAME November
I have to admit, I'm not a fan of No Shave November. I look forward to the month ending in order to see the faces of the men I care about again. But one of my producers had a different take on the No Shave idea and wrote a thoughtful spot for me ...

posted 7:00:35am Nov. 17, 2015 | read full post »

How Sex, Hot Chocolate and 3 D Movies Keep Your Mind Sharp
We all want to remain on top of our game as along as possible as we age. We've heard a lot about doing puzzles and mental activities that require cognitive engagement. But how about some fun ways to keep your mind sharp? A few may even surprise ...

posted 7:00:27am Nov. 13, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.