Stress Management

Self-Mutilation – Control Issues in Teens

Tip! Pay attention to and deal with the emotions that anger typically grows out of: fear, frustration, hurt.
Most teens will start self-mutilation at this age. This will then continue through their twenties and thirties leading an addictive cycle of hurting themselves. It is known that there is a higher rate of self-mutilation from women than men. There are several reasons behind self-mutilation among teens. Being a youth is a stressful time for most teens. They are going through various changes emotionally as well as noticing things that have a different level of value in the external environment.

If they don’t feel like they are able to control things internally or externally, it can lead to several cries for aid, including several different ways of self-mutilation. Self-mutilation can take on several different forms. The most common form of mutilation is in cutting. This form has also been seen with burning, self-hitting, interference with wound healing, hair pulling and bone breaking are other types of self-mutilation that may occur. There are several psychological reasons why teens may decide to self-mutilate. The first and major reason why teens decide to self-mutilate is from a dislike and invalidation of themselves. By having a low sense of self-esteem and not thinking of themselves highly, they will tend to move towards hurting themselves more.

Tip! Look into assertiveness, communication skills, anger management, and time management.
Another reason why teens may begin to self-mutilate is from a suppression of their feelings. If they have not been taught to express themselves, they will have built up anxiety, anger and other feelings. Sub-consciously, self-mutilation is a way in which they can express their feelings of anger and anxiety. There are several that use self-mutilation as a way of calming themselves down. When you get hurt, there are endorphins that move into your brain. This then affects a nerve in your brain that allows the pain to not be felt and causes a calming feeling throughout your body. Because of this, several teens become addicted to feeling better after they have caused self injury

A reason why self-mutilation is popular among teens is because of the idea of control. This is a response to the before mentioned problems. If teens seem to sense a lack of control in the environment around them, as well as a lack of control from internal feelings, they will use self-mutilation as a way to control something in their environment. If a teen has a sense of feeling out of control, then resorting to self- mutilation is a subconscious way which makes them feel like they are able to control something.

Tip! Massage, body work or yoga can aid you in relief of muscle tension.
Another part of this control behavior through self-mutilation is that teens begin to believe that by causing self-mutilation it will allow others to come forward and aid them. Because of this, it is important to recognize when a teen is beginning to self-mutilate. You should be patient and get them the proper help in order to treat the problem. Self-mutilation in teens is a growing problem occurring world wide. Because of the pressures that arise internally and externally, teens are responding by hurting their bodies in some form. It should be kept in mind that self-mutilation is not a path towards suicide, but rather, a way for a teen to want one to recognize that they need help.