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Self harm and suicidal threats are different:

Self-injury, or self-harm, is a coping mechanism and usually not a conscious attempt to commit suicide.

• It is referred to by many different names: self-inflicted violence, self-injury, self-harm, parasuicide, cutting, self-abuse and self-mutilation.

• It is done as an attempt to manage intense feelings or to alter mood by inflicting physical harm serious enough to cause tissue damage to the body.

• It is a coping mechanism because it is a way of dealing with overwhelming feelings or situations.

• Those who self-harm may not have learned effective ways to cope.

Types of self-injury (SI):

There are many different forms of SI, but cutting, burning and head-banging occur most often.

SI also can include the following:

• Carving
• Scratching
• Branding
• Biting
• Hitting
• Picking/pulling skin and/or hair
• Bruising

However, it is not considered to be self-injury if it is done for sexual gratification, spiritual enlightenment/rituals, body decoration (e.g., piercings, tattoos) or to fit in or be cool. 

What kinds of people self-injure?

People who self-injure come from all walks of life and socioeconomic statuses. They are male, female, straight, gay, bisexual, doctors, therapists, lawyers, college students, high school dropouts, rich, poor, and from all nationalities. Their ages can range anywhere from early teens to early 60s.

If you know or suspect someone of self-injurious behavior, refer them to the counseling center, Bold Hall Room 261 and 259 or 412-847-2506.

For more information:

Visit S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives, call 1-800-DON'T-CUT

Visit To Write Love on Her Arms:

Resolve Crisis Network: 1-888.7.YOU CAN (1.888.796.8226)