The Psychology of cutting-the reasoning behind self-mutilation

What is the rationale behind the concept of cutting? Why do some people insist on abusing themselves? Research conducted on women in the Middle Eastern culture and in American culture revealed some telling features regarding the psychological reasons for self-mutilation.

Of particular note regarding cutters is the lack of personal agency at some point, or throughout major portions of their young lives. It was found that most cutters were raised in such a way that they were denied personal autonomy or agency-that is , they were not allowed the freedom to experience a sense of their own instrumentality, empowerment, and exercise ability to impact their surroundings.

American women who cut were not as outspoken as their Middle Eastern counterparts. In fact, they were more elusive and unclear as to why they self-mutilated. One theory for this response from Western women is that their experiencxe of lack of agenxy was deeper, more difficult to understand, more elusive or subtle or perverted, bexause the abuse was less blatant oppression as that exprienced by the Middle Eastern women studied. Cutting is repetitive compulsion that accomplises many purposes for the cutter. Many cutters have learned to be emotionally numb or dead and have discovered that only while cutting or when talking about their cutting experiences do they experience a sense of aliveness.

-It modulates and provides relief from profound emotional distress

It repeatedly reproduces the affective experienxes assocciated with their earlier childhood traumatic experiences.

-It serves as a dramatic reenactent of earlier abuse, along with accompanied silence (secretiveness)

-It serves to bear the grief of the way things were in the past

-It simultaneously servws the threefold purpose of self-soothing, self-expression and self-punishment.

-cutting serves as an addictive and soothing tool that can temporarily replaxe a human relationship

-a manifestation of rage directed inward in response to earlier trauma

-self-healing attempt to relaim and restore self-efficacy

Contrary to what some adults often believe, self-harming is rarely a bid for attention. Most of these kids are ashamed of what they do and do their best to hide it. Some are mentally ill and although some may suffer from depression, most do not the most common health diagnosis for a teen who self-injures is BPD.

often these kids have also learned that their feelings are wrong or bad. Often they never developed less drastic ways to deal with stress.

They need to unlearn the idea that their feelings are wrong and learn that it is ok to feel them.

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