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  • March 2010
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Willow was sixteen when both her parents were killed in a car accident. In a car that she was driving. The feelings of guilt and pain are so overwhelming that Willow cuts herself.

According to HelpGuide.org, an estimated 2 million people in the US are self-injurers. The most common form of self-injury is called “cutting,” making cuts and scratches on the body with sharp objects. The cuts are usually made on the arms, legs, and front of the torso.

Cutting is not a suicidal impulse, rather a way to relieve the tension created by painful emotions. It can also be a way to produce feeling—to distract from the numbness or distance often experienced by victims of abuse.

Cutters tend to have these things in common:

  • Expressions of anger discouraged while they were growing up
  • Co-existing problems with obessive-compulsive disorders, substance abuse, or eating disorders
  • Lack necessary skills to express strong emotions in a healthy way
  • Limited social support network

Famous cutters include Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, and Brody Dalle of The Distillers. Check out self-injury.net for a more complete description.

If you know a cutter, or are one yourself, follow the links in this post for helpful information and support, and check out these books:


Sara Dora, CLP-Hazelwood

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