What is self-injury? Self injury, also called self-harm, self-mutilation, or simply cutting, is defined as any intentional injury to one’s own body. Usually, self-injury leaves marks or causes tissue damage. Self-injury can involve any of the following behaviors:
- Burning (or “branding” with hot objects)
- Picking at skin or re-opening wounds
- Hair-pulling (trichotillomania)
- Hitting (with hammer or other object)
Most who engage in self-injury act alone rather than in groups. They also attempt to hide their behavior. Self injury is usually a non-lethal behavior, meaning the self injurer is not usually attempting to end their life.