(an encore post by Cecil Murphey)
Until recently, I assumed self-injury or self-cutting was a female response to pain. Increasingly, however, I hear stories of young men who are cutters.
I've never been a cutter, but I've seen the results of several who are. Some cut their wrists or arms, but I hear more of it occurs on the legs so it's not readily seen. My understanding as a non-therapist, is that it's a form of self-medication—a way to control the pain. Using a knife or a razor blade, cutters hurt and they use self-injury as a temporary fix for their extreme pain or depression.
From what I've read, most self-harm or self-mutilation hits between the ages of 15 and 35. They're not suicidal and they know it's not a solution, but it is a form of self-medication.
"I wanted to stop," a teen-aged boy said, "but it was the only thing I could do to keep from giving up on life."
He has gone into a year-long residency at Teen Challenge. "I can't help myself, but God can help me through the people there."