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Cutting yourself disorder is a condition in which a person intentionally harms their body with a sharp object as a way of releasing all negative emotions, or as a distraction from emotional pain. Majority of people who cut themselves are usually going through a difficult time in their lives, and they lack the ability to respond appropriately to distressing events.

What is Cutting Yourself Disorder?

Cutting yourself disorder, also known as self mutilation disorder, is a condition in which people hurt by the unpleasant events in their lives end up cutting their wrists, hands, chest, belly, etc. with razor blades, knives, needles, pieces of glass, scissors, or other sharp objects. Other forms of self injury associated with this condition, may include: banging the head on the wall, breaking one’s bones, lighting the hair or skin on fire, swallowing sharp objects to injure internal organs, ingesting toxic chemicals, scratching one’s body, multiple piercing, glaring into the hot ball of Sun until the eyes relent, burning one’s skin with hot objects, interfering with wound healing process and similar. This is an emotional defense mechanism that help’s “cutters” to cope with stress and depression.

Why Do People Cut Themselves

The common prejudice about people who cut themselves is that their behavior is suicidal. However, this is not true. People who cut themselves do not even want to injure themselves – they just want to reduce the inner pain and suffering that are boiling within them. People may cut themselves not only when they are experiencing extreme emotional pain but also when they cannot feel any emotion, due to the depression. In severe depression, people may not feel human at all. They may feel empty, unaffected and unstirred by things happening in their lives. Cutting themselves and feeling pain that is real is just a resort to feel alive. Cutting is not the right solution to coping with depression, because it only deals with the symptoms while the underlying cause stays intact. On the other hand, it may severely affect person’s family and social life.


About 2 million Americans practice self-injury as a way of coping with depression. The condition is most common in teenagers when young people show symptoms like withdrawal, depression and great loneliness. Great portion of cutters is made of females between the ages of 13 and 30. However, there are cutters of all ages and most of them were molested or physically abused at some point in their lives. Family histories of alcohol and drug abuse, and many personality disorders, are also associated with cutting yourself syndrome.

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