twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Demi Lovato Was Reportedly Cutting Herself

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This

Demi Lovato has entered treatment, reportedly for cutting. No matter what you may call it -- self-mutilation, cutting, self-harm or self-injury, this type of intentional self-destructive behavior to one's own body is a serious concern.

Demi Lovato

Maggie Baumann, MA: According to Mental Health America, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people live mentally healthy lives, the most common method of self-injury is cutting.

However, other self-injurious behaviors can include:

  • Scratching
  • Burning
  • Biting
  • Bruising
  • Head-banging
  • Picking at skin
  • Hair pulling (trichotillomania)
  • Hitting

Teens are particularly at risk of self-mutilation, with more girls affected than boys. Besides gender and age, other common factors seen with this behavior include people who have a history of physical, emotional or sexual abuse. It's also more prevalent in teens who have co-existing problems, such as alcohol/drug abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder and eating disorders. Additionally, it is seen in people who lack skills to express their emotions and are known to have a poor support network.

During an initial consultation with a new client in my practice as a therapist, one of the questions I always ask is about any self-harming behaviors, past or present. More than 50 percent of the eating disorder clients I see acknowledge a history of cutting behaviors. Once, a client showed me the inside of her forearm, where she had a four-inch scar displaying the words, "I am fat."

Is Cutting a Suicide Attempt?
Well, it can be. But in most cases, the intent of self-injury is rarely a suicide attempt. However, any self-injury attempt could accidentally lead to death.

More often than not, self-injury is simply a mechanism for coping with extreme emotional distress. It can relieve intense feelings, anger or anxiety. It can provide a way for someone to break emotional numbness or feel some sort of reality. Physically, self-mutilation is thought to release endorphins, neurotransmitters in the brain that cause a "high-like" feeling.

Warning Signs of Self-Injury
Teens who self-injure usually go to great lengths to cover up their injuries to prevent parents or other adults from discovering their secret. Some of the signs to look for include:

  • Appearance of abnormal number of bruises, scars, or scratches
  • Wearing pants or long sleeves in warm weather
  • Finding razors or other sharp objects in your teen's room
  • Low self-esteem and/or depression
  • Difficulty expressing feelings in words
  • Relationship conflicts
  • Poor functioning at home, school or work

Parent's Role in Treatment
Seek professional help for your teen from a trained family therapist. Anti-anxiety and/or antidepressants prescribed by a doctor may also be helpful in stabilizing the teen's mood.

As a parent, it's important not to shame your teen or show any signs of disgust at his/her behavior. Be accepting and compassionate that your teen is sending you a signal for help with an emotional issue he/she is not able to cope with in a healthy way. Open your lines of communication with your teen -- and participate in family therapy, if indicated.

next: 7-Year-Old MattyB Raps Ke$ha
74 comments so far | Post a comment now
Charla Goodhue March 29, 2011, 12:21 PM

Generally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thanks, very nice article.

Adrian Billeaudeau March 29, 2011, 7:09 PM

Good post and right to the point. I don’t know if this is truly the best place to ask but do you guys have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thx :)

Wholesale Fendi Handbags March 31, 2011, 7:57 AM

It’s accomplished to swallow an tackle about this decorous topic. Nice article, very much caring

Sidney Crosby Jerseys April 1, 2011, 7:21 AM

From all the blogs I’ve pore over lately, this one seems to be the most affecting - it gave me something to about about.

sterownik pompy dodge April 1, 2011, 8:24 AM

Would you be involved in exchanging hyperlinks?

tabliczki na drzwi April 2, 2011, 6:03 AM

Thank you for another wonderful post. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such an ideal way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I’m on the look for such info.

Jeremy Roenick Jersey April 2, 2011, 10:54 AM

this was a very fun read. i enjoyed it very much!|Thanks on this article! How in the world, I had a emotionally upset viewing this article in Safari 5. Just wanted to give rise to that to your attention! Thanks.

Valentina Tuamoheloa April 2, 2011, 11:03 AM

My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

Larry Capulong April 2, 2011, 3:46 PM

Very Nice web site. I recently built mine and i was longing for some ideas and you gave me a few. might i raise you whether you developed the website by youself ?

Ayanna Agular April 3, 2011, 7:58 AM

You have noted terribly interesting points ! ps good net site here.

Chris Kunitz Jersey April 3, 2011, 2:57 PM

I wish more people would write sites like this that are in actuality helpful to read. With all the fluff floating round on the web, it is rare to look over a site like yours instead.

Peg Longinotti April 4, 2011, 12:15 AM

Thank you so much for this useful site. i love taking part in transformice flash game.

Paris Coggan April 4, 2011, 5:05 AM

There’s noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain good factors in features also.

ukÅ‚ad wydechowy April 4, 2011, 6:55 AM

The very heart of your writing whilst appearing agreeable initially, did not really work well with me after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately only for a very short while. I still have a problem with your jumps in logic and you would do nicely to fill in those gaps. When you actually can accomplish that, I would definitely be impressed.

Tiffanie Zappone April 4, 2011, 6:42 PM

You made some first rate points there. I seemed on the web for the difficulty and found most people will associate with together with your website.

Yuki Lanpher April 4, 2011, 10:04 PM

Great ideas, thanks are in order for making the effort to throw it up

Male Enhancement April 4, 2011, 11:10 PM

We have examine several websites on your web site considering that last night, and I truly like your style of blogging. My partner and i book-marked that to my top features web page record and you will be examining rear quickly. Check out our web page also along with tell me your thoughts and opinions.

Air Max TN April 5, 2011, 2:10 AM

I am very firm they will study a tons of supplemental substance here than anybody else!

Cynthia A. Vaughan April 5, 2011, 2:32 PM

Hi folks, - found out about your internet site by accident whilst wandering round the web this afternoon, and delighted that i did! I like the style and design and colors, but I really should point out that I’m having difficulties when it loads. I’m using Netscape 8 browser for mac, and the footer wouldn’t lineup correctly. i’m convinced I have used a matching layout on a customer’s web site, but the menu seems all straight on mine. I think the error is at my end & I suppose it’s about time to upgrade!

Rayford Stahlnecker April 5, 2011, 3:24 PM

Thanks for shaking things up. Cant wait to check them all!

Back to top >>