For some teens, cutting is a way to release pain. The most common method used for self-harm, cutting refers to using a sharp object to cut into the skin, and it’s important to note that many times, people who cut don’t want to seriously harm or kill themselves.

The Dangers of Cutting Every Teen Should Know

That said, the dangers of cutting shouldn’t be overlooked. Cutting is a serious issue, and it can be life-threatening. Let’s review the risk factors.

Compulsion

Cutting can become habit-forming, and it can represent a compulsion similar to addiction. That means that you become more and more desensitized to the pain. 

Over time, you build a tolerance to the behavior, with the result that you engage in it more and more frequently and even increase the intensity of how you cut and/or how deep. Compulsions can be extremely difficult to quit, even when you feel ready to stop.


Excess Bleeding

Excess bleeding can happen accidentally, but it can cause shock. Even with moderate blood loss, you might start feeling lightheaded, dizzy, or nauseous. You may even faint. 

That said, you can’t always determine the severity of a cut by the amount it bleeds. Sometimes severe injuries draw very little blood. However, if untreated it can result in an infection, which may require medical attention.


Scarring

Scars can occur any time the skin is damaged, and self-harm can result in permanent scars. These scars can be triggering and may urge you to continue self-harming. They may also be incredibly shameful or humiliating. 


Final Thoughts on the Dangers of Cutting

While self-harm may provide temporary relief, the dangers of cutting certainly outweigh any perceived benefits. If you’re struggling with cutting, reach out for help. A qualified professional can provide you with guidance and support during this time.


Get Help for Your Child or Teen

Sources

  1. Self-injury (Cutting, Self-Harm or Self-Mutilation). (2019). Mental Health America. https://www.mhanational.org/conditions/self-injury-cutting-self-harm-or-self-mutilation
  2. ‌Hepler, L. (2014, July 30). Stopping Bleeding. Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/first-aid/stopping-bleeding#cuts-and-wounds