Self-mutilation, also called self-harm, self-injury or cutting, is the intentional destruction of tissue or alteration of the body done without the conscious wish to commit suicide, usually in an attempt to relieve tension.
If at any time you feel out of control of your emotions or find yourself entertaining thoughts of self-harm, contact a professional counselor, call a depression hotline, or confide in a trusted friend.
Girls are four times more likely to engage in self-harm than boys, with girls between the ages of 16 and 25 at highest risk, although many girls begin cutting in middle school (ages 12 or 13).
Other forms of self-harm include biting, hitting, or bruising oneself; picking or pulling at skin or hair; burning oneself with cigarettes, or amputating parts of the body.
Early 2000s studies have found increased reports of thinking about suicide and self-harm, among children and teens taking venlafaxine (Effexor).