Bleeding to Ease the Pain: Cutting, Self-Injury, and the Adolescent Search for Self

Author(s) : Lori G. Plante

Bleeding to Ease the Pain: Cutting, Self-Injury, and the Adolescent Search for Self

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Cutting and other forms of self-injury are often cries for help, pleas for someone to notice that the pain is too much to bear. As Plante discusses here, the threat of suicide must always be carefully evaluated, although the majority of cutters are not in fact suicidal. Instead, cutting represents a rapidly spreading method for teens hoping to ease emotional pain and suffering. Bleeding from self-inflicted wounds not only helps to numb the cutter and vent despair, it can also be a dramatic means of communicating, controlling, and asking for help from others. Plante describes the frightening developmental tasks teenagers and young adults face, and how the central challenges of the three Is (Independence, Intimacy, and Identity) compel them to cope through self-destructive acts. Readers will come to a better understanding of these struggling teenagers and the dramatic methods they employ to ease and overcome their internal pain through a desperate need to cut and self-injure.

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