Bleeding to Ease the Pain

Bleeding to Ease the Pain

Cutting, Self-injury, and the Adolescent Search for Self

Book - 2007
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Explains the epidemic of self-cutting, how it can be an act of suicide, but is most often a misguided attempt at self-preservation.
Parents, teachers, friends, and even many clinicians are both horrified and mystified upon discovering teenagers who intentionally cut, burn, and otherwise inflict pain upon themselves. Often causing permanent and extensive scarring, as well as infections, cutting is increasingly prevalent among today's youth. As many as 1 in 100 adolescents report cutting themselves, representing a growing epidemic of scarred and tormented youths, as we see in this revealing work. As author 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 growing teenage method for easing emotional pain and suffering. Bleeding from self-inflicted wounds not only helps to numb and vent the despair, it can also be a dramatic means of communicating, controlling, and asking for help from others.

Book News
There is a growing epidemic of young people resorting to cutting themselves in order to cope with the pain and turmoil of life changes, says Plante (psychiatry and behavioral sciences, Stanford U.). She explores the reasons behind such painful and damaging acts in adolescents, and offers both a philosophy and a methodology for effective intervention. Her topics include teenagers most at risk, developmental challenges, professional treatment, neurochemistry, how parents can help, responsibilities of the adolescent in treatment, and de-pathologizing the problem. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 2007
ISBN: 9780275990626
Characteristics: xiv, 186 p. ; 25 cm

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