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The most extreme forms if self-injury may result in permanent disfigurement such as castration or limb amputation.

Artwork by Jess, Fort Refuge member Self-injury is often defined as any deliberate, intentional injury to one’s own body that causes tissue damage and is done to cope with overwhelming feelings or emotional numbness.

The most common forms if self-injury involve: cutting (making cuts or scratches on your body with any sharp object), picking at skin or re-opening wounds (dermatillomania), biting, hair-pulling (trichotillomania), eyeball pressing, friction burn (such as by rubbing a pencil eraser on skin), bruising or hitting self, head-banging, branding (burning self with a hot object), multiple piercing or tattoos when done to relieve stress, or swallowing harmful chemicals or objects.

I personally started as a child, after the onset of sexual abuse, because life was overwhelming and I didn't know how to cope with it - I wasn't allowed to talk about it, throw tantrums, or express myself in any other age-appropriate way. SI is also common among teens who are being bullied, who struggle with self-image, who were date-raped, or if there are constant fights between them and their parents.

Aproximately every third young person in UK and USA self-injures.