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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Health

Facing the puzzling urge to injure

A Swiss army knife was her tool of choice, but when that was not available — when, for instance, she was hospitalized for depression — Julie would use what she could find; paper clips, staples, screws, or plastic knives.

Julie, a 35-year-old nursing student in Massachusetts, has grappled with the urge to cut herself for half her life. Therapy held the urge at bay for seven years, only to have it slither back in 2006, during a wrenching breakup with her boyfriend.

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