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Cutting and self-injury warning signs

Studies indicate that roughly 13 percent to 25 percent of high school students have intentionally harmed themselves, with the behavior becoming chronic in an estimated
6 percent. Often, a self-injurer will try to hide the wounds. Here are a few things to look for:

- Unexplained or clustered scars or marks

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Fresh cuts, bruises, burns, or other signs of bodily damage

Bandages worn frequently

- Inappropriate dress for the season, such as long shirts or long pants worn consistently during summer

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Unwillingness to participate in events that require less body coverage (such as
swimming)

Constant use of wrist bands

Odd or unexplainable paraphernalia such as razor blades or other cutting implements

- Physical or emotional absence, preoccupation, distance

Social withdrawal, sensitivity to rejection, difficulty handling anger, compulsiveness

Expressions of self-loathing, shame, and/or worthlessness

SOURCE: “The Cutting Edge: Non-Suicidal Self-Injury in Adolescence,” by Janis Whitlock, Cornell Research Program on Self-Injurious Behavior in Adolescents and Young Adults.
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