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Glenn Yank, MD is a Psychiatrist located in Tennessee.


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ShrinkTime (TM)


Question:
My daughter is carving her name on her self with sharp objects. What is this and why is she doing it? She uses knives or anything sharp. Help

Answer:

The phenomenon you describe is referred to as self injury. It is a mechanism that some people use to try to cope with an overwhelming emotional feeling of pain, often accompanied by a very distressing state of over-arousal. When people self injure, they turn an unbearable and difficult to describe “inside” sensation into a tangible and measurable “outside” sensation. Some people report that self injury makes them feel more “real” at times when they feel unreal. There are a variety of psychological mechanisms that can contribute to this. An excellent first reference can be found in the Self Injury Fact Sheet on this web site:

http://www.m-a-h.net/library/selfinjury/article-si-facts.htm

The books linked to that page are excellent comprehensive references.

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Disclaimer: The information contained here is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional advice relative to your specific medical or mental health condition or question. ALWAYS seek the advice of your physician or other health provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical or mental health condition. Information provided here DOES NOT constitute a doctor-patient relationship between you and the column author.

© Copyright 2003-2005. All rights reserved. Contact: ShrinkTime Last edited: 05/17/03.