52 GoodLifeFamilyMag.com MARCH | APRIL 2019 A s parents, we have heard of cutting and fear that our children or their friends might try doing it. Here are the facts behind five common myths about cutting: MYTH #1 | CUTTING IS THE ONLY TYPE OF SELF-HARM Cutting is thought to be the most common of many forms of self-harm. Self-harming behavior occurs any time a person intentionally inflicts pain on him/herself or damages his/her body without the intent of suicide. It can include cutting, burning, bruising by hitting the body or an object, or inserting objects under the skin. MYTH #2 | CUTTING ISN’T A COMMON PROBLEM According to the American Psychological Association, 1 in 6 adolescents have engaged in self-harming behaviors. It’s a topic of conversation among students as young as 11 and impacts teens of every race, gender, and socio-economic status. A quick search online yields an alarming amount of information both promoting and discouraging self-harm. While YouTube and social media sites are making an effort to put content advisory warnings in place and remove triggering content, you don’t have to try very hard to find it. MYTH #3 | CUTTING IS A SUICIDE ATTEMPT Students who use self-harm may also have suicidal thoughts, but the two are separate issues. Cutting is actually what some people use to keep from killing themselves. It is a way, albeit an unhealthy way, of coping with overwhelming emotions or a way to feel something when a person feels numb emotionally. HOLIDA 5 MYTHS ABOUT CUTTING By Beka Mullins, M.A., LPC | Contributor