For the entire month of April, we'll be participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Our theme for the month? CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS IN YA. Check out the link above for other awesome blogs participating.
Cutting--just one form of self-injury that some teens use. There are many misconceptions about self-injury. Some people assume that when a teen cuts, he/she is trying to commit suicide; others think it's just a cry for attention. However, when someone resorts to cutting, or any form of self-mutilation, the reasons why aren't so black and white.
Did You Know...?
*Between 2-3 million Americans display some kind of self-abusive behavior (this includes eating disorders, which we'll discuss later in the week)
*1 in every 200 girls between 13-19 years old cut themselves regularly
*The number of teen cutting cases are on the rise
*If not treated, teens will continue cutting themselves into their adult years
*Statistics taken from teenhelp.com
The numbers above are only a small sample of what's out there. Shame is usually attached to self-injury, so those who engage in it usually remain quiet.
As a school counselor, I've noticed that girls tend to cut in groups--meaning when word gets out that one friend is cutting, a few of their friends may "try it out" in hopes that they can relieve some of their own pain. While there are male cutters out there, I've personally witnessed boys punching walls or burning their knuckles with pencil erasers as a way to cope.
Since the numbers are not significant, some people like to pretend that cutting only exists on teen dramas. These are the same people who get prickly about the mention of self-injury in YA books. Though Quita and I haven't tackled cutting in our own writing, neither of us would be afraid to address when we see fit. Here are some authors that are taking on this taboo:
- Cut by Patricia McCormick
- Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
- Specials by Scott Westerfeld
- Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
- Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
Have any of you mentioned cutting in your own writing? Any good books that we left out?