WSYX, a Columbus Ohio, news station recently did a story on self-embedding. They showed pictures of objects being deliberately poked and then embedded underneath one’s skin. Those who were practicing this form of self-mutilation were typically teens.
Further research pointed towards a paper that was written by the staff of Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus Ohio, trying to evaluate this problem a bit further. The paper centered on 11 case studies with the approximate age of 16. These case studies had embedded 66 foreign objects into their body. These objects included: metal, woods, crayon, stone, plastic, glass, graphite and stone. These objects were inserted in the arms, neck, ankles, feet and hands.
Self-embedding is the act of inserting objects into one’s body with purpose of hurting one’s self. Yet, this is not an act that with the desire to commit suicide.
In recent years, there have been more and more cases of self-embedding being discovered, along with self harm in general. This includes the act of cutting.
Why are these teens doing this to themselves?
Many psychologists may say that this is a teen’s way to try to deal or cope with an inner pain.
Triggers that may cause a teen to begin to self-embedding include:
• Tension or anxiety
• A childhood trauma
• An underlying mental disorder such as depression, manic depression or even eating disorders
Symptoms of self-embedding:
• Unexplained wounds
• Unexplained infections
If a parent or a teacher, suspects that a teen is self-embedding this should be taken seriously. First, the act itself can cause infection and possibly other health related issues depending on exactly what is embedded into the body and its location. Secondly, the child is in need of counseling.
No, self-embedding usually does not indicate that the teen is suicidal. However, this does not mean that the child hasn’t had any suicidal thoughts or that these thoughts may turn into action in the future if he/she doesn’t get the help needed.
WSYX, ABC Columbus, Ohio