A few doctors have reported that in radiology they have found “things” embedded under the skin of teens. The embedded articles were not there by accident but purposely put their by the teens. Is self-embedding a new trend? We have all heard of cutters, people who slice their skin. This trend seems to take that one step further. The teens actually embedded things like needles, paper clips and safety pins.
Doctors are all over the map about self-embedding. Some say the embedding has been around for a very long time. Some say that this is a new trend that teens are involved in and that it may well escalate as news about self-embedding continues to spread.
While a few doctors still think that cutting and embedding are attention seeking teen stunts, many doctors say its another form of self mutilation. Self-mutilation is not a subject that many want to talk about or acknowledge its very existence. Why do teens and adults self-mutilate? There doesn’t seem to be clear cut answers. Some tie the self-mutilation to abuse and not just to physical abuse but also neglect. Some cutters have said that when they cut they can regain control of their anger. While no one appears to have pat answers to cutting, self-embedding and self-mutilation, no one denies that it is a troubling trend.
Self-mutilation can take many forms. Burning, scratching, pulling hair out, carving names or symbols in the skin, embedding objects under the skin, even self-poisoning are all acts of self-mutilation. If the mutilator blames all of these things on “accidents”, take a second look. Are they wearing long pants and sleeves in hot weather? While there may be more female cutters than male, the male cutters have a tendency to cut deeper and sustain worse wounds.
Embedding and cutting can be a temporary faze or it can become a habit. If you are hurting yourself, don’t be embarrassed, reach out for help. If your friend is cutting or embedding you should tell an adult.
Talking about self-mutilation is a start. Tell someone. Call your local doctor for help and information. Go to selfmutilators.org or selfinjury.com for help and information. Self-embedding can lead to serious injury and infections. There is help and you are by no means the only one. Stop embedding, cutting and self-mutilating now. You are worth it!