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'Cutting' a Dangerous Growing Trend

'Cutting' a Dangerous Growing Trend

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingSome call it the new anorexia. Experts warn of a frightening and dangerous trend -- teens deliberately injuring themselves by using knives, razors, even bits of broken glass.

Christina Milner: “I’d just get so mad that I’d storm out and find a razor and just cut.”

It's something Christina Milner learned from a friend when she was just thirteen.

Christina Milner: “I was scared of life in general. I was mad. I was angry. I had, like, all these emotions.”

Emotions she didn¹t know how to handle. Cutting into her skin calmed her down, helped her cope.

Christina Milner: “And it stung, but then I was like, ‘OK, this is better than what I was feeling before I cut.”

It's called cutting. A growing number of teens do it -- roughly one in fifty. They injure themselves deliberately by using anything sharp: knives, razors, scissors, even shards of broken glass.

Christa Satangelo: “They might feel numb, and this is a way of feeling alive.”

Most are girls, but boys are gaining ground, and who cuts might surprise you.

Sam Judice, M.D., UCSF Langley Porter Institute: “The group has expanded to include teens who are high achievers in high school, who are likable, who are socially doing well, who are academically doing well.

Risk factors for teens who cut include an overly critical parent, parental divorce or separation, or parents who work or are not around to teach children how to cope in healthier ways.

Cutting is usually done behind closed doors, in secrecy. A teen may confide in a friend or you may discover it by accident, but no matter how you find out, you need to talk about it. It can be treated.

For Christina the answer was going online, chatting with friends. And it's working; she hasn't hurt herself in almost a year.

Christina Milner: "Now I'm happier. I don't cut. I'm happier with the way my life is.

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