Self-harm symptoms do not discriminate with regards to race, gender, culture or creed, although young women seem to suffer most commonly from this particular disorder. It is often accompanied by other addictive tendencies, especially eating disorder and drug problems.
It is a disease – just like alcoholism. The sufferer has an incurable and progressive condition which can be arrested and managed through therapy and treatment. The act of harming one’s body through self-mutilation is not the real problem of this disease. The action is the symptom but the root cause lies within the person.
Many sufferers report their self-harm as ‘ritualistic’, just as with drug addicts and alcoholics. For example, a person who uses razors to cut themselves may have a strict routine that they follow.
This could include getting a special and ‘safe place’ ready for their self-harm to be carried out in ‘peace’ without disturbance. The implements used, the method of harming and the aftermath may follow a very similar pattern each time. The location of mutilation on their bodies may be in one place, such as the arms, thighs, stomach and sometimes even the face.