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  • Debbie Mann, LCSW

Cutting, Self Mutilation, Suicide...Attention seeking behavior???

Updated: Apr 2


I’ve heard it said in a moment of frustration, confusion, wonderment, and even jest at times, that the act of a child, adolescent, or adult sliding a knife across their body, drinking bleach, or pulling their hair out (to name a few) is “just to get attention”. The irony of this statement is that most who complete such acts report feeling enormous shame, guilt, and self hatred afterward. When you consider why somebody would do any of these things versus behaviors that don’t harm themselves, do you think it is really just to get attention? If the answer is yes . . . . . . then if somebody would do something so extreme to get attention, perhaps we should hear their cry and pay attention to them! Self Injurious Behavior and Suicidal Behavior is much more than attention seeking behavior. Perhaps it is our own discomfort that prevents us from listening beyond the behavior. Debbie Mann, LCSW

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