A person who intentionally harms his or her self.
This term is not limited to those who cut themselves, but is also often used to sum up any self-mutilator. Many cutters use various other forms of self-mutilation
, such as burning themselves, stabbing themselves with needles, biting, etc...
In GENERAL, but not all inclusively, cutters tend to be female, and teenage to young adult. It is common for a cutter to have been molested as a child, or to be dealing with other sexual inner-torment, but this is definitely not always the case. Any sort of torment can inspire one to cut.
Some cutters cut to focus the emotional pain to the physical, some for the adrenaline rush, and some do it just to feel. Some people become emotionally numb to reality and use cutting as a way to reconnect.
Some cutters bleed, some don't. Some cutters HAVE TO bleed. Some cutters get to the point where cutting in itself is not enough, but they must see the blood, must feel it pouring out.
Cutting does not mean a person is suicidal, but it is common to use cutting as an ALTERNATIVE to suicide. A cutter might be tempted to commit suicide, and usually has issues with depression, but maybe realizes suicide is not a good option. But they have to do SOMETHING; so they cut.
But sadly, oftentimes cutting loses its thrill, and suicide is the only step left. Or the cutting gets deeper-- more blood, more cuts, more pain...
If you think you know somebody is a cutter, don't judge them. And even above that, DON'T ASK QUESTIONS about it. They're ashamed---
I used to cut. When I did it, or rather, WHILE I was doing it, it was everything I needed. Such a relief-- but then when I'd wake up the next morning, I'd see my arms, all scabbed and scarred, and think, "What have I DONE to myself?!" I tried to hide it. The winter was easy, wearing long sleaves every day, but then people began to notice...
Cutting is, I'd say always, NEVER for attention. On the contrary... It's often a habit for someone who just needs something to redirect their OWN attention.