Usually, proof of this behavior is well-hidden by wearing long sleeves and pants. Most self-injurers do not advertise their injuries. There is a such thing as 'attention cutters', or people who injure themselves just so others will feel sorry for them. Attention cutters usually purposely talk about their actions and make it seem almost like something they're proud of.
Cutters are often given the label of emo or goth, only because people are too ignorant to see that these people actually have pretty messed up lives. These stereotypes usually push these kids to want to hurt themselves more severely, thus those who have such narrow-minded views on cutters should shut their mouths and care about their own sorry lives.
Stereotyped View: "Look at her over there, you can just tell she's a cutter because she has no friends and listens to emo music and wears black makeup."
Tony- "Yeah I did."
Brad- "He's a cutter."
Tony- "I wonder why."
Brad- "Dude, everyone picks on him."
Tony- "Poor dude."
Cutters do not often want attention and if you have a friend who does cut for attention, beat the shit out of them because it can become addictive. Medically cutting releases endorphins making a person feel better and certain cutters enjoy the sight (and personally taste) of their own blood. Cutters often cover up their cuts with anything from long sleeve shirts to shea butter to reduce scarring.
Cutters use, but are not limited to (don't underestimate a person's ingeniunitey when they need to satisfy a craving): razor blades, exacto knives, scissors, jack knifes, switch blades,.. saws of various types, and glass.
If you know someone who is a cutter, well don't follow any set advice, your friend may not be suicidal at all, in fact they likely aren't. For those of you who have addicted friends trying to quit, watch them closely because they usually have the incredibly strong urge to make extreme lacerations. Personally, as a cutter trying to quit my withdrawal often leads me to wanting to use suicide grade cuts.
Cutters are not all emo fuck ups, we're normal people too, and some of the nicer ones at that.
Bob- I'm a cutter. My father is dead and my mother is an alcoholic. My friends are rarely around to talk. I feel alone and trapped in my own life. Cutting helps me feel like a human and not the ghost I usually feel like. I cut all the time.
Amy: I cut for drugs. I read an article about it, the guy got drugs for depression. I took it up and now I'm on anti-depressants. I need them to feel like myself. I cut all over my arms, so they will keep sending me to the shrink.
Samantha: My parents are supportive of me, my friends care about me. I'm happy most of the time. I don't cut all the time just when I get really upset. When I get upset, I feel like I have all this pressure bottled up. Cutting helps me let go of it. No one knows about it, I don't cut my arms, just my legs. I wouldn't dream of telling anyone.
Megan: This girl at my school got caught doing it. Now everyone is always checking on her, asking her how she's doing. I wish people would care about me like that. I started cutting my hands, maybe people will care now.
Johnny- Everything I do is a mistake. I always say the wrong things. I never keep promises to myself. I fail at almost everything I try. I over analyze everything, then I obsess about it. I cut to punish myself for my flaws.
As you can see people cut for many reasons. Some people cut because they have problems and some people cut for attention. Either way its not alright. If you feel you need to cut to get people to notice your its just as bad as cutting for any other reason. Please try and talk to someone.