Imagine dragging your teenager to the emergency room for a bad infection to discover your office supplies were embedded in the kid’s arm.
Doctors are seeing more and more of ”self-embedding” - a form of self-injury in teens and even adolescents – where the teen hurts themself on purpose.
Self-embedders insert objects made of glass, wood, metal or other materials under the skin.
Business Week reports:
Determining how many teens “self-embed” is difficult, doctors say. As with other forms of self-harm, such as “cutting” or burning, many teens are ashamed of what they’re doing and take steps to conceal their behavior, said William Shiels, a pediatric interventional radiologist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Between 13 percent and 23 percent of U.S. teens have reported intentional self-injury, according to background information in a study by Shiels and colleagues that was released online Sept. 7 in advance of publication in the October print issue of the journal Radiology.
They found 600 patients of all ages who went to the hospital to have foreign bodies removed from under their skin, 11 patients, or about 1.8 percent, had intentionally inserted the objects. They ranged in age from 14 to 18, and nine were girls.
The 11 teens had other psychological disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the study.
“One girl told us it’s easier to deal with physical pain than the emotional pain in her life,” Shiels said. “The reason they cut and embed is an effort to relieve their internal pain, the pain that’s inside.”
Photo: Elsie esq.