A cutter is a child, usually a girl (but boys can develop it too) who cannot stop injuring herself. They harm their own bodies by creating a wound so they do not have to feel other feelings. It helps them get out of experiencing a mood or emotional state that feels painful. Many people who do this will cut themselves but hitting one, burning, scratching and biting is also quite common. Banging the head compulsively is also related to cutting.
The reason children practice self-industry is because they need to release physiological and psychological pain quickly. They go from a state of panic to a state of calm very quickly. The most common denominator in kids who cut themselves is being unable to express their feelings. Usually these kids have had something abusive happen and re unable to handle it. Cutting gives the child a sense of self-control. Rarer is the child that cuts herself as a form of self punishment. Many use it to feel a sense of control when they are being controlled. They use it ritualistically to express feelings that they otherwise have no feelings for.
Sometimes this is part of a larger distressing disorder. Some kids may be more aggressive and impulsive than other then more likely to mutilate themselves. It is rarely done to fit in with other kids or because everyone is doing it.
Although parents may not be able to prevent this disturbing compulsive disorder you need to talk about it with your teen. You should make sure you are not doing all of the talking and listen to the child. Often a frustration with communication is at the root of this and the kid needs to express him or herself.
Like with other addictions, a kid cannot be forced not to cut herself. She will like sneak away and keep doing it if you try to control it. Do not issue ultimatums or punish the self-destructive behavior. Threatening to hospitalize or institutionalize a self-injurer can make feelings of lack of control and make the situation even worse.
You need to ease the kid into therapy for the problem if you are to get rid of it forever. There many therapeutic techniques employed by mental health professionals to help him. It’s best to consult a professional with specific experience working with kids who mutilate themselves. There may be underlying serious mental conditions that need to be diagnosed.