Self injurious behavior is an unfortunate, but common occurrence in adolescents. It is an unhealthy reaction to anxiety,pain,frustration or stress. It is an impulsive action that does not necessarily mean the person has suicidal intentions. However, the frequency of cutting can be related to a risk factor for suicidal thoughts. One theory on cutting is that by causing the pain, endorphins can be released and counter the underlying emotional pain at the moment. Other reasons for cutting could be for self punishment from low self esteem. It is not uncommon for people who do self injurious behaviors such as cutting,burning,scratching, or hitting themselves to have underlying anxiety, depression, or borderline personality disorder. Please see the link below to a great article published in Family Practice News, February, 2014.