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Anorectics, agoraphobes, and self-mutilators are especially frightening, yet fascinating, to dominant culture because they extrapolate the feminine scripts of denying hunger, staying in the home, and maligning the body to such frightening data that society is forced to confront itself.
Therefore, self-mutilators borrow language from the only discourse about pain available.
Once the self-mutilator has disclosed painful events, breach of confidentiality can mean further harm for an already alienated student.
School counselors may be the first professionals to encounter the student self-mutilator.
This article describes types of non-suicidal self-mutilation, examines the profile of self-mutilators, reviews laws and codes of ethics as related to confidentiality, distinguishes between suicide and self-mutilation, and suggests best practices school counselors can implement to help such students.
Male and female self-mutilators demonstrate poor relationships with the opposite sex.
Additionally, self-mutilators are more likely to have eating disorders, abuse drugs and alcohol, have above average intelligence, and more often than not are employed in the medical field (Simpson).
Self-mutilators use this behavior to manipulate other people.
Whereas masochists find pleasure in pain, self-mutilators seek relief from distressing emotional states, Briere argues.