Catherine Glenn and David Klonsky from the University of British Columbia have been looking into the role of blood in people's experience of self-harm. They studied 64 undergraduate students who cut themselves. The participants had an average age of 19 and 82% of them were girls. Just over half of them said it was important to see blood when they self-harmed saying that it helped them to relieve tension and induce calmness. Other explanations were that 'it makes me feel real,' and shows that 'I did it right/deep enough.' The group who said that seeing blood was important had cut themselves more than seven times as often and were more likely to say that they self-harmed as a way of regulating their own emotions. They also reported more symptoms consistent with bulimia and borderline personality disorder.
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