How to Identify Teenage Cutting. Teenage cutting is a serious problem linked to depression and anxiety. Unlike some other manifestations of depression, cutting causes a direct physical injury to the body. In many cases of teenage cutting, the sufferer becomes very adept at hiding the symptoms and grows increasingly unable to bring the subject up with parents or physicians. It is extremely important to be able to identify symptoms of the disorder so that the teen can receive proper care.
The most obvious signs of teenage cutting are slash marks on the body. Teens frequently, but not exclusively, cut their forearms. Feet, legs and thighs are also common areas on the body that teens cut. Look out for multiple cut marks and scars in the same area on the body. Ask the teen about the marks to gauge if the teen becomes unusually uncomfortable or tense about the marks.
Keep an eye on a teen's clothing. Frequently, a teen who is cutting herself will begin to wear long sleeves and long pants to cover the marks. Notice if the teenager wears long clothing in instances when short-sleeved shirts and short pants are more expected, such as in summertime or when relaxing at home.
Watch for general depression, very low energy levels and unresponsiveness. Symptoms of depression are often indicators that cutting is going on. If you notice a teen who is unusually depressed, speak with him or inform the proper authority to make sure that the teen is not cutting.
See if a teenager is leaving cutting instruments either lying around or hidden in strange places. Teenagers who cut often leave cutting instruments in unexpected places as an indirect cry for help. Conversely, razor blades found in kits along with bandages and disinfectant might signal that a teen is cutting.