A Bright Red Scream: Self-mutilation and the Language of Pain

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Penguin, 1999 - Psychology - 234 pages
4 Reviews
Self-mutilation is a behavior so shocking that it is almost never discussed. Yet estimates are that upwards of eight million Americans are chronic self-injurers. They are people who use knives, razor blades, or broken glass to cut themselves. Their numbers include the actor Johnny Depp, Girl Interrupted author Susanna Kaysen, and the late Princess Diana.Mistakenly viewed as suicide attempts or senseless masochism--even by many health professionals--"cutting" is actually a complex means of coping with emotional pain. Marilee Strong explores this hidden epidemic through case studies, startling new research from psychologists, trauma experts, and neuroscientists, and the heartbreaking insights of cutters themselves--who range from troubled teenagers to middle-age professionals to grandparents. Strong explains what factors lead to self-mutilation, why cutting helps people manage overwhelming fear and anxiety, and how cutters can heal both their internal and external wounds and break the self-destructive cycle. A Bright Red Scream is a groundbreaking, essential resource for victims of self-mutilation, their families, teachers, doctors, and therapists.

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User Review  - sealford - LibraryThing

I wish that more people had the opportunity to read this book. As a person who is very familiar with self-harm, I found myself understanding the mindset behind many of the stories in this book. This ... Read full review

A BRIGHT RED SCREAM: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A compassionate and informed discussion of self-mutilation, the "addiction of the '90s,— practiced by two million or more Americans. Self-mutilation has surfaced as a fad of pubescent girls, who use ... Read full review


The Walking Wounded
Into the Void
The Secret Language of Pain The Psychology of Cutting

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About the author (1999)

Marilee Strong has written for the Atlanta Constitution and San Diego Union. The recipient of a Pulitzer Fellowship to report on child victims of war trauma, she has won a National Headliner Award and a Society for Professional Journalists Excellence Award. She lives in Oakland, California.

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