Usually the behavior does not escalate to suicide and major self-mutilation (including such things as castration, amputation of limbs, enucleation of eyes).
Major self-mutilation occurs most often with psychotic or highly intoxicated individuals and occasionally with institutionalized mentally retarded individuals.
Parents and caregivers should consult a psychiatrist or psychotherapist with professional expertise in self-mutilation as soon as the behavior is discovered.
Some society-wide factors that influence self-mutilation, such as the sexual abuse of children and media portrayals of cutting, are difficult to change.
Mixed in with pages about pop music and horror movies, there are MySpace areas dedicated to endorsing drug use, eating disorders, and self-mutilation.