1Sundas Saboor, MD, 2Aimen Tohid, MD, MPH, 3Fauzia Arain, MD, 4Muhammad Waqar Azeem, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA, Professor of Psychiatry

1Khyber Medical College, Peshawar; 2Columbia University, New York, United States; 3BronxCare Health System, Icahn School of Medicine, New York, United States; 4Sidra Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, Doha, Qatar


In 2019, world was affected by COVID-19, and to prevent it, social isolation and school closures were the best strategies [1, 2]. However, during the pandemic, non-suicidal self-harm (NSSH) or cutting practice rose [1]. Cutting is regarded as an effective coping strategy to reduce distress and resist suicide urges [2, 3]. It is the deliberate mutilation of the body without suicidal intention and adolescents are the most vulnerable to it [1]. Cutting practice is a reflection of lack of emotional support generated by the frustration triggered by the COVID-19 [1, 2].  In this abstract, we analyzed cutting practice among adolescents during COVID-19.

Material(s) and Method(s):

The databases searched were PubMed/MEDLINE, PsycINFO, ResearchGate, Embase and Cochrane Library. The abstract includes: Case series discussing cutting behaviour during COVID-19 [1]. Research article that recruited 809 teenagers to determine NSSH [2]. Thesis that explored the functions of NSSH [3]. Literature review that discussed cyberbullying [4]. Review article that discussed resources for NSSH students [5].


Prevalence of NSSH in adolescents was 32% during pandemic [2]. The patients liked to see the razor marks exposed on their bodies and felt relieved by engaging in NSSH [1, 3]. Cutting was the most common method in 58% of online video content normalizing the cutting behaviour [4]. Peer influence and online digital content showing cuts and injuries contributed to cutting practice [1, 4].


We need to find means for adolescents to avoid cutting practice during COVID-19 lockdown [2]. Social online events can be arranged [2]. Schools can play a vital role in facilitating social support during the lockdown [5]. Tele-health and virtual platforms can also be used [5]. Programs like Resourceful Adolescent Parent Program (RAP-P) or Supporting Parents and Carers (SPACE) program can be considered [5].