(Excerpt from The Endless Journey Home by Specialist Joe Collins)
Self-mutilation, which can be burning or cutting of oneself, can be a symptom of PTSD sufferers. If you or someone that you know is doing this, it is extremely important to seek immediate medical help.
The only reason someone would purposely harm himself or herself is because they are in an extreme amount of pain. Often, it can be a cry for help, or in other cases, someone might be suffering so much that they hurt themselves to try to take their mind off the pain they are always feeling and focus it on something else.
If a soldier is involved in self-mutilation then IMMEDIATE intervention and possibly hospitalization is needed.
To reach the point of suffering where you begin to harm your own body can often be followed by suicidal thoughts if gone untreated. Therefore, it is EXTREMELY important to seek help if you are doing this or are aware of someone who is.
For additional information, please visit PTSD Symptom and Resources.