When I was a teenager I started cutting myself. I finally stopped when I was 23 for a little over a year. These past couple of days have been really hard and I relapsed. Anyhow...I know the difference between the recent cutting epidemic and the real affliction. If your friends are seriously cutting themselves, they wouldn't show it off or talk about it. It's embarrassing and humiliating. A real cutter hides it and avoids talking about the scars. The only time I have ever opened up about my disorder is to other cutters and to my boyfriend because he asked and I couldn't lie to him about it. But I have lied to every other person who has asked. Every scar is a memory of an awful event that I cannot be rid of because I made it a permanent part of my life.
Also, I do not believe you have to have a rough past life or abuse in order to be afflicted by this disorder. I have never been physically abused. I have just have no means to cope with life anymore, and cutting is the easiest way to handle the emotional pain. Of course, I hope to quit again.