I Am A Cutter But No One Knows!
Cutting is what experts call an unhealthy coping mechanism. This means that people who do it have not developed healthy ways of dealing with strong emotions, intense pressure, or upsetting relationship problems.
Teens who cut do it to:
Punish themselves for feelings of guilt
Relieve negative feelings
If there has been a major change in your life, such as divorce or death, you can feel tremendous emotions and not know how to cope. A family history of violence, abuse, or sexual abuse can also cause intense feelings of fear, hurt, anger, rejection, or abandonment, resulting in a tremendous need to get control of your life.
Other events which trigger cutting are:
Being rejected by someone important to you
Being blamed for something you had no control over
Feeling inadequate and outcast
People who cut for these reasons find a temporary relief from their problems as the cutting makes them feel their pain on the outside instead of the inside.
Unfortunately, younger teens and preteens are also starting to cut as a fad. They feel that cutting can make them seem daring, grown up, or popular. Cutting is NOT the new cool.
Does Cutting Really Help?
NO - because it only brings temporary relief, and it can never solve the underlying problems.
AND - It can cause many other new problems:
Cuts can become infected.
The scars can become permanent
Misjudging how deep you cut can result in dangerous blood loss
Cutting can become an addictive/compulsive behavior
It can leave you even more depressed
You are not alone!
It is estimated that 1 in 200 girls have cut themselves.
13% of 15 to 16-year-olds have deliberately harmed themselves.
1% of the US population engages in self abusive behavior.
For 3 million Americans cutting is a serious problem.
Cutting has become the new anorexia among today's teens.
Most parents don't have a clue that their teenager is cutting.
Cutting occurs most often with girls/women between the ages of 13 and 30.
Cutting usually starts when the cutter is between 10 and 16 years old.
Cutting can become addictive.
How Do I Stop Cutting?
If you are tired of hiding the scars and keeping your secret if you want to find some successful ways of dealing with your problems then you're ready to stop.
1. Tell someone and ask for help. Admit what you have been doing, and you will feel an immediate sense of relief because now you are sharing your problems, and the burden immediately becomes less because it is being shared. Choose someone you like and trust to talk to first - a parent, relative, adult friend, school counselor, favorite teacher, etc.
2. If the person you talk with first does not take you seriously or get you the help you need, go to someone else! Sometimes well-meaning adults, even parents, don't understand the depth of teen problems and even consider them to be just a phase.
3. Identify the underlying problem. Maybe you already know, and maybe you don't. Is it anger? Pressure? Relationship problems? A painful loss or trauma? Or maybe something back in your family history. Sometimes you can figure it out yourself, and sometimes it takes the help of a professional counselor.
4. A school counselor or other professional can help you deal with whatever your problems really are and teach you new ways to cope instead of resorting to cutting. Everyone has problems, and learning healthy ways to deal with them is the only real, permanent solution. We all have these inner coping strengths. It is just a matter of bringing them to the surface and building your own confidence and self esteem to KNOW you can do it.
5. If you do not have anyone locally to contact for help, you can call the national hotline number 1-615-746-7319. Or Teens can text to 914 393-1904. You can speak to a counselor privately and confidentially, or you can go to www.doorofhope4teens.org to speak with someone via e-mail or instant message. Everything is free and confidential too, so get the help you need.