I'm Cutting And I'm Not Sure What To Do About It

Published: November 24, 2014
Dear I'm Cutting And I'm Not Sure What To Do About It,

So, I started cutting a few days ago. I don't do it to the point I bleed, just to the point where it will scab and maybe scar. I don't do it every night, just every couple nights. So far I have 5 cuts that will become scars. I'm not sure what to do. I don't even know why I'm doing it. Well, okay, I do. I want to be able to feel something. But I'm not sure what is keeping me from feeling. I don't know if I should tell my mom or not, because she will think I am just being a teenager or acting like my sister, who has done this before. I really don't know what to do. What should I do?

Dear I'm Cutting And I'm Not Sure What To Do About It,

As Helpguide.org states:

Self-harm can be a way of coping with problems. It may help you express feelings you can’t put into words, distract you from your life, or release emotional pain. Afterwards, you probably feel better—at least for a little while. But then the painful feelings return, and you feel the urge to hurt yourself again. If you want to stop but don’t know how, remember this: you deserve to feel better, and you can get there without hurting yourself.

TeenHealthFX recommends that you tell your mother what is going on so that she can set up a consultation for you with a reputable therapist, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, who is familiar in working with teens who self-cut.

If your mother does minimize what is going on with you or dismisses it as your just trying to imitate your sister, that does not mean what is going on with you isn’t important or doesn’t require professional help. It would be very helpful for you to meet with a therapist who can help you to better understand what is going on with you emotionally that you are self-cutting and who can work with you on addressing these issues so that the urges to cut decrease over time.

In addition to individual therapy, family therapy may also be helpful to you. Sometimes one of the contributing factors for teens who self-cut is not feeling heard by the people closest to them. If you have generally not felt heard by your mother, or feel she is not hearing you about what is going on with you right now, that would be an important issue to address in family sessions.

If you live in northern New Jersey and need help finding a therapist you can call the Access Center from Atlantic Behavioral Health at 888-247-1400. Outside of this area you can log onto the US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website for referrals in your area. You can also contact your insurance company to get a list of in-network mental health providers or check with your school social worker or psychologist to get a list of referrals in your area.

For more information on self-cutting, you can read the following: