What Do I Do When I Don't Want To Stop Cutting?

Published: September 30, 2015
Dear What Do I Do When I Don't Want To Stop Cutting?,

What do I do when I don't want to stop cutting? I've got permanent scars on my arms and everyone says I cut too deep but I feel like I haven't cut deep enough. I don't cut because it makes me feel better, or makes me numb, or gets out anger, or for attention, or for any of the other reasons that people cut. I cut solely to cut deeper. Every time I cut I try to cut deeper. I feel like I will never be able to stop until I have scars that are big enough. I feel like I NEED these scars and until I have them I am not allowed to stop. I don't care about anyone else's feelings on it or about my own safety. I don't want to get better. Not until I have the scars I want. I feel like I need to prove to the world that I'm not weak. That I don't have 'scratches'. That I'm serious and important. I don't feel like I'm worth anybody's time or worth getting better until both of my arms have ridges from elbow to wrist. I've cut deep enough that I already have lots of raised scars, and once my friend threatened to call an ambulance when he saw my cut. But it's still not good enough and I don't want to stop.

Dear What Do I Do When I Don't Want To Stop Cutting?,

TeenHealthFX thinks that it is crucial given the way you are describing your thoughts, feelings and behaviors associated with self-cutting that you do whatever is necessary to get professional help right away. The kinds of details you are giving about this issue strongly suggest how much turmoil and pain you are in. FX’s experience is that when someone’s pain is that profound they need immediate professional help from reputable mental health professionals.

It would be helpful for you to be meeting 1-2 times per week with a reputable mental health professional, such as a clinical social worker or clinical psychologist, as well as to meet with a reputable psychiatrist who can assess whether you would benefit from psychotropic medication.

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.