Main -> Dating -> How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? (for Teens) - Nemours KidsHealth

How Can I Help a Friend Who Cuts? (for Teens) - Nemours KidsHealth

Cutter for Attention (Self-Harm)

Nonsuicidal self-injury, often simply called self-injury, is the act of deliberately harming your own body, such as cutting or burning yourself. It's typically not meant as a suicide attempt. Rather, this type of self-injury is a harmful way to cope with emotional pain, intense anger and frustration. While self-injury may bring a momentary sense of calm and a release of tension, it's usually followed by guilt and shame and the return of painful emotions. Although life-threatening injuries are usually not intended, with self-injury comes the possibility of more-serious and even fatal self-aggressive actions. Self-injury usually occurs in private and is done in a controlled or ritualistic manner that often leaves a pattern on the skin. Examples of self-harm include:.
Cutting and Self-Harm: Warning Signs and Treatment. This practice has long existed in secrecy. Cuts can be easily hidden under long sleeves. But in recent years, movies and TV shows have drawn attention to it - prompting greater numbers of teens and tweens (ages 9 Author: Jeanie Lerche Davis. Self Injury Statistics and Cutting Treatment for troubled youth. Get help for a teen that cuts themselves. Cutting is serious problem - self mutilation and self injury are results of deep-rooted psychological problems. Get teen cutting statistics today. Sep 06, аи Christina can tell that something's not quite right with her friend Vanessa. She reaches out to help her and discovers her secret-she's cutting. Spotify: htt.

Ask them whether they know anyone who self-injures and how they feel about it. This can give you a better idea of whether your teen is at risk for cutting. Watch for other means of self-injury. Cutting is not the only form of self-injury that teens may use to hurt themselves.

Teens may also use things like burning, bruising, or excessive exercise as a substitute for cutting. Method 2. Take a deep breath.

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Take the time to regain your composure and let your feelings settle a little. You might feel scared, angry, confused, and sad all at once. A calm, compassionate approach will work best with them. Be straightforward. Are you cutting yourself? If you sound accusatory, your teen might get angry or defensive.

Empathize with your teen. Make your child feels understood and loved, not judged. However, if you take the right steps, you can be part of the reason why they stop. Tell your teen you want to help them.

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Make sure your teen knows they have your love and support, no matter what. If you ever need anything, or if you just want to talk, you can come to me. Method 3. Someone who wants to self-injure will always find a way to do so. Instead of trying to control your child, focus on supporting them and helping them get to a better state of mind.

Take your teen to a doctor. Take your teen to see a therapist. Tell your child how talking with a therapist will help them learn how to handle their emotions in a healthier way. Take a positive, casual tone. This will help normalize the idea for them. You may also want to go with your teen to therapy, but make sure that you allow your teen to lead the sessions.

Ask your teen to show you their cuts. Getting daily status reports from your teen by asking them to show you their cuts will allow you to make sure the cuts are not becoming infected. Help your teen manage the problems that made them want to cut. Sit down with your child and brainstorm some ways they can deal with their negative feelings instead of cutting.

Offer to provide practical or emotional support however you can. Learn about non-suicidal self-injury. Non-suicidal self-injury is more common in adolescents than many people might think. In fact, about one third to one half of teenagers admit to hurting themselves in some way. A co-occurring disorder. People who have the highest risk for self-injury are those who have an eating disorder, developmental disorder, or a history of trauma. Personality traits. Teens who cut tend to be impulsive, have high emotional reactivity, high emotional intensity, and utilize avoidant behavior.

Environmental factors. Teens who self-injure are also more likely to be bullied and have friends who cut.

I caught my teen cutting herself in her room, and I sent her to see a doctor. The doctor told me things like "She's not normal" and "She is weird.

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That is horrible and completely uphelangun.comofessional. While cutting may not exactly be "normal," it's extremely common, and your doctor had no right to say these things to you.

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I would strongly recommend consulting another doctor and never seeing this one againperhaps even a mental health professional. Yes No. Not Helpful 1 Helpful Usually self harm scars caused from cutting will be in a straight pattern. Another thing to look for are scars that look similar and are grouped close together.

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That is a complicated subject. There are millions of people dealing with emotional issues and mental illnesses every day, and some of those people cut, possibly because it gives them a sense of control, or because it's a distraction from their mental pain.

It's also possible they feel they deserve to be hurt. I told my teacher about my self-harm, but she is wondering if I do it for attention. I don't, and I don't know how to get her to believe me. Vicki The Awesome.

Hi there. My advice is to tell someone else.

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This could be a parent, guidance counselor, or another teacher. Don't let one person's unhelpful opinion stop you from getting the help that you need.

Not Helpful 3 Helpful Kaitlin Crepage. Your child might not be hiding it. They could sneak one from the kitchen, cut themselves, wash the knife, and put it back without anyone noticing.

Teens often cover their cuts with clothing or accessories, and they may dispose of their cutting implements in secret areas, like a garbage can in a public place instead of in your home. Not Helpful 8 Helpful How can you tell if teen is cutting again? She says the scars are old, but they are red and have skin peeling around them.

Tell her that you have noticed that they look new and ask her to be honest with you. She is probably scared to tell you.

Aug 04, аи How to Tell if Your Teen Is Cutting. Many adults think teens self-injure to get attention, but this isn't true. If your teen is cutting, they are crying out for help for a much deeper issue. It's important that you are able to spot the %(2). First of all, it is not you. As a recovering self cutter, it is not the fault of others. Cutting is a coping mechanism, a bad one at that, for dealing with stress. Somewhere in his life, he found physical pain distracts him from his mental issues. Feb 28, аи What to Do If Your Child Is Cutting. "There is sort of a contagion to this," says Wendy Lader, president and clinical director of S.A.F.E. (Self Abuse Finally Ends) Alternatives in St. Louis, which offered the first self-injury treatment program in and is where Sydney eventually sought help.

Let her know you are there for her. Not Helpful 9 Helpful I told my friend I cut and she told some people, now everyone looks at me like I don't have a head.

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What should I do? Confront your friend and tell her that she betrayed your trust and that you are really hurt. Try to ignore everyone. When you help someone who self-harms, you might have to listen to and witness very taxing and traumatizing events.

You have to commit to doing it from the beginning. You cannot decide to pull out of it half way through. You could make it worse for them if you turn your back on them after they share their pain and experiences with you. Be aware that helping others with self-harm may bring new feelings up for you as well. You might feel resentful towards the person, develop extreme sympathy for them, or become excessively frustrated. When you experience these feelings, remember to stay balanced and keep a check on your emotions so you can be a neutral, loving presence for them.

Approach your friend with ease and compassion. If you notice that your friend has cuts on their arms, if you notice a change in clothing where they are covering their skin even when it's hot outside, or if you have any other reason to think that your friend is cutting themselves, you should try to help.

When you approach your friend, do so in an easy, gentle manner. Don't try to accuse them of keeping things from you, yell at them for their actions, or be combative in any way. They need your support and understanding as well as your help, so accusing them or being aggressive is not going to get you anywhere.

Instead, approach them with compassion and understanding and let them know that you are there for them. If they are not ready to acknowledge the problem yet, accept that they may need more time.

Cutting Statistics and Self-Injury Treatment

Still keep an eye on them and be as supportive in other ways as possible, letting them know that you care and are there for them. They will come to you when they are ready to talk about it. Never give your friend an ultimatum.

5 Not Obvious Signs of Self Harm

Always be supportive and positive. Acknowledge their emotions. Since most people who cut do so to release inner emotions, letting your friend know that you acknowledge and understand their emotions, or at least empathize with them, will help them. You need to connect with them on a personal level in order to help them, get through to them, and be part of their recovery process. Tell them you understand how overwhelming emotions can be and that you sometimes get overwhelmed too.

You can also use this time to talk about how you release your emotions without telling them how to change them. This will offer them a suggestion of positive ways to express emotions that don't involve cutting but that aren't treated as aggressive suggestions to change their life. Although you want to show them that you empathize, you never want to join them in cutting yourself in order to let her know you know how they feel.

This will only hurt you and reinforce their self-harm. Be consistent. Do not bounce back and forth with your approach to their self-harm.

Do not act as if you are suspicious of their intentions, emotions, and behavior. If you in any way feel you cannot trust them or what they say, don't let it show.

Be there to support them and let them know you are there. Gaining their trust fully may take time. If you approach them with a helpful attitude some times and at other times displaying an I am not concerned attitude, you may do more harm than good. Don't take charge. Do not go about helping your loved one or friend by acting as though you are in control of their life. Although you want to change their self-harming behavior, you do not need to take charge of everything or control your loved one.

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Don't be extremely strict or controlling. This could frighten them to such an extent that they could find you unapproachable. It can also aggravate the cutting behavior, especially if they use cutting as a way to have more control over their life or body.

Understand that as much as you want to help your friend or loved one, you cannot make your friend recover or change the behavior. In order to truly overcome cutting, your friend must find a way to accomplish this themself.

Keep the connection open. You may not be able to reach your friend. If they are not yet in a place where they want to be helped, you can't force them to be ready. Make sure you leave the lines of communication open and let them know that you are there for them, but don't push them to listen to you if you have tried your best to talk to them.

If you push too hard, you could push them away and then you won't be able to help them at all. Try to keep a close eye on your friend in case their behavior escalates. In this case, you may need to suggest professional help to get their self-harm under control. Method 2. Encourage activity. Try to encourage your loved one to be as active as possible.

When they feel disturbed or has the urge to cut themself, they need to find a more positive, active outlet to let it out. Suggest doing rigorous exercise, such as running, dancing, aerobics, swimming, tennis, or kickboxing. These can provide an outlet for all of their sadness, aggression, or unhealthy emotion that leads to cutting. Offer to join your friend and exercise together. To help calm the mind, they can also try yoga, meditation, or tai chi.

These exercises can help her get a new lease on life, with a fresh, energetic, confident approach that will help them not want to cut themself.

Exercise also releases endorphins into their body, which are the chemicals in the body that makes them feel good. Exercise provides them with a positive way to release endorphins instead.

Dating a self cutter

Help increase their self-esteem. Low self-esteem is one reason that drives a person to cut. You need to help them understand that cutting will not and cannot improve their self-image but accomplishments and achievements will. Help them prove to themself that they are amazing and full of accomplishments. This can be through their studies, work, friends, or volunteering. When they become aware of their accomplishments, their self-esteem will go up and they will feel better about themself.

This should lead them to not want to cut themself. Don't lecture. Pandering to them will not make her want to change their self-harming behavior. Do not try to drill the person with lectures and sermons that go on for a long time. Keep your talks small and simple. Let the person take in and digest whatever it is you told them.

May 03, аи Cutting is a form of self-harming that is done with no intent of suicide. People who resort to multiple episodes of cutting are usually those who fall in the category of people experiencing loneliness, emptiness in the heart, those having difficult or dysfunctional relationships%(15). It can be hard to understand why a friend might injure himself or herself on purpose. Cutting - using a sharp object to cut your own skin on purpose until it bleeds - is a form of self-injury. People sometimes self-injure by burning their skin with the lit end of a cigarette, a lighter, or a match. Jan 01, аи Cutting or other self-inflicted methods of harm (such as head banging, hitting or burning) are clinically referred to as non-suicidal self injury or NSSI. Ninety percent of those who engage in self harm begin during the teen or pre-adolescent years.

Give them the time to contemplate. Have your small pep talks at a location that is pleasant, peaceful, in the midst of nature, away from hustle and bustle, and private, where the chances of being bothered are minimal. If you can't go somewhere in nature, try a quiet place in your apartment or house or a secluded study room at your local library.

The exact location doesn't matter as long as it's a place where you can an honest, uninterrupted conversation. Give them ample time to talk to you. Give them the time they need and wants. Do not push them into speeding things up and always choose a place and time that they are comfortable with.

Be patient. Your loved one will not stop cutting overnight or because you tell them to. For them, this is the way they know how to deal with their feelings.

Telling them to stop the behavior immediately may terrify them because they might have got so used to this coping mechanism and feel lost in the absence of an alternative coping skill. This can also make it worse for them, since you are trying to take away their coping mechanism for their pain and trauma.

Be patient and accept that it will take time. Don't get discouraged and take your time helping them. Suggest reading. People who cut themselves are apprehensive of socializing because they may face suspicious looks and unanswerable probing from others. In order to take their mind off cutting and avoid uncomfortable social situations, suggest they read more. Books open up new horizons. They can travel beyond the four walls of their room without really going out.

They can also learn that there are innumerable ways various people have dealt with tough times and experiences. Books also provide an opportunity to understand that there can be plenty of positive and acceptable coping strategies. Present them with books that are thought provoking, such as those that will help them look within themself and assess their personal predicament. Consider a journal.

A great way to help your loved one come to terms with their cutting is through journaling. Tell tgem to maintain a daily journal that they put all of their thoughts, anguish, pain, and joy into. Writing can take away the pain and leave them light and relieved. Tell them to write about anything that comes to mind. Don't advise them to write specifically about cutting unless they go to a therapist or counselor.

You never know what can of worms could open up, so suggesting your friend focus on a problematic behavior that could be compensating for that trauma is not a good idea unless they go to a professional for help. A journal can also help a psychologist, psychiatrist, or counselor learn about their condition before diagnosis and treatment.

Method 3. Remove triggering items. Chances of cutting are higher when they are at home where she can have access to her tools. This can be from multiple different objects, such as razors, knives, scissors, or glass bottles.

Encourage them to remove these objects from their environment so they aren't tempted to cut themself. Sit with them as they move the objects out of their immediate area. If they aren't ready to throw them away yet, have them put them on a high shelf or in a room across the house.

This will give them more time to think about what they are doing before they do it, which may make them not want to cut themself. Pep up thejr spirits.

Getting your friend's mind off of their troubles is a great way to help them not want to self-harm. With their consent, try to change their surroundings and environment to help them feel better. Go on a trip, change the arrangement and decor in their room, change the wall colors, or put some interesting, funny posters, or inspirational posters. You can also help them choose the changes they want in their room and help them put those changes into effect.

This can be a change in the way the room smells, looks, or feels. Be part of the process from start to finish. Take them shopping for the new items in the room and don't leave them until the project is done. Help them enjoy the process of welcoming changes into their life.

Provide distractions. Fighting the urge to cut herself can be especially hard when they are at home alone with nothing else on their mind or if they are preoccupied with themself and the painful feelings. Tell them to call you or visit when they have the urge to cut themself. Try to involve yourself in activities along with them that will keep their mind off of it. Think about their likes, interests, and hobbies and try to do something that involves those things. If they love nature, go for a hike.

If they love to paint, encourage them to paint. They can do anything creative to help, such as write a story, play an instrument, or draw a picture. They can also watch a movie or TV show, listen to music, play a game, or anything else they love to do.

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If you surround them with activities and things they like, they will be more likely to be distracted from their behavior and need to cut themself. If they don't go out much, encourage them to meet new people, develop contacts, and nurture relationships. This can improve self-confidence, self-esteem, and help them build trust in people.

Method 4. Suggest getting help. When you first learn that a friend or loved one is self-harming, see if they are ready to seek professional help from a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. These professionals have special training to help people combat behaviors in their lives that are bringing harm.

If your friend insists that they are not crazy, agree with them.

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Tell them that people see mental health professionals for many life issues, and many times for self-growth. If your friend is worried about the stigma of seeing a mental health professional, suggest they see someone who is not right in town.

It is a valid and helpful service that can truly help them with their problem. Professionals are better equipped to help the understand why they harm themself and what they are trying to accomplish with the behavior. There is always a stigma associated with seeking help from a mental health professional, but it is essential to convince your loved one to seek treatment. There is an abundance of information on the internet about many topics, and self-harm is no different. Make sure you find information and literature from credible sources, such as psychological foundations or helpline websites.

Some content can be misleading and could work against helping your friend or loved one get better. Encourage participation in a support group. A support group is the coming together of individuals who have the same issue, have similar concerns, face similar challenges, and undergo similar experiences. Although you act as a one person support group for a while, they may need companionship from someone who understand exactly what they are going through.

After some time with you, they may gradually muster enough courage to meet with people like them in order to know their stories, their disappointments, how they succeeded in overcoming cutting, and learning how and why they failed. To encourage them, you could accompany them to give them the strength and support they need to make that final step. Consider dialectical behavior therapy DBT.

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