Why teens cut themselves-Cutting (for Teens) - KidsHealth

If you are reading this article, are most likely interested in finding out about cutting, and more importantly, why teens cut themselves. Cutting is a destructive habit that involves self-injury and self-harm. Those who cut often use sharp objects such as needles, knives, or razor blades to cut or scratch their skin to the point of bleeding. Teens most commonly cut in body parts that can easily be hidden, such as the inner wrist and thigh, but the inner palm, stomach, and legs are also common areas. Those who cut are most likely to be seen in long-sleeved shirts or tops and full-length pants, even though the weather may be hot.

Why teens cut themselves

Why teens cut themselves

Why teens cut themselves

Why teens cut themselves

I had sensed changes in my local area and wondered if this could be a national trend. Connect with us. The overall rate for ER visits for self-harm measured perpopulation Why teens cut themselves from Although cutting can Find adult film producer a difficult pattern ccut break, it is possible. The stereotype is that kids who cut themselves are depressed. This is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. Many teens cut in secret and may be afraid to tell an adult about their cutting.

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Out Why teens cut themselves all the comments Alexis B. Just Sideshow wwi model to give you the point of view of a former miserable teen. Therapists and counselors are trained to help people discover inner strengths that help them heal. Other self-harm behaviors can include head-banging, branding or burning their skin, overdosing on medications, and strangulation. Be clear that your goal is to help her, not to judge or punish Ask, "Did you make those cuts on your arm on purpose? I have never really understood the thought process behind this. Why teens cut themselves says, vut starts when something's really upsetting and you don't know how to talk about it or what to do. Cutting is sometimes but not always associated with depression, bipolar disordereating disorders, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviors. Girls and guys who self-injure are often dealing with some heavy troubles. And they don't usually mean to keep cutting once themselvws start. Sign Up. Teen Cutting Defined. About the Author. Cutting can also lead to more problems later in life. Get Listed Today.

Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night.

  • Cutting is a type of self-harm in which teens deliberately cut or scratch themselves with knives, razor blades, or other sharp objects, but not with any intention of trying to commit suicide.
  • Cutting is a popular way for teens to self-injure without the intent of suicide.
  • Verified by Psychology Today.
  • Teen cutting is the practice of teens who purposely injure themselves by using a sharp object to scratch or cut their skin deep enough to draw blood.
  • It can be hard to imagine why anyone would want to cut themselves or hurt themselves on purpose.

If you are reading this article, are most likely interested in finding out about cutting, and more importantly, why teens cut themselves.

Cutting is a destructive habit that involves self-injury and self-harm. Those who cut often use sharp objects such as needles, knives, or razor blades to cut or scratch their skin to the point of bleeding. Teens most commonly cut in body parts that can easily be hidden, such as the inner wrist and thigh, but the inner palm, stomach, and legs are also common areas.

Those who cut are most likely to be seen in long-sleeved shirts or tops and full-length pants, even though the weather may be hot.

They do this to hide their wounds, or scars that are formed when their wounds heal. You will find that teenage cutting is quite common in today's world. You might be wondering why people would want to cut themselves. Cutting is a serious mental disorder and is often done impulsively without forethought. After cutting, teenagers often feel ashamed and wish they had not done it in the first place. However, as an addiction, people find themselves going back to cutting.

This is especially true for teenage cutting. Once teens start cutting, they often find that they cannot stop. They may tell themselves that it's the last time and they won't cut again or convince themselves that they can stop whenever they want to.

This is how teenage cutting becomes addictive. The individual believes they are in control and can stop when they want to, but this is seldom the case. Starting to cut and feeling a strong urge to do it over and over again is a compulsive behavior. It is habit forming and can be fatal. Just like any other addiction, people who cut start associating the act of cutting with the temporary relief that they get. To make it clearer, think of people who are binge eaters.

They know that compulsive overeating is bad for them but over time, their minds begin to associate binge eating with the relief it provides them as a way to escape intense emotions or disturbing memories. Similarly, the minds of those who cut start making a connection between cutting and the temporary relief that cutting brings as a means of escape from their memories of childhood abuse. This is one of the explanations for why teens might cut themselves. But cutting only provides temporary relief—once that numbness from cutting elapses, you immediately look down and see what you have done, only to find yourself in disgust, disappointed, ashamed, and in even more pain.

Many people who cut themselves are in their preteen to teen stages, but many carry this habit to adulthood as well. It has also been found that girls are more likely than boys to cut themselves. Teenage cutting is a growing problem in society today thanks to increasing dysfunctional families, the increasing divorce rate, and the negative messages bombarded at teenagers through media.

Now you may be wondering why anyone would ever want to injure or cause pain to themselves. Indeed, it may seem unfathomable that anyone would deliberately pick up a sharp object to cause harm to themselves. Many teens who cut themselves do this as a way of coping with situations in their life that they think are too stressful or painful to bear.

Of course, cutting is not the best way to cope with life's troubles at all. Cutting does not help solve the problem at hand—if anything, cutting only adds on to the problems one already has.

When I was in high school, I had a friend who used to cut himself. He would use needles and sometimes fountain pens to sharply indent his skin, forming deep cuts that left behind pink scars. On the outside, he seemed like a very social, happy, and outgoing person but when he went back home, he would occasionally cut himself. It was his way of coping with all the pressure that was on him from his family, who expected him to get straight A's and his friends, who expected him to constantly be 'cool' and 'in with the gang'.

Obviously, cutting himself was not the right thing to do, but as a young teen, that was something he did that made him feel better and relieved stress—but only temporarily. So, why do teens cut themselves? There are various reasons why people cut themselves. Below are some of the reasons:. Some teenagers cut to get 'relief' from pent-up feelings. Cutting gives them a false sense of respite from their mental stress or emotional problems.

Cutting may give teens a platform to express intense feelings such as depression, rejection, anger, betrayal, or confusion. There are some who try cutting out of curiosity. Ever heard the saying "curiosity killed the cat"? Well, as much as curiosity can be a good thing, in this case, it does not lead to any benefit at all.

At first, they may try out cutting as a harmless innocent behavior, but this is addictive and compulsion to cut may cause life-threatening situations. As teens are in a stage of exploring and are more curious in that stage of life, they are more likely to indulge in dangerous habits such as smoking, drinking, and self-injury through cutting. Emotional or physical abuse may cause some people to close off the outside world and become reclusive.

In this state, they may resort to cutting. Adding on to the above, many victims of emotional and physical abuse often feel 'unclean' and 'disgusted' with themselves that they cut themselves as a way of punishing themselves. Most such victims feel that it was their fault that someone physically or mentally abused them and so they punish themselves for their 'crime' by cutting or self-injuring themselves.

Many people who cut themselves do not love and appreciate themselves or their bodies. They find themselves to be 'ugly' or 'fat', and in a desperate situation, they harm themselves by cutting, to get a quick fix for their problem. If they learned to love themselves, they wouldn't dream of deliberately harming themselves. Too much pressure or stress can cause teenagers to resort to cutting.

You would be surprised to know that many teens who cut themselves are actually honor-roll students. Stopping the habit is not an easy thing for someone who has already begun cutting. Here are some ways you can try to help someone who cuts themselves:. Explain that there are other ways to get rid of emotional burdens and societal pressures. Dealing with emotional pain and stress can be daunting but cutting is not the solution.

Help them find healthier ways of occupying themselves such as photography or scrapbooking, which are not only fun but is also a great way to express oneself.

Show them that there are people who care for them. If one of your friends is cutting, show them how much you care for them and how much you wouldn't want to lose them or see them get hurt. They may realize that there are so many people who care for them after all, and out of compassion for all those who love them, they may decide to stop cutting. Exercise helps strengthen the immune system and boosts good hormones in the body such as serotonin, which helps you feel content and relaxed.

Exercise is not only a way to keep busy and occupy yourself but is also a great way to tone up, get fit, and improve general well-being. Especially for teenagers, exercise does not have to mean hitting the gym and walking on the treadmill for an hour—you can make 'exercise' fun by engaging in any sports activity such as swimming, tennis, volleyball, or soccer.

Find out what they like. For example, are they interested in drawing? If they are, they can join an art club. Do they like reading? Get them to join a book club. Joining a club enables them to be surrounded by like-minded people, making them feel comforted and secure. Many teens who feel awkward or like the odd one out in high school can find solace in the like-minded people they meet in these clubs.

Serving the community and taking the time to help out needy people—by helping them build houses, for example—can do wonders for anyone. When I was in high school, we had a week of community service where we joined a local charity organization to help a poor community build permanent dwellings.

Just helping to lay a few bricks and interacting with the people was a life-changing experience. It helps you to see that there are people out there who are less fortunate than you, making you more appreciative of your own life.

Many teens cut in secret and may be afraid to tell an adult about their cutting. Improving your relationship with your child can help them be more relaxed and friendly with you such that they can feel free to share with you. Many teens are cutting because of deeper and more complex issues such as childhood abuse or physical torment. Getting them to see a professional therapist to receive qualified treatment can help facilitate healing to solve the root cause, such that they can stop cutting.

Writing is a great therapeutic tool that can help relieve tension and pain. Poetry is also a great means of expressing one's creativity or bottled up emotions, and watching your poem take shape is a rewarding and fulfilling experience, rather than cutting and harming yourself. Joining a support group can help a cutter feel that they are not alone. In a support group, they can share their personal stories and get to hear the stories of others with similar experiences.

This can help them gain the strength and confidence to stop cutting. Online support groups are very convenient and also provide privacy. If you want to help your friend or child who is cutting, one important thing to do is to get them to love themselves unconditionally.

Loving oneself means that you would not hurt yourself in any way or deliberately cause yourself any pain. Many people who cut themselves are sensitive, compassionate souls who would never hurt another human being. Get them to see themselves and their own bodies as their 'friends'. Ask them, would they hurt a friend? The answer would most definitely be 'no'. If they treat themselves like friends, they would find it easier to not cut.

I hope this article has helped you find the answers to the question, "Why do people cut themselves? If you have any stories about teenage cutting or any other info to add to this article, please share in the comments section. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

Why Do Teens Cut Themselves? I don't cut myself anymore, but now I have to deal with the scars. It can be hard to understand why people cut themselves on purpose. Thank you for your comment. As to why people cut, its different for everyone.

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How to Help Teens Who Cut Themselves

Emma's mom first noticed the cuts when Emma was doing the dishes one night. Emma told her mom that their cat had scratched her. Her mom seemed surprised that the cat had been so rough, but she didn't think much more about it. Emma's friends had noticed something strange as well. Even when the weather was hot, Emma wore long-sleeved shirts. She had become secretive, too, like something was bothering her.

But Emma couldn't seem to find the words to tell her mom or her friends that the marks on her arms were from something that she had done. She was cutting herself with a razor when she felt sad or upset. Injuring yourself on purpose by making scratches or cuts on your body with a sharp object — enough to break the skin and make it bleed — is called cutting.

Cutting is a type of self-injury , or SI. People who cut often start cutting in their young teens. Some continue to cut into adulthood. People may cut themselves on their wrists, arms, legs, or bellies.

Some people self-injure by burning their skin with the end of a cigarette or lighted match. When cuts or burns heal, they often leave scars or marks. People who injure themselves usually hide the cuts and marks and sometimes no one else knows. It can be hard to understand why people cut themselves on purpose.

Cutting is a way some people try to cope with the pain of strong emotions, intense pressure , or upsetting relationship problems. They may be dealing with feelings that seem too difficult to bear or bad situations they think can't change. Some people cut because they feel desperate for relief from bad feelings. People who cut may not know better ways to get relief from emotional pain or pressure. Some people cut to express strong feelings of rage, sorrow, rejection, desperation, longing, or emptiness.

There are other ways to cope with difficulties, even big problems and terrible emotional pain. The help of a mental health professional might be needed for major life troubles or overwhelming emotions. For other tough situations or strong emotions, it can help put things in perspective to talk problems over with parents, other adults, or friends. Getting plenty of exercise also can help put problems in perspective and help balance emotions.

But people who cut may not have developed ways to cope. Or their coping skills may be overpowered by emotions that are too intense. When emotions don't get expressed in a healthy way, tension can build up — sometimes to a point where it seems almost unbearable. Cutting may be an attempt to relieve that extreme tension.

For some, it seems like a way of feeling in control. The urge to cut might be triggered by strong feelings the person can't express — such as anger, hurt, shame, frustration, or alienation.

People who cut sometimes say they feel they don't fit in or that no one understands them. A person might cut because of losing someone close or to escape a sense of emptiness. Cutting might seem like the only way to find relief or express personal pain over relationships or rejection.

People who cut or self-injure sometimes have other mental health problems that contribute to their emotional tension. Cutting is sometimes but not always associated with depression, bipolar disorder , eating disorders, obsessive thinking, or compulsive behaviors.

It can also be a sign of mental health problems that cause people to have trouble controlling their impulses or to take unnecessary risks. Some people who cut themselves have problems with drug or alcohol abuse.

Some people who cut have had a traumatic experience, such as living through abuse , violence, or a disaster. Self-injury may feel like a way of "waking up" from a sense of numbness after a traumatic experience. Or it may be a way of reliving the pain they went through, expressing anger over it, or trying to get control of it. Although cutting may provide some temporary relief from a terrible feeling, even people who cut agree that it isn't a good way to get that relief.

For one thing, the relief doesn't last. The troubles that triggered the cutting remain — they're just masked over. People don't usually intend to hurt themselves permanently when they cut. And they don't usually mean to keep cutting once they start. But both can happen. It's possible to misjudge the depth of a cut, making it so deep that it requires stitches or, in extreme cases, hospitalization.

Cuts can become infected if a person uses nonsterile or dirty cutting instruments — razors, scissors, pins, or even the sharp edge of the tab on a can of soda. Most people who cut aren't attempting suicide. Cutting is usually a person's attempt at feeling better, not ending it all. Although some people who cut do attempt suicide, it's usually because of the emotional problems and pain that lie behind their desire to self-harm, not the cutting itself.

Cutting can be habit forming. It can become a compulsive behavior — meaning that the more a person does it, the more he or she feels the need to do it. The brain starts to connect the false sense of relief from bad feelings to the act of cutting, and it craves this relief the next time tension builds.

When cutting becomes a compulsive behavior, it can seem impossible to stop. So cutting can seem almost like an addiction, where the urge to cut can seem too hard to resist. A behavior that starts as an attempt to feel more in control can end up controlling you.

Cutting often begins on an impulse. It's not something the person thinks about ahead of time. Shauna says, "It starts when something's really upsetting and you don't know how to talk about it or what to do. But you can't get your mind off feeling upset, and your body has this knot of emotional pain. Before you know it, you're cutting yourself.

And then somehow, you're in another place. Then, the next time you feel awful about something, you try it again — and slowly it becomes a habit. Natalie, a high-school junior who started cutting in middle school, explains that it was a way to distract herself from feelings of rejection and helplessness she felt she couldn't bear.

I guess part of me must have known it was a bad thing to do, though, because I always hid it. Once a friend asked me if I was cutting myself and I even lied and said 'no. Sometimes self-injury affects a person's body image. Jen says, "I actually liked how the cuts looked. I felt kind of bad when they started to heal — and so I would 'freshen them up' by cutting again.

Now I can see how crazy that sounds, but at the time, it seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I was all about those cuts — like they were something about me that only I knew. They were like my own way of controlling things. I don't cut myself anymore, but now I have to deal with the scars. You can't force someone who self-injures to stop. It doesn't help to get mad at a friend who cuts, reject that person, lecture her, or beg him to stop.

Instead, let your friend know that you care, that he or she deserves to be healthy and happy, and that no one needs to bear their troubles alone. Girls and guys who self-injure are often dealing with some heavy troubles. Many work hard to overcome difficult problems. So they find it hard to believe that some kids cut just because they think it's a way to seem tough and rebellious. Tia tried cutting because a couple of the girls at her school were doing it. So I did it once. But then I thought about how lame it was to do something like that to myself for no good reason.

Next time they asked I just said, 'no, thanks — it's not for me. If you have a friend who suggests you try cutting, say what you think. Why get pulled into something you know isn't good for you?

There are plenty of other ways to express who you are. Lindsay had been cutting herself for 3 years because of abuse she suffered as a child. She's 16 now and hasn't cut herself in more than a year.

There are better ways to deal with troubles than cutting — healthier, long-lasting ways that don't leave a person with emotional and physical scars. The first step is to get help with the troubles that led to the cutting in the first place.

Here are some ideas for doing that:. Although cutting can be a difficult pattern to break, it is possible. Getting professional help to overcome the problem doesn't mean that a person is weak or crazy. Therapists and counselors are trained to help people discover inner strengths that help them heal.

These inner strengths can then be used to cope with life's other problems in a healthy way. Larger text size Large text size Regular text size.

Why teens cut themselves