Understanding Cutting

Written by Dena Yohe

My daughter cut herself for the first time when she was 12 years old. Today, 11 years later, she is still struggling to overcome this problem. At the time I knew absolutely nothing about “self-harm” and it scared me to death. I was shocked and bewildered that she would do such a thing. It’s important to understand cutting – what it is, who does it, why people do it, and how to get help for you or a friend to stop hurting inside and out.

What is cutting?

Cutting is when someone takes something sharp, like a razor, knife, scissors or piece of glass, and runs it along a part of their body, usually to the point of bleeding or bruising. Most cuts are made on arms, wrists and legs. Sometimes, people cut their chest, stomach, face, neck, breasts or genitals. Cutting on the arms and wrists is the most common because it’s often easier to make up excuses for marks on these parts of the body, something like “My cat scratched me,” or “I had an accident in the kitchen.”

Cutting is a form of self-injury, self-harm or self-mutilation. Some people also call it slashing or slicing.
Besides cutting, people may hurt themselves in other ways, including scratching, burning, picking at wounds, hair pulling, punching or head butting. People cut to deal with difficult problems or feelings they cannot verbally express.

Who cuts and why?

About two million people in the U.S. hurt themselves in some way. Most are teenagers or young adults, and they’re from all races and backgrounds. They often wear clothing like long pants or shirts to hide their cutting, even in warm weather.

For most people, it’s hard to understand why anyone would intentionally hurt themselves. But, for those who cut, there are a few common reasons:

  • emotional pain they can’t put into words
  • to gain a sense of control when other things in their life are out of control
  • to punish themselves for troubling thoughts or acts.
  • some find the act soothing
  • to get a reaction from other people.

No matter the reason, cutting is a serious, dangerous behavior, and may be a sign of another problem.
Many people who cut themselves also have an eating disorder like anorexia or bulimia. Some may be experiencing depression. Others may have been sexually or physically abused.

Is cutting a suicide attempt?

Usually, people who cut aren’t trying to kill themselves. At the same time, cutting can be life-threatening. In fact, sometimes, people can’t control the injury and die accidentally.
If you or someone you know is thinking about killing themselves, contact 1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433) immediately or contact befrienders.org from anywhere in the world to talk to a crisis center in your area. Suicide is never the answer to your problems.

You can also tell them about this site: myspace.com/towriteloveonherarms This non-profit is about bringing awareness, hope, encouragement and community to those who struggle with self-harm, depression and suicide (as well as addictions). They also raise money to help support programs that are addressing these issues. They gave away over a million dollars in 2009! My daughter’s story was the inspiration behind this global movement of love and hope. You can read her story by going to the myspace address above, then scrolling down and clicking on “read the story here” in the right hand column. (I apologize, there is profanity in the story)

How can I help a friend with this?

If you have suspicions, go ahead and ask them about it. Friends with cutting problems are often glad to be able talk about it. If you bring it up and this person isn’t self-injuring, it won’t start just because you said something about it. If they leave their wounds uncovered so that you can see them, they want you to ask them about it. Offer options but don’t tell your friend what to do. If someone’s using cutting or some other kind of self-injury as a way to feel in control, it won’t help if you try to take control of the situation. Helping someone see ways to get help – like talking to a parent, pastor, teacher, school counselor or mental health professional- may be the best thing you can do.

Educate yourself on the issue. Two helpful websites for both the person who is struggling with cutting, as well as their family and friends are: selfinjury.com and selfmutilatorsanonymous.org They even have online support group meetings. A few good books are Inside a Cutter’s Mind: Understanding and Helping Those Who Self-Injure by Jerusha Clark and Dr. Earl Henslin, Bodily Harm: The Breakthrough Healing Program For Self-Injurers by Karen Conterio and Wendy Lader, Ph.D. and A Bright Red Scream: Self-Mutilation and the Language of Pain by Marilee Strong. There are many others on Amazon.

Seek support for yourself, too. Knowing a friend who is going through this can be frightening and stressful. Consider talking to someone else you trust. And remember, even if you don’t want to share your friend’s secret, you can still talk to a mental health professional about how it is affecting you. Remember, you’re not responsible for ending your friend’s self-abuse. You can’t force someone to stop or to get help from a professional. You can’t fix them or change them, but what you can do, always, is keep being a trustworthy, caring friend. Just asking about it and encouraging them to seek help shows them someone cares. It may be exactly what they need to take the next step.

How can I help myself?

Talk to someone you trust. Maybe it’s a parent or a good friend, a pastor, youth worker or a school counselor. Tell them you’re cutting yourself, and want to stop. Ask them to help you find help. Know that you may get some tough reactions like denial or sadness or anger, but that will pass. If you’re not comfortable with that, contact a local mental health group or a hotline in your area. There is a lot of help available and this can be overcome.

Cutting isn’t something to deal with on your own. There are therapists and support groups who can help you work through what makes you cut. Even if you’re nervous about getting help, take this step, because NOW is the best time to do it. If you wait, the problem will only get bigger and harder to hide. You can stop cutting!

My daughter says in her book Purpose for the Pain, “I didn’t do this of my own accord, I am not that strong. God has carried me . . . It was hard work getting to this point (in recovery 6 months) . . . but it happened, and it can happen for anyone who wants it. This isn’t my story. This is God’s story of redemption . . . how beautiful is that?”

If you would like to talk to someone privately we have mentors available by email.  All you need to do is use this form to send in a question. We will match you with a mentor who will respond in email, usually within a couple of days. You can email back and forth with your mentor as long as you like. The conversation is private and there is never a fee.

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you’ll experience life to the fullest.

197 Responses to “Understanding Cutting”

  • Aldo says:

    Kind Word, I perceive that you have not made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, and have not received Him as your Lord and Savior. If you had you would not refer to a relationship with God as crap. You see, once a person genuinely does that, the Holy Spirit regenerates that person, and he becomes a new creation. Yes, it is a supernatural happening. Anyone who has encountered it knows that he is “born again.”

    So, you can choose to be smug and go on with the way things are, or you can be truly sorry for your sins, and commit your life to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. The choice is yours. I pray that you make the right one. Have a Happy Hereafter!

  • Kind word says:

    It’s been a year since i have been here. Wanted to update you all. I am still alive and trying to work on this relationship with God crap. But wanted to thank you all for allowing me to post. I was hurting bad. Still am but I’m okay. Thanks for trying to get me thru it. Much appreciation – kind word. Sorry for cursing so much

  • M. Jantzen says:

    This girl’s story about cutting is very powerful: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gDRQ_7NRyQ

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Kind Word, I am sorry to hear about the pain that you have been going through. When did your brother hurt you like that? Who tells you that your choices are wrong? What choices do you get the most criticism about?

  • kind word says:

    I confess I have and will [expletive removed]. I confess I wont always make the right choice. But being punished every [expletive removed] day osnt [expletive removed] right

  • kind word says:

    Confess? As I sit here crying my ass off? CONFESS! As my brother throws me hard enough to break the handle off the stove! CONFESS! as I am told every choice I am makung wrong, from the car I bought with my own money tp the jobs j I work WTF DO I HAVE TO CONFESS

  • Aldo says:

    Kind word, confess your sins and your need for Christ. Ask Him to forgive you, and to come into your heart and life. Commit your life to Him for He is the answer to all your problems, whether they be big or small, financial or habitual, domestic or physical. He wants to be your redeemer, your healer, and your deliverer. He wants the very best for you, and your loved ones. Turn your life over to Him, and trust Him to bring about what He knows is best for you.

    If you want to do that now, here is a suggested prayer. Remember, God is not so much interested with your words as He is with your attitude.

    “Dear God, I admit I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness; I believe that Jesus Christ, Your Son, died in my place, paying the penalty for my sins. I am willing right now to turn from my sin and accept Him as my personal Savior and Lord. I commit myself to You, and ask You to send the Holy Spirit into my life, to fill me and take control, and to help me become the kind of person You want me to be. Thank You Father for loving me, forgiving my sins, and for giving me everlasting life, in Jesus name, Amen.”

  • kind word says:

    Today continues the downward spiral.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    You bet I am praying for you Aron. And I have Good News for you: Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8) Far better than a “Jesus for Idiots” book is Jesus Himself; ask Him for help and He will help you to understand. Jesus also promised, “when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness about me.” (John 15:26) The ‘Helper’ is the Spirit of God Himself, who is the one who will help you to understand what He has spoken in the Bible. Jesus brother James wrote, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” (James 1:5) so again the promise that if you ask God for understanding He will help you.

    Let me encourage you to start your search in the Gospel account of the life of Jesus written by His disciple John. If you don’t have a Bible you can access this at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=john+1&version=ESV. I would love to read through that with you and talk about what it is that you are reading. We can do that here or by email through the mentoring system I talked about earlier. Are you interested in giving it a shot?

    I have also just been exploring a new resource that a group is putting together that gives a simple explanation of books and themes of the Bible. Let me invite you to have a look at this one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3dEh25pduQ8) that traces the idea of The Messiah right from the beginning of the Bible to the end. You can ignore the request for money at the end of the video, they are trying to get Christians to help fund their work. But watch this; I think it is a really helpful way of understanding God’s plan for Jesus and how He can make a difference in your life.

    Let me pray for you: Jesus I ask that You would help Aron to understand what You are trying to say to him through the Bible. I pray that Your Spirit would pull away anything that would cloud his understanding and instead, help him to see the truth of Your love for him. I pray that the heaviness that he is feeling right now would begin to slip away as he seeks You and that Your presence in his life would indeed bring rest. Amen.

    I look forward to hearing back from you Aron. Let me know what you think of the video and if you are interested in reading the Gospel of John together.

  • Aron says:

    Thank you so much Jamie. Maybe I will look into religion again. I see myself searching for one of those Yellow/Black books….you may now the serious. “Math for Idiots, Java for Idiots” etc…..may be I can find a book that will explain the good text to me. when ever I try to read it now it just sounds all discombobulated. I still feel the heaviness on my heart and mind but can also tell there is someone (you) out there praying for me.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I am so sorry that you were taken advantage of like that Aron. My brother-in-law had a similar situation with his priest when he was a kid and it has totally turned him off anything to do with Jesus. Those abuses of trust and position are not a reflection of the teaching of Jesus though. The Bible talks clearly about how God will judge people who are in authority who use that position for selfishness rather than to serve. “The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them..Behold, I am against the shepherds.” (Ezekiel 34:4,10) But God does not leave it there, “Behold, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out…I will rescue them…I will feed them with good pasture…I will be the Shepherd.” (Ezekiel 34:11,12,14,15) It is interesting then that Jesus said during His time on Earth, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) Jesus laid down His life for you in order to rescue you and to heal the hurts that you have faced. That’s how much He loves you.

    I am not trying to beat you down with Bible verses; I just want to encourage you to look at the words of the Good Shepherd and don’t judge Him by the actions of those who do not speak for Him. You will find love and hope in the words of Jesus, and you will see that when you are ‘abiding’ in Him that He will change the way you look at everything.

    It seems to me that the are good reasons for you to not give up hope on life; there are people who would be incredibly hurt if you decided to end your life. I am sure Jaime and her kids would be devastated by that loss. It sounds like your partner would feel very responsible and carry a weight of guilt that maybe he could have done more. That would be a cruel thing to put all of them through that, don’t you think? You can have a positive impact on your nieces/nephews and help them discover that even though life can be hurtful, there is hope and things can be turned around. I want you to know that Jesus can make that kind of difference in your life. Have you ever heard of KORN? Their bass player, Brian Welch, tells his story of how Jesus miraculously transformed his life http://powertochange.com/iamsecond/brian-welch-for-a-better-life/ I know his situation is not like yours but he had gotten to a place of feeling hopeless. But Jesus spoke to him very clearly. Have a look at his story; I would love to hear what you think of it. I don’t know the conference center you were at, but I bet Brian wouldn’t have fit their mold either. Jesus isn’t looking for people who fit any mold; He’s looking for people who are hurting and have no where else to go. Jesus will meet with you and He will give you rest.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, You know the darkness that Aron finds himself in right now. You know the loneliness and the feeling that he just doesn’t belong. Help him to discover that he does belong with You. Extend Your love to him and immerse him in a sense of Your presence with him. He needs Your help Jesus, please rescue him. Amen.

  • Aron says:

    Jamie~ We moved down to FL to help with his father plus my partner would be a good change. I’ve never been very religious… I have had a few run ins with priests when I was an alter boy, that happened when I was 11 and 12. I couldn’t tell anyone that til I was almost 20. Besides that horrible interaction I was brow beaten in to being babtised. That was a creepy think a together. It was during VBS and there were about 5 or 6 of us that were babtised. They took us down into this dark, damp, musty basement. Placed holy water on our heads and said “go be with god” I was like 13 when that happened. Finally and the most damaging of all is at a previous work environment. It was a christian conference center. Because I didn’t fit the mold of what a 25 y/o servant to God was supposed to look like I persecuted relentlessly. I even went to use the pool on my day off and was reprimanded for wearing to many jelly bracelets. Everyday in that place was hell for me. I literally had groups of people surround me and all but beat my with there bibles. So you may notice I have never had positive thoughts about religion and still do today.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I know Aron, those kinds of transitions can be so hard when you lose people in your life who are so important to you. I too live quite a distance from my siblings and it leaves a hole in my life not to have closer ties with them.

    So did you guys move to FL to care for his dad, or was there another reason to make that move? Do you have work there?

    Have you had connection with the message of Jesus before? What is your assessment of Jesus’ statement that a broken relationship with Him will result in brokenness in every other part of life?

  • Aron says:

    Thank you for the strength, Jamie. I have very little contact with my Mother (after all she was a victim too. The only family member I am still in close contact with is my sister, Jaime. (note the irony) She and I were the only 2 kids that were audience to the abuse on our mother and ourselves. But about a month ago I moved to FL and left my “big sis” in Ohio, with her three beautiful children that are my world. I am also questioning my 2 &1/2 year relationship with my partner. He’s good, he keeps me grounded, pushes for me to take care of things, such as making doctor appointments and other stuff. I love him tremendously but sometimes I don’t feel like I’m good enough for him. Especially when he points out my faults and flaws. He does it in a way that is meant to be funny but just comes out hurtful. He had me in tears last Monday. So for the last 3 weeks we have been living in a mobile home with his 72 old father, not to mention my partner’s brother and wife live across the way and have a tendency to tell us all what to do and what not to. That’s basically what’s been going on the last month. I would also like to add that I am a juvenile diabetic and the stress of that illness is getting to me as well.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Aron, I am very glad you decided to reach out for help. I totally understand the feeling that things in this world are not what they are supposed to be; that feeling like you just don’t belong. There is a very good reason for that feeling – things are not what they are supposed to be. Families were meant to be places for children to grow in the nurture and guidance of loving parents, but even the best families still create pain and suffering for kids. Marriage was intended to be a relationship of mutual sacrifice, where the differences make the unit stronger and better, but more often those differences create walls and break down trust. I am so sorry to hear that you have experienced a severely broken family, which I am sure has been a significant contributor to your depression. But I am sure that through your treatment that you have discovered that part of the cause is your own body not producing the proper chemical balance, which has a negative impact on your mental health. That is not the way it is supposed to be.

    As I look at all the different worldviews out there and match them to the reality that I experience I find many are insufficient to explain both the clear evidence of brokenness in human relationships with nature, with others, with self, and yet also explain the feeling that we have that this is not how it is supposed to be. A purely materialistic worldview may explain the brokenness to some degree by suggesting that it is natures way to limit population explosion, but it doesn’t explain the awareness that things are supposed to be different. We know that depression is not good, that destructive behaviours are a symptom of a defeated heart.

    I don’t know what kind of experience you have had with the words of Jesus but He helps explain why things are broken and why we know they are not supposed to be that way, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5) What He is saying is that humanity was created to be in relationship with God, but when that primary relationship is broken it has a negative impact on all other secondary relationships. That explains that feeling that you have that you are out of place and don’t belong. Jesus said, “Come to me all of you who are weary and weighed down; I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) Doesn’t that sound good? When we are in relationship with Jesus He leads us into the best way to respond to broken relationships we have with nature, other people and ourselves. That doesn’t mean that we never have any problems or stress or pain, but it does mean that Jesus will direct us so we can respond positively to all the negativity that is in our broken world. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) Jesus has walked this world and knows the pain and sorrow of the brokenness of the world; yet He was able to respond perfectly to every situation, even the attack of His enemies.

    Again, I don’t know what experience you have had with Christianity, but I am certain that the more you look at the words of Jesus you will find that His worldview makes the most sense of what we see, and if that is the case, then a relationship with Him is the best way to wholeness, hope, love and joy.

    Let me pray for you: Dear Jesus, thank You for the clear explanation to why our world is broken as it is and why we feel like things should be better. Thank You for the hope that You give of rest and the confidence we can have in Your ability to overcome in any situation. I pray for Aron and the weight that he has carried for so long. He needs rest! I pray that You would give him rest as he turns to You for help. I pray that he would experience Your guidance in how to address the hurt and pain in his life and the brokenness in his family and within himself. I pray that You would bring people into his life who will extend Your love to him and that he would find a place to belong in Your family. He needs Your help because he is at the end of his rope. Please rescue him, Jesus, Amen.

    Aron, can you tell me a little bit about what has been happening in your life recently that has been creating more weight in your life? Have you been having further interactions with you parents or are there other relationships that have been putting weight on you? I understand if you are uncomfortable sharing too much in a public forum like this. If you would prefer to have a more private conversation you can connect with me or another mentor by email. It doesn’t cost anything but it I know you will find a safe place to share your heart and find a friend who wants to see you find hope again. Just fill out the Mentor Request Form at http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/ and one of our mentors will get in touch with you soon by email. If you would like to continue a conversation with me leave a note here that you have submitted a Mentor Request Form and I will make sure it gets to my Inbox. Of course, if you want to keep the conversation going here that is totally fine as well.

  • aron says:

    I am a 35y/o gay man who struggles with self harming behaviors on a daily basis. I was a victim of domestic abuse, I saw my father hit and scream at my mother and my sister from a young age. I too was a victim of his abuse, he was emotionally abusive to me. I was the mediator in my parents marriage from the time I was 15 till I was 26, when they finally separated. I started cutting when I was 21, but from the age of 2 I had always been a head butter. I don’t even remember how it started. All I know is that it feels good, at the time, till the next day when it hurts and you feel stupid. I have been in and out of therapy since I was 16 and it barely helps. I’ve been depressed since I was 16 and never felt like I belonged here. This is the last time I will try to reach out before I end it all.

  • kind word says:

    Thank you chris.

  • Chris says:

    kind Word…your question is a very good one….you see all that jesus did for us on the cross must be appropriated personally and indiviudally for us to experience his wonderful redeeming work at calvary. we cannot control what others do or say but as we walk with jesus ourselves, he will be a sun and a shield to those who walk uprightly with him. psalm 84. praying now that you be as jesus in this world wherever you go according to 1 John 4.17, amen!

  • kind word says:

    Late night pondering.
    If jesus suffered all the sins, the pain. Why would god let his children feel the pain afflicted by ourselves and others? It might be the three red bulls I have thats messing with my brain. Just curious

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    I am glad to hear that you are encouraged LeAnn. I think it is a great idea for you to connect with your church. Focus on The Family has connection to family counseling as well that you can check into. Have a look at there site http://family.custhelp.com/app/home for listing of resources you can take advantage of.

  • LeAnn says:

    As I sit here with tears rolling down my face, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart to Jamie and Elkay. I’m so thankful to have found this site. I will be looking over the links you gave to me, Elkay. I am also checking into counseling for myself through our church. I have become so consumed by what my son is doing, it has put me in a bad place. I need to get myself ok so that I can be the parent I need to be.

    Yes, Jamie, I do have an idea what caused my son to experiment with cutting. We use to go to another church and my daughter had a friend who came to church with her arms all cut up. My daughter came out of youth group crying and so upset, she had never seen this before (we homeschool). Then my son saw what this girl was doing and before I knew it, he started cutting. At first he hid it, but now he doesn’t even care what people think.

    My parents disowned our family a couple of years back and it was extremely hard on both kids. I believe this is when my son really started cutting at a whole new level. Every time something was a stress to him, he would cut. At this point, he won’t get help, as he thinks he’s got it under control. I know better and God knows better.

    I thank you so much for your prayers. It is such a comfort to me just knowing that I’m not the only one who is trying to understand how to deal with this. I believe that God has his hand in this situation and I continue to pray like never before.

    Blessings to both of you.

  • Elkay says:

    LeAnn, I am so sorry to learn of your very painful and difficult situation with your son. The article on this page points out how serious cutting is and how it may be indicative of another problem and how you need to talk to someone you trust. A good option might be to find a Christian counselor who has experience in this arena. Alfred also shared some good insights in his reply to Mugwort that you may benefit from.

    Other options are to evaluate this first website, http://www.crosswalk.com/family/parenting/teens/what-do-i-say-to-my-teen-who-is-cutting.html, for advice on how to talk to your son and a second website, http://www.doorofhope4teens.org/, that may be helpful to your son if he will consider it.

    You may want to privately exchange emails with trusted mentors that are freely available by clicking on the “Talk to a Mentor” button near the top right of this webpage and briefly explaining your situation. Someone will get back to you via email.

    LeAnn, there is healing in Jesus’ name as Peter and John spoke out at Acts 3:6 and so we pray, “Abba Father, LeAnn is in a painful place and she and her family, especially her son, need You to help them. Please lead LeAnn to the options that You want her to follow in handling her family’s crisis. As a Christian family, they all are adopted children and are assured of Your interest in and love for them. So, Father, we come in Jesus’ name to Your throne of grace to find help and healing in this time of trouble. Amen.”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi LeAnn, I can understand the distress you have over your son’s cutting. That is a very scary thing to see your child doing to himself. There are no simple solutions, but looking to Jesus for help is the most important step to healing. There are many contributing factors behind your son’s actions and it will be important to address all of those. But there is a spiritual component that many people fail to recognize.

    So to start off, let me pray for you and your family: Dear Jesus, my heart breaks hearing the story of this family. I can imagine the fear and frustration that LeAnn is feeling when her son deals with his emotions by cutting. He needs Your help and healing. I pray that You would set him free from the grip cutting has on him. I pray that You would reveal Yourself to him in a way that brings hope, love and freedom. I pray that You would give wisdom to LeAnn and the rest of the family to know how to help point this young man to You. Give them peace in knowing that You are with them and guiding them every moment. Bring healing to the broken relationships in this family and draw them closer to You and closer to each other, amen.

    LeAnn, you said your son is unwilling to talk to you about these issues, would he be willing to talk with a counselor? You seem to have a good idea of when this started in his life; can you think of anything that happened to him that started this pattern?

  • LeAnn says:

    Hi. I am new here and have an 18 year old son who has been cutting for about 2 years. We are a Christian family and this is literally tearing us all apart. I’ve been trying to learn all I can about cutting, but as his mom, I am beside myself. He cut himself so deep last week, we thought he needed stitches. He doesn’t want to talk to us about it, he has stopped going to church, saying he “needs a break.”

    Can someone please help me out here? I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to say. He refuses help. I really would appreciate any advice. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

  • Alfred says:

    Yes, Mugwort, those are common reasons. May I ask for permission to focus away from the problem, and look at the answer to the hurt and emotional pain we humans often feel?
    Jesus came to earth, endured all temptations, hurts and pains that we could ever face! The first Adam sinned (and the punishment for that was death); the second Adam, Jesus, paid the price for all those sins of mankind (and died in our place). Relief has come, we’ve been rescued; yet we realize that only as we reach up and accept the rescue that is being offered. Jesus Christ is able to give us the peace, freedom from anxiety, love, hope, and eventually joy! Cutting is a form of escape-ism. It takes much prayer-support, counselling, and eventually faith to look away from the problem and reach up to Jesus for the answer. I had an addiction as a teenager that I’m ashamed to mention. Sometimes it takes all of the above and also great determination to shake an addiction. But it can be done. Oh, what a blessing when we can go from success to success! Sometimes part of the answer is to work at something positive so that we can recognize achievement which takes our mind off past failures.
    It was a great help for me “to be able to tell myself that everyone has hurts and troubles, and we can and will succeed in spite of that.”
    No, I really do not have the answer, but I’m in tune with the ONE who does. Reach up to Jesus, my friend, and ask Him to lift you up and to restore your self-confidence! Cheers.

  • mugwort says:

    Former Sat. Night Live member, comic, actor says in the Video “Darrell Hammond at the Grove” says there are two reasons he cuts. (He started cutting late teens) First one he mentions is he cuts because he wants to show people who horrible he’s feeling emotionally. Plus he’s too afraid to tell how he feels. 2nd Cutting he sees as a crisis he can much handle and the physical pain of cutting with a safety razor is much less painful then the emotional crisis inside of him. Are these common reasons for self cutting? I wish everyone wellness here.

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