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”

  • Karen Obrien says:

    My sixteen year old son has been cutting, im worried cause he recently came out, . First off we are Christian, so this issue was hard for for us, but I love my son regardless of his preference. But I raised him christian and he knows the bible and god..
    Im just broken for him. I understand why he does it but , I struggle cause my child years, adolescents was so much worse and at times I thought I wouldnt survive the pain or loneliness but it made me tough. But we talk about almost anything. He tells me things I wish he wouldnt but im glad he comes to me. I explained to him that being a teen is hard enough even more so now a days. They are exspected to grow up so fast. And serious relationships our hard and confusing enough as a teen , believe me I know . At 16 I met my high school sweetheart, at 18 , 2 weeks after I graduated I was pregnant. And when our son was 7 months the father went to Folsom prison for 2 years. And I could go on.
    My 20 year old son tried to commit suicide 6 months ago , was incubated, and un conscious for 2 days. Ive been with my husband since my eldest was 2 we have given them a nice loving , practical life. The worst was three years ago when economy put a hardship on our family. And besides a job here or there we have struggled but there fed clothed and unconditionally loved. More than they know. My 16 yr old says he is greatful for having us as parents, his friend tell me they hear good things about me from my son. Im extremely close with my three boys. Ive tried to give them what I didnt have.
    What am I doing wrong. Are family is nowhere perfect . But we are closer than alot of families I know. He has talked to a counsler. What else can I do. Kids cut when I was in school. But they did it for reasons , id probably cut for too. I did it twice when I was date raped at 14. But that was it. I never told anybody. I made it through. Any suggestions.

  • Chris says:

    Philip…you might refer your friend to settingcaptivesfree.com and their course, HIS IMAGE, to help with overcoming the desire to cut. we pray in jesus name above all, that his grace comes to your friend and gives him or her freedom from not only the cutting but whatever problem he or she has that is causing such frutsration and anxiety at this time in jesus name amen

  • Philip Holshouser says:

    Hi my name is Philip…
    I myself am not cutting but a person I care about is and I want to know how to help…
    I am a junior firefighter and have run calls and seen people in pain but that was external pain… I Know Jesus said help the least of these but I don’t really know how to help…

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Krissy, I can see you have a lot of pressures on you. It must be really hard to keep calm with all the other things swirling around you like that. There have been a lot of resources shared that could be helpful to give you some perspective on your life right now (one story from the site that Chris referred you to that I find really encouraging is http://powertochange.com/iamsecond/something-to-live-for).

    Are there people in your life that you talk to about this, or that you could talk to? Any trusted teachers or school counselor who you would feel alright about talking to?

    You talked about being a ‘good Christian girl’. What do you mean by that? How would you describe the impact that Jesus had on your life back then?

    How do you feel about your cutting? In what ways does it help/hinder you in life?

    I hope you don’t mind, but I would like to pray for you. I have found in my life that when I talk to God He does help guide me. I am sure that you will find that true for yourself as well.

    Dear Jesus, I pray for Krissy. Thank You for the sensitive heart that you have given her, how she feels things so deeply. I know that can be hard to handle when there is so much pain and confusion around, but at the same time it makes her such a warm person to be around. She needs You help Lord to know what to do with those emotions that she has and how to keep from hurting herself to quiet down the things she feels so deeply. Bring people around her who can support, care and encourage her. I pray that she would find You to be a big part of that help and comfort. Guard her from seriously hurting herself. Amen.

    I look forward to hearing back from you Krissy.

  • Chris says:

    krissy…perhaps if you check out iamsecond.com, you might find some video-testimonies to help you with your personal issues, knowing that others have and are going through similar circumstances. jesus bless you. he loves you!

  • krissy says:

    Mrs/ms Kate
    I havent and my phone is currently in the shop cause I threw it at my mother for insisiting that I pretend to be another girl text my brothers girlfriend amd break them up and then got screamed at for telling her off. Then had my door taken away for disrespect. This explains why I am the wack job I am.

  • Kate says:

    Hi Krissy, maybe you got a chance to check out the Door of Hope 4 Teens website?

  • Donna says:

    FYI: Door of hope 4 teens is a free texting hotline that provides support no matter where you live in the USA and Canada
    visit the site for more info and the hours they are open http://www.doorofhope4teens.org

  • krissy says:

    Dear mrs/ms. Kate
    I will try. No promises. Got caught cutting by mom and grandpa and they were clam/calm I on the other hand was bleeding and wanted to party. And indeed I partied

  • Kate says:

    Hi Krissy,

    I wonder if you can imagine seeing things from a different perspective. For example, if you were talking to an 8-year old kid who was having feelings like yours, what advice might you give the kid? Or if you imagine yourself as a kind old grandmother, what would the grandmother say?

    If you can separate yourself from your very real, very intense feelings for a few minutes, maybe you can get some relief. The thing is, we face many very real, very terrible situations and circumstances. Coping with everything is really very difficult. The deeper we are in the situation, the harder it can feel to pull ourselves out. It feels like we are stuck in a deep well. Maybe imagining ourselves outside the situation can help === pretend you are the helper, instead of the one trapped. As the helper, what ideas or solutions or things can you try, instead of feeling completely stuck?

    Another thing that I find useful is closing my eyes to picture God in my situation. I remember one time I was freaking out, totally furious, ready to do something violent or terrible…. and I stopped myself for a second, took a breath, and then asked myself “Where is God at this moment?” Then I had a picture in my mind that God was with me, that He was holding me in the palm of His hand, that His face looked kind and caring, that He cared about me. It wasn’t like everything got fixed or there was some big miracle around me, but I was calmed down. Maybe you know what I mean.


  • krissy says:

    Usy but seriously im dying here

  • krissy says:

    I can honestly say that if jesus is real I know yer b

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    krissy…jesus can be your best friend in any and all situations. he has proved his friendship to me for 40 years and has never failed me yet! blessings!

  • krissy says:

    Should I even try? Its not going to stop the destruction, I literally stood at the bridge thinking about jumping, but fortunately a dog walkers dogs grabbed my attention. But next timw im out and as always alone whats going to stop me from ending it all

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    krissy…you might check some online churches…lifechurch.tv, glorystone.tv, onlinechurch.com. blessings!

  • krissy says:

    None the less my view of the church wont change unless there is an act of god. Totally and compeletely bitter amd angry over this.

  • Chris Landwerlen says:

    krissy…not all churches are created equal. a true new testament Christian church will always show the love of christ, love that is firm but gentle as christ is.

  • krissy says:

    To Alfred
    I was once a very Christian girl. I am a bit, but I have gotten a bit bitter to the faith. After I saw how they treated me my brothers and my same sex orentanted friends I kinda lost my willpower to tolerate churches. I do pray, but I dont say to jesus or god its to however the hell is up there and listening. I dont feel forgiven even when I have asked like I said I am bitter

  • krissy says:

    Its krissy again
    Just wanted to update everyone. Thanks for the replies. Im not going to lie, yesterday I cut myself hard and I texted a few friends hoping to find someone to hear me but instead was greeted by silence but they had no problem poking me on facebook and updating statuses. It just shows their love. Been gone for 3 months not one person has bothered to even see if im okay or anything. Not even those who tell me they love me. Its a pity

  • Michael Jantzen says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your daughter. It sounds like this is hurting you too. You may want to speak and pray with one of our confidential mentors to help you process what you’re going through and think through a strategy of how to best support your daughter through this season. Here’s the link: http://powertochange.com/experience/talk-to-a-mentor/ Also if you haven’t yet, please read Claire’s comment below which I think is very informative and wise. Take care.

  • Roberta says:

    I found your site the other day and this morning I saw Melissa’s post. My daughter is 15 and has been cutting and our situation seems similar to her post. I find it almost impossible to understand this action, we pray everyday, this site is helping me to cope. My heart goes out to all of you who struggle and with those who love you and want to help. Thank you

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Melissa,

    I am sorry to hear that you are dealing with cutting. It’s not an easy topic to get your head around. Unfortunately, it’s becoming more common. An article from Psychology Today back in 2010 cited a study that suggests as many as one in five teen and preteen girls in the US are cutting. There’s an article here from Psychology Today that might help. It is a behaviour that occurs within the church as well as outside of it, in good families, in good neighbourhoods. It’s everywhere. I remember talking to my niece about it a couple of years ago. She was attending a school of choice in a well off area and she casually mentioned that she personally knew at least a dozen girls at school who cut.

    Often cutting is associated with either a quest for identity or a need to express powerful emotions. It can start with a break-up that is hard to process or feelings of anger or rage or helplessness. Cutting is sometimes used as a way to express emotional pain. (They find it helpful to be able to “see” the hurt rather than just feeling the pain inside.) Sometimes there can be an element of peer pressure to it – if her friends are cutting she might be more likely to try it, but there’s usually more to it than that.

    Cutting is usually a secret behaviour so as you talk to her you’re going to need to be very, very gentle as you’ll be discussing something she does not want to talk about. It might help to see if she’d be willing to see a counsellor – sometimes it’s easier to talk about things with someone other than a parent. I know that cutting is a very upsetting behaviour so it’s going to be hard to stay calm, but you’re the adult here. If you make her uncomfortable she’s likely to go silent or work harder to hide the behaviour from you. She’s going to need to feel safe before she can talk about something so hard. You are already praying which is the very best first step. Pray for her, pray for yourself, pray for wisdom. Working through this is likely to be a process so keep a long view. Make sure she knows how much you love her. Tell her all the time. Let her know that this is something you’ll work through together and that she can trust you.

  • melissa says:

    I found cuts up and down my daughters wrist and she said her and a friend was playing ball andit went in a briar patch and she had to look for it a few days later there was more cuts and I saw where she was talking to a friend online and she asked him if he thought she was weird because she cut herself…I don’t understand what could have brought this on we are a Christian family we are very active in our church and I surround my life around the word of God. I am researching this and praying for wisdom before I speak with her about it any advice would be great and prayers also

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Krissy, I hope you come back to this website. Lying awake early this morning, I was wondering why I felt such a rapport with what you were saying. There were times in my adolescence when I was abusing my body: I loved giving myself an orgasm. Dad said it was OK to do it once a month, but I completely disregarded his advice, doing it as often a 3 times per day! When I’m pumping out precious body fluids faster than they can be replaced, there are serious consequences. Secondly, I was hiding it till mother saw it in my eyes that I was deceitful! So that explains and intensifies the emotional pain of such an act. The way to healing for me was to be honest, first with myself, and secondly, before God. HE has helped to restore my self-esteem, and also to control my passions! You, Krissy, are precious in God’s eyes, for He has a plan for your life. As I am now the wiser for having strayed, I can come alongside hurting people and say “I’ve been there!” In my heart I’m weeping for you Krissy. May you find God, and via Jesus our intercessor, receive healing and wholeness. He speaks to me through the reading of His Word, the Bible. Blessings, Alfred.

  • Alfred says:

    Hi Krissy, What a great thing it was for you to find this website! Thank you for being honest and truthful! I agree that a close friend will most often be the best support that one could hope for. At any age in a person’s life, one needs at least one close friend. I just re-read your story, and am very glad that your friend recovered and seems to be doing well. I’m just wondering whether you or your friend will be free to live without ever cutting again. Also, I’m wondering whether you are a Christian. There is marvelous security found in Christ Jesus! HE offers help that we cannot find anywhere else; and He can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Jesus has given me hope and joy, so that life (even in difficulties) is worth living! I am not talking about dead religion, but about a living faith in Jesus. I have been forgiven for my mistakes, rebuilt from the inside, and empowered to follow Jesus! There are leads on this website to help you in that direction if you are interested.
    Praying for you, Alfred.

  • Lauren says:

    Interesting Read

  • krissy says:

    My entire lifei as surrounded by cutters. I started cutting in sixth grade and now a senior. My parents never knew and never will. They didnt know the days I cried in the shower laid on the floor begging for release. All they knew that I was a odd and unpredictable daughter. I was too weird. I haveb a few stories. To share. This year on October 27th 2014 I had stayed after at school for math and my phone started buzzing offf the hook. It was precious friend of many many years. Telling me she lovesme and is sorry. Just messagesbof how much she loves me and how she is sorry. I shook I was scared I ran the 4 miles to her house crawled through a wwindow and after a few minutes of beating down the bathroom door it flew open their was my baby girl in the tub bleeding from every pore. I was I think in shock. I dragged her out and cleaned her up she woke up crying with me. I scream/called her mother and father and they raced home to find her and I covered in her blood crying after getting a grip she was rushed away I was sent home. No one cared that I was covered in my best friends blood or that I was crying and scared for her that I needed hugs. They just told me that she was bad for me that I was too emotionally invloved with a bad crowd if she was a bad person in their eyes than am I just as bad and damaged as her. I do the same thing except no one near and dear to me knows. Just me. The next day at school I was summoned to the office her parents where there with her diary and phone there were pages marked for me. Her phone showed that I was the only one she texted to say good bye and that she loves. Her diary said that she wishshe was me I was strong and confident in her eyes. After leaving I cried in the stalls and when I saw her weeks later I smiled and kissed her and showed her my scars. She is now stronger than ever with a loving boyfriend from the navy and although she skips alot she manages to a pass school she is well and is in sports. So therapists are not the answer and sometimes not the parents arent needed as much as people think. You need a good friend that is willing to die and cry with you. That what her and I needed. Each other

  • Concerned Friend says:

    I just found out a new friend of mine has a history of self-harm. She works at a store I frequent and was flirting with me quite a bit and I found her on social media. We had a brief talk on line yesterday. I checked the site this morning and she posted a self photo and she was wearing an over-sized shirt and no pants. I thought it might have been done to entice me but then noticed that it had many hashtags about self-harm and recovery calling attention to healing scars on her legs. I’d like to think nothing phases me anymore but this certainly did. I added a supportive comment to her post and sent her a private message stating the same. I was hoping this friendship would quickly move to romance but now am concerned about moving too fast, something going wrong and hurting her and compromising her recovery. Before I was so concerned about wooing her and now I just want to be a supportive friend.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God

    Lord I lift up my sister to you at this time in her life that you will comfort her into not cutting herself and for anyone who is think or has cut themselves that God You would take that away form them and find them help. In Jesus Might Name Amen

  • Monica says:

    I used to hurt myself when I was a lot younger, but I started it back tonight.
    I harmed my arm.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Graham, I am so sorry to hear that your daughter is hurting herself. I can’t imagine how hard that must be and how powerless that must make you feel at times. I am sure your grief is all the more difficult because of your position. There can be a lot of pressure on those in ministry to have ‘the perfect family’.

    I will be praying for you and your daughter: Lord God I pray for Graham right now and ask that he would know Your Spirit’s presence and leading in his life right now. He needs Your help to know how to care for his daughter in a way that brings healing. I also pray for his daughter and ask that You would reveal Yourself to her and bring joy, hope, and peace to her life. Whatever has caused her to travel this path of self-harm I ask that You would help her reconcile that in a healthy way. Guard her Lord from accidentally or intentionally hurting herself significantly. I pray for the rest of the family that they would show Your love and feel Your comfort in their lives. Use this to draw them all into a deeper relationship with You and with each other. Lord I pray for those in Graham’s ministry who see what is happening and be negatively impacted. Unite Your people in care and love for one another and in the purpose to love this hurting daughter of Yours. In Jesus’ name, amen.

    Graham, let me encourage you to find some godly people who you trust who can join you in prayer for your daughter. I would hope one of those people could be your pastor/supervisor at the church but I don’t know your situation. The support is going to be important for you and also be the answer to real life change for your daughter. The Spirit of God is the only one who can ultimately bring healing and wholeness and the prayers of godly brothers and sisters will be the avenue through which God will work. It is a balancing act though because your daughter will not want to have her problems broadcast around the whole church or that she becomes the topic of church ‘prayer meetings’ otherwise known as gossip sessions. Keep your support team small and confidential. But you will need them!

    I assume your daughter is not very open to talking to you right now (please tell me if I am wrong) so finding creative ways to build those bridges of communication is important. There is something that is hurting her deeply but she is unable to talk through it. Creating a comfort level of communication with her little by little, starting with ‘safe’ topics will in the long run give you relational capital to explore the deeper hurt in her life.

    Are you married? Make sure you are spending as much energy on loving your wife as you are in trying to reach out to your daughter. This is an issue that can easily drive a wedge between couples. Invest in the health of your marriage.

    Overall, be honest: with your daughter, with your wife, with your support team, with God. There is a huge temptation to put on a good front or be strong for other people’s sakes. Far more important is being real.

  • Graham says:

    My daughter is 16 and is cutting herself and I think she is burning herself, as well. I am a Youth Director at a church and don’t know what to do. I have not had to deal with anything like this before and didn’t think that I would ever have to deal with it in my own family. Her older sister, who is 21, said that she tried it a couple of times but realized she didn’t like it. I think she is a believer in Jesus already. She made a profession of faith back in 2008. Her life does not show that she is a believer because there is no fruit. Please pray for her and any help that you can give me is greatly appreciated.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    So why did you cut Elan? What impact did it have on your life?

  • Elan says:

    I cut when I was 8 yrs. old, right after my father died and my mother became so depressed she was useless. Cutting was not a copy cat action yrs. ago. No one ever heard of it.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Sara, Jesus thinks you are important enough for Him to give up everything to rescue you. He created you for a purpose and has a great plan for your life. There are things that only you can accomplish that He has prepared for you and there is no greater feeling than to know that God is accomplishing HIs eternal purposes through you.

    Have you ever heard that before?

  • Sara says:

    I have struggled with cutting for almost 5 years now. I see a therapist every week. I thought I had a good reason to stop a few weeks ago, but I wasn’t the reason. My therapist told me that I need to stop for ME. I have to be my own reason to stop cutting myself. We are both concerned that I want to cut deeper and may do so. I don’t want to need emergency care for cutting, but I don’t think I’m a good enough reason to stop. This is so hard. I do but also don’t want to stop. I honestly don’t know what to do now.

  • Shelley says:

    Dear Father God.

    Lord I lift up anyone who is thinking of cutting themselves that they will seek the roads described in this article and turn to Jesus who is your change of life. In Jesus Mighty Name amen

  • jordan says:

    Hi there. My name is Jordan. I am currently turning 18. I have been on and off cutting since I was in grade 5. I have attempted suicide twice. The thing is I don’t know what to do anymore. Everyone asks me why I cut, but the thing is I don’t want to tell them. My dad knows I cut and everytime he sees I have cut myself again he gets angry with me. But then I feel the need to cut again. It all started when my dad dated this one lady that abused me physically, emotionally and mentally. After my dad left her I stopped cutting for a month untill my friends and this boy bullied me and that hurt me. My dad saw the cuts and looked at me with utter disgrace. I felt so ashamed,alone and hurt. I continued to cut. Then when I was in the grade 7 I stopped for a while untill I started dating this one boy in grade 8 who ripens me. Not only did he abuse me but he controlled and manipulated me. All my friends and my dad tried to warn me and show me what he was doing to me but I did not listen. Untill the early he rapped me. After he rapped me he threatened me saying that if I told anyone about this he would ruin my life and make me want to kill myself. I did not know what to do in this case, so eventually I told my closest friend at the time. But sadly right after that he found out and came and hit me and threatened if I ever left him he will keep his promise of making my life hell and so on. Then 2 months after that I thought what more could he possibly do to me. So I ended things with him. Sadly he did keep his promise he turned every friend I had ever made against me. And that’s when I attempted my first suicide. Along with having to deal with that on top of it my father started do emotionally abuse me, he would call names such as slut, whore and calling me a failure and worthless… but then I started dating this amazing guy in grade 10 and for the whole of those 5 months I did not feel the need to cut. Until after he broke up with me and I found out he cheated on me with his ex girlfriend when he went away on holiday. Then I dated another guy 3 weeks after that. Because I fell for him when he was trying to help me get through the break up. I dated this guy for 4months before I broke up with him for my best friend. My best friend and I have now been dating for going on 2 months and I doesn’t cut myself at all untill last night. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  • Mia says:

    I’m 16 and I’m a cutter and I also have a wafting disability. I get bullied a lot a schhol and its hard to handle and I get really depressed and sad about it. I don’t know what to do. So I would come home, turn on my favoriye band a cry for the lonest time. The 1st time I started to cut was at the age of 10. And ive done it for 6 years. My parents know I cutbecause my school called and told them about you And they haven’t done anything to help me. I don’t know anyone to talk to about this but my friend Rhianna and she cuts herself too.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Judiz, that must have been such a discouraging thing to see yourself fall back into cutting after stopping for so long. Especially when you want to be a strong role model for your boys. So was there something that happened last night that pushed you to cut again or was it just the slow build up of sadness?

    I want you to know that Jesus wants to help you. He loves you so much and has a plan for you that is perfect in every way. The promise of the Bible is that “So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!” (2Corinthians 5:17) Jesus changes us from the inside out so that we have a new life that is based on His leading in every situation. There is a young lady who tells her story at http://powertochange.com/iamsecond/something-to-live-for. I would love to hear what you think of how she has found that new life in Jesus.

  • Judiz says:

    I have had so much stuff happen to me. It all start when I was in my first years of high school 2 people I trusted did bad things to me. I also had 2 ex boyfriends that hit me. I had an eating problem and I am a cutter. When I was 19 a friend was murdered that was the hardest thing to deal with. I also haven’t seen my real dad since I was 2 because I am not a boy. My family always up and leaves and because we use to move around alot when I was younger I lost all my close friends so I refused to get close to anyone. Here I am now 29 and cut for the first time in 5 years. I am taking anti depressants and mood stabilizers. Not sure if they are working as I am still depressed and don’t sleep alot. I have 2 boys that I try andvkeep strong for but last night I couldn’t handle it anymore so I cut.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Tianna, I am so sorry you have such a difficult time with depression. That is not something someone so young should have to deal with. I am sure there are lots of things that contribute to that but getting control over the chemistry of your brain can be a big help to finding your way into a brighter life. Don’t look at going to psychiatric care in a hospital as some kind of punishment but as a place where you can get some focussed help to keep you safe. I know some people who have been afraid of being in the hospital have tried to hide their depression but that just puts them in more danger of being hurt. Do whatever you can to get help so that you no longer need to live with such weight in your life.

    Getting healthy is more than just brain chemistry though. There are many factors that contribute to a person’s freedom from depression. I see one of the big factors is a person’s relationship with God. I don’t know of you have much experience with Jesus but one of the things He said was directed to people just like you, “Come to me all of you who are weary and weighed down; I will give you rest.” (you can read that in the Bible Matthew 11:28) You sound like you are weary and could use some rest from the weight that you carry around. Jesus doesn’t magically take away all the problems from your life but He will lead you through the struggles of life so that you can respond perfectly to whatever comes your way. You don’t have to worry about what that perfect way is because He will direct you every moment of every day. Jesus described Himself as “The Good Shepherd” and the Bible uses that imagery to describe a person’s life with Jesus. You may have heard of Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd I shall not want [or ‘I have everything that I need’] He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters; He restores my soul.” Doesn’t that sound good? Wouldn’t it be nice to follow someone you could trust to always lead you in the proper way? The 23rd Psalm goes on to say “Even though I walk through the dark valley of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me.” Following Jesus does not mean that nothing bad ever happens but it doe mean that even when bad things happen we can know that He is there and still leading us in the proper way to respond to those hurtful things in life.

    When your relationship with Jesus is healthy you will find that the other parts of your life are healthier. He will lead you into healthier decisions about your body and physical health. He will lead your thoughts to be healthier. He will show you how to make healthy decisions about other relationships you have. He will help bring healthy balance to your emotions. Would you like to have that kind of health in your life?

  • Tianna says:

    I struggle with cutting…and I even attempted suicide less than 3 months ago. nothing…absolutely nothing seems to work. Im 15, ive been cutting since 5th grade and its such a habit. I have been diagnosed as severely depressed and Bipolar and not even therapists seem to be working. Im struggling so bad. if i get caught cutting again, i will get submitted to a psyche ward

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Fluffie, I am glad you had the courage to ask for help. Most people who struggle with cutting are not able to deal with it on their own but find that when they reach out to others for help they begin to experience healing. How were you able to stop before? What is happening in your life that is causing those urges to resurface?

    You can see in D. Beck’s message some links and phone numbers for getting help. I would really encourage you to check those out.

    For a lot of people the causes of cutting comes from many different parts of life: relationships, emotional health, physical health, thought patterns. It is important to address all those different aspects of life in order to find solutions to end the self-harming habits. One aspect of life that I think is critical is a person’s relationship with God. When our relationship with God is broken it has far reaching implications for all other parts of our life. Have you ever heard about how Jesus can bring healing and wholeness to your life?

  • Fluffie says:

    Wow. I used to cut myself and stuff. I have been fighting not to for a couple weeks. It’s just getting harder. Advice?

  • melissa says:

    To answer the question what made ne start cutting might sound stupid i was 15 when something happened to me ata park with a horrible person and i didn’t want anyone to know so i didn’t tell anyone but it would be eating me up inside and i was doing dishes the following day and what happened the night before was replaying in my head and i wanted it tk go away so i was washing a knife and i cut myself with it and it actually worked i didn’t think about what happened to me anymore so i find myself cutting everytime something is bothering me really bad and my mind won’t stop racing about it

  • Doris Beck D. Beck says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment Melissa. There are a few places where you can look for help. First of all, you can connect with a Focus on the Family licensed Christian counselor. The can be reached Monday through Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Mountain-time at 855-771-HELP (4357). The Family Help Center staff member who answers the phone will arrange for a licensed counselor to call you back. One of them will be in touch just as soon as they’re able.

    Another resource for finding help is a organization called “Self-Abuse Finally Ends – S.A.F.E. Alternatives” They are a highly respected group that has many resources geared to helping young people who struggle with cutting and they have the resources to walk through with you as to how to stop. I know that it isn’t easy. Their website is http://www.selfinjury.com.

    Are you a part of a church where you live? They maybe able to help you locate a local support group or suggest some other help as well. I know it maybe kind of uncomfortable talking to people at your church about this but if you do you may find that there are some people there who can be a support for you.

    So why did you start cutting? Is there something you can point to specifically?

    Melissa, we also have online mentors who aren’t trained counselors but who would love to just walk alongside of you in your journey. If you would like to communicate with one by email, just go to this page , http://powertochange.com/discover/talk-to-a-mentor/, and fill out the form and someone will be in touch with you.

  • Melissa says:

    I been struggling with cutting since i wad 15 when i get angry i cut and the blood is like the release of the anger i want to stop really bad it looks horrible and i am sick of wearing long sleeves in 90 degrees

  • Claire Colvin Claire Colvin says:

    Hi Marc, I had to remove your email address for your own safety – if it stayed up there’s no way to protect you from unwanted contact. If you’d like to have a mentor email you all you need to do is fill in this form (it’s super short) and you’ll hear back, usually within a couple of days.

  • Marc says:

    Can u email me [email address removed] please.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Chloe, I am sorry but we have removed your message. TruthMedia is concerned about the safety and privacy of all its users, particularly children. For this reason, TruthMedia will not be able to help you with your request. We recommend that you talk to your parents or legal guardian about this situation. If that is not possible, then please contact a pastor or Christian counselor in your area.

    Passed by the U.S. Congress in November 1998, the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) < http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/childrens_educ.html> requires operators of online services or Web sites to obtain parental consent prior to the collection, use, disclosure, or display of the personal information of children 12 years of age or younger.

    Be assured that the prayer team at TruthMedia will be praying for you.

    Helpful Resources:
    Get some counseling right now by contacting AACC for a referral to a Christian counselor near you at
    http://www.aacc.net or New Life at 1-800-NEW-LIFE or the nearest mental health agency.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    What kind of support have your parents been through the loss of your friend? Have you been able to talk to them about the way you have been cutting yourself?

  • Marc says:

    I have been attending my church for about 16 years since I was adopted. All the people in my church that have beenthere fir a long time that I would connect with have either changed churches, left the church, or stopped attending. There is a youth program but it is for grades 7-12. I am 18 and not in highschool anymore as I graduated this past spring. There is a program for 18-30 years old, but I don’t connect with them.

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