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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Self-mutilation and Cutting: New Dangers for Youth

"The Cruelest Cut" is an editorial at the Washington Times on a new degrading trend in our culture. Michelle Malkin writes:
Have you heard of "cutting"? If you're a parent, you had better read up. "Cutting" refers to self-mutilation -- using knives, razor blades or even safety pins to deliberately harm one's own body -- and it's spreading to a school near you.

Actresses Angelina Jolie and Christina Ricci did it. So did Courtney Love and the late Princess Diana. On the Internet, there are scores of Web sites (with titles such as "Blood red," "Razor blade kisses" and "The cutting world") featuring "famous self-injurers," photos of teenagers' self-inflicted wounds and descriptions of their techniques.

The destructive practice has been depicted in films targeting young girls and teens (such as "Thirteen"). A new music genre -- "emo" -- is associated with promoting the cutting culture. . . . [MORE]
Of course not all cutters are into any one type of music, and not all cuters do it for the same reason. But it is growing in popularity. And as one cutter told me, "It's a disease." Parents and youth leaders need to be aware of this dangerous trend and watch for its signs.

For those dealing with victims of self-cutting, or for those dealing with the problem, it's important to understand some of the many different factors involved. While it may be a result of peer influence for some, there may be severe emotional pain that the victim is dealing with. One cutter wrote, "You cut to trade one kind of pain for another." One helpful article is the Wikipedia entry on "Self-Harm."

To the cutters, I would suggest that there are safer and wiser ways to deal with whatever motivates you to cut. Recognize that your pain and this behavior of cutting is something that really needs help - help that doesn't harm your body. Open up and talk to your parents or a doctor or counselor or someone who can listen. God did not make our bodies for this purpose, so if you feel a drive to damage yourself, something is terribly wrong, and people who care for you need to be involved to help you find the assistance you need.

46 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leviticus 19:28Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.comment from Danithew

Anonymous said...

Reading that column, I got the impression that Ms. Malkin doesn't have a great understanding of the issue. For most people who injure themselves, it's not because they're trying to follow a trend (as in tattooing) or be "cool" -- they hurt themselves because they are experiencing emotional pain that they don't know any other way to handle. Often they feel worthless and that they deserve to be punished. (Think of it as a mini-suicide-attempt.)

I've struggled with this issue myself. I'm thirty years old, and have had depression off and on (mostly on) since I was seven years old. One thing that has helped is that my counselor gave me some phone numbers that I am supposed to call whenever I feel like hurting myself. It really helps to know that all I have to do is pick up the phone and there will be someone to listen and help me deal with the pain so that I don't have to punish myself.

Anonymous, for obvious reasons

William Morris said...

Jeff:

You are absolutely correct that this is something that both parents and church leaders need to be aware of.

However, it is not a new trend and your anonymous commenter is correct that Malkin appears not to show much understanding of the phenomenon.

In other words, parents would do well to treat this like the would any other troubling practice.

And they definitely shouldn't freak out if their kids are listening to "emo" music -- it's a genre that has been around for quite awhile and although there may be kids who are cutters who listen to emo, not every kids who listens to emo is a cutter.
Just like not every kid who listens to goth is a satan worshipper and not every kid who listens to rap is a gangbanger.

And as far as I know (it's not a genre I listen to, but I've read reviews of albums, etc.) none of the bands lumped into this genre glorify or even mention at all the whole cutting things. It's mainly just the anxious, angst-ridden type of stuff some teenagers have always been in to [i.e. from Byron and Wuthering Heights to the music of the Cure].

Anonymous said...

Thanks, William Morris.

I forgot to mention before, cutting yourself also has to do with feeling powerless.

I'd go to school and people would hurt me and I couldn't do anything to stop them. Then I would go home and people there would hurt me some more, and there was nothing I could do about it.

If I injured myself, I still hurt pretty bad, but at least then I could feel in control of the pain on some level.

And I figured that I deserved it anyway, because if I were a good person, then my parents would stop doing that to me, and the teachers would do something to stop the kids that picked on me. Or my boyfriend would stop hitting me. Or maybe God would do something to make them stop. But he didn't.

Anonymous, for obvious reasons

Anonymous said...

Thanks, William Morris.

I forgot to mention before, cutting yourself also has to do with feeling powerless.

I'd go to school and people would hurt me and I couldn't do anything to stop them. Then I would go home and people there would hurt me some more, and there was nothing I could do about it.

If I injured myself, I still hurt pretty bad, but at least then I could feel in control of the pain on some level.

And I figured that I deserved it anyway, because if I were a good person, then my parents would stop doing that to me, and the teachers would do something to stop the kids that picked on me. Or my boyfriend would stop hitting me. Or maybe God would do something to make them stop. But he didn't.

Anonymous, for obvious reasons

T said...

I have a friend who used to cut. She's getting married soon, and some time ago, she threw out all of her cutting tools.
It's a hard thing to do, from what I understand. But I admire her doing so. She has had a difficult life, but things sre looking up for her now.

Matt Evans said...

Anonymous and William Morris, what is new is that cutting is being portrayed favorably and as something to be proud of. Like anything else, promoting cutting will increase its prevalence.

William Morris said...

Matt:

Are you sure -- or is it simply that the mainstream media is picking up on it?

There have been groups facilitating and popularizing all sorts of unhealthy practices on the Internet for several years now.

Is this a meme that is gaining widespread popularity or is it simply that some adults have become more aware of the meme?

Not that the whys and whens of it matter. The point is that Jeff is doing a good service in pointing it out as something to be aware of.

And all I'm saying that it should be treated by parents as any other sort of unacceptable behavior -- with understanding and love and with firmness. And, as anon. has suggested, that it be seen as a symptom of larger problems rather than the problem itself.

What does not help is when parents read Malkin's piece, discover that their teenage daughter or son is listening to emo music, and then totally freaks out and accuses him or her of being a cutter.

RoAnn said...

It is interesting to note that the problems of cutting, anorexia, bulimia and the like do not seem to be prevalent in developing countries. One sees some references to them in the press in those countries now, but only in reference to youth in the upper classes who may be at risk.
All teenagers experience emotional pain--it comes with adolescence. Perhaps when you and your friends and family are all struggling to get enough to eat every day you find different ways of dealing with that pain than those who live in wealthier societies.
I sometimes wonder if the increased media attention really helps to solve those problems, or just glorifies them in a perverse way, thus encouraging some vulnerable youth to try those incredibly damaging means of coping.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps when you and your friends and family are all struggling to get enough to eat every day you find different ways of dealing with that pain than those who live in wealthier societies."

I think there's something to this. In a society where day-to-day existence is a struggle, a troubled adolescent who doesn't have a strong will to live simply isn't going to survive. If he/she stops putting 100% effort into struggling to maintain life, he/she will starve to death, or maybe succumb to natural or human predators.

By contrast, in our wealthy society where most people have everything they need to physically survive--food, shelter, and a relatively safe environment--if you're depressed and want to die (either consciously or unconsciously), you'll have to take aggressive action to make it happen. (Try pining away and dying of heartbreak sometime. You read about it happening in the past, but these days, you're gonna get stopped if anybody realizes what's happening. Then you're hospitalized with IV nutrition and regular psych sessions until you get over it.)

Elaine said...

The original post comparing self-mutilation to trend markings was totally bogus and I think the comparison should be considered harmful to anyone who actually does, or will, suffer from this illness.

Also in response to the prevalence of this illness in our society, it is definitely lifestyle related. Mental and emotional suffering is at the core of this illness, and this is a large part of our modern 1st world society-where we have all of our physical needs adequately addressed but our spiritual and emotional needs may be sadly unmet.
It is important to understand that this is a behavior often as shocking to the people who practice it as the people who just know about it. It is not something entirely voluntary, and it is the result of intense emotional suffering that demands alleviation. It is quite possible to imagine psychologically taxing situations where the pain is so unbearable or intense that releasing it, even in such a misguided way, could be a coping or survival technique that temporarily allows someone to remain alive in a situation where they otherwise might perish. This situation is more accurately called self-injury than self-mutilation because the intent is not to mutilate or violate one's body; it is simply to escape one pain through the injury of another.

It is appropriate to suppose that the physical suffering of someone in a third world country would 1)either already alleviate the emotional stress of any suffering, or 2)terminate it altogether (as in death). However I suspect it would be far more accurate to suggest that the same type of detrimental negative-self thought and emotions arise in the first place, due to environmental circumstances that are vastly different in the different worlds.

Elaine said...

Thus, the media and open discussion has much less to do with increased findings of this illness than an otherwise more conducive environment of this specific type of illness.

Anonymous said...

"It is important to understand that this is a behavior often as shocking to the people who practice it as the people who just know about it"

Elaine's got it right. And people who hurt themselves, usually don't want other people to know about it. For years I have had an odd pattern of 3-4 round burn scars on my right arm. Whenever people ask me how I got it, I lie and say it's from a cooking accident with hot oil, because I don't want to tell them I did it myself with matches.

"This situation is more accurately called self-injury than self-mutilation because the intent is not to mutilate or violate one's body; it is simply to escape one pain through the injury of another."

This is exactly right. When I was a kid my sister died. When my mom was mad at me, she'd yell at me about how my sister was so much better and imply that it should have been me that died. And I believed it but I couldn't stand it so I'd try to block it out by hurting myself.

(I don't understand how people can do that to their kids. Sometimes, when I'm walking through the grocery store, etc., I hear people chewing out their kids and saying all sorts of nasty things, in the tone of voice I wouldn't even use toward an animal. They *buy* their kids all kinds of stuff but they won't be patient with them and they seem to view them mostly as nuisances.

Mormanity said...

Apart from the self-cutting that arise from mental health issues, I think we should also consider the self-mutilation practices that are based on cultural behaviors, peer pressure, ritualistic behavior, acting out, etc. Just like some of our bizarre "body art" practices today, there are aspects of cutting not meant to destroy the body or express a death wish, but to express strange cultural behaviors. In fact, many cultures have had such behaviors. Look at the self-cutting, blood letting, and grotesque piercing of the Aztecs, for example. These ritualistic practices must have resulted in many deaths from infection - running a rope through a pierced tongue, for example - yet brought acceptance and peer benefits to those who did it. Could a similar undercurrent be part of the modern self-cutting phenomenon?

Perhaps we have a mix of mental illness and peer-induced stupidity among those who are into self-cutting. Our response needs to be tailored to the root problems faced by the individual.

Pris said...

You're right with that last comment: there are many people who engage in scarification for the body art aspect. But I wouldn't exactly characterize it as "bizarre" (unless one lumps tattoos, etc. in that group as well). Personally, I have two self-done scarficiations that don't stem from cutting or other psychological problems.

So please recognize that there is a difference between "psychological cutting"--which is a problem--and "scarification"--which isn't (any more than tattoos, that is).

Pris said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pris said...

You're right with that last comment: there are many people who engage in scarification for the body art aspect. But I wouldn't exactly characterize it as "bizarre" (unless one lumps tattoos, etc. in that group as well). Personally, I have two self-done scarficiations that don't stem from cutting or other psychological problems.

So please recognize that there is a difference between "psychological cutting"--which is a problem--and "scarification"--which isn't (any more than tattoos, that is).

Anonymous said...

There is validity to the question of whether the media is making this new "cutting trend" actually a trend. I have struggled with self-mutilation for almost a year now, and I can mark the influence that suddenly made cutting appeal to me. I am a psych major, and was reading various books on teens and self-mutilation. When things in my life began to get difficult, Satan took the opportunity to grasp a foothold. I think that one main reason teens struggle so much today with self-mutilation is not that it is a trend, but suddenly a viable option. As soon as they see or hear of someone else doing it, the thought is in their mind...and when you are feeling out of control and in pain, anything in your mind will present itself. For me, cutting became simply a viable option, it was in the forefront of my mind because I was surrounded by it - and finally, I gave in. The problem is, it is extremely addictive. For example, I will tell you that I have not stopped struggling with the idea of cutting since I first made a mark on my body - but I have no self-injured in over three months. This passage from Deut. 30 has been my life verse during the struggling...It is up to me to choose life, God makes it available for me...
11For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.

12It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

13Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?

14But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.

15See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;

16In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

17But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

18I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Anonymous said...

see with me my friend did it all the time and well i was going through a rough time and it just became an open thought and i did it! it hurt a little bit but i mean i used it to help me not feel alone or by myself anymore...the last one i did was of my boyfriends initials cause hes the reason i quit he helped me through it all. so to show him i loved him and was gratful my last one was for him.if that makes sence....but when my parents found out they flipped and it doesnt help to be outraged at your kid cause it made me want to do it again cause it hurt me they didnt understand.....

Anonymous said...

It is TREND SETTING!!!!!!!
Originally it was a sign of suicidal. In my town the kids do it as tatoos. They show them off. And they have CONTESTS to who'll do the most cuts. It's a feel good addiction. Pain causes endorphines (feel good hormones, the body self uses to go into shock). Also bulimia is a trend. The kids tell each other to do it. They make lunch dates and do it to lose weight. You have a diet guru on fat actress, on how to puke etiquetically. The problem is these kids don't realise it becomes addictive. When famous people like Angelina brag about it, the kids do it. The girls kiss each other in public just to shock each other. Everyone on TV trys to out shock the other. A show goes further then the last. While some it is a sickness, the point is it's glorified, and once the kids get started they find themselves in hell. Self-esteem worsens. People are watching the reality stuff, and it's destroying our youth. It's epidemic, and no kids is imune. Parents need to learn the signs, becuase the get habits and addicting to lying too.

Anonymous said...

cutting to everyone who doesn't do it may think that it is a problem. Only in the eyes of a cutter it isn't. Everyone has their way of dealing with their problems and emotions. Some people deal with it by cutting. I am thirteen years old and i am a cutter and trying to find another way to deal with these problems but sometimes i can't. If people had another way to deal with things besides cutting i am sure that they would deal with it that way. Only since people cut it is really hard to stop. If someone is a cutter than i think people shouldn't worry about it and they should just let them figure out with time what the harms of cutting are. If they don't realize it then that is their problem not yours.

Anonymous said...

To the 13 yr old person who posted..I have a friend who also cuts and I am very worried about him and u and all the other ppl who cut....wut can we do to help u...we are just concerned...

Anonymous said...

I've been moved by what I've read here.

"therefore choose life"

Bravo for you. Cutters want, at the core, what EVERYBODY wants - love. We want people to love us as God loves us. People, of course, even the best of people, will fail at this at times. We're fallible.

Therefore, I say two things. If you discover your child or a peer of theirs is a cutter, first and foremost, don't freak out and drive them deeper into their self-capsule, you have to get ahold of yourself first. Do your own work first - how has stress invaded your family to this degree?

Then draw them out with the sun (pun) of Love. It's a gift only you can give, that sunshine. Yes, guidance too, but first the love. It's why they've retreated, the lack thereof.

Secondly, if you are a cutter and you're not getting the love in life that you want, know that you ARE a child of God and deserving of love.You are. If no one will give it to you, think about giving it to yourself. That's not a process that happens overnight, but open up to the possibility. You absolutly deserve it.

"therefore choose life" Very good for you. You have not turned your back on this gift from the Lord. I commend your internal grit and fighting spirit. You can inspire others.

Anonymous said...

When I cut the pain is so'real when i cut myself it hurts but it feels alot better then it hurts (let me break that down for you's the feel good pain from cutting is about 90% and the feel bad pain from cutting is about 10% for me) I love cutting but i would be dead by now if i didnt have good self controll because when i cut it's so addicting for me i could cut and cut and cut some more till there is no blood left in my body and i think from like the last 3 times i cut myself i have over 1000 that is i have over one thousand cut marks on my arms my legs my chest and really i dont think anyone could care less if i cut one wrong part of my body and bleed to death i want to kill myseflf so bad and im getting closer and closer every second of the day who knows i might kill myself in a month i might kill my self in a week i might kill myself in a day or who knows i might kill myself five minutes from now. o well say good bye.....

Anonymous said...

You people don't get it. You don't cut to be cool. You cut because the parents were so stupid and oblivious to their child's life that something happened to them that shouldn't have. This isn't like drinking or smoking. This is emotional. I should know, I'm struggling with this problem myself. I'm only 16, but I've heard of kids starting as young as 7. A prayer won't help this problem, I'm sorry to say. Get your heads out of the sand and see whats infront of you and stop brain washing your kids.

Anonymous said...

i completely know! People dont cut to follow a trend PEOPLE ARENT THAT STUPID! now i am not saying that cutting cannot be influenced by friends. Cutters often do come in groups. They're not influenced because they think its cool. They just muster up that courage when they know a friend is managing to cut. They think that if another person can inflict that pain willingly, i can too. I currently am dealing with cutting and i dont do it to "follow a trend." This really offends me. I do it because i have self esteam issues. I just have so much hatred towards myself its hard to deal with. And i am not an emotionally strong person.Either way i looked up articles to find the DANGERS of cutting, physically. Like diseases, infection, and things that u can get from making cuts. and as far as i know, this article is useless

Anonymous said...

I am 39 years old and I have suffered from depression since I was five.
I had head trauma from a car accident and I was in a coma for two months and blind for a month.
I have mood swings and I think about suicide everyday.I see a psychiatrist and I take an anti depressant,but it doesn't really help.

brittany said...

i am doin a project on self mutilation and i see why people do it because of depression and hardache

Anonymous said...

Pain is not something to be afraid of. Cutting yourself can be a positive thing. Society has put such a stigma on cutting yourself, that it's gotten completely out of hand. They don't understand it, therefore they make their own assumptions, "oh, they just want attention," or "seek help for it". It's all bullshit. I'm a cutter, yes. Bully for me. Cutting helps cope with the unusual things that happen to me. Because when I start feeling myself, my soul, my essence, me, disappearing, going, that is one of the scariest feelings in the world. I literally am just disappearing. PAIN brings you back. Some blood and a cut is nothing compared to letting yourself go because society doesn't think it's healthy. They have no clue. Blind, deaf.... and how I wish they'd be mute as well. But no, the ones that don't understand always have to mouth off, don't they? The ones that have no clue what they are talking about.... They just have to have an opinion on everything because their lives are boring, and they are most likely miserable, little people that can't mind their own business. Live and let live. You've got to help yourself. Nobody else will. They don't even know how in my case. Maybe I don't even need help. What's wrong with being different? Why does it have to be labeled as a disorder? I've studied pyschology and experienced what they are struggling vainly to grasp. There's nothing wrong with us. We have different thought patterns, different ideas, blah blah blah. Deal with it. Stop trying to change us to be like you. Pain is not a bad thing. Liking it is not a bad thing. When you feel pain, you feel the most alive and awake. This goes for anybody. Stop being scared of pain. Stop being scared of people that are different or look different. Life is too short to fear everything. And please, live and let live. Leave us alone. Stop trying to fix something that isn't broken. It's smothering and interfering. After one of my doctors screwed me up with some medicine, I ended up in the hospital. His excuse was that there was enough studies on the medications being mixed together. What the hell? And you give that to people because we are your guinea pigs? Are we less than human? Anyway, I was hallucinating, delirious, couldn't move... I was hanging onto my sanity as much as I could. And you know what brought me back the most? When the nurses kept sticking me with the IV needle. They couldn't find a good vein, so I got stuck alot. After that, I was more lucid and awake. You people apparently can't imagine pain that would cause you to seek phsysical pain to help. Good for you. Consider yourself lucky, but stop lecturing and putting guilt trips on people that need to cope and need to save themselves. We are trying to live. Just... stop.

Anonymous said...

I meant, NOT enough studies on mixing the medications on my previous entry. Oops.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you're article is very biased. I have had problems with this issue myself. It's not a trend. It's not something people do to be cool. People have emotional issues and we all deal with them in different ways. Have you heard of depression? sound familiar? why don't you do some research on topics before you say things.

School Youth Worker said...

Anonymous, whats your opinion?

I'm a youth worker at the local highschool where I live.
I look pretty young for my age, but for some reason, my looks dictat who I am and how I am treated by my colleagues. I am a very quiet person and it takes a while for me to come out of my shell.
I have only been a youth worker for a short time, so I haven't been exposed to all aspects
of the "problematic" world. I've witnessed and worked with various "behaviours" in students, but never really new how to "help" them.

More recently, a student at my highschool was brought to my caseload.
16, "self mutilator". I was lucky they gave me her name...

Pretty girl. So how do I approach her? How do I sit her down and say, "listen, this has been brought to my attention and they want me to help you"

I don't know! I've experienced depression in my own life, but never to the point where I've wanted to cut. So how do I get into the mind of someone who does? How to I try and empathize what they are going through? How do I approach this young lady and give her the help that she may possibly be needed. She may not need help at all. It may just be nothing.
I've read all your blogs and attempted to place myself in the "shoe for a day" of a cutter.
All I need to know, is how I can help this young lady.
Any suggestions?

Counsellor in need of Counselling

Anonymous said...

Cutters don't want to be confronted, don't want you to know. But if they know you care, or if they trust you a little and know you won't freak on them, maybe you can ask about what's hurting, and if they admit there's some pain, you can ask how they cope, and maybe they'll say nothing or maybe they'll look at a cut mark, and then you can just come out and ask, "Like cutting. Tell me about that. Does it help?" And then you can talk more and figure out why it hurts and why they cut and help them see that maybe there are other ways. Just one person caring, maybe that can help. But don't expect a big dramatic opening up and everything's rosy after that. One step at a time, with trust.

I'm not a cutter, so maybe i don't know squat. But I care.

Anonymous said...

You're an idiot if you think that cutting is just a trend. Period.

Anonymous said...

Wow... to the August 8th anonymous... that is the most ridiculous post I have read yet. To say that their is "nothing wrong with cutters" is an extremely bold statement. Maybe the actual cutting is not very harmful, but the reason behind doing it is. Psychologically, it is not healthy. If you are cutting, you are trying to numb all emotional pain by focusing on the physical. This is not dealing with your problems because they will still be there when you stop. It will continue to be an endless limbo of scars until their is no more surface to cut, and nothing will be solved. Maybe you feel good while you're cutting, but you can't cut yourself non-stop your whole life. If you figure out why you cut yourself, or injure yourself in anyway for that matter, and find a way to fix that problem, you can have a tolerable life all the time.

As for the trend deal, it does not cause self-mutilation, but it does tend to encourage and/or introduce it.

Anonymous said...

Alright, you know what all of you need to get a life. All of you are laughable.
I'm sorry, it's true.
Cutting is a state of mind, not a fashion statement or in any way related to music. I myself am NOT a cutter, but I know many people that are. Most are NOT emo, about 10% are emo.... This is coming from an 'emo skater' get a life!
Stop blaming everything else for cutting. Why don't you ASK THE CUTTER WHY THEY CUT? HUH! I'll bet you it's not because 'the music tells me to' or 'because, it's cute..it's fashion, it's in style.'
THAT my dears is all a load of BULL! If you want to pick a fight with me over this feel free. Go to my myspace page and we will have words... myspace.com/imnobleedingheartromantic

all I have to say is bring it on baby!

Anonymous said...

I dont think many of you fully understand the concept of cutting and why we do it. A lot of people say that only 'EMO' people cut. But that is NOT true. 'EMO' stands for emotional, but many other people you wouldnt expect to cut, do. And not all emos cut. Yes I am emo, and Yes i do cut, but its not becuz its a 'fashion statement' or a new 'trend'.

I cut when im feeling pure rage, or sadness inside of me that keeps building up. Cutting is a way to escape those feelings, making it so you feel the pain on the outside and not the inside. And sometimes I feel as if nobody understands me, and where i am comming from.

I do have friends that cut, and it makes me feel good to know im not the only one at my school, or out of my whole group of friends that do so. It makes me feel not so 'alone' in this huge world.

People dont like to be confronted about their cutting. And may make up excuses as to how the wounds got there, such as "My cat clawed me" Or somethng like that.

And please take into consideration that 'emo' is not just a genre of music. Over the years it has evolved and has become a new 'way of life' for many people.

Anonymous said...

This is one reason why I have become inactive in the church.
I have been self-injuring since I was in 4th grade. I was sexually abused and have yet to let anyone know about it. I didn't always cut, I would bruise too.
The lack of understanding in the church infuriates me. One thing I've always noticed about the saints is that we are "tolerant, but not accepting." No one that has written on this site about this has even got it right yet.
To the first anonymous, cutting IS NOT a "mini-suicide attempt." On the contrary, it is a way to stay alive. Cutting is a way to relieve pressure, tension, stress, and express feelings to yourself. It is not a trend, and it is not a new craze. AND IT IS NOT EMO! Cutting can be done by anyone, anywhere, who listens to any kind of music and wears any kind of clothing. It's definitely other people with their lack of understanding that created that stereotype.
Before you go discussing cutting as a "terrible bad thing that should be stopped," you should try looking it up and trying to understand it from the other side of the fence, than with a Bible shielding your eyes.
I also find it quite interesting that you copy and paste quotes from professionals that know everything about it, and yet wear short sleeves everyday.

I just wish that people would get out of their little perfect bubble where the Bible fixes everything and principles make the mistakes for you. Stop discussing things you don't understand. If you really want to know about it, go talk to someone who knows.

Anonymous said...

i just started cutting...and my parents don't know...and i think it's best they don't!!! and i sure as hell dont listen to emo music... i listen to rap and rock... so up yours

Kurds N Way said...

Cutters live in a self-obsessed world where they can't step back and see how hamrful and ridiculous cutting is. Of ocurse no one fully understands their pain - but they need to see that they truly need help. I am very sorry for those who ahve been abused and have such great pain. But it's a sign that help is needed. Adults need to do a better job of reaching out and helping - but cutters need to understand that some of these imperfect adults might just be willing to listen and actually might be trying to help. Well, anyway, cutters need to wake up. It's not cool, it's not smart, it may work for the moment but like drugs, it's just a form of escape that can't lead to a healthy life. Get help.

Cutters, wake up. Your drug of cutting is blinding you. It's not smart.

Anonymous said...

cutting is a disease. it becomes a necessary way out. when you start there is NO stopping. its an addiction just like crack. for me, cutting became the easiest way out of a painful situation. the pain is relaxing. just to know that you can control ONE thing in your life is a pleasure. just sticking your hand on the cuts and raising it up dripping in blood is satisfying. dont think that its a one time thing.

Anonymous said...

I remember doing research on this with a friend. And cutting is not for attention, thats why they try to hide it. There was a time when I wanted to cut, thats why I did the project, but I stopped myself. I never actually did it because I felt like i was just being dramatic and my life wasn't bad enough to do such a thing. Not only that my parents would find out in a second, (they are very observant). I also discovered something interesting, that some people believe they are purifying themselves by getting rid of the bad blood or something along those lines. I know why i wanted to do it was because I hated myself. I still have feelings like that but I have ways of dealing with it by making a list of all the great things about myself. I have a lot of friends who support me and i figure that they wouldn't be with me unless i have good qualities that people liked. Little things about myself get to me like my looks (I'm not the next top model), my spelling, my embarrassing moments (I have a lot of those), and moments where my parents become my worse enemies. Things like that wouldn't seem to be a big deal, but I guess because I'm a teenager it seems a lot more worse then it is. Writing this is also helping me actually, I feel silly for even considering cutting. But at times I forget about my good qualities and focus on the bad things listed above. I know god loves me no matter what and thats also another thing left in my mind all the time, there are times I'd feel like no one, not even god could love me, but then i think about the good things and look back and see that god is the one and only who will love me at my very worst of times. I sometimes feel ashamed of thinking about cutting because maybe god doesn't think i appreciate all that he has given me. And he has given me so much, which goes back to the not cutting decision, I feel like I'm being to dramatic about my life. My thought process is confusing, because I could feel like cutting myself and think i don't have the right, there for i must be punished for wanting to cut myself so now i want to cut myself. Yes confusing.I know that I have the right to feel sad but no one in my house does drugs or beats me, they yell a lot but nothing serious. My dad can act like the biggest ass who cares only about himself, but he isn't bad enough to dwell on nor is he worth dwelling about. I won't let myself dwell on his inmaturity and other things like that. I guess i have a reason to be depressed at times but overall I'm just a teenager who can't wait to get away from her family for a while. After 17 years of living with them, you'd want to slit your wrists to...lol.

O and... Cutting is not a trend, its just the subject people are on lately. People who cut themselves do it, not for attention, therefore is not something people do for fun. It is also not a sign of suicide nor attempts. People either decide to cut or die, drastic i know, but its the truth. Most people want to die because they don't want to hurt anymore, people who cut want to hurt themselves.

Martin said...

Good Job! :)

Anonymous said...

I began self-injury when I was about 7 or 8 years old. I was thoroughly abused by relatives and neighbors in every aspect of childhood - even in the chapel building.

The first time I cut was due to my parents scolding me after I got beat up in school. I felt the need to punish myself, and so I literally pounded myself with a dictionary until the skin felt numbed.

It just kept growing from there into suicide attempts (8 in total) and other behavioral problems like short temper and severe depression. I was stuck on 35 miligrams of ritalin and stayed on mind altering medications until I was 22 when my wife took me off them so I could be a better person.

I've been in therapy on a off for a long time. It really hasn't done much good as I still self-injure about once a week. No one in the ward or stake even knows I do this 'cause, in my opinion, I don't fit into their lifestyle or cliques.

You know, a lot of suicides and self-injury could be prevented by abandoning the Great and Spacious Building of your comfort zones (i.e.: worrying what the neighbors will think) and just doing your duty of home teaching and fellowshipping, REGARDLESS OF WHO THOSE PEOPLE ARE!!!! That can solve a lot of this. It's not just mental depression or disorders, but most if it is just like what I felt - they're better off without me and I'll do something they'll like, that is to end my life; I'll not feel horrible anymore and they'll appreciate me gone. That is really what the self-injuring and suicidal person thinks and believes! It's absolutely mental and preventable.

By the way, I finally told my Bishop and showed him the still open wounds and scars. I told him everything, and the first thing he did was embrace me in tears. He really cares. My previous Bishops didn't (and one even implied I wasn't worth a dang), but he did. I'm going back the LDS Family Services for full counseling.

If anyone is reading this and feels like they need to bleed to feel better, seriously, go to your Bishop. If they don't respond with pure love, dump 'em and find another ward where the Bishop will. YOU ARE WORTH IT! YOU ARE NOT LOSERS OR FAILURES! YOU ARE MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS! YOU HAVE A LOT TO LIVE AND BE HAPPY ABOUT THAT YOU CAN'T SEE CORRECTLY!!! GET THE HELP YOU NEED RIGHT NOW!!! CALL YOUR BISHOP RIGHT NOW!!! IF THEY DON'T HELP YOU - SERIOUSLY, FIND ONE THAT WILL!!!!!

Anonymous said...

so well this might sound like a stupid question, but well. . I'm stupid person so, here it goes: I use to cut.. but I stopped.. I haven't told anyone about it or anything. . the scars are hinden and I don't plan on doing it again. . but anyway the question is should I go to my bishop about it or is repenting through prayer enough?

Anonymous said...

I just want you to be aware, for so many of these kids the thing that terrifies them most is parents finding out. Be cautious. Listen to them.