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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

-CUTTING-


A recent report published in The New York Times says, “Anonymous surveys among college students suggest that 17 percent of them have self-injured, and experts estimate that self-injury is practiced by 15 percent of the general adolescent population.” In fact, every news organization is ringing the alarm about the “trend” of cutting. But it seems that no one is getting to the core of this issue. To me, the story is not so much that so many of us are cutting; the question in my mind is why are we cutting?
In 6th grade there was an issue of me being involved with the whole cutting scene and at first in didnt seem like any big thing to me. If you did it, you did it. Self mutilation? I dont get it. One cut...not that big of a deal. Well it was. (I know Im not being really clear on if I did it or not and Im doing that on purpose. Being so vague about it might bring you to the conclusion that I did do it but if I dont say it straight out how much truth is there in that huh?) I’ve read a variety of forums on this issue and as far as I can see, everyone admits that cutting is painful; so why are so many people still doing it? (Ritorical question. I know why)
"Skin is a bulletin board," said Linda Lebelle, director of Focus Adolescent Services. "They're saying, 'Can you see how much pain I'm in?’” Sure that sounds good in a clinical sense, but depression has been on the rise since the 80s and cutting has only seen a growth in popularity in the last few years. Funny thing is, alot of people that cut arent even depressed. Doesnt make much sense does it? Well, it does to them. At that point is not called cutting, its scarring. Ill write another post on this. In the very very near future.
Some teens cite the thrill or high that comes from the experience as their impetus. "Cutting releases anger and frustration," wrote 17-year-old Abby. "By cutting, it lets it out-- bleeds it out. It is the most exciting, dangerous feeling I have ever felt." Another anonymous teen concurred, telling Women’s E News, “It started out as a weird thrill.. I admit that I was strangely addicted to the feeling of dragging the razor across my skin. I liked the way my hair would stand on end as I watched the blood trickle from every cut I made." The more I looked, the more “thrill,” “high,” “control” and “trend” started appearing in the cutting conversation. Now, I’m no statistician by any stretch of the imagination, but when the majority of unmoderated sites are mentioning the same three or four major reasons for one act, I’ve got to figure that’s probably closer to the root of the problem than the hypothesis given by “health professionals.”
Cutting is not like piercing or tattooing, which are both forms of artistic expression. Cutting is a destructive mean of expression that could lead to serious injury and should not be taken lightly. An appropriate analogy might very well be jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge. Sure, it seems exciting at the time—especially when everyone else is doing it—but then it has that whole lasting effect of your ending up dead, which is not quite as cool. In most respects, I think we could all agree that there are more effective ways to gain control over our lives and more acceptable ways of finding a thrill. Alot of people who cut dont even realize how serious it is until its too late and theyre being driven in an ambulance to the hostpital. If you know anyone that cuts, please talk to them. I dont mean just say, "Oh cutting is bad. Now I mean seriously talk to them. Do research, print out articles, just be there for them. I know I might be thought of as strange for saying this but dont tell a school counselour. It wont help. Just talk to them and be a friend. In the end, if that isnt enough tell a trusted adult. Not a counselour. They cant be trusted. Why is this? Because they have an obligation to tell parents and though this might not seem like a problem, it is. If the cutter is rushed into being "fixed" by parents and counselour it could run them into an even worse state of depression and they could end up being drugged up and put into a mental instution when all they really needed was a good friend. My main point, be a good friend and just listen

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of my friends told a counsellor, who proceeded to tell my parents.

In my case that was the WRONG thing to do. It made so many more problems.
Just be there for them.

Most useful part of the article that*

Anonymous said...

I cut when I was younger. I started because I felt hollow and empty after the loss of a lot of my family members,parents going through a divorce, teen problems and drama caused by friends. I just felt like it all was crushing down on me. I felt that I was cornered and I just felt that in a way cutting helped let some of anger, pain and hatred out of my body. After that everything went down hill for me. I just fell into a depression and later one after it got to a point where I didn't care if people seen them or not. I was put on anti depressants which made it worse and then the stares from others. I attempted and spent two days in the hospital and two years in therapy. After that I got better and learned how to deal with it. But I still catch myself trying to fall back into the life of cutting. I keep myself strong by having a promise bracelet and trying to keep it for my family and friends. In hopes that I can get better and that I don't need to cut and burn anymore. It takes a lot of time and you still have to fight that urge to pick up the black or lighter again but once you get past not needing it. You really start to experience life. Plus you have to life with the scares on your body for all time.

Anonymous said...

You may find this an odd question, but what is your citing for that top pic? It's quite familiar to me.
Anyway, bookmarking for future refference.

Claire Louise said...

That photo made me feel physically sick. That's exactly what my arm looked like about a year ago. I was a self harmer for 4 years. I still do it sometimes, bit not to the extent that I used to. I wasn't part of any 'scene'. I had an underlying mental health problem that if it had gone without me being dragged kicking and screaming to a doctor by my best friend I might have ended up dead. Self harm is not suicide, but its a clear sign that something is very, very wrong. Yes, confronting the issue and having to face my parents about it was a nightmare, but being where I am now just proves it was worth it. I am left with a scarred, gnarled, torn up arm ... but I'm alive and I'm happy. This time last year I never thought I'd say that. Things can change, and intervention by friends and relatives can be life changing.

sipho said...

I am a self injurer. have been for a year. I've tried giving it up bu t I'm over that phase now. I've done it all, talking to friends, youth leaders, parents, siblings, counsellors, EVERYTHING!! and it all just leads back to one thing and that is blood slowly trickling down my arm again. "It's sick" I know. "I should stop", I know. But I don't care anymore. as sad as it is, cutting has just become a part of my life and I don't have the courage or the will power to fight it anymore...and today is one of my good days.

eestodoloquetengoparadecirte said...

I have a friend that uses to cut like the photo. He has about 25 scars in each arm. I just talked to him, and try to help everytime is possible. Now, he promised me not to do it anymore, and every time he feels bad, he cames with me, and I listen and try to help. Sometimes I think I would like to cut myself, but after at all I think it´s a little bit stupid, because it´s bad for me and, at the end, I don´t resolve anything.. don´t you think that?
PS: I talk in spanish, so, if something is bad please, apologize me :P

Anonymous said...

katrina194: i am 17 and have been cutting for 8 years.. this all started because of a lot of issues.. one being that people called me fat... i have always been very sporty and love playing sport... but hearing people call you fat.. even people who didn't know you , makes you fell disgusted in yourself,, i stopped eating i overdosed, and selfharmed,,self harming to me is a big deal and i never really tell anyone,,, but its a release, a way to punish yourself when you feel your to blame for everything,, its a pain only you can cause on youself, and when you feel fat like i do, you feel its cutting away the imperfections such as weight and feeling ugly and , people think it's a bad thing, but people who actually self harm are in control , which is important to people when they feel their life is not in their control....

K.S said...

Im with that over 8 years, and nobody noticed : )

Anonymous said...

another thing to think of, is that cutting also releases a mass amount of endorphins. which actually makes you happy, momentarily. which also loses effect, you have to cut more and more in order to get that same high, which is where the danger and addiction come in. But there are alternatives, and a counselor like a school counselor is obligated to tell parents. but a psychiatrist isn't. they only have to alert parents when they believe you're going to kill yourself or harm another person, and even if they do tell your parents, they also coach them through ways to go about confronting and dealing with the issue rather than "hey, cutter freak, go fix yourself" you know.. yeah..

Javiera said...

i started cutting when i was a little girl, when my parents frist started to argue over me, i though it was my fault, and i remmember that i was in so much pain emotinaly from what my family has sayed to me, like my aunt she didnt like me so she sayed i was a mistake and that hurt and thn my dad sayed he didnt love me, and when i was 5 my dad took me away from my mom and he sayed she didnt want me, i was heart broken, and i remmember cutting the word "LIEZ" into my left leg, i was 9 at the time and now im 13 and i still cut, idk why though mabe because i feel that no one cares for me and theres no meaning to my life, my sister found out that i cut and she told me to stop, but thats about it she dosent care about me anymore, shes to busy thinking about herself and her family im no one, i stopped cutting for 3 months this year, because i went to visit my mom and i felt loved, i knew that i ment something to her but thn my father took me back to a different country and sayed that i was never to see her again till i was out of school and i started cutting again, i sometimes think that theres no meaning to my life and i find it sad, i know a few people that cut to and i know what they feel cuz i've been there
idk what to do anymore i've lost myself, i feel... dead inside :(

Javiera said...

i started cutting when i was a little girl, when my parents frist started to argue over me, i though it was my fault, and i remmember that i was in so much pain emotinaly from what my family has sayed to me, like my aunt she didnt like me so she sayed i was a mistake and that hurt and thn my dad sayed he didnt love me, and when i was 5 my dad took me away from my mom and he sayed she didnt want me, i was heart broken, and i remmember cutting the word "LIEZ" into my left leg, i was 9 at the time and now im 13 and i still cut, idk why though mabe because i feel that no one cares for me and theres no meaning to my life, my sister found out that i cut and she told me to stop, but thats about it she dosent care about me anymore, shes to busy thinking about herself and her family im no one, i stopped cutting for 3 months this year, because i went to visit my mom and i felt loved, i knew that i ment something to her but thn my father took me back to a different country and sayed that i was never to see her again till i was out of school and i started cutting again, i sometimes think that theres no meaning to my life and i find it sad, i know a few people that cut to and i know what they feel cuz i've been there
idk what to do anymore i've lost myself, i feel... dead inside :(

Anonymous said...

I was a cutter for well over 15 years. I'm not going to lie, eventhough I do not currently cut, it's a struggle. I feel that the "urge" as I call it will ever completely leave me. I have been self-injury free for 4 years now. There are a lot of things that I have learned that I woud like pass on:
1. Everyone cuts for different reasons. I would cut because physical pain was so much easier to deal with than emotional pain. The "rush" that I felt with each cut....I needed that to cope with everyday life.
2. You're not going to quit until you're ready. No one can say or do anything to make you quit.
3. Don't be hard on yourself when you're trying to quit and you have a relasp. It's ok, just accept it and move on.
4. Quitting is incredibly hard. There are days, now 4 years after I've last cut that I struggle not to.
5. Find something to distract yourself when you're trying to quit. For me, I'd go for a drive. I found that it was difficult to cut and drive at the same time. I also had a friend that I would call up and just talk to. They would always sense that I was close to cutting though they never talked about it. They would simply be a good friend and we'd talk and I'd eventually get through the urge.
6. Educate others. Parents do not understand what you're going through. I hate that "promise me you won't cut anymore" sentance. You can not make that promise. You can however, promise to try. And then take one day, one hour, or even one minute at a time. Once you're at a good point, you can help others and that helps you not want to cut.

That's what I have to say. Good luck, know that you're not alone, and that given time, anything is possible.

Aimee said...

I am a cutter as well, reading that article made me think more about what I am doing... Thanks..

Anonymous said...

I cut a couple times and even though it kinda hurt, I liked it. I'm not into like S&M or anything, it's just that I felt in control. I was stressed out for a couple weeks and a lot of pressure was on, and the cutting just made me feel like I knew what I was doing and no one could tell me what to do. Sometimes I still feel the urge to cut, but my boyfriend hates those scars so I'm stopping :)