As the number of cutters continues to rise, so does the number of individuals interested in how to stop cutting. Cutting is an activity that is quite frightening to the parents, relatives, and friends of the cutter. Even though cutting is not considered to be a form of suicide attempt, it’s not difficult to see why many mistake it as such. In its basic form, cutting equates to self-injury and typically involves the individual using any sharp instrument to make cuts on their body.
How To Stop Cutting: Help For Cutters
Above all, should you at any point feel suicidal, seek help right away. Cutting is generally not considered a gateway to suicide, but every individual is different. If you’re considering cutting as a means of suicide or having any thoughts of suicide, you have to ask for help immediately. There is no shame in admitting that you have a problem and asking for help.
One of the very first steps towards recovery is going to be to realize that there are people who care about you and want to see you get well. This is something that you may need to remind yourself of as you work to break free of self-mutilation behaviors. It is equally important to make the decision that you want (or need) to stop. A strong commitment to eradicating this type of behavior is absolutely necessary.
The next step will be to ask for help. This can be tough since cutting is often kept a secret. Select someone you trust and consider selecting someone who can actually help you get better. Their initial reaction could range from shock to disappointment. This is normal and does not mean that they are not willing to help. It is proven that a strong support system is important, so do not hesitate to rely upon those closest to you.
Accept the fact that you may need professional help in order to truly learn how to stop cutting. It could be that you need to be treated for a disorder which may be causing you to cut, or you simply need help in learning how to deal with emotions in a positive way. Professional help can be another form of support which can help you put a stop to self-harm once and for all.
Although you’re likely to find plenty of help available, these individuals cannot control your actions. There are plenty of ways in which you can help yourself to stop cutting. Once of the most effective is to keep sharp objects out of easy reach. Cutting is an impulsive activity, so by keeping these objects elsewhere, the decision to cut will require both thought and effort. This could allow enough time for you to reconsider your actions.
It may also be quite beneficial to work on identifying the triggers which lead to cutting. Many cutters find that there are specific situations, places, people, and more which act as triggers for self-abuse. Identifying these triggers is as simple as making note of each event which takes place just prior to your feeling of the need to cut. You may not be able to entirely avoid every person, place, or situation which serves as a trigger. However, this information will provide you with a much higher level of control.
During times when you absolutely feel that you must self-injure, consider alternative means such as popping yourself with a rubber band or holding ice until it becomes painful. The rubber band method can be used at any time by simply wearing a rubber band on your wrist as you go throughout your day. Even though the ultimate goal is to avoid the urge to injure yourself, less dangerous methods can be helpful during the recovery period.
The act of learning how to stop cutting should involve some consideration of healthy ways to express your emotions. The good news here is that you are free to do anything you wish, except self-injure. For example, you could learn to play a musical instrument, take art classes, participate in a volunteer program, or simply take part in any activity which you find enjoyable. Another healthy alternative is to keep a journal. Many find it helpful to put their feelings down on paper instead of talking.
Feelings of guilt can be the direct result of cutting when you’re making a dedicated attempt to stop. For this reason, you’ll want to do all that you can in order to stop any self-mutilation episodes as fast as possible. You may need to take a deep breath, talk yourself down, and steer clear of any objects which could be used for cutting each time you feel the urge to cut. The more often you do this, the better you’ll become at minimizing episodes of self-harm.
It can be challenging, but practice loving yourself and being positive. How you feel about yourself makes a huge difference in how you behave. You may need to remind yourself that you are a wonderful person and that you will get better with time. A large part of learning exactly how to stop cutting is going to be learning how to love yourself. When you’re able to do this, you’ll be better equipped to handle typical life problems.
How To Stop Cutting: Help For Parents
Parents are often shocked to learn that their child has been cutting. Note that it is wise to not react to this revelation while overly angry or upset. Parents of cutters are advised to open the lines of communication in a rational manner. It’s not uncommon for the individual who practices self-injury to not want to communicate at first, especially if they fear punishment. Therefore, parents are advised to make it known upfront that they only wish to help.
Even though cutting can be linked to teenage depression, it’s generally not considered to be suicidal behavior. Parents often link the two and this can be problematic. Whisking a child off to a trip to the emergency room could make the issue even worse. Doctors are not always able to recognize the difference between cutting and an actual suicide attempt. Even worse, self-injury is highly frowned upon by many who do not understand it. Feelings of shame and being judged could make problems worse.
Obviously, there will need to be some decision made about whether or not cuts need medical treatment. If there is any question in this area, seek medical treatment immediately. If the cuts are superficial, as most are, the best help is going to be mental help. There are plenty of psychiatrists and psychotherapists which are trained on how to stop cutting. That said, some avoid treating those who self-injure, so be sure to seek out a doctor which specifically treats cutters.
Even with treatment, the road to recovery can be rough. Those who self-injure must come to the decision that they are ready to stop before any real progress will be made. Psychiatric care alone may not be the solution. Those who cut may need to have a strong family and friend support system to rely on while attempting to break free of the tendency to self-mutilate. In extreme cases, in-patient treatment may be necessary.
Most treatment plans center around helping the cutter simply make better choices in times of stress. A lot of focus is placed on helping the cutter find better outlets when emotions are strong. Prescription drugs are generally not considered the solution, but these may be prescribed in cases where mental conditions are diagnosed. There have been cases where depression drugs were prescribed for the treatment of self-injury. The decision of whether or not medication is best will ultimately be up to the parent and patient.
For parents desperately searching for the answer of how to stop cutting for good, know that a solid commitment to helping the teen is going to go a long way. Therapy, support, and medication (when needed) are generally the solution. Once again though, the individual must make some decision to help themselves by working on healthier outlets for negative feelings.
The Good News About Cutting
The good news is that even though it may take time, most who self-injure are able to stop. The path to a better life may be long and rough, and may certainly require lots of patience on behalf of the family and friends of the cutter. As with most things in life, it all comes down to choices, and once the cutter has made the decision to accept help, the results are positive.
Self-harm rarely goes away on its own and is not a problem that children and teens will simply grow out of. Any time an individual lacks strong stress coping mechanisms, help is going to be necessary. This is true of children, teens, and adults as well. For the family and friends of a cutter, learning how to stop cutting will help you cope with the issues associated with this now common problem. When education and professional help are combined, the problem of self-mutilation can be overcome.