Message to Teens, “You Do Not Have to Cut To Be In Control!”
Being a teenager is probably the most confusing and difficult time of your life. Adults treat you like a child, yet expect you to behave like an adult, and there is nothing more frustrating. Every teen struggles with their emotions during this time, whether they admit it or not. Almost 50% of teens in the United States injure themselves intentionally, with most incidents involving a razor blade.
Why Do We Cut?
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about cutting is having no clue why you continue to do it. You know it is unhealthy and you spend a few moments promising yourself you will not do it, but then it ends the same as usual.
In order to control your urges and emotions, we must first look at why, as humans, we cut. For starters, people often overlook teen emotions because they vary from hour to hour. Therefore, we feel as if we nobody is listening. When our emotions build up, that is when we fight the urge to explode. The human brain can only take so much emotional pain before it shuts down and becomes numb.
Humans cannot function without emotions, so your brain tries to make you feel. In this case, we cut to feel something again. We feel by causing pain to us physically, that it may waken something in us emotionally. This develops an addiction where we literally feel high from cutting, and our body urges us to continue. Cutting for addiction usually triggers from something very specific and emotionally damaging.
Some of us cut as a form of punishment, this derives from self-loathing and eating disorders. This situation is severe, but overcoming it is a badge of honor. Learning to love your own self is one of the best experiences life can offer. In this situation, professional help may be required.
Cutting to seek attention is very common and unfortunately cast off as unimportant. However, if a human being is that desperate for attention, then they deserve just as much help as someone who cuts to feel again. Most teens that cut hide the scars under long sleeves or jewelry, sometimes even cutting the inner thigh instead of in visible places. When the cuts are for attention, they are usually on the arms in plain sight.
How Do We Stop Cutting?
The first thing to know is why you cut and address the issue according to your reason. If you suffer from self-loathing, outpatient therapy is ideal before trying to handle something of this magnitude on your own.
If you cut for addiction, to feel something, or to release the urges then you need to pinpoint what is triggering the urge. The best thing to do for this is to write down what happened before you got the urge to cut.
You make a plan to do something different when the urge flares up, and create a solid commitment with yourself to adhere to the policy. When cutting for addiction, it is important to stay away from media as it drowns us with triggers and rude comments from people who just do not get it.
Find Music. To know that you are not alone makes all the difference in the world. Many musicians and actors have suffered through this as well and they openly talk about how they got through it. There are several bands that do not hide their struggle with mental illness. Find music that you love and remind yourself that you are not alone in this struggle and help is just moments away.
Put yourself in a family member’s position. Ask yourself what you would do if you saw someone you loved hurting themselves. When you see the pain from your own point of view, it helps you desire an end, not avoid it.
Ways to pass a cutting urge:
- Run for 30 minutes with music
- Take a hot shower with music (ensure all razors are away as seeing one may set you off)
- Playing with a pet
- Drink two cold glasses of water