Teenagers and Cutting

 

Today’s teenagers are faced with a great deal of stress, and they don’t always have the ability to cope with their hectic schedules, peer pressure and all that they must face while in school. This causes some teens to turn to unhealthy habits, including drugs, alcohol and self-harm. Cutting is becoming more prevalent among teenagers for several reasons, but there are many parents who do not know about self-harm or how to help their children.

teenagers

What Is Cutting?

Some people have found that harming themselves helps them to alleviate stress, and they rely on cutting to help them feel better. Cutting is when a person cuts himself with paper clips, razors or other sharp objects, and the cuts are often deep enough that they leave scars.

Why Do Teenagers Cut?

Many teenagers feel pressure to be successful and to fit in with their peers, but this can lead to unhealthy levels of stress. In some cases, teens may start cutting so that they can feel as though they are in control. They may also cut to combat a feeling of numbness that can come from being under high amounts of stress, and they may do it because they have seen their friends cutting. Most people who cut will try to hide their scabs and scars, but some will leave their cuts exposed to see if their loved ones will notice.

Signs of Cutting

If you have a teenager, then you need to watch for signs of cutting. Even teens who seem happy and successful may attempt to cope with their stress by cutting, and they may try to hide their actions. They can use any sharp object to cut, including paper clips, nails, glass, knives and razor blades. Look for these items in unusual places, such as in the bathroom or on your teen’s desk. You should also watch for changes in how your teen is dressing, such as a sudden preference for long sleeves instead of tank tops, which may indicate that your teen is trying to hide cuts.

What to Do

While you may be alarmed and shocked to learn that your teenager is cutting, you should remain calm. Once you have regained control of yourself, talk to your teen. You should emphasize that you are approaching him with love, not judgment, and ask him if he is willing to talk to you about why he cuts. You should also contact a professional counselor so that your teen can get the help he needs to find other ways to cope with stress. You may also want to analyze your teenager’s schedule and lifestyle so that you can find ways to minimize the amount of pressure that he feels.

Cutting can be very serious, but you can help your teen find other ways to cope with stress. With some professional assistance and a great deal of love, you can teach your teenager how to live a happy life without cutting.

 

photo credit: Whiskeygonebad via photopin cc

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