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Help Me, My Child Is Cutting!

You are not alone.

Parents, do you know why our children cut?

Cutting is an outward sign of internal stress. It is usually a way of coping with or expressing overwhelming emotional distress.

Why don’t our children turn to us in time of need?

They feel we don’t understand them no matter how hard we try. Cutting is the only way they know how to cope with feelings like sadness, self-loathing, emptiness, guilt, and rage. Some of our children don't feel any pain while they're hurting themselves, even when they are creating deep cuts. Others do feel pain upon self-injury, but they welcome the pain as punishment or a distraction from their extreme emotional pain.

Many times parents ask their children why they’re cutting or self-harming.

Asking children to reason through their actions and symptoms is very difficult for any child. What is important to know is that the part of the brain that helps adults reason and think of possible outcomes is only fully formed in our early 20s.

Why do our children continue cutting when they promised to stop?

Cutting releases endorphins into our bloodstreams and a pleasurable sensation is experienced. Like addiction to a particular drug, the endorphin "high" provides fast-acting relief for emotional and other stressors and becomes a familiar way to cope with internal pain. Most cutters and parents admit they don’t know where to turn or whom to trust. It is important to reach out to professionals who are skilled to work with you child. Remember, you are not alone!

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