Cutting – What Parents, Teachers, and Ministers Need to Know

I am amazed at how few people are aware of this growing trend among young people. We normally think of cutting the arms and wrists and suicidal behavior but more and more teens and young adults are tuning to this habit as a form of emotional release and control. This video explains much of the behavior and it is something that more and more people need to be aware of:

One of the tell tale signs that someone is cutting is the wearing of long sleeves shirts, especially with holes cut in the sleeves for someone to put their thumbs through. This ensures that their sleeves don’t pull up and expose the cuts and scars on their arms. I was at a youth rally a couple of years ago and noticed a teenage girl with her thumbs poked through holes in her sleeves. I found her youth minister and told him that might just be a sign she is cutting and that I thought he or someone else (parents, etc) might at least want a heads up of the possibility. He told me that she had been struggling for some time and had indeed been cutting herself recently. It is out there and is more and more prevalent. Chances are you know someone who is wrestling with this. It is important that we raise awareness on this issue so we can get our teens and young adults the help they need but don’t always know how to ask for.

An example of personal testimony from a teenage girl:

Here is one of the youtube viewer comments on  that video –
“Ive been cutting for 2 years and i hid the scars from my family and friends. It was and still is one of the hardest times in my life. Ive tried to stop but its so addicting and it feels like im draining out all of my pain. My friend found out one week ago and shes been helping me alot but i still think about it all the time.”

And another:

“im 13. i use to cut.
at first i would think, who would ever do that?
and then i did it one day. and after, i felt.. relieved?
like that was a way i could get all my feelings out.
they would be half way up my arms.
whenever a friend or someone found out, they would tease me.

but ive stopped for 5 months now! ;’]
althought sometimes when i feel emotional i have the urge to do it.

More useful information

0 Responses to Cutting – What Parents, Teachers, and Ministers Need to Know

  1. Melody says:

    Good post… the second video was just heartbreaking but the emotions and impact of cutting was typical from what I have heard. And that is all I’ll say on that lest I go off on another rant about why kids are so mean to each other in elementary/junior-high! All I would add is that it is important to respond to the seriousness of cutting behaviors but not OVERreact because then you lose a teen’s trust and the ability to be an effective helper as well.

  2. 5carrolls says:

    I have a friend who struggles/ed with that over here. She has been doing much better after a really bad time about a year and a half ago. She’s back to studying medicine and she comes to bible class regularly on Sunday morning. She’s a good friend, but I never really understood why she would cut herself…I knew it wasn’t suicidal, but I was at a loss as to why someone would do that to themselves. Thanks for the information. I will also add that she doesn’t attempt to cover up her many scars any more, though they will be with her for life.

  3. Mark says:

    Without meaning to make light of the subject matter, this was quite a follow up post to Jim Gaffigan!

  4. wjcsydney says:

    It’s a HUGE trend with teens. My daughter went through a period of cutting, but praise God, has learned other ways to handle her emotional pain now. It’s addictive once you start, and teens try it because they know others are doing it too.

    Communication is the key.. know where your teens are at emotionally, socially and mentally and get them professional help if they are cutting or depressed.

  5. Roger Butner says:

    Thanks for posting this critical issue, Matt. Here are a few more helpful resources:

    http://hopeforyourfamily.com/recommended-websites/self-injury-resources/

  6. Morgan says:

    Why would u stick your nose into someone elses buisness, that poor girl! You should have said nothing it was her buisness.

    • mattdabbs says:

      Maybe because I care. Turns out I was right and she was getting the help she needed. I would think you would be glad that someone was crying out for help and got it. I would say sorry if that offends you but I am not at all sorry about my actions in regard to that.

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