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

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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.

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