downloadSomething we hear about more and more are people who cut themselves. I personally don’t believe it is because it is happening more, but people are opening up more about it.

So, why do people cut? If you talk to someone who cuts, it sounds counterintuitive.  Many will say they will cut to stop the pain.  Stop the pain by causing pain you may ask?  It is a distraction from one’s own mind. Often, cutting is the only way one knows how to deal with negative emotions like depression, rage, guilt, emptiness and self-hatred, according to TeensHealth.

Cutting isn’t for just teens though.  You probably walk by a few people daily who hide their cutting with long sleeves or pants.  Whatever the cutter needs to do to hide his or her possible embarrassment.  Cutting can be a way to forget about something that lingers in one’s head for a man or woman with PTSD.  It can make him or her forget about the war or rape trauma they experienced. Giving them control of their own body if only for a minute. Cutters may cut because they are depressed and it stops the numbness for just a moment.

Some cutters may use cutting as a form of self punishment for something the cutter believes he or she did wrong. To help deal with a guilt, even though whatever happened to trigger the cutting isn’t even one’s fault. “According to the Mayo Clinic, cutting actually aggravates the person’s feelings of shame or low self-esteem. Cutting only temporarily resolves the negative emotions and does nothing to resolve any longstanding emotional issues. This causes the emotions to build over time and they can then overwhelm the patient.”

There are other complications that can occur with cutting, infection is one.  If the cutter isn’t using good self hygiene the cuts could become infected and lead to damage. There is also the risk of an accidental suicide if the cutter hits a major vein or artery. Yes, accidental suicide. Not all cutters are suicidal, but there is an increase in suicide with cutters due to the underlying causes of the cutting.

Cutting can be a short lived thing. It can be something that one did years ago but then under high volumes of stress reoccurs.  Cutting can also become addicting.  Some people want a drink or use drugs when they are upset or stressed, cutters need to take a blade across their skin.

Don’t mistake cutting as an intention getter, even if the person isn’t trying to hide it.  If the cutter  isn’t hiding the wounds he or she may need you to help  get the help the cutter needs.  Cutting can be dangerous mentally and physically and always needs an intervention of some kind. Sometimes just having a therapist to talk to is enough. Other times the cutter needs hospitalization.

Look out for the one’s you love my friends.

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