i have been bisexual for a very long time now, that's not what i am writing about today. i have also been a cutter for a long time. and at the age of 18, i thought it was time that i quit. the problem is, i can't. i have a doctor, and i am on anti-depresants and everything, but they don't work. when i get really upset or mad, i get an urge that i can not overcome to hurt myself. everyone who i care about says that they would be very mad at me if i ever cut again so i find every way i can to hide any marks i make when i do cut. it is very stressful, and i know that cutting is not good, but i can not help it when i get in the mood that i can't control it. i was wondering if you guys have any tips or anything for me, or any recomendations other than going to see a professional, because i don't have the money for that right now..
Thank you for the letter. When confronted with extreme levels of stress, many people engage in self-harming behaviors, including substance abuse, self-starvation, and cutting. For some, cutting relieves stress or tension. Some people find the physical pain of cutting distracts them from the emotional pain. Some people may be angry at someone in their lives. Cutting themselves provides a means of expressing that anger. Others feel cutting gives them a sense of control while experiencing overwhelming situations or emotions. Still others feel numb or "dead inside". Cutting helps them “feel alive”. While cutting may provide temporary relief, it can cause permanent scars, infections and serious, even life threatening medical problems. It can also cause one to feel shame, guilt, depressed and out of control.
If you feel like cutting, there are a number of ways to help yourself feel better without putting yourself at risk. Think about how you feel before and after you cut yourself. If cutting helps to release anger, you might try getting the anger out in another way; hitting a pillow, stomping around in heavy shoes, ripping up old newspaper, or flattening aluminum cans. If cutting helps you express sadness, think about healthy alternatives; listening to music, calling a friend, writing in a journal or drawing/painting. For some people, doing something physical like running outdoors or yoga can help relieve stress. If the cutting counteracts numbness, do something that creates a physical sensation; tapping your fingertips in circular motions upon your skull, putting your hand briefly in ice water, or stamping your feet on the ground). There are websites available including www.safe-alternatives.com and http://www.helpguide.org/mental/self_injury.htm that can help you learn about cutting and alternate coping mechanisms.
As you know, cutting can be a difficult habit to break. Telling a a trusted adult can provide you with support in seeking assistance. If you’re not comfortable talking with your parents, you could ask a school counselor for help finding a therapist or call 1-800-DON’T-CUT where you can be referred to a therapist in your area. When you have the urge to cut, you can always call the Trevor lifeline at 1-866-4-U-Trevor (1-866-488-7386) and talk with a Trevor lifeline counselor. They can also assist you in finding a therapist. Talking about the thoughts or feelings behind the impulse to cut may help to delay or stop the urge to harm yourself. The next time you have the urge to cut, can you pick up the phone instead of a sharp object?
Have you told the doctor who prescribed the antidepressants? Perhaps, your doctor can help you find some assistance. For some reason, you have developed this means of coping with stress. Understanding the thoughts behind the urges will help you find alternate, healthy ways of releasing the stress.
Bella, you are wise to reach out. You are not alone. Continue to reach out for assistance. Remember, we are just a phone call away. When you need someone to listen, we are here.