If the word 'cutting' means skipping school to you, you may be surprised to learn what cutting means to today's teens and how many are doing it. Today, cutting means nonsuicidal self-harming, and nearly one in every five teen girls aged 14 and 15 is doing it. Cutting is difficult to understand, particularly for parents and other family members of the teens who do it, but understanding why teens are cutting themselves is the first step in helping them. Here's what you should know if you have a self-harming teen in your life.
Cutting is not a mental health condition, but it can be a sign of one
Cutting is not considered a mental health condition, but it can be a symptom or sign that the teen has one or more underlying issues, such as depression, anxiety, or borderline personality disorder. Sometimes, teens cut because they haven't learned any healthy coping skills, which could also be caused by a mental health condition, such as reactive attachment disorder.
Cutting doesn't mean your teen is suicidal, but they could be
Cutting typically does not mean that the individual is suicidal. People who self-harm may do it as a way to cope with pain they may be feeling emotionally but have never learned how to cope with. Self-harm can also be a way for someone to experience pain when they feel they should be experiencing pain due to a situation but are unable to do so. They may also self-harm as a way to intensify pain when or if they feel they haven't been as affected by something as they believe they should be. Most importantly, however, cutting may be attention-seeking and a call for you to take notice that your teen is having a very difficult time dealing with life, which could very well lead to suicidal ideation.
Cutting can be cruelly addictive in nature, which makes it challenging to overcome
When the individual gets what they believe they need out of cutting themselves, it brings on a good feeling that they can end up craving. This craving to feel good can easily result in an addiction to cutting themselves, which is why self-harm is extremely challenging to overcome, especially if self-harm has been used as a coping mechanism repeatedly. Because of the addictive nature of self-harming, inpatient treatment in a mental health hospital like Park Center Inc is ideal and recommended, as precautions will be taken there to minimize the risks of self-harming during treatment.