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Cutting: More Than a Cry for Help

Monday, September 15, 2008 General News J E 4
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SAN DIEGO, Sept. 15 Adolescence can be a time of extremeemotions, but as the problems faced by today's teens become more complex, sodo their reactions. While some teens deal with their stress by playing sportsor an instrument, others turn to cutting to vent difficult feelings.

While cutting is a phenomenon that affects males and females, femaleadolescents are four times more likely to exhibit the disturbing behavior. Itis estimated that one in every 200 teenage girls in the U.S. cuts themselvesregularly. The reasons teens cut vary greatly, but frequently it serves as adistraction from emotional pain, or it temporarily provides a feeling ofcontrol over a situation.

It is important to note that cutters are generally not suicidal. Insteadof wanting to "end it all," they are looking for a way to get through the daywithout feeling miserable. Another common misconception of cutters is thatthey are seeking attention. In actuality, most cutters go to great lengths tohide their wounds, wearing long pants and shirts even in hot weather. If youfeel a loved one may be cutting, but are unsure, look for these warning signs:

Helping a cutter on the road to recovery is not an easy process. A strongsocial support system is crucial to helping them cope with their emotions. AMarriage and Family Therapist can help you and your teen identify the reasonsbehind cutting. They can help ease the severity and likelihood of cutting byproviding you with tools to vent out their emotions in a healthy way.

For more information about Marriage and Family Therapists, or to locate acounselor in your area, please visit http://www.TherapistFinder.com.

About CAMFT

The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, with 27chapters throughout the state, is an independent professional organization,representing the interests of licensed marriage and family therapists. CAMFTprovides TherapistFinder.com as a resource to the public looking for marriageand family therapists located in California. For more information about CAMFT,please call (858) 292-2638 or visit http://www.camft.org.-- Cuts, scratches or other lacerations appear often -- Spending a significant amount of time isolated -- Keeping sharp objects with them -- Claims of being "clumsy" or having frequent accidents How do you approach someone you believe is cutting? -- DON'T approach them with anger, or assume it is a phase -- DON'T ask "what did I do to cause this?" or "why me?" -- DO take the problem seriously and be supportive -- DO seek a medical professional's help

SOURCE The California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
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