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Dear Dish-It Weighs in About the Dangers of Cutting & Self-Harm

Aug 22, 2017

I get countless questions about self-harm.It is a topic that comes up a lot. Don’t self-harm because you could really hurt yourself one day, and take it too far. Regardless, problems that occur in your life are not your fault and you don’t have to take it out on yourself. Work with a professional to find coping skills to stop cutting because this behavior is not good for you. Today on Dear Dish-It’s “Let’s Talk About it Tuesday” we are going to be looking at questions from kids and teens who are self-harming, or are thinking about it. This is a very serious issue and if you know someone who is cutting you need to report it. 

Let’s Take a Look at This Week’s Questions:

Don't neglect your wellness. Don't neglect your wellness.

Question by Harming Horror

Back at the start of October, I started to cut myself. My mum found out very easily, and I thought it had all blown off, but I started to get depressed again in February or March. I went back to self-harm and my mum found out yet again in April. Now she says horrible things about me and we have never had a good relationship. She never trusts me and how is she supposed to start trusting me again if she doesn't little by little? I love her but she can be a bit nasty or unreasonable or sometimes even completely unsupportive. She doesn't understand anything about this and neither does her boyfriend. My dad doesn't know and he is back in prison AGAIN (although it was just something pathetic this time) but it's been 7 months and he hasn't contacted me at all. How do I get a better relationship with both my mum and my dad? (My dad is in prison for 5 and a half years but maybe some contact? He's a good dad. Apart from the letting down part. But he's good with kids.) ( also self-harming will NEVER happen again.)       

Insight/Advice:

I’m happy to hear you say that the cutting will stop, but you don’t know that for sure. Anything could happen to set you off. You really need to deal with this problem. Try talking to your mom again and let her know how serious it is. You can’t quit on your own, you need support and the proper help. You also need to address the issues that you have with your mom in the hope that they will improve. If you say your dad is a good guy try reaching out to him. Does he talk to your mom? Maybe he can try talking to her? Either way, someone has to take this matter seriously and get you the help that you deserve. 

You feel the pain is so deep no one could understand it.You feel the pain is so deep no one could understand it.

Question by Helpless

Okay, where do I start? There are so many things going on in my life that I don't even know where to begin. It all started 2 years ago. Two  boys started bullying me because I was Jewish. I got really upset and told my mom, who told the school. The two boys got in trouble. But next year, my first year of middle school, another boy started bullying me. He called me things like "fat" and "Stupid" and he told me to "just kill yourself already." I became depressed and I started to self harm. I also became anorexic and never ate. My mom found out again and told the school counselor. She called both me and the boy into her office and made him apologize. Afterwards, he kept giving me dirty looks in the halls. It was fine for about a year. Then a boy who lived across the street from me told me that he liked me. We started hanging out a lot and I actually started liking him, until he embarrassed me in front of all his friends. Then he did something really mean to my brother, who was his best friend at the time. That was the last straw for me, and I absolutely hate him now. I started doing bad things. I would steal money and buy useless junk with it. I stopped doing my homework. Instead of being a straight-A student, I started getting B's and C's and sometimes even D's. Then my biggest shock hit me. At the ripe old age of 12, I found out I was lesbian. It was... well, it was a surprise. I decided to just accept it and deal with it. I didn't tell anyone except my mom, who was also lesbian. Somehow, though, a girl at my school found out about it. Not only that, but everything else. She told the entire school about how I was "an emo lesbian failure who cut herself and stole money." My life was ruined. I am currently trying to deal with this. I can't take it any more and sometimes have suicidal thoughts. What do I do?

Insight/Advice:

Sounds like you are dealing with a lot. Firstly, do not self-harm or think of harming yourself. Suicide is never the solution, though at times we just want to escape what we are experiencing. Sometimes the pain is just too intense. Not everyone is going to accept you, but what matters is that you accept yourself. Love yourself enough to not let anyone make you want to leave. Stop acting out. You need to talk about your feelings not do “bad thing”, if you are an all A student that is something to be proud of and you shouldn’t let any person influence you to give it up. Focus on yourself and how you can get back to a good place. Pay less attention to others and they won’t affect you as much, in fact, don’t let them affect you. Words are hurtful and people can be cruel but you decide how you let them rub off on you. Be strong, you can get through this.

Find what works for you and stick to it.Find what works for you and stick to it.

Question by Violet423

Recently, every night, my legs get a REALLY bad itch. Whenever the itching starts, I immediately think, "I should go to the kitchen and get a knife and cut my legs. Then I'd replace the itch with pain. Pain, I can handle. Itching, not so much." I use lotion, but that doesn't really seem to help until about half an hour later. I've never actually cut my legs when given this thought, but it's my first thought constantly. I don't know if this is mental or physical but it's so constant. What should I do?

Insight/Advice:

I think it’s dangerous that you have the urge to self-harm. You need to figure out why this is occurring. What goes through your mind when this happens? Talk to your parents, there has got to be something else which they can do for your leg. If the urge to cut continues, I would go see a professional to help you work through this

Focus on self love and not self harm.Focus on self love and not self harm.

Question by bloodymess

I have been cutting my wrists for about five months and when I told my best friend about it, her reaction made me want to stop. So I have been clean for about two weeks now and starting to freak out. I want to be addicted to something else now like drugs but that would be stupid. so hears my question, how do I get rid of my addictions and keep myself from cutting again?

Insight/Advice:

I would suggest seeing an Addictions Counselor who can provide you with tools and the proper coping mechanism to help with this. I am glad to see you’ve stopped, but it won’t entirely stop until you stop for the right reasons. You can’t just stop for a friend, you have to stop for you. Do you want to stop? Some suggestions are finding something healthy to be addicted to like working out or writing in your journal. Though being addicted to anything isn't really healthy. You need to find alternative activities which will distract you from the urge.

Self care can be exercised in a number of ways.Self care can be exercised in a number of ways.

Afterthoughts

What is cutting? Cutting is a way some kids and teens attempt to survive pain, strong emotions, intense pressure, or difficult interpersonal problems. The person might be coping with feelings that appear to be too difficult to face such as bad situations they feel like can't change.

Some people cut as a result of feeling desperate for relief from negative feelings. It is possible that those who cut do not know any better ways to gain relief from their emotions, pains or pressure. Some people cut to release powerful feelings of angst, depression, rejection, desperation, longing, emptiness or loneliness.

Don't harm yourself, learn to love yourself.Don't harm yourself, learn to love yourself.

Cutting is a very serious and dangerous matter. If you’re not careful it can kill you. Who is to say that you don’t have a really bad day and take it too far? It is like playing with fire. You need to look into alternative forms of coping. You need to see your doctor as soon as possible so that you can get the help that you need. It is not normal to self-harm ourselves, so if we are we need to find out why and how to stop it.

Never let your emotions drive you to this impulse. I know that it provides a sense of relief, but it is the wrong way to achieve this feeling. No matter what you think, it is not your fault so never take things out on yourself. Never inflict self-harm. When you are feeling like you want to cut, talk to someone, seek help, go for a walk, call a friend, do whatever you can to not self-harm. Make agreements with friends that you will not self-harm, and keep away objects and items that you can self-harm with.

Nothing is worth physically hurting yourself over. There are other ways to get through, and once you find those skills may you never self-harm again.

Helplines & Resources: 

  • TeenMentalHealth.org
  • KidsHealth - A safe, private place for kids & teens who need honest, accurate information and advice about health, emotions, and life.
  • Teen Line - A helpline for kids and teens to work through their personal issues and mental health as needed.  1-800-TLC-TEEN or 1-800-852-8336 (Toll Free US & Canada).
  • Mind Infoline – Information on self-harm and a helpline to call in the UK at 0300 123 3393 or text 86463.
  • Kids Help Phone – A helpline for kids and teens in Canada to call for help with any issue, including cutting and self-injury. Call 1-800-668-6868. (Kids Help Phone)
  • Kids Helpline – A helpline for kids and young adults in Australia to get help with issues including cutting and self-harm. Call 1800 55 1800. (Kids Helpline)

On a housekeeping note, I continue to get questions about body changes, periods and female hygiene. As I am not a medical professional, you need to see your doctor on these matters. Questions submitted of this nature will be ignored. My sincere apologies. 

Interested in getting in touch with Dear Dish-It? Simply email deardish@kidzworld.com with your concern, and we will address you on “Let’s Talk about it Tuesday” if your question is suitable for our topic of conversation. Regardless, keep your eyes peeled as Dear Dish-It it is covering a lot of issues, and you never know when your question or topic of concern will be featured in an article. Please let us know if you would like your handle to be listed as anonymous and list your age in your question if you would like as that can impact advice. To learn the Do's and Don'ts of Dear Dish-It and to find out what kind of questions are appropriate, check out this article!

Have Your Say

Do you cut? What do you do to distract yourself from cutting?

 

 

 

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Poll

Do You Know Someone Who Cuts?

  • Yeah, one of my friends cuts herself/himself.
  • I have had issues with cutting.
  • I don't know anyone personally, but I've heard of people who do it.
  • No, I don't know anyone who cuts.

Dear Dish-It In The Forums

rainbowpoptart
Goodness... I see where your mother is coming from: if you eat too much, no matter how healthy the food is, and don't work off the calories, you're going to gain weight. But she's being very obsessive and dramatic about it. There is nothing wrong with eating pizza or a cookie every now and then, and there's nothing wrong with relaxing from time to time either. As long as you aren't constantly eating junk and not burning the calories, then you do not have a problem. Eating unhealthy things every now and then does not make you fat. EATING every now and then does not make you fat. Try explaining this to her, calmly and patiently. Tell her that you don't want to be forced to do all of this exercising - being forced to exercise makes it a lot less interesting. Do not take "This is for your own good" for an answer; if you do not want to do it, it is NOT for your good. (This, of course, would be a different story if you were actually fat.) ALSO tell her that exercising too much and not satiating your cravings is JUST AS UNHEALTHY AS BEING FAT IS. If you were to not eat healthful meals and not snack every now and then, no matter how healthy or unhealthy the food is, plus exercise so frequently, you would not be healthy.  Eating is good for you, even if the food isn't. Eating too little and eating too much is not healthy. Exercise is good for you. Not exercising enough and exercising too much is not good for you. If you talking to her doesn't help, try telling another adult how you feel, and maybe they can help get it through to her. Regardless of what happens, take care of yourself. Moderate how much you eat, but don't limit yourself to less than you feel you need. Exercise, but don't do something you don't want to; working out should be fun. Good luck with everything. I'm really sorry that she makes you feel so badly about this.
reply about 23 hours
jake495
jake495 posted in Family Issues:
Make sure she knows its your body not hers In a respectful way of course
reply about 24 hours
ThePaleWalker636
I'm perfectly happy with myself. I'm around 5'6" and somewhere between 140-150 pounds, and I don't feel fat. But my mom is constantly telling me that I am, or, at least, that I'm going to be. She forces me to go to exercise classes because I don't like many sports, tries making me go on diets, but I don't want to. She tells me that if I continue the way I am, having an extra cookie once in a while and only eating cereal for breakfast, that I'll end up fat, and she makes sure to emphasize how horrible that is for a person to live with. She rolls her eyes and sighs whenever she sees me getting a snack, and just in general makes me feel awful for eating the things I like and for relaxing. I've told her that I don't want to do these things and that she makes me feel bad when she says things like that, but she swears it's for my own good and that I should never want to be fat, that it ruins people's lives. How should I deal with this?
reply 1 day
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
"NS12" wrote: I meet this guy at a festival and we have been talking for the whole week and my mum has noticed I keep texting someone and I know I need to tell her but I don t know how I am going to tell her, I doubt she ll get angry or anything but he lives about 4/5 hours away from me. I know I need to tell her as I don t like keeping secrets from her. I know this was a bit ago, but I truly hope that you were able to be open with your mother. If you feel as if they won't get mad at you, then chances are that your guardian will not. Honesty is the best policy, and if you feel guilt keeping a secret, then it is one you probably shouldn't be keeping.
reply 2 days
drowning
I agree with @rainbowpoptart. You really shouldn't worry about relationships that much given your age. I promise, they're better things to worry about than boys and more secure romances occur later on in life anyways. But, given the situation, you shouldn't worry about either. The boy is unfaithful and so is your friend. If your best friend really valued your friendship, she would not have put it in a position that could end it. Don't waste your time on those who will not put you first just as you do for them; better people will come into your life and they are the ones who you should really worry about.
reply 2 days