Q: Hi, I cut myself. It just recently started. I have done it a bunch of times. When I started I was like if this hurts I wont do it again—but it didn’t hurt. I don’t know if that’s not normal but after that I decided that I could control it. That I would only do it once in a while. Truth is I can’t control it. I end up doing it 3x a day. I find myself with the knife in my hand after its done and just go “oh why did i do that”. I want to stop but I can’t. I don’t want anyone to find out because then they would want to know why and I honestly don’t know why. I just feel depressed and I hate myself and who I am and wish I was dead sometimes. Do you know how to keep this a secret or have any advice about what I should do? I am embarrassed of myself and don’t want to talk to someone because they will think I am stupid and my mom will just be mad. She has other things on her mind like my step dad. He got drunk 2 nights ago after not drinking for a long time and said nasty stuff to my mom. So me telling her this would just make her mad and shed yell at me and tell me I am stupid and to grow up because I am immature. That’s what she always says. We are always arguing. So please if you can, help me. Thanks…
A: I strongly suggest that you do not keep this a secret. You don’t need to tell everyone but you need to tell a trusted adult who can help you. If you can’t work up the courage to tell your mom yet then maybe you can talk to your school counselor or another adult you trust. I would also suggest that you find a good therapist who works with teens. Based on what you are saying here, your cutting is probably related to the fact that you are not happy and don’t like yourself. Unfortunately many teens try cutting and once they start it can sometimes be hard to stop. You need help. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. It is something that you have found as an attempt to feel better but it is a very harmful and self-destructive coping skill. A good therapist can help you find ways to feel better about yourself without hurting yourself. I say this to you and everyone else who hurts themselves… please get some help so you can stop. There are several good books on this topic that you might want to search for in the library, bookstore or online, such as amazon.com. You might also look for local support groups at your school, church or in your community. Be brave and ask for help. You deserve to be happy. Good luck.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 4 Feb 2007
Counts, H. (2007). I Cut Myself. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 9, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/02/04/i-cut-myself/