How Can I Stop Cutting?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. My father has always been kind of abusive to me and my brother and everytime he finds out i cut he tells me thats the cowards way out and blah blah blah and i try telling him im not insane i need help but he doesnt listen. he says if he finds out i do it again im going to a mental home but i cant just put the razorblade down and stop cold turkey. he doesnt understand me and what im going through he thinks im doing it cuz all my friends are and thats not true i cut for my own reasons i feel numb and i need to know im alive to show people i need help and does anyone ever take it that way…NO! what do i do????

A. Cutting is dangerous and at the very least, unhealthy. Despite this, in the absence of actual coping skills, many people cut themselves, young people especially. Many people cut for the same reasons you do, they hurt, they feel numb and there is little or no help available. People say that cutting helps release their emotional pain and as you said, lets them know that they are “still alive” and can feel something.

Cutting is a sign that someone needs help. Since your immediate family is unable to help you into treatment, you need to find others who can help you. I suggest that you talk to either your school counselor or a trusted adult family friend. Tell them how much you are suffering and that sometimes you cut yourself to feel better. There are better and more appropriate ways to deal with your emotional pain and hopefully, when you inform the school counselor or a family friend, they can steer you into the appropriate treatment. Inform someone of your cutting immediately. Please write again if you have any more questions.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2008). How Can I Stop Cutting?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/21/how-can-i-stop-cutting/