I Can’t Stop Cutting

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

So, ever since I was a wee-little lad, I have been in Dance classes, and I enjoy it! Just Because I prefer “dancing” over “football”, according to everyone in my school: I’m gay. When I got into 6th Grade, the bullying started getting really bad. People were messing with my head, and I started to get really depressed. I remember my first time cutting. I used a razor in the shower. The release felt amazing- and it helped me totally forget about all of the emotional pain that had been building up inside of me for however many years. Ever since that first time cutting, I feel like I am “addicted” to cutting or something. Now, whenever I get tripped in the hallway at school, get into an argument with my mom, or EVEN if I get angry over the stupidest things. It’s gotten to the point, where most times, I don’t even have a reason to do it. I just do. My scars are really visible, as are the newer cuts (that I’ve done in the past couple of days). It’s confusing, because I keep trying to tell myself that I want to stop, but my head keeps on telling me that It’s okay. It’s really dangerous because it REALLY works, and it is the ONLY way I know how to deal with my problems, and cope with my past. I get bullied all the time at school, which only adds more stress, and makes me cut more. I have been diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, but I think I have depression. My mom knows I used to cut, but she thinks I stopped a year ago. Little does she know. My cuts are getting deeper every time I do it now. She told me (back when she knew I was doing it before) That if she found out I was doing it again, she would send me to a Psych ward. I just dont know what to do anymore. Please Help.

Thanks,

A: I can understand the struggle and deeply appreciate you talking about this and sending your email. The most important thing I can say is that a “psych ward” isn’t what is needed. You are clearly a bright and talented student who has been struggling to find a way to cope with his pain, and what I can tell you is there are many other ways of coping that won’t put your well-being at risk. You are not familiar with these ways, but a good therapist will be. Ask your mom about going to talk to a therapist about how you are feeling. That is the truth, and my guess is she will honor your request. Then tell the therapist everything you explained here and you and he or she will make a plan for coping from there. Many teenagers and young adults have found alternative to cutting that have proven to be helpful. My hope is that you will too.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Dec 2012

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2012). I Can’t Stop Cutting. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/12/06/i-cant-stop-cutting/