Did you know that there are website/blogs on “wants to cut yourself”. It’s important to note that self-injury is rarely life threatening. However, because of the revulsion many people feel about it, many therapist have an appropriate response. That said, it doesn’t matter how severe or minor the physical injuries are. It’s what’s going on inside that matters. Cutting, also known as self-injury or self-mutilation is the practice of manipulating a mood or emotional state by inflicting physical harm on a person’s own body. EMDR within 8 sessions a teenager will begin a new outlook on life and have a chance to change the behavior now. All the teenager needs is the desire to want to change.
What is the Payoff of Cutting?
Self-injury releases tension – both physiological and psychological – very quickly. A person who cuts can turn a state of overwhelm into a state of relative calm almost immediately. Cutting reduces panic to simply feeling bad.
Self Harm = Self Love (Cutting Addiction Begins)
It is a destructive coping skill like many others in our society – drinking, anorexia, or working too much. It does not mean the person is crazy, or that they are attempting suicide. Get EMDR started today to help gain a new outlook. In fact, the self-injury may relieve tension to the point that the person no longer considers suicide.
Why Do Kids Cut Themselves?
Cutting also gives the child a great sense of control. Some kids do it as a form of self-punishment, but this isn’t always the case. Many cutters use it to express feelings that there are no words for. It also follows the addiction cycle.
Cutting is not done, as frequently believed, to “fit in” or to garner attention. Many teens will go to great lengths to hide the effects of the behavior in an attempt to avoid adding shame to their already fragile mental state.
One common denominator in kids who cut themselves is an inability to express their feelings. They either never learned how to do it or were invalidated when they tried. They have gotten the idea, possibly from an abusive home life though not always, that certain feelings are wrong and not to be articulated. They may have not had a role model for coping with troubling situations in a healthy way.
Some kids are predisposed toward this kind of behavior and it may take very little to set it off. Serotonin may be involved in making some kids more aggressive and impulsive than others, therefore more likely to self-mutilate. EMDR brakes the addiction to cutting. Once a kid tries the behavior and realizes the immense stress relief it provides, it may seem like a good idea for the next time the child is under stress.
Traumatized youth often display behaviors associated with PTSD or begin to self medicate with drugs. They may have changes in their sleep patterns: trouble falling asleep, interrupted sleep, restlessness, nightmares, not wanting to sleep in their own beds, or bed-wetting. Children may act out their trauma in their play with their action figures, dolls, or stuffed animals. Some become irritable, and overreact to situations, while others are numb, under react and have an “I don’t care” attitude. Hyper vigilance can be observed in some children. They lose the ability to discern between normal and dangerous situations and can misinterpret social cues, making relationships difficult. This also can be problematic in school as these children are constantly scanning their environment for danger which effects their concentration and attention. Learning issues are common in abused and neglected children. Current research also indicates that chronic traumatization can affect brain functioning leading to problems in regulating emotions and behavior, difficulties in attachment, problems with self soothing, and self injury. For many children the trauma is influencing current actions and their bodies react without the mind understanding why. They can exhibit anger, aggression, defiance, impulsiveness, and resistance. Teachers, case workers, foster parents, and parents often interpret this behavior as oppositional, attention seeking, or uncooperative. Adults misguidedly respond to the behavior with behavioral consequences that do not always work, instead of resolving the trauma. The child is unable to respond logically as the emotional part of the brain is active, and the thinking rational part of the brain is not accessible.
When to Seek Professional Help
Children, from infants to adolescents, are exposed to trauma as anything non nurturing is traumatic to a child. As the child develops and has difficulty developing interpersonal relationships depression in the form of anger and rage can develop. This is when you hear your teenager or pre-teen make statements like “I want to die.” Overall this teen or pre-teen has begun to go down the rabbit hole of negative thought patterns. This leads to cutting behavior and/or addictive behaviors toward substances. It is time to have a professional assess the situation. There is too many teens or pre-teens that are in pain with the developmental language ability to express the feelings which then turns inward. Go to a professional which can help lead your child out of the dark thoughts.