Post # 1
So, I learned last night that a good friend of mine has been cutting herself. Let me preface this by saying that she is married and is in her 30s. She is not some anxist filled teenager. I have really been dealing with my own demons lately so I guess I just failed to notice that she is not coping well. She has a lot of really sad stuff in her past (again, much like myself) but I thought she was happy. I don’t even know what to say. Why? and is this addictive for her?
Post # 3
You don’t have to be an “angst filled teenager” to be a cutter. It’s actually really common. She needs counseling to help her – the best thing you could do is help her get professional help. Cutting can turn into a stress/pain release for people who aren’t coping with things in their life – in that sense, it can become addictive. People often put up public fronts in relationships where you think they are ok because that’s what they want you to think – obviously she wasn’t going to advertise the fact that she’s a cutter. She definitely needs help to learn to cope with the tough things in her life – help her get help.
Post # 4
@crayfish: I want to make it clear, that I don’t judge her. I just have no idea that this is something adult women do. Thanks for the insight.
Post # 5
Cutting is a form of self mutilation, and is very complex and individual to each person. It is definately not reserved for emo teenagers. Often people self mutilate because they need to feel something, or as a way of expressing the hurt they feel inside on the outside. I used to be a cutter, I’d hate myself and get so angry and frustrated, then I’d cut and I’d feel relief, like I was in control of at least one little thing in my life.
I’d suggest that you suggest councelling to your friend. Google therapists in her area and write down some numbers she can call, or volunteer to make the call for her or go with her the her first appt. Don’t ask her to promise you she won’t cut, whenever my friends did that to me it would only make me feel worse when I eventually did cut again.
The best thing you can do is support her, and love her, and be there to listen, good luck.
Post # 6
As a former, ahem, “angst filled teenager” you mentioned (careful with the terms you use :)) I know how this is. It does become addictive. I couldn’t deal with changes, I felt I had no support, and I didn’t know how to deal with emotional pain. Channeling it into physical pain made it more accessible and easier to deal with. But once you do that, you feel guilty, and cause more internal pain, which you then purge by doing the same thing.. it becomes a vicious cycle.
She needs to get professional help. It won’t stop on its own.
Post # 7
I know this post is a month old but here’s my two cents on the subject….
I was a cutter. Professional help did nothing. The only thing that helped was knowing that I had friends that truly cared when my world was crashing down. Personally, I never got anything out of a therapist/counselor/psychiatrist, none of them. I was in counseling from 8th grade through my senior year, then for about a year after high school. I saw 4 different people, plus had some counseling through my church. The “professional help” didn’t do anything. My problem was that I felt alone and anything that made me hurt emotionally was multiplied because I felt like I had no one to talk to. When my friends started checking me daily, I began to realize that someone cared. They would grab my arms in the halls and pull up my sleeves to check my arms (I wore long sleeves all the time so no one could see it). When they realized that I started cutting my legs to hide it from them, they started pulling me into the bathrooms between class to check my ankles (I cut in school and my ankles were easily accessible.) I do not cut anymore but I still want to every day because it was comforting, addictive. It’s a vicious cycle. I have dealt with my demons but cutting was a part of my daily life for so many years that it has been difficult to give up. I haven’t cut in 5 years. 🙂
I suggest bringing up counseling for your friend. IF she is adamently against it, all you can do is tell her that you are there whenever she needs you and don’t push the subject with her. Sometimes being a friend is the best help someone could give and sometimes that’s the absolute best help someone could have.