Why does cutting help? (the complete answer)

In this blog-post, we will explain why does cutting helps and how to seek help for cutting.

They engage in what is known as non-suicidal self-harm when someone hurts themselves by cutting, burning, hitting, or engaging in other ways of self-harm(without planning to be an end goal for death) (NSSI). The most popular type of NSSI is cutting, and it’s sometimes misunderstood.

Injuring yourself on purpose with a sharp object by making bruises or wounds on your body, enough to crack the skin and make it bleed is called cutting. A form of self-harm, or SI, is cutting. In their early teens, people who cut also start cutting. Some carry on cutting into adulthood.

People may cut their wrists, arms, legs, or bellies on their own. By burning their skin with the end of a cigarette or a lighted match, some people self-injure.

They also leave scars or traces as cuts or burns heal. The cuts and marks are generally hidden by people who hurt themselves, and often nobody else knows.

Why does cutting help

According to the Self-harm and Rehabilitation Study and Tools of Cornell University, people cut as a coping mechanism (SIRRR). When feeling numb, self-harm may be a way for a person to feel something or to relieve themselves from depression or anxiety. Some individuals cut to produce a wound that can symbolize their emotional distress, while others use cutting as a means to suppress their emotions from informing loved ones.

It can be difficult to comprehend why individuals cut themselves on purpose. Cutting is a way that certain people attempt to deal with the discomfort of strong feelings, constant strain, or issues with disturbing relationships. They can struggle with emotions that seem too hard to handle or bad circumstances that they don’t think will improve.

Some individuals are cut because they feel helpless to alleviate bad emotions. People who cut do not know other ways to get relief from pressure or emotional pain. Strong feelings of anger, sorrow, rejection, despair, longing, or emptiness are felt by some people.

Tension can build up when feelings are not expressed healthily, often to a point where it seems nearly intolerable. Cutting may be an effort to alleviate the intense stress. It seems like a way of staying in control of others.

The urge to cut may be caused by strong emotions that the individual can not convey, such as anger, pain, guilt, frustration, or alienation. Often people who cut say they feel like they don’t fit in or that nobody understands them. Because of losing someone near or to escape a sense of emptiness, an individual may cut. The only way to find comfort or convey personal pain over relationships or rejection may seem to be cutting.

Often people who cut or self-injure have other issues with mental wellbeing that add to their emotional tension. Depression, bipolar disorder, eating disorders, obsessive thought, or compulsive behavior are often (but not always) associated with cutting. It may also be a sign of issues with mental wellbeing that cause people to have difficulty managing their urges or taking unnecessary risks. Some individuals who cut themselves have drug or alcohol addiction issues.

Some individuals have had a traumatic experience, such as going through harassment, crime, or a catastrophe. After a traumatic experience, self-harm can feel like a way of “waking up” from a sense of numbness. Or it may be a way to relieve the pain they have endured, show frustration over it, or try to get control of it.

The outcome of people who engage in cutting

While cutting can provide a miserable feeling with some immediate relief, even people who cut agree that it’s not a good way to get that relief. The relief does not last, for one thing. They’re all masked over, the issues that caused the cutting remain.

People typically do not wish to permanently injure themselves when they are cut. And generally, they don’t mean to keep cutting once they start. But both may occur. The width of a cut can be misjudged, making it so deep that it needs stitches (or, in extreme cases, hospitalization). If a person uses non sterile or dirty cutting tools, razors, scissors, pins, or even the sharp edge of the tab on a can of soda, cuts can become contaminated.

Most people who have been cut don’t try suicide. Cutting is typically an effort by a person to feel better, not to end it all. While suicide attempts are made by some people who cut, it is generally due to the emotional issues and pain behind their decision to self-harm, not the cutting itself.

Cutting may be the development of a habit. It can become a compulsive behavior, meaning that the more it is repeated by an individual, the more the desire to do it is felt. The brain begins linking the false sense of relief from bad feelings to the act of cutting, and the next time tension builds, it craves this relief. It can seem difficult to avoid when cutting becomes a compulsive behavior. So cutting can feel more like an addiction, where it can seem too difficult to fight the temptation to cut. You can end up being controlled by actions that begin as an effort to feel more in control.

How a person starts cutting

On an impulse, cutting also begins. It’s not something that the person thinks about in advance. Shauna says, “It starts when something’s upsetting and you don’t know how to talk about it or what to do. But you can’t get your mind off feeling upset, and your body has this knot of emotional pain. Before you know it, you’re cutting yourself. And then somehow, you’re in another place. Then, the next time you feel awful about something, you try it again — and slowly it becomes a habit.” Self-harm often affects the image of a person’s body.

Who engage in cutting

The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine reports that in the United States, 1 to 4 percent of adults and about 15 percent of teenagers participate in self-harm. With rates ranging from 17 to 35 percent, college students tend to be the group at the greatest risk.

Self-harm, however, is not confined to a group, gender, or age. Psychologist Dr. Vijayeta Sinh, Ph.D., owner of NYC Family Therapy, says children as young as 9 and 10, in their 40s and 50s, adolescents, college students, and even adults are cut.

Cutting can turn into an addiction

Self-harm may mirror drug addiction when someone can crave and may have difficulty stopping it’s a means of self-medication. A particular kind of high, relaxation, connectedness, or sense of calm is often characterized by individuals who cut.

Dr. Sinh explains: “Endorphins energize us so that we can take action to avoid hurt and discomfort.” “Not only the physical pain we experience but also the emotional pain is affected by this.”

NSSI and suicide attempt are different

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders now describes NSSI as a condition (DSM-5). According to an NPR post, the rationale behind this is to separate self-harm strategies such as cutting from suicide attempts because the treatments for the two are somewhat different.

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Seeking treatment for cutting

Tell someone 

People who have stopped cutting frequently agree that accepting or talking about cutting is the most challenging first step. But they often state that they always feel a great sense of relief after they open up about it. Choose someone you trust to communicate with first (a parent, school counselor, teacher, coach, doctor, or nurse). Write a note if it’s too hard to bring up the subject in person.

Identify the reason why you are cutting

Cutting is a way of coping with pain or emotional tension. Try to find out what emotions or conditions cause you to cut. Is it frustration? Pressure to be flawless? Trouble with relationships? A traumatic trauma or loss? Average criticism or abuse? Identify the trouble that you have, and tell someone about it. Most individuals have difficulty working out this aspect on their own. This is where it can be useful for a mental health professional.

Ask for help

Tell someone that you want help with your problems and the cutting process. Ask someone else if the person you are asking doesn’t help you get the assistance you need. Adults often tend to downplay the issues that teenagers have or think they’re just a phase. Find another professional (such as a school counselor or nurse) who can make the case for you if you get the impression something is happening to you.

Work on it

In order to sort through strong emotions, repair past wounds, and learn new ways to deal with life’s pressures, most people with intense emotional pain or depression need to work with a counselor or mental health professional. Asking at your doctor’s office, at school, or at a mental health facility in your neighborhood is one way to find a therapist or counselor.

Seek professional help

A Child Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health journal article states that, on average, a person participates in NSSI for a period of 2 to 4 years before stopping. This is where counseling can be helpful to help individuals who work with personal challenges decide what cutting means to them.

Depending on the client, Dr. Sinh often employs two different kinds of therapy:

  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), may provide someone with the resources to deal with anxiety and work through it.
  • Psychodynamic counseling encourages someone to look at any previous events that can affect their behavior and recognize low self-esteem, perfectionism, or anger management problems.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps you recognize and substitute dysfunctional, adverse attitudes and habits with positive, adaptive ones.
  • Mindfulness-based interventions that help you live in the moment, in order to alleviate your anxiety and depression and enhance your overall well-being, better interpret the feelings and behavior of those around you.
  • Medicines- To directly treat self-injuring actions, there are no drugs. However, your doctor can prescribe antidepressants or other drugs to treat the underlying condition that is associated with self-harm if you are diagnosed with a mental health disorder, such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Therapy for these conditions may cause you to feel less compelled to harm yourself.

You can connect with mental health professionals online also.

Pay attention to yourself

Learn how, as a regular part of your everyday routine, to include physical activity and relaxation activities. Balanced eating. If you have sleep issues, ask your doctor for advice, which can dramatically affect your conduct.

Stop recreational drugs and alcohol

They influence your ability to make good choices and can put you at risk of self-harm.

In this blog-post, we explained why does cutting helps and how to seek help for cutting.

What we recommend for depression

Professional counselling

If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.

References

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/self-harm/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20350956

https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cutting.html

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/why-do-people-cut-themselves#support

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