As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

How do you stop a cutter?

WashWash Sweet ChristmasRegistered User regular
edited January 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
So it's late right now, and a friend of mine just IMed me because she's worried about a friend of hers. Apparently, my friend's friend (we'll refer to her as Cutter) is a cutter. Cutter is a serious cutter -- she's passed out from blood loss once. It's really bad, and I want something to tell my friend in regards to things she can do to help Cutter get past cutting herself. Note: Cutter is not 18 yet.

I apologize for the poorly written post; it's late, I'm tired, and my friends stressing out is stressing me out.

gi5h0gjqwti1.jpg
Wash on

Posts

  • Options
    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    You don't, generally, until the cutter is past whatever is going on emotionally that she's expressing through self-destructive behaviors. Encourage the friend to work on getting the cutter into therapy. Do the friend's friend's parents know about this? That's really more their purview than anyone else's.

    Trowizilla on
  • Options
    Baroque And RollBaroque And Roll Every spark of friendship and love Will die without a homeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    From my experience, Trowizilla is right. Your friend can't really do much for her friend other than discourage the behavior and working on getting her into therapy.

    If you're talking about trying to stop this cutter right now there's nothing that can be done except physically stopping her.

    Baroque And Roll on
    2dtr87s.png
    SteamID: Baroque And Roll
  • Options
    WashWash Sweet Christmas Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    You don't, generally, until the cutter is past whatever is going on emotionally that she's expressing through self-destructive behaviors. Encourage the friend to work on getting the cutter into therapy. Do the friend's friend's parents know about this? That's really more their purview than anyone else's.

    They don't know.

    @Gun: she's not looking for immediate results, she just wants something she can do that will put her friend on the path of recovery.

    Wash on
    gi5h0gjqwti1.jpg
  • Options
    TrowizillaTrowizilla Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Is there a reason the friend's friend doesn't want her parents to know besides normal teenage secretiveness or embarassment? If they're at all decent parents, they'll care and try to get her some help. Since she's severely hurting herself, I'd think your friend should look into making her friend's parents aware of the situation, unless there's a very good reason not to (like, they'll kick their daughter out, or them being abusive is the reason for the cutting).

    Trowizilla on
  • Options
    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Trowizilla wrote:
    You don't, generally, until the cutter is past whatever is going on emotionally that she's expressing through self-destructive behaviors. Encourage the friend to work on getting the cutter into therapy. Do the friend's friend's parents know about this? That's really more their purview than anyone else's.
    Trowizilla wrote: »
    Is there a reason the friend's friend doesn't want her parents to know besides normal teenage secretiveness or embarassment? If they're at all decent parents, they'll care and try to get her some help. Since she's severely hurting herself, I'd think your friend should look into making her friend's parents aware of the situation, unless there's a very good reason not to (like, they'll kick their daughter out, or them being abusive is the reason for the cutting).

    Just wanted to point out the good advice. From what I've seen in my life, cutting can be developed as a coping mechanism for a WIDE variety of reasons... self-esteem concerns, inability to handle stress, trauma from past experiences, and I'm sure the list goes on. But the thing is, especially if it's due to trauma it will likely require professional help to truly resolve. Even in the other cases, therapy is probably the easiest (and for some people, it will be the only) way to help stop the situation.

    In non-trauma related situations (never when it's the result of post-traumatic stress as far as I've ever seen... they will need more help than a non-professional could provide), I've seen people surround themselves with friends when they realize they have a cutting problem, and their friends help them to raise up their self-esteem or help them to manage their stress until they no longer have cutting as a reactionary habit (though it should be noted, according to the friend I have who was able to do this, she still has the URGE to do it at times... she's just realized that she can choose not to do it. I don't know if that means she might still need therapy, or if therapy would bring her to that same point... but she'd never go into therapy no matter how many people asked her, so this is the best that can be done)

    Anyways, three things need to happen in order for that to possibly work (from what I've seen):

    1) The cutter must realize that it's a problem (sadly, when people use this habit as their [sometimes only] buffer of defense against the world, they view it as being a "good" thing. Viewing it as a "good" thing will need to be trained out of them first, and will likely require therapy if they've gotten to that point.)
    2) The cutter must have a circle of friends willing to give them constant emotional reinforcement, or help them when they're stressed out... this both reinforces to them that they're a valuable person and that there are other ways to manage stress and feelings of inadequacy.
    3) The cutter must realize that it is time, for their own sake, to stop this particularly unhelpful defense mechanism (slightly different from #1... they may realize it's a problem, but not that they can and have the power to stop it). This is a realization that friends can help them get to, but I imagine in some cases reinforcement from friends might not be enough and they'll need professional help.

    Anyways, hopefully this helps. Therapy is a very good option if you can get them to go. If you can't, try to make sure that her closest friends are able to reinforce her... it might help her, or it might at least get her to the point where she'll consider therapy. And if you're sure that her parents won't freak out (or are the cause of the stress), indeed do consider bringing them in to help. But they must be understanding and not the cause of the problem, or that could make it worse.

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • Options
    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Yes, she needs help above and beyond what you or your friend are going to be able to offer.

    That being said, I've had some friends and a couple of girlfriends that were cutters. More often than not they would do it on their own and won't tell anybody about it, so stopping them immediately was pretty much impossible. From what they told me about it, cutting was a way of releasing a lot of the things inside of them that they just couldn't seem to get out and a way to make themselves feel better. There's something to that, chemically speaking and psychologically speaking.

    What I tried to do was to do things that might get that same endorphin kick flowing like having them come out and play soccer with my friends and their friends, or go on the go-carts, or silly stuff like that that can get the blood flowing and usually makes someone feel better afterwards. I guess these kinds of things helped at least reduce the frequency. But cutters usually cut for a reason and it's a deep psychological root that you're not going to get to. And, again, they are going to need professional help on this one. So, tell your friend to be supportive in helping Cutter get into therapy, and then supportive during therapy. A lot of people come into it thinking that they are going to be well in a snap, and have a hard time sticking with it when that proves not to be the case.

    Uncle Long on
  • Options
    VThornheartVThornheart Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Uncle Long wrote: »
    Yes, she needs help above and beyond what you or your friend are going to be able to offer.

    That being said, I've had some friends and a couple of girlfriends that were cutters. More often than not they would do it on their own and won't tell anybody about it, so stopping them immediately was pretty much impossible. From what they told me about it, cutting was a way of releasing a lot of the things inside of them that they just couldn't seem to get out and a way to make themselves feel better. There's something to that, chemically speaking and psychologically speaking.

    What I tried to do was to do things that might get that same endorphin kick flowing like having them come out and play soccer with my friends and their friends, or go on the go-carts, or silly stuff like that that can get the blood flowing and usually makes someone feel better afterwards. I guess these kinds of things helped at least reduce the frequency. But cutters usually cut for a reason and it's a deep psychological root that you're not going to get to. And, again, they are going to need professional help on this one. So, tell your friend to be supportive in helping Cutter get into therapy, and then supportive during therapy. A lot of people come into it thinking that they are going to be well in a snap, and have a hard time sticking with it when that proves not to be the case.

    That is true, my friends who have cut seem to all say something along the lines of that it helped them turn emotional pain into physical pain. Like it was easier to manage... which goes along with what's limed above.

    And indeed, if you can get them into therapy, it will be very, VERY helpful for them... if they'll let you do it... that's often the biggest roadblock. In honesty, I think pretty much everyone could benefit from some therapy every now and again... but until mainstream society removes those stigmas about therapy, it'll be hard to get some people the help they need.

    VThornheart on
    3DS Friend Code: 1950-8938-9095
  • Options
    GigatonGigaton Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I used to be a cutter, but anything I would say as advice has already been said except that you should tread softly with telling parents that kind of thing if you don't know them very well. When my dad found out he went completely nuclear in ways I don't feel comfortable saying on here.

    I'd also like to commend the people on this forum that have replied to your initial post with concern and maturity that's rare most places online which would have answered with something like "lolololz emo cutters". Once again the community of this site continues to impress me. :)

    Gigaton on
  • Options
    ChenjesuChenjesu Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I would strongly strongly recommend therapy. The one cutter I knew was doing it as a result of severe mental trauma from earlier in life. She got therapy which helped with the cutting, but the root trauma was such that she later developed more severe mental issues. Obviously there are different degrees of stress that can cause cutting, so that may not be the case for your friend, but professional help is absolutely the best idea.

    Chenjesu on
  • Options
    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    I'm going to /agree with everything everybody has been saying. Therapy is going to be most helpful but ultimately nobody can force Cutter to stop cutting (and in fact being too forceful can make the situation worse, as cutting is often a response to feeling like the world is trying to control her).

    I also wanted to mention that there is a good, supportive, recovery-oriented self-injury Livejournal community at http://community.livejournal.com/selfinjuryanon/ - unlike may online communities, this one is understanding towards the behavior but does not condone it, and has a very strong moderator presence. I recommend it.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
Sign In or Register to comment.