If you have read A Life, Redefined, you know that Rowan is a cutter. If you don’t know what a cutter is, unfortunately many teens do. Cutting is a form of self-harm or self-injury; when someone cuts their skin with a sharp object. The reason people do this can be to relieve an emotional pain or distress; to help them cope with life’s events.
Cutting is not just a teen issue, but this behavior often begins during the teen years. People cut various places on their bodies-on the arms, legs, stomach, hips. More females than males cut but the behavior spans across cultures and socioeconomic groups.
The below Risk Factors and Signs are taken directly from http://www.parenting.org/article/understanding-teen-cutting-and-self-injury.
• Knowledge that friends or acquaintances are cutting
• Difficulty expressing feelings
• Extreme emotional reactions to minor occurrences (anger or sorrow)
• Stressful family events (divorce, death, conflict)
• Loss of a friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, or social status
• Negative body image
• Lack of coping skills
• Wearing long sleeves during warm weather
• Wearing thick wristbands that are never removed
• Unexplained marks on body
• Secretive or elusive behavior
• Spending lengthy periods of time alone
• Items that could be used for cutting (knives, scissors, safety pins, razors) are missing
Cutting does not usually mean a suicide attempt. It is way to relieve an emotional pain or suffering, not a way to end a life. That doesn’t mean it should be taken lightly. Those who self-harm are hurting and need help. But there is help out there.
If you self-harm, speak up. Speak to a parent, teacher, guidance counselor, your doctor-someone you trust. Consider entering therapy. Seek support from family. Understand that you are not alone.
These sites are for informational purposes only.
There are also resources at the end of A Life, Redefined.
If you or someone you know self-harms, speak up. Help is out there.
*Always seek immediate assistance if you or someone you know is feeling suicidal.