Many people simply do not know how to cope with problems they experience. Such individuals may easily turn to some abnormal behavior. Self-harm may be only one of the twisted behaviors these individuals may develop. Namely, through physical pain they release emotional pain. However, this altered behavior may be very damaging especially if it often repeats. So, by identifying these people and providing them with suitable help, we may help them find new ways to deal with problems and overcome different issues without a need to hurt themselves.
Cutting often Begins on an Impulse!
In the majority of cases, cutting is something a person does without any previous thinking. Namely, it may be an impulse that unintendedly leads to emotional relief. However, once this deviant behavior takes place, it may be hard to get rid of habit to cut the body each time new problem arises. It is also possible that a person starts to like the very appearance of cuts and perform the activity repeatedly.
So, usually starting impulsively, cutting may develop into a repeated action which in the long run may have serious detrimental effects, mostly to the appearance of the affected individual but also to his/her mental status, especially if the underlying problem is not identified and treated on time.
Causes of Cutting
There is no unique explanation why people cut themselves on purpose. The reasons behind such deviant behavior may be strong emotions or pain such people simply cannot cope with or upsetting relationships problems.
Many times people who cut themselves search for any available relief from bad feelings. Once they discover cutting, their physical pain replaces the emotional one. What is more, certain people may perform this activity because of other feelings apart from desperation like rage, rejection, sorrow or emptiness. It is possible to find suitable, healthy ways to express and release tension that can easily build up. However, excess of tension may trigger cutting. Once the person experience tension build-up once again, he/she will repeatedly cut himself/herself and experience desirable relief.
Apart from healthy individuals, cutting as a self-harm tool is reported in people who are already suffering from mental health problems. For instance, such behavior may occur among people with depression, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, obsessive thinking and patients suffering from compulsive behaviors.
It may be challenging to detect a person who is an obsessive cutter. These individuals cut various parts of their body most of which can be perfectly covered with clothes and are not revealed until the person puts the clothes off. So sometimes people from the person's surrounding may notice wounds or scars from cuts, bruises or burns on the exposed parts of the body. Additionally, there may be blood stains on clothing and bedding. The person's belonging may comprise various sharp objects, razors, knives and needles being only some of them.
Finally, these people frequently explain their cuts as 'accidents', they claim to be all thumbs and prone to injuries.Better Ways to Deal with Problems than Cutting
People who have realized that they are having a problem but simply cannot fight off the urge to repeatedly cut themselves are due to confide in another person. This can bring such a relief. One should opt for someone who is reliable and will not take control of recovery. This can be a friend, family member, teacher or councilor.
It is essential to focus on feelings and try to identify situation that trigger excess tension. Once the problematic situations are identified, the person will be aware of when the attack might start and be prepared to take precautionary measures.
There are many ways to learn how to manage overwhelming stress and emotions. These can be implemented in the person's routine activities and efficiently replace cutting or other form of self-hurting. For instance, one may opt for painting or drawing to express his/her feeling. Furthermore, negative feelings may be expressed in a journal or be written down on the paper that will be torn afterwards. Additional help is obtained from listening to calming music, having a suiting bath or shower or having a massage.
In case none of the mentioned works for you, it is best to seek professional help. These people are well-educated to identify the underlying cause of cutting and also suggest the most convenient technique one is supposed to adopt in order to get rid of the deviant behavior.
Also, it may take some time to find the right therapist. This should never put the person off. The correct relationship with a therapist is vital for the progress. Feeling save, respected and understood is of major importance for one to face the problem much easily and cope with it successfully. If this is not achieved with one therapist, one should not hesitate and find another.
All in all, cutting as a form of self-harm is a serious issue which requires timely treatment and maximum support from the family and close friends. Left untreated, it may develop into even more complex problems some of which are mild (infections, the necessity of stitches etc) or rather severe like a suicide.