Content note: this blog discusses self-harm and may not be suitable for all audiences. Please take care when reading.
Discovering that your teen is cutting can feel overwhelming and frightening. It’s a situation that many parents hope never to face. Yet, if you are confronting this reality, remember that you are not alone. Often, cutting is a teen’s way of dealing with deep-seated emotions that they might find too complex or painful to express in words.
It’s essential to approach this delicate issue with compassion, understanding, and the proper knowledge to support your teen. Our first instinct is to fix things quickly, but with adolescent cutting, patience and calm are essential. If you are wondering what to do if your teen is common, please don’t panic. Below, we’ll explore some helpful steps to supporting your teen and finding the proper treatment.
Understanding Teen Cutting
In recent years, self-harm has become more common among teenagers. It’s essential to remember that this behavior is not a cry for attention or manipulation. In fact, many teens who engage in cutting go to great lengths to hide their scars and wounds out of shame and fear of judgment. Cutting can be a way for them to cope with intense feelings such as anger, sadness, anxiety, or pain. It may also be a way to gain a sense of control over their lives when they feel overwhelmed.
There are other reasons a person may cut, which include:
- A history of trauma or abuse
- Mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, or borderline personality disorder
- Feeling unsupported or not listened to by family and friends
- Difficulty managing and expressing emotions
In any case, it’s crucial to understand that cutting is often not about suicide but rather an attempt to manage emotional distress. However, it can lead to severe physical harm and long-term mental health issues. So, if you suspect your teen is cutting, taking action promptly is essential.
How To Talk To Your Teen About Cutting
In any conversation with your teenager, listening and being supportive without judgment are essential. Avoid saying things like “Why would you do this to yourself?” or “This is just a phase.” Instead, try to understand their perspective and validate their feelings. It may be helpful to start by expressing concern and love, then move on to discuss how they are feeling and what led them to self-harm. Allow them to speak openly without interruption, even if their thoughts seem confusing or illogical.
It’s also crucial to seek professional help when discussing this issue with your teen. A therapist can provide a safe space for your child to express their emotions and help them develop healthy coping mechanisms.
Finding The Right Treatment for Adolescent Cutting
In addition to therapy, there are other treatment options available for adolescent cutting or self-harm. These may include medication, support groups, or alternative art or music therapy therapies. Working with a healthcare professional to determine the best course of action for your teen is essential. Every individual is different, and what works for one may not work for another.
In some cases, residential treatment programs may be necessary if your teen’s cutting has become severe and uncontrollable. These programs provide around-the-clock support and a safe environment for your child to heal and learn healthy coping skills.
Contact MCAW for Teen Cutting Help
If you are unsure of how to help your teen or need support and guidance, Massachusetts Center for Adolescent Wellness (MCAW) is here for you. We offer various services, including therapy, medication management, and family support programs. Our team of dedicated professionals works closely with families to create personalized treatment plans that address the unique needs of each individual.
Contact us today at 855.940.6229.