Cutting and self harm is a very difficult thing to understand for a parent. When a parent shares “Help, my teen is cutting!” often times the community surrounding the parent is unaware of what the next steps should be.
The issue of self harm is very difficult to understand for the best of youth workers. It’s often diagnosed with suicide and mental illness due to the danger of bleeding to death but the reality is that cutting and self harm should be more associated with past trauma. Incidents that have happened in the past may have caused the young adult to internalize the pain they experienced but after years of avoidance and suppression have come to realize they feel nothing, except pain. The control of releasing endorphins causes the teen to become addicted to the act of cutting as it serves three purposes:
- It allows them to treat themselves the way they feel – with self loathing.
- It gives them the momentary feeling of satisfaction amidst an internal war of chaos.
- They believe they are in control even though it’s an illusion.
If you’re a parent and have a teen struggling with this issue you need someone to talk to. Please click the “LIVE CHAT NOW” button at the top of the page so we can help. By keeping your issue a secret you are giving it power to destroy your teen, your family, and your life. The shame you may feel as a parent can spread as a cancer into your thoughts, actions, and relationships – often hurting your marriage the most. Isolation is the worst way to live a full life, because it convinces a person that no one needs to know, that no one really understands, and ultimately, that no one really cares. That’s not true! Life on life community, and sharing these issues with people who truly care about you and your family, is the best way for anyone to flourish in their understanding of self, others and God. However, when we spend all our energies protecting our secret from the world this mindset can create an independence stronghold that feels true but is a lie really killing you from the inside out.