Cutting is a new norm?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-14-2004
Cutting is a new norm?
Thu, 07-21-2011 - 10:00pm

I'm the proud mom of a 13yr old girl. She is my only child. Lately it's been a real rollercoaster at my house and I've been expecting it all since she was a tween. The problems that we have nowadays is cutting. Please don't anyone judge me when I do say this but, my chid threatens to cut and says to all that she does cut but I dont believe that she does. Granted she has only one scar and may have but I really truley believe she is mimicking the behavior. It was only just over a year and a half ago that she had cut herself while doing cooking and was on the bathroom floor dryheaving. My main belief behind it is that all of her friends in school are so-called cutters and she does idolize an older girl who does indeed have a lot of psychological problems and is in and out of rehabs regulary that she has stayed back three times. My daughter is by nature a drama queen and does theatrical work locally. Lately I'm at my wits end because at first we handled it as okay we are getting her counseling and the nine yards. Just recently there has been two conflicts that have come up and she threatens to go cut herself if she doesn't get her way and another parent called me today to tell me she heard my daughter say that she was thinking of just going into a "center" for two weeks before school starts and she'll be all set. Why do these girls glorify this act? I really don't feel as if she has any or all the actual reasonings behind cutting and I don't like the way some people are put off by the fact that I don't believe my own flesh and blood. I'm torn and confused and will call the pediatrician and find out where to go from there, but any suggestions? does anyone have the same thoughts? Thanks for letting me vent!

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-01-2001
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 8:04am

In general cutting in not a new norm.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Fri, 07-22-2011 - 2:48pm

Kids cut for a variety of reasons, and to those who use this as a coping mechanism, it's a very real, if temporary,

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-2011
Tue, 07-26-2011 - 5:41pm

This hurts my heart to hear. Kids cut when they feel overwhelmed--when they feel like they can't handle their lives. It secretes a chemical (dopamine?) that temporarily makes them feel better, calmer. The best thing you can do with a cutter, besides psych help by someone who knows about this problem, is to listen to them. Tell their friends that your child is really stressed, and if they can be a friend and be an ear, seriously it will reduce the urge to cut.

As for the threat, one effective way to deal with that is to call their bluff. It's not OK for you to be blackmailed emotionally. Literally say, "If you're telling me you want to hurt yourself, we need to go to the ER right now, and they will probably 5150 you, which means you will need to go be an inpatient at a juvenile psych ward for 72 hours. Do your really feel like hurting yourself?" It will probably stop.

But please do address the underlying cause of why she is so overwhelmed, and do whatever it takes to reduce the stress in her life and get her some good coping skills. Good luck!