One of the worst things to be aware of in teenagers is the act of cutting. This is just what it sounds like. It is when someone repeatedly cuts themselves to feel pain. Usually the cutting takes place on the arms, but can be other places, as well. Usually a razor blade is used, but if desperate, any sharp object will suffice.
Teens can cut for different reasons, however usually it is to release emotions of some kind. The person who is cutting is finding it difficult to find express the strong feelings that they are experiencing, and see this as the only way. They use the cutting as a relief from emotional pain and pressure, and usually cut to express strong feelings of rage, sorrow, rejection, desperation, longing, or emptiness.
Some cutters have mental health problems, or suffer from an illness like depression or bipolar disorder. Obviously these people are not thinking rationally and need to be helped. Drugs and alcohol can alse be involved in issues.
Yet another reason for cutting can be reactions to abuse or a traumatic instance. This can be a means to “feel” something, to snap out of the numb feelings they are feeling. Or, this can be a means to put themselves through the same pain over and over. This is done to try and get control over the situation.
Cutting is a very serious form of self mutilation and should be taken seriously. If you notice your teen wearing long sleeves all the time, this could be an indicator. Also, watch for the signs of depression from your teen, although these can be difficult to spot as teens tend to be very moody. If you suspect your teen is cutting, then take them to a mental health professional. It is also a good idea, that if you havent discussed this issue with your teen, you should talk to them about the seriousness of this situation, even if they are not doing it. It is important that they understand that they can come to you and talk about it and that there feelings do matter.