If your teenager is doing self-harm with cutting, it's important to seek counseling for this youngster as soon as possible. It's also important not to blame yourself, even if trouble in the family may be an underlying cause. Learning more about the reasons teens do this activity can help you avoid taking on guilt over this situation, which is not helpful for your family.
About Repetitive Self-Injury
Repetitive self-harm is not entirely uncommon among teens. Some cut their skin with a razor or other sharp object. Others burn themselves with cigarettes, or hit themselves hard enough to develop a bruise. They tend to do this on parts of the skin that aren't readily visible to other people, but often, someone discovers what's happening.
Some Reasons for Self-Harm Behavior
In general, repetitive self-harm tends to be a form of stress relief. It may seem unimaginable to you, but for some individuals, doing these activities feels like letting off some serious pent-up steam. It feels like a safety valve and brings a sense of relief, at least for a while.
Teens do these actions for many reasons.
Even if a teenager seems to be having fun during the adolescent years, anxiety sometimes lurks behind a happy facade. There may be worry about grades and getting into college, problems in a romantic relationship and issues with friendships. Some teens learn to cope with these difficulties by repetitively injuring themselves.
A teenager may despair over their appearance, especially if they deal with problems such as acne or being overweight. Other adolescents may say cruel things about a teen's appearance, leading to embarrassment and a lack of confidence.
Teens who are confused about their sexual identity -- or are trying hard to ignore an attraction to the opposite sex -- can feel quite troubled. Even teens who know they are straight may feel stressed about pressure to have sex, or about sexual desire they find hard to control. Sometimes cutting is a form of self-punishment if the teen feels sinful or immoral.
Problems in the family such as divorce, parents who fight a lot, alcoholism or financial trouble can be very stressful for teens. They may want to pretend that everything is fine to their friends. Self-harm gives them an outlet for the stress they don't want to talk about with peers.
What You Can Do Now
If you haven't told your child you know what's going on, do so. Avoid making accusations and expressing anger or disappointment. Let your child know your feelings of love and concern, and be firm about scheduling an appointment with a mental health counselor. They'll not only have an objective person to talk with about their problems, but a professional who fully understands the issue of repetitive self-injury.
Contact a group like Lincoln Psychiatric Group to learn more.Share
11 August 2015
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